Russia’s Ministry of Finance has put forward what many were expecting yet also unable to believe: a ban on the use of digital currency, and the implementation of fines as an appropriate deterrent.
It is expected to include penalties for the use and creation of methods of generating cryptocurrencies, specifically 50,000 rubles (US$1,260) for individuals, 100,000 rubles (US$2,507) for officials and up to one million rubles (US$25,200) for businesses.
“Similar penalties may be established for individuals and companies who deliberately spread information that allows issuing money substitutes or transactions with them,” Lenta reports.
While web money services and gaming will not be affected, sources say that use of currencies “with independent emission centers” will be subject to the ban.
The announcement indeed seems gloomy, but it remains to be seen how a government can successfully track use of cryptocurrency and attach a payment to its owner. The country has seen warnings on the questionable legality of Bitcoin in particular before, and the legislation is presumably intended to formalize a regulatory stance on the matter.