It Looks Like Russia Isn’t Giving in to Bitcoin After All

We all know Russia’s history with bitcoin hasn’t been exactly fluid. A couple of months ago, it seemed like maybe Russia was next in line to jump on the crypto-currency band wagon. That’s not the case anymore.

Earlier last week, the Russian Finance Ministry announced that there is no need to rush the bitcoin draft law. Also stated were their plans to once again bring the draft back for a closer look.

Alexei Moiseev, Russian Finance Minister announced the ministry isn’t looking to ban bitcoin directly from the country. Moiseev said that the review processes this time will involve experts in bitcoin, as well as other types of crypto-currencies.

Concerns about strict regulations for the crypto-currency have prompted the halt. The ministry is still convinced that role of bitcoin is strictly for criminal activity and nothing more. They are worried that introducing bitcoin would only hinder the growth and advancement for Russia in the crypto-currency area.

“We need to prevent criminals from using Bitcoin for illegal transactions and money laundering. Data from official European sources indicate the use of bitcoin is over 80% of all suspicious transactions. At the same time, we have to ensure the role of the central bank as the sole issuer of currency in the country. We would like to take a more proactive approach in reviewing the draft involving experts in the field,” Moiseev said.

Russia’s bitcoin draft makes it illegal in the country. Anyone thought to be involved in any type of actions involving the crypto-currency will be prosecuted to the full extent of Russian law. If convicted, parties will face up to seven years in prison, as well as giant fines. The Russian Ministry of Justice has already expressed a need for more study. Under the current draft, harsh penalties and stiff fines are enacted on those caught using bitcoin.

For the foreseeable future, bitcoin legislation in Russia has been knocked out of the running. Russia’s leading financial institutions are still studying the practical uses for blockchain technology, however. The new bill is suspected of being a little bit nicer towards bitcoin.

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