Russian Ministry of Justice has not approved a draft bill criminalising cryptocurrencies despite the pressure from the Finance Ministry. Yet, the document will be submitted to the government for evaluation.

This is the second time the Ministry of Justice does not give its approval to the draft bill. The first version was rejected by the ministry due to the lack of a clear definition for the term “surrogate money” used in the draft for all non-state backed monetary systems. Furthermore, the ministry noted that the amendments suggested by the bill to the Russian Criminal Code would contradict current articles of the Criminal Code (№187 “On the illegal turnover of means of payment”).

According to the Ministry of Justice, despite the received criticism, the Ministry of Finance resubmitted the draft for approval without making any substantial changes to it.

“The said draft law has not been approved by Russian Ministry of Justice because the submitted version does not take into account our previously made comments. Thereby a protocol of the consensus meeting on the draft law has been signed,” the officials told RNS news agency.

The Ministry of Finance also suggests that investigation of any exchange activity between cryptocurrencies and the ruble should be entrusted to the Investigative Committee known for its negative stance towards bitcoin.

Despite the lack of approval on the part of the Ministry of Justice, the draft bill will be presented for evaluation to the government, as permitted by Russian legislative procedure.

As CoinFox reported before, some officials at the Ministry of Justice demand additional grounds to be provided for the criminalisation of cryptocurrencies issuance and circulation because so far the claim that they pose any danger to the society “seems dubious.”

The Interior Ministry also disagreed with the draft. They consider it unreasonable to overburden the police with additional duties related to monitoring of cryptocurrencies’ mining and use. A representative of the ministry believes that this would imply rewriting of the law “On Police” and increasing the number of police staff.


Elena Platonova