Russia is considering legislation that would fine and jail bitcoin users

Regulation | April 29, 2016 By:

The Finance Ministry in Russia plans to submit legislation next month that would impose fines of up to 2.5 million rubles ($38,000) and jail sentences of up to seven years on digital currency users.

“Bitcoin can be used to finance the shadow economy and crimes, and this risk we cannot allow in the Russia’s financial system, which we are striving to make transparent and healthy,” the press service of the central bank said.

The Ministry’s proposal would prohibit the issuance of all cryptocurrencies or their use in exchange for goods and services in Russia. Penalties would start at four years in prison and a fine of 500,000 rubles for individuals, with the harshest reserved for those in the management of financial firms.

News of the proposed legislation follows reports last week stating that Russia is interested in creating a national digital currency and blockchain technology.