The Finance Ministry in Russia, long known for taking an aggressive stance against Bitcoin is now developing a proposal to officially ban bitcoin in Russia. The proposal by the Finance Ministry cites the Russian Central Bank to be the sole issuing authority to create what it sees as the only valid currency in the country, the Russian ruble.
The Ministry of Finance in Russia is in the process of proposing new amendments to article 27 of the Russian Federation’s Federal Law on the Central Bank (Bank of Russia).
A report published today by Moscow-based publication Izvestia, has revealed that the amendments proposed by the Finance Ministry seeks to introduce an official ban on the production and circulation of bitcoin, the cryptocurrency, in Russia. The Finance Ministry will cite Article 75 of, covering the Constitution of the Russian Federation which explicitly states that the Russian ruble is the sole monetary unit of the Russian Federation.
Article 75, in no uncertain terms reads:
The monetary unit of the Russian Federation is the ruble. The Central Bank of the Russian Federation is the sole issuer of currency. The introduction and issuance of other currencies in the Russian Federation are prohibited.
Bitcoins has repeatedly been deemed as a money ‘surrogate’ by regulators and government officials in Russia, with one official recently deeming bitcoin’s rapid spread will soon “represent a real threat to the financial stability of the [Russian] state.”
Notably, the Russian Finance Ministry has fast-tracked its intentions to introduce criminal proceedings through prison-time and heavy fines against bitcoin adopters after a September 2015 announcement by Russian payments operator Qiwi. At the time, Qiwi revealed that it was putting together plans to launch a cryptocurrency called ‘bitrubles’, with the intended launch in 2016.
The increasing scrutiny by the Russian Finance Ministry against bitcoin comes not long after a recent report this month which saw the regulator propose up to 7 years in prison for bitcoin adoption and usage for executives embracing the cryptocurrency in banks and financial service firms. For the everyday citizen adopting bitcoin, the Ministry’s proposal seeks a 4 year prison term.
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