Russian Ministry of Finance proposes 4 years prison sentence for using bitcoin

Regulation | November 11, 2015 By:

The Russian Ministry of Finance has delivered a new legislative proposal seeking to punish users engaging in Bitcoin trading with a prison sentence of up to 4 years.

The Russian Ministry of Finance that had previously supported fines of up to 500,000 rubles or a 2-year community service sentence is now pressing ahead for a 4-year prison sentence. The Ministry sees bitcoin digital currency as so-called ‘surrogate money’, considering transcactions with bitcoin illegal.

The Ministry of Economic Development supports the initiative.

“Surrogate money, including bitcoin digital currency, is backed by nothing, and there are no legal entities responsible for its release. Transactions with surrogate money are speculative, bringing high volatility risks,” said Elena Lakshina, The Ministry of Economic Development representative.

The proposal will soon be submitted to the Russian Parliament.