Russia Planning to Criminalize Bitcoin Activities

The debate whether Bitcoin should be banned in Russia is once again picking momentum.

According to a report of Interfax, the Russian government lately approached the regulators with its plan to criminalize the use and issuance of Bitcoin under the new money surrogate law. If enacted, the amended bill will effectively impose bank on all kind of Bitcoin activities, including trading, mining and transactions.

A similar bill was proposed by the Ministry of Finance in 2014. However, the text of the bill turned out to be confusing for regulator, for it never clarified the actual definition of the term “surrogate money”. As it was a technical lapse, the ministry had to withdraw the bill from the parliament. They further planned to introduce an amended version by October 5 this year.

But the situation has improved a lot for Bitcoin in the past months. The Central Bank of Russia particularly turned more tolerant towards the use of virtual currencies. It recently created a working group to study blockchain, Bitcoin’s underlying technology. Earlier this year, the regulatory body also met some finance representatives to discuss the possibility of a secular environment for Bitcoin in Russia.

In the meantime, the central bank was equally

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