According to yet unconfirmed media reports, the Interior Ministry and the Ministry of Justice may disapprove the bitcoin ban bill proposed by MinFin because they consider cryptocurrencies not dangerous. 

 A consensus meeting of Russian ministries concerning the draft law against the “surrogate money” has reportedly revealed a substantial disagreement over the prohibitive position of the Ministry of Finance. The news was published by and with a reference to the Interfax news agency that quoted “a source in the financial-economic bloc of the Cabinet.”

According to this source, the Interior Ministry does not consider it reasonable to overburden the police with additional duties related to monitoring of cryptocurrencies’ mining and use. A representative of the ministry believes that this change would make it necessary to rewrite the law “On Police” and increase the number of officers on duty. Moreover, assigning to policemen new and unfamiliar functions could lead to negative consequences for the law and order in general.

The same source implies that neither did representatives of the Ministry of Justice endorse the draft law. They believe that the proposed criminalisation of cryptocurrencies has no substantial grounds because the claim that they pose any danger to the society “seems dubious.” According to the report, this position is shared by the Prosecutor General's Office.

However, so far no links have been provided to the original article admittedly published by Interfax, which leaves the whole story unconfirmed. If the article in question was for some reason deleted after publication, it makes the information about the debates rather questionable.

As CoinFox reported earlier, the amendments to the law “On the Central Bank” suggest up to 4 years of imprisonment or 500 thousand rubles in fines for private individuals found guilty of cryptocurrency mining. For organised groups, the punishment would be up to 6 years in prison or fines of 500,000 to 1 million rubles. For senior management of banks and other financial institutions involved in issuing of cryptocurrency, or “surrogate money”, the punishment is the most severe – up to 7 years in jail with deprivation of the right to hold specific posts or fines of up to 2.5 million rubles.

Apart from the Ministry of Finance, total prohibition of bitcoin in Russia is supported by the Investigative Committee and Central Bank. The head of the former Alexander Bastrykin recently declared that cryptocurrency is used to finance extremism and information war against Russia.

Deputy Minister of Finance Alexey Moiseev recently confirmed that the draft law will be passed to the State Duma during the current session, effectively setting the deadline as 6 August.


Alexey Tereshchenko