Russia to abandon criminal penalties for bitcoin users

Regulation | August 15, 2016 By:

Russian authorities are reportedly planning to abandon the idea to introduce criminal liability for bitcoin users.

A source familiar with this latest development told Russian news agency Interfax that representatives of the Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank and government staff have agreed with this view.

The Ministry of Finance has recommended that interested parties should take part in finalising the draft of a report which will then be sent to the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, and then to the government in the second half of August. Despite the upcoming draft, Bitcoin isn’t off the hook just yet. Those at the meeting decided to monitor and conduct further analysis into Bitcoin regarding the risks it, and other “money surrogates”, pose from those who use them for criminal purposes.

Earlier in March, the Russian Finance Ministry prepared amendments to the law “On the Central Bank”, not only prohibiting the production and turnover of cryptocurrency in the country but also proposed higher fines and jail sentences up to seven years.