Russia Says No to Bitcoin and Co – That’s it! Russia finally recognizes cryptomoney as a legal asset… but prohibits its citizens from using it.
Yes… but no
A new law, published by Russia and discussed in detail yesterday by the Russian News Agency, recognises bitcoin, and cryptocurrencies in general as “an aggregate of electronic data, which can be accepted as a means of payment“.
However, despite a rather advanced definition, the conclusion dashes the hopes of the most enthusiastic: cryptomoney “may not be used to purchase goods and services“.
The effort remains appreciable, when we learned last May, in a note sent by the government, that some Russian elected representatives wanted to make it possible for buyers of cryptomoney to be eligible for a 7-year prison sentence and a hefty fine.
A revolution under supervision
Owners of Bitcoin and Ethereum will now be required to declare their digital assets to local authorities while specifying the nature of their acquisition to avoid heavy penalties.
The new law states that tokens “may be distributed, bought and sold on purchasing platforms that comply with Russian law and must be declared to the Bank of Russia“.
The Russian Central Bank will play a major role in the regulation of crypto-assets. It will have the right to determine whether a digital asset will be “accessible only to a category of qualified investors or to the general public“.
Cryptomoney has long been a rather thorny and confusing subject for the Duma. Vladimir Putin has described these assets as real “magnets for criminal activity“.
The Russian central bank is one of the few to keep a low profile on a possible state digital currency. Moreover, it has always remained sceptical about such a project. It was therefore unlikely that an interview would be open for digital assets of a decentralised nature.