Come 2018, Russia could recognize bitcoin and
other cryptocurrencies as authorities seek to enforce rules against money
laundering to essentially monitor all bitcoin transactions.
Rounding off a significant turn from the
authoritarian stance toward bitcoin in Russia, Deputy Finance Minister Alexei
Moiseev has now talked about acknowledging bitcoin and cryptocurrency in a
legal capacity in 2018.
reported by Bloomberg, Moiseev revealed the Russian state’s
intention to include bitcoin transactions in Russia under its purview, hinting
toward possible regulations of the bitcoin industry in the near future.
"The state needs to know who at every moment
of time stands on both sides of the financial chain. If there’s a transaction,
the people who facilitate it should understand from whom they bought and to
whom they were selling, just like with bank operations."
To this end, the Bank of Russia, the country’s
central bank, is reportedly working together with the Russian government on a
common stance toward digital currencies, which could speculatively lead to
Russia deputy governor Olga Skorobogatova has notably spoken about regulating the bitcoin
industry earlier this year:
"With Bitcoin – a private currency, it became
clear that [regulation] was not simple. Regulators and authorities agree that
they would not like to specifically prohibit [Bitcoin]. [We] would instead like
to understand it and on this basis build a regulatory framework."
readers will remember Moiseev for spearheading the effort to ban bitcoin in 2014, as
the official set to path plans to ban the cryptocurrency.
users saw the threat of fines in late 2014 for adopting bitcoin.
By February 2016, the bitcoin ban plan saw the Russian Finance Ministry
controversially propose a 2-year prison termfor bitcoin adopters. The following
month, an amendment to that proposal by the regulator sought to push a 7-year prison term.
Moiseev continued to push for legislation to ban bitcoin
in early 2016, expressing his intent to pass the proposed bill through Russian
parliament to enforce the ban by August.
work on the bill is ongoing, it isn’t moving very quickly,” said Moiseev in April as the bill faced criticism.
A handful of Russian ministries, including the Ministry of Justice, disagreed with the bitcoin ban bill.
2016, the bitcoin ban bill was on indefinite hold. At the turn of 2017, Moiseev admitted
that bitcoin posed no threats. A year after bitcoin users were threatened with
prison terms, the cryptocurrency was no longer to be banned.