• NOW

News

  • NOW

Russia's Relationship with Bitcoin May See Brighter Days Ahead

The state of bitcoin’s legality in Russia has been shaky over the past couple of years. Reports of bitcoin bans, jail sentences for holding cryptocurrencies, and other regulatory policy headlines have spread like wildfire. Throughout many of these stories Russia’s Deputy Finance Minister, Alexey Moiseev, has often shared very bi-polar messages concerning the cryptocurrency.

Also Read: Markets Update: Cryptocurrency Prices Begin Rebounding

Russia’s Finance Minister Says Bitcoin is Not a Threat

Alexey Moiseev
Alexey Moiseev

According to a recent report from Russia’s regional news publication TASS, Moiseev the Finance Minister and his colleagues don’t view bitcoin as a threat. This is in contrast to Moiseev’s rumored proposals in the past concerning bitcoin regulation. Last summer the Finance Minister detailed cryptocurrency mining would be deemed illegal but the digital asset could be traded similar to foreign currency exchange (forex) markets. This past week Moiseev told reporters on January 12:

So far we decided to watch it carefully and how it’s developing. We decided that the Central Bank and the Federal Financial Monitoring Service should monitor cryptocurrency for Russia’s economic security. So far these agencies believe that there is nothing critical in it. That means they understand that (threats) may appear in the future, but now they do not exist.       

Russia’s Relationship with Bitcoin

Russia has had a strange relationship with bitcoin for quite some time. Back in 2014 many people thought bitcoin was illegal in the country according to reports from media outlets like CNBC and the European Parliament. Over the course of the past few years, bitcoin-related websites have been blocked such as the exchange BTC-e and Localbitcoins.

Following these events, the Deputy Finance Minister announced new law was coming in 2017 that would treat virtual currencies like forex. Then this past fall the Russian Federal Tax Service revealed letter No. ОА-18-17/1027, which described the agency’s position over cryptocurrencies. One statement in the service letter noted:

The Russian laws do not contain any prohibitions as to operations with cryptocurrencies conducted by Russian citizens and organizations.

Have Russian Authorities Changed Their Opinions Towards Cryptocurrencies?   

It will be interesting to see what transpires from Moiseev’s recent statements, and the effect of the Federal Tax Service’s recent statements. Many believe the service letter was a turning point for bitcoin usage within Russia. Moiseev stating virtual currencies are not a threat is certainly a good sign. Especially when the Finance Minister was supposedly supporting prison sentences just last year, according to the Russian news outlet Interfax.

Russia’s Localbitcoins volumes reached an all time high this past December.

What do you think about Russia’s relationship with bitcoin? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Pixabay.


Have you seen our new widget service? It allows anyone to embed informative Bitcoin.com widgets on their website. They’re pretty cool and you can customize by size and color. The widgets include price-only, price and graph, price and news, forum threads. There’s also a widget dedicated to our mining pool, displaying our hash power.

Tags in this story
Alexey Moiseev, Bitcoin, forex, Laws and Regulation, Russia, Russian Federal Tax Service
Related
Bogota's EXMA 2019 Will Feature Bitcoin Cash Payments at Home Burgers

At this year’s EXMA conference in Bogota on May 27-28, attendees will find that payment processor Pagos Inteligentes will allow… read more.

These Tourist Destinations Welcome Bitcoin Cash Enthusiasts

Spending during the holiday season should be easy but borders, physical and financial, often complicate matters. A world currency that… read more.

Jamie Redman

Jamie Redman is a financial tech journalist living in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for Bitcoin, open source code, and decentralized applications. Redman has written thousands of articles for news.Bitcoin.com about the disruptive protocols emerging today.