An official from Russia’s Ministry of Finance has indicated the financial regulator now supports changes to a proposed law that would still ban bitcoin domestically but carve out provisions for its use as a foreign currency.
In a new interview with state-owned newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta, deputy finance minister Alexei Moiseev said the change in tone is part of a broader effort to limit the use of alternatives to the ruble domestically, while removing uncertainty for those working with blockchain, its underlying distributed ledger technology.
The announcement represents a significant change in tone for the organization, which has long pressed forward on a bill to ban digital currencies, as well as impose criminal penalties on their users, despite more favorable remarks from the Russian central bank.
According to the interview, the Ministry of Finance continues to support a ban on the use of bitcoin in Russia, a move it believes is supported by its Constitution, which mandates the ruble be the sole currency in use for national commerce.
Still, Moiseev suggested his agency will seek to adjust the law to allow citizens to use bitcoin, and even profit from using bitcoin as a “foreign currency” in areas where