Russia seems to be constantly shifting its stance on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Just a month ago, Buterin was smiling and signing agreements with the Russian state banks for Ethereum partnerships. 

Now suddenly, it appears that Russia may ban Bitcoin payments entirely, as was previously suggested.

Hawkish minister

The Deputy Finance Minister Alexey Moiseev told reporters that the cryptocurrency would likely be banned, especially given its volatile history, risk to consumers and potential for hacking loss. In an interview he said:

"No regulator doubts that payments will be banned. In my opinion, in a country where millions have suffered from pyramid schemes, it is impossible to allow the situation when citizens sell apartments in order to make investments in cryptocurrencies to repeat.”


In spite of the strong statements by the Deputy Finance Minister, other members of the Duma have taken a softer stance.

In a separate interview, Anatoly Aksakov, head of the State Duma for the Financial Market Committee, made it clear that no comprehensive plan had come to fruition. He told reporters:

"The discussions will continue. In any case, there is a market. It is developing rapidly, and there are certain advantages that could be used. I mean the advantages associated with attracting investments for projects through the ICO. I have a positive attitude to this, but there is another point of view. In order to make a decision, consensus will be necessary.”

Whether the more straightforward Moiseev or, the more political Aksakov will win out remains to be seen. Nevertheless, the battle for how to deal with cryptocurrencies in Russia will continue. Russia may become a test case for whether it is even possible for a government to ban Bitcoin at all.