Gulags were the common when Bolsheviks ruled Russia; however, the country seems still in love with incarceration as Ministry of Finance has developed a new version of its proposed law that would seek to both outlaw and apply criminal penalties for activities involving digital currencies. It’s not the first time that the government has shown its strictness towards Bitcoin.
A report by Russian news source Interfax claims that acquiring, selling and distributing cryptocurrencies would be punishable with fines of 300,000 rubles ($4,574) or through up to 360 hours of correctional labor under the new bill. The regulatory authorities are not limiting the punishment to just penalty but more than that.
According to the Ministry of Finance the culprits if an agency or group, the fines will be higher than the individual as they will pay 500,000 rubles ($7,623) for such activities.
Digital Currencies in Russia Have Been Facing Challenges for Some Time
The latest anti-digital currency development should not surprise the stakeholders a lot as the federal executive body responsible for government policy and regulation, the Ministry of Finance has been seeking ban on cryptocurrencies domestically for long. For the purpose they even brought in a draft bill in August of 2014.
Not just the draft bill but the regulators also brought in several changes and picked some measures like proposing a series of proposed fines in October. Interesting, Russia is not at its best economic health and a lot of discussion on investment in the country drying up is going on. In such a situation Bitcoin can play vital role; however, Russia seems to running away from it.
Blocking the Websites Involved in Digital Currency Activities
The law that seems draconian has provisions wherein the regulatory authorities can block websites involved in digital currency activities without first proving that they took place via trial. The government of Russia is though interested in the digital currency technology and even trying to build its own cryptocurrency, has been against the digital currency Bitcoin.
A country that considers Internet as a CIA design seems to believe a lot in conspiracy theories. The reports published in the local newspapers in Russia claim that the Ministry of Finance had once again started talks on the subject matter of regulating the use of “money substitutes”, a definition under which Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies could fall.
To contact the reporter of this story: Deepak Tiwari at firstname.lastname@example.org