As Russian works on legislation on the trade of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, there’s a possibility that mining could be criminalized.

Not in the straightforward sense, according to deputy finance minister Aleksey Moiseev as quoted by RT:

"The penalties will be different, mostly administrative, but if someone created the cryptocurrency for the purpose of settlements, then there will be a criminal punishment.”

Moiseev confirmed that there would be criminal penalties for people who create pyramid schemes or cryptocurrencies in order to avoid paying tax.

The ministry had hinted that miners would need to register with a central authority - allowing both companies and entrepreneurs to set up operations.

Bitcoin will be legal in Russia

As the state works on legislation, Moiseev stressed that buying and selling Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies would be legalized. Just how long it will take for this new legislation to take effect is a matter of time, but it could be a few months at the least.

This is quite an about turn for the country, as president Vladimir Putin had all but condemned Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in October.

The Russian president has ordered the government to set up regulations for the trade of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, ICOs and mining by July 2018.

The country is also developing its very own cryptocurrency, the CryptoRuble, which ironically cannot be mined. CryptoRuble will reportedly be controlled by the state and can be exchanged for regular Rubles.

There are also plans afoot to test the possibility of Blockchain technology being used for voting systems in the country.