Russian Ministry of Finance Prepares a New Revision of Anti-Cryptocurrency Draft Law

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Russian Ministry of Finance has finalized its own draft law concerning the ban of so-called ‘money surrogates’. It intends to submit it to the government’s reviewing.

The ministry proceeded with development of the draft law as eary as August 2014. However, the document received numerous criticisms and was revised several times. The ministry justifies its stance with high risks inherent in cryptocurrency, incluing possible money laundering activities involving ‘money surrogates’. The previous revision of the Ministry’s draft law implied criminal punishment for mining, selling, and buying of bitcoins.

“We revised [the draft law] in cooperation with law enforcement agencies. Currently we’re preparing it for submission to the govermnent,” Alexei Moiseev, deputy minister for finance, said in an interview to publication CoinFox. However, he did not clarify whether there were substantial amendments to the draft law.

Moiseev also stated he had doubts concerning the parliament initiative, which de-facto legalizes bitcoin.

“In general practice, it never goes any further than the first reading,” he said.

The legislative initiative in question has been submitted to the State Duma in December 2015. According to Vladimir Pligin, the chairman of the parliament’s committee for constitutional legislation and nation building, the first reading of the draft law may take place as early as this February.

The deputy minister’s statements echo statements of Alexander Bastrykin, the head of Russian Investigative Committee. In his interview to Russian government publication Rossiyskaya Gazeta, he said that operations with cryptocurrencies, and namely bitcoin, shall be subject to criminal punishment.

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