Russia moves to ban bitcoin

    Russia’s Ministry of Finance announced last Friday that it was drafting a bill that would ban the issuance of bitcoins and any operations involving cryptocurrency. The announcement said, “According to Article 27 of the Federal Law ‘On the Central Bank of the Russian Federation’ (Bank of Russia) the official Russian currency is ruble. The issuance of monetary surrogates in Russia is forbidden as well as the introduction of other monetary units. However, monetary surrogate has no standard definition in the Russian legislation.”
    According to the Ministry, monetary surrogates are widely used for buying illegal goods and for money laundering plus, since they have no real value, there is a risk that investors will lose their money.
    If the bill is approved, those who break the law are likely to receive a jail term. However, the Wall Street Journal last month reported the Bank of Russia as saying that it would not take harsh measures against cryptocurrency use. The Bank’s deputy chairman, Georgy Luntovsky, was quoted as saying that the situation should be watched and that these types of instruments should not be rejected.