Recently, the Russian Ministry of Finance revealed some significant facts about the forthcoming rule for cryptocurrencies. This framework is being prepared under the collaboration of the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Russia. According to them, the bill is going to restrict cryptocurrency mining and penalize cryptocurrencies payments as well as prohibit token sales on the secondary market.
President Vladimir Putin wants the draft to be ready in December and the final bill to be implemented by July of 2018.
Deputy Finance Minister, Alexei Moiseev told Tass on Wednesday 6:
“We are now preparing the bill, we have an order to submit it in December, of course, we will fulfill this task […] We are actively working together with the central bank and the State Duma Committee on Financial markets, the concept is already generally agreed upon.”
According to RT, the Ministry of Finance has proposed penalties for cryptocurrency mining, with Moiseev was quoted saying:
“The penalties will be different, mostly administrative, but if someone creates cryptocurrencies for settlements, then there will be a criminal punishment.”
Additionally, he said, “Criminal penalties can also be applied to the creation of a financial pyramid or the issuance of a cryptocurrency to avoid tax.”
In October, in news.Bitcoin.com Ministry of Finance suggested the introduction of mandatory registration of crypto miners and the allowance to legal entities and entrepreneurs only to participate.
Putin has ordered a legislation for cryptocurrencies, which will determine the status of cryptocurrencies and a legal framework for crypto mining and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) as well. However, for the time being, no regulation on trading and mining exists.
According to Moiseev, the Ministry of Finance is preparing an amendment to punish those who use cryptocurrencies as a means of payment, saying, “It is illegal to use cryptocurrency for these purposes,” Ria Novosti reported. “The state should punish the payment of purchases using cryptocurrency,” he said. However, he emphasized, “no one is punished for buying cryptocurrencies.”
Following Moiseev’s announcement, experts told the publication that “the authorities will have to solve the most complicated task: to explain why you can pay for purchases with ‘bonuses’ on bank cards or ‘miles,’ but cannot with bitcoin.” Economist Maxim Blunt commented:
“Ways to circumvent these prohibitions are massive; can you pay with accumulated points in eateries or coffee shops? Then all of them should be on the bunk next to Gref.”
The reference was addressed to Sberbank’s President Herman Gref. He admitted publicly that a few years ago he bought a T-shirt using Bitcoin. Also, his bank recently revealed that it bought almost all of the graphs cards on the Russian market without specifying if this buying will be used for cryptocurrency mining.
According to Tass, the Ministry of Finance proposes to limit the turnover of ICO tokens. Moiseev elaborated:
“We regulate the ICO in essence as a form of crowdfunding in the sense that people who participate in the ICO could pay with any currency, including cryptocurrency, but the turnover of these tokens in any format will be banned except for transfers to the issuer.”
He said the agency plans to protect ICO investors. “If the person who bought these tokens considers that he was deceived, he will have the opportunity to go to court,” he detailed.
The deputy finance minister also clarified that the draft law being prepared “does not provide for control over digital currency by a self-regulating industry organization (SRO).”