According to a report, the Russian Finance Ministry is seeking to push for amendments to the Criminal Code by proposing two-year ‘corrective labor’ sentence, or a fine of up to 500,000 rubles for bitcoin users.
In a time where governments and regulators are taking varying approaches to popular decentralized cryptocurrency, Russia has remained steadfast in its stance toward Bitcoin.
Citing common concerns shared by experts at the Russian Interior Ministry, the use of ‘surrogate money’ – a term coined for virtual and digital currencies by Russian authority figures – such as Bitcoin, is now seen as a threat to Russian national security.
The new proposal for an amendment was reported today by Russian newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta.
An excerpt from the publication read:
Experts of the Russian Interior Ministry and financiers believe that the use of surrogate money threatens not only the Russian economy, but also national security.
Therefore, the Russian Finance Ministry has developed amendments to the Criminal Code, which propose to introduce responsibility for issuing cryptocurrency – fined in the amount of half a million rubles, or sent to correctional work for up to two years.
Proposals by Russian authorities for the criminalization of bitcoin adopters have often come to the fore in the past. The Russian Finance Ministry proposed a similar punishment to Bitcoin users in the country in October 2015, when it sought to punish users with a 4-year prison sentence.
Last month, Russia’s Investigative Committee Chairman, Alexander Bastrykin, claimed Bitcoin’s rapid spread “will represent a real threat to the financial stability of the state.” He contended that the current turnover of surrogates, or substitutes of the ruble makes for 1 percent of Russia’s GDP.
The “real threat,” he claimed, will be when that figure scales to over 10 percent in the future.
Disclaimer: The translation is unofficial.
Featured image from Shutterstock.
Last modified: February 4, 2016 05:30 UTC