Russia’s stance on Bitcoin and cryptocurrency has changed yet again. For the longest time, the country’s officials seemed poised to ban Bitcoin altogether. But those plans have been altered, as the Russian Ministry of Finance wants to do no such thing. That doesn’t mean they will embrace cryptocurrency all of a sudden, though.
Russian Ministry of Finance Does An 180 On Bitcoin
In what can be called a surprising turn of events the Russian Ministry of Finance did a full 180 on Bitcoin. Not too long ago, government officials were proposing a solution to make Bitcoin usage punishable by law. Business owners would even face up to seven years in prison for their involvement in cryptocurrency.
Alexei Moiseev, the Deputy Finance Minister in Russia, has highlighted the new bill on cryptocurrency. The current plans involve a series of meetings with experts to consider the development of Bitcoin technology. Making an outright ban on Bitcoin would be “unwise’, which is rather shocking. For some reason, Russia seems unable to make up its mind when it comes to cryptocurrency.
At the same time, Moiseev stressed how Bitcoin should not become a tool for thieves and criminals. In fact, the goal is to “limit the freedom for illegal actions and money laundering when using Bitcoin”. So far, that doesn’t sound out of the ordinary, as most countries around the world are thinking along the same lines.
Despite this somewhat positive news, Moiseev also mentioned how most of all suspicious transactions are made using Bitcoin. These claims are allegedly backed up by European official sources. So far, none of these reports has been made public, and it is doubtful there is any validity to these claims.
This does not mean the Central Bank of Russia will give up its position of money emission either. Bitcoin will still not be an officially recognised currency in the country by any means. However, getting involved in cryptocurrency will have no legal repercussions unless it is used for illegal activities.
Keeping in mind how the Russian Ministry of Finance seems to change its mind on Bitcoin every few weeks, this may not be the final verdict either. Until the official law has been published, Bitcoin’s status in Russia remains very vague at best. Moreover, we have no idea what this new bill on cryptocurrency will entail exactly.
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