Russia May Criminalize Bitcoin Mining Operations

Crime, News, Regulation | December 8, 2017 By:

Russia’s Deputy Finance Minister Aleksey Moiseev said that the government, while working on legislation to legalize the trade of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, could criminalize crypto mining activities.

“The penalties will be different, mostly administrative, but if someone created the cryptocurrency for the purpose of settlements, then there will be a criminal punishment,” said Moiseev.

Moiseev added that criminal penalties can also be applied to the creation of a financial pyramid or the issuance of a cryptocurrency to avoid tax.

Earlier this year, Russian leader Vladimir Putin made five Presidential orders concerning cryptocurrency, including one that would require miners to register with the state. One key requirement is that the regulators need to provide a framework for registering cryptocurrency miners. Crypto mining is seen as a vehicle to an eventual tax on their activities, which currently are wholly unregulated.

The Ministry of Finance proposed that only legal entities and individual entrepreneurs would be able to participate in any mining activities. The cryptocurrency regulations are set to be finalized in July of 2018.