Russia Weighing Ban On Cryptocurrency Mining

Sources out of Russia have related that the Finance Ministry proposed adding a ban on the mining of cryptocurrency to forthcoming legislation that would regulate digital assets and other features of the blockchain space. On October 21, President Vladimir Putin issued a press release requesting that such laws be passed by the beginning of July 2018.

A report quotes Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev as describing the possible ban thusly: "The penalties will be … mostly administrative, but if someone created the cryptocurrency for the purpose of settlements, then there will be a criminal punishment." The official added that actors creating financial pyramids or issuing cryptocurrencies as a way to avoid paying taxes would also be subject to criminal penalties. However, the act of purchasing digital assets, including bitcoin, would remain legal under the proposed updates to the country’s regulatory code.

Moiseev also reportedly revealed that the anticipated legislation will contain so many terms and concepts without precedent in Russian law, that progress in drafting it may prove slow.

Putin, whose statements are often interpreted by Russia-watchers as a bellwether, suggested on October 10 that blockchain technology might offer “new … solutions” to the Federation’s “banking sphere,” but cautioned that the “use of cryptocurrencies also carries serious risks.”