After Russian Central Bank presumed that Bitcoin and its ilks could jeopardize consumers, the country’s finance ministry has suggested that government illegalize cryptocurrency mining. Nonetheless, people will not be punished for buying Bitcoin, as RT reports.
"The penalties will be different, mostly administrative, but if someone created the cryptocurrency for the purpose of settlements, then there will be a criminal punishment," explained the case Russian Deputy Finance Minister Aleksey Moiseev.
The official added that criminal punishment would be imposed on those who are involved in a pyramid scheme or who issues Bitcoin and its ilks to evade tax.
Will Russia legalize Bitcoin?
Currently, neither Bitcoin mining nor its purchase and sell are regulated in Russia. In November, Russian Minister of Communications and Mass Media Nikolai Nikiforov said that there was little possibility that country would legalize cryptocurrency.
"Bitcoin is a foreign project for using blockchain technology, the Russian law will never consider bitcoin as a legal entity in the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation. However, I think that it is quite possible to use blockchain technology and the use of various digital tokens," he said.
Nevertheless, Moiseev reassured that purchasing cryptocurrencies would be legal after the completion of work on the respective bill.
The official also warned that it might take quite a long time to complete the document. The reason is that it includes lots of novel words, which do not exist in Russian legislation yet.
Earlier President Vladimir Putin has ordered to create a legal status for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as well as for mining and ICO. The legislation should be completed by July 2018. Interestingly, Putin himself has condemned Bitcoin for the lack of transparency.
Russian President named other risks connected with Bitcoin, “first of all, opportunities to launder funds acquired through criminal activities, tax evasion, even terrorism financing, as well as the spread of fraud schemes.”