Russia's Ministry of Finance Preps To Ban Bitcoin

Fines of 30,000-50,000 roubles for individuals, 60,000-100,000 roubles for officials and 500,000 to 1,000,000 roubles for legal entities are just some of the penalties cited in the draft bill now made publicly available by the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation.

The draft bill goes a step further than just fines by making not only the creation but the distribution of software that allows the use of money substitutes such as Bitcoin illegal. In an attempt to curb promotion of such software, the law would be revised to “prohibit the dissemination of information that permits release (emission) of money substitutes and (or) the operation with their use.”

Deputy Finance Minister Aleksey Moiseev was quoted as saying “People can play with their chips, and they can call them money, but they can’t use these surrogate currencies as tender.” The ministry did not say when the legislation would be submitted to the parliament yet Aleksey Moiseev previously suggested Russia was likely to adopt such a ban by spring, saying that Russia “was following Europe's lead” even though Bitcoin has yet to be made illegal anywhere across Europe. The finance ministry previously sought to ban access to exchanges and online stores that accept bitcoin.

In a letter dated January 2014, Herman Gref1 urged authorities not to place restrictions upon Bitcoin but this appears to have fallen on deaf ears.


  1. of OAO Sberbank, Russia's largest lender. 

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