Russia considers four-year imprisonment for use of bitcoins

Russia considers four-year imprisonment for use of bitcoinsRussian Finance Ministry is going hard on those involved with issuance and turnover of cryptocurrency, according to Russian newspaper Izvestia.

The ministry has developed amendments to the Criminal Code, providing for the offenders to be jailed for four years.

Earlier, the Ministry of Finance offered a lighter sentence for the issuance and turnover of cryptocurrency - a fine of up to RUB 500,000, or correctional labor for up to two years. The Ministry of Economic Development, which supports this initiative, says that the draft law of the Ministry of Finance will be submitted by the government to the State Duma in the coming months.

The Ministry of Finance might have decided to toughen punishment because of companies' plans to issue cryptocurrency. In September 2015, Qiwi announced the development of its bitcoin - bitruble. "It is expected that in 2016 people will pay with bitrubles for the services (e.g. for mobile communications) through Qiwi-purse," the press service of the company told Izvestia. CEO and co-owner Sergei Solonin said that the company would use blockchain cryptotechnology operated by the Bitcoin system.

Last year, the representatives of the Central Bank claimed that the bitcoin was money substitute. But this summer, first deputy chairman of the Central Bank Georgiy Luntovskiy said that "it was impossible to deny this tool, it could be our future." In September 2015, deputy chairman of the Central Bank Olga Skorobogatova said at a forum in Kazan that the regulator had established a working group to study the blockchain technology based on international experience. Perhaps, the Central Bank showed greater loyalty to bitcoin after the Bank of England announced in 2015 its plans to create its own digital currency and compared the emergence of bitcoin with the birth of the Internet.

However, the security forces oppose cryptocurrency.

According to Chairman of the Board of the Financial Innovations agency, Roman Prokhorov (previously headed the department of the national payment system of the Central Bank), the only chance for legal turnover of cryptocurrency in Russia is the establishment of clear rules for their treatment with the elimination of anonymity.

Source: UNIAN
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