Russian authorities have gone back on their idea to penalize whoever is caught in bitcoin operations in the country, says a report by Russian news agency Interfax.
Though Interfax referenced unnamed sources close to the Russian government’s financial departments, it suggested that representatives from the country’s Ministry of Finance, central bank, and other government bureaus are increasingly supportive of this action.
The Finance Ministry had planned to submit legislation in May that would punish those who use digital currencies with fines as high as $38,000 and jail sentences of up to seven years, according to media reports.
The Ministry of Justice and the Interior Ministry in Russia had reportedly questioned the “public danger” that bitcoin supposedly brings, as proposed by the Finance Ministry.
Sources had said that the Ministry of Justice was in disagreement with some of the wording of the bill proposing a ban on money “surrogates” as a term that has frequently been associated with bitcoin and virtual currencies.
In Moscow in 2014 Deputy Finance Minister Aleksey Moiseev had told journalists that:
People can play with their chips, and they can call them