Russian Parliament Member Calls for Reconsidering Bitcoin Banning Policy

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Andrei Lugovoy, deputy chairman of the Russian parliament’s committee on security and anti-corruption stated he stands against complete ban of cryptocurrencies in Russia, as the country’s ministry of finance and investigative committee demand.

In his interview to news agency Moskva he said that, instead of banning virtual money turnover, the legislators should evaluate the perspectives of their turnover and define their legal status.

“It would be a mistake to equalize money surrogates and virtual currency. Downright ban of money surrogates and, therefore, automatic ban of cryptocurrency would practically stop the development of such a new decentralized program completely secured from cyberattacks like blockchain, in Russia. Potential of the technology, even basing on preliminary assessment, is very high. In short-term it could become a new secured model of exchanging government-related and financial information. Considering the fact that the blockchain in today’s form is directly connected to virtual currency’s turnover, we would ban one thing having banned the other,” he said.

Earlier this year, Russian ministry of finance proposed to introduce up to seven years of imprisonment for issuance of money surrogates, which, according to the ministry, incorporates bitcoin. The draft law in question is expected to be reviewed by the parliament before the spring session ends.

However, according to Lugovoy, the parliament’s working group intends to develop a new concept for cryptocurrency turnover based on maximized accountancy in cooperation with the government. The working group would have to determine whether cryptocurrency is a financial tool, a surrogate, a payment tool, or a security.

“Currently it’s more like a new and non-explored financial tool, which, however, has demonstrated a serious economic potential,” Lugovoy added.

It bears reminding that Russian payments processor QIWI, which continues its development of BitRuble, claims the final product would by no means be a cryptocurrency, and, therefore, would not be subject to the expected ban of money surrogates.

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