Russia: Using Bitcoin Is A Criminal Liability

In Russia a report from Forklog reveals the Ministry of Finance has created a new version of sanction for many of the uses of Bitcoin. The law applies to those who “manufacture, acquire for the purpose of selling, as well as their distribution may be punished”. Calling it a “turnover of money substitutes” the punishments are up to 300 thousand Rubles or the compulsory work of 360 hours.

Also Read: Vladimir Putin Speaks Out in Favor of Bitcoin

“We do not reject anything, but there are serious, really fundamental issues related to its wider usage, at least, today.”

~ President Vladimir Putin

russiabitcoinwtfIt seems that Russian officials have quite the distaste for the virtual currency Bitcoin and want to let citizens know that you there will be retribution if you use it. If organizations or groups break the law the punishments increase by up to 500 thousand Rubles or 480 hours of correctional labor. This September brings back criminal liability to using Bitcoin in the region and will sanction all materials involved with it.

The finance minister said that amendments have been prepared to the specific law: “On information, information technologies and information protection”. Which means the procedure will filter access to site offering “money substitutes”.

In addition, the Finance Ministry has prepared amendments to the law “On information,

Vladimir Putin attends Seliger 2014 National Youth Forum...epa04374013 Russian President Vladimir Putin talks during the Seliger 2014 National Youth Forum in the Tver Region, Russia, 29 August 2014. Russia will not be drawn into a large-scale conflict, but will fend off any aggression against itself, President Vladimir Putin said on 29 August 2014. EPA/MIKHAIL KLIMENTIEV / RIA NOVOSTI / KREMLIN POOL

information technologies and information protection”, according to which the procedure will limit access to the sites, ensuring the release of money substitutes and operations with them, said the official. The finance minister additionally noted that digital currency is “high risk” and associated with terrorism and money laundering.

The head of the Central Bank Russian Federation, Elvira Nabiullina, has said in the past that the Bank of Russia would be studying virtual money. Despite this she sees the risk of questionable transactions but has established a specialized force to study blockchain technology. While the central banking collective in Russia debates Bitcoin as a crime or technological study others move forward. The head of Sberbank, German Gref, said the currency should not be banned stating: “It appears to us as professionals in this part, it’s not exactly what you want to ban”.

russian-bitcoin-banRussia has frowned upon Bitcoin for a while now and a lot of this is no surprise to most. However many feel the punishment for using “money substitutes” is pretty harsh among other regions of the world. President Vladimir Putin seems to feel the same way as the country’s central banks do but a touch more optimistic saying: “We do not reject anything, but there are serious, really fundamental issues related to its wider usage, at least, today.” For now using cryptocurrency in ‘Third Rome’ as its called is not what Russian government and banking officials recommend.

Do you think Russia will ever consider cryptocurrency a good idea? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Forklog Russian Bitcoin Publication, Shutterstock and Redmemes