Russian Draft Law Criminalizing Cryptocurrecnies to Be Reviewed in June

News and Analysis

The draft law developed by Russian Ministry of Finance, which implies criminal punishment for issuance and turnover of crytocurrencies, will be submitted to the parliament in June at the latest, TASS reported citing a source in the ministry.

“It will be submitted by June. The government’s instruction restrains us to June 2016,” said the agency’s informant following a session at the parliament’s working group “Legal regulation of issuance and turnover of cryptocurrency”.

In late 2015, the Ministry of Finance announced it had developed amendments to the country’s criminal code implying punishment up to four-years imprisonment for issuance and turnover of cryptocurrencies.

Russian Ministry of Economic Development has supported the initiative. Back then, the ministry’s spokesperson said that currently money surrogates, including cryptocurrencies, have no backing and legally liable subjects thereto. Cryptocurrency operations are speculative and carried out at so-called ‘virtual exchanges’, the ministry stated.

The department also believes that virtual currencies have a high risk of significant volatility related mostly to lack of asset backing.

The legal status of cryptocurrencies, and Bitcoin in particular, being the most prominent of them, is gradually deteriorating. However, there are about 60,000 online stores around the globe accepting bitcoins as a payment.

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