Russian Authorities Confiscate Bitcoin Mining Machines, Draft a Bill against Bitcoin Use

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Bitcoin Banned in Russia

Looks like the Russian government is hell bent to discourage Bitcoin in the country. In its latest step the Russian authorities confiscated four Bitcoin mining machines from an unidentified citizen at a security checkpoint located on its southern border with China. On the other hand, the government has framed a bill that is going to impose a fine on Bitcoin users.

According to the local reports from the Siberian Customs Department when an individual attempted to bring “four undeclared metal objects”, which were later identified as ROCKMINER R4 units, through a customs checkpoint at the Manzhouli Sino-Russian Inter-Trade Tourist Area, were confiscated.

The situation became worse for the individual as he failed to provide the necessary documentation or pay the required fees for doing so. On the other hand, using the 2012 decision issued by the Board of Eurasian Economic Commission, the custom agency confiscated the Bitcoin machines.

According to the agency the decision which was amended in 2013 and 2014, governs the import and export of encryption facilities to and from Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, all of which are members of one customs agreement, is applicable in the case. However, Bitcoin community in the country says that it is unrelated to the attempt by the government to curb Bitcoin.

Russia to Impose Heavy Fine on Bitcoin

In the text of the bill mentions cryptocurrency as a “money surrogate,” Gazeta.ru website reported, it appears that the Russian Finance Ministry is aiming to impose huge fines against individuals and companies for using the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. Heavy penalties will be imposed on those who will violate the law.

For instance, according to a draft bill prepared by the ministry, individuals would have to part with 30,000 to 50,000 rubles (US$755-1,260) for making payments using Bitcoin. The penalty for the same violation by appointed officials would range from 60,000 to 100,000 rubles ($1,500-2,500).

Also, companies would face the largest fines of all – from 500,000 to one million rubles ($12,600-25,000). Nonetheless, companies and individuals who do not use cryptocurrency, but deliberately spread information that promote the mining of Bitcoins and their use as payment may also be penalized.

Russian-language Bitcoin news blog Coinside.ru, for example, wrote in its report that the news could be seen as “the start of the practical part of the Russian campaign against Bitcoin”.

To contact the reporter of this story: Deepak Tiwari at deepak@forexminute.com