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Russia: Mining and Using of Bitcoin Might Become Illegal

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Anatoly Aksakov, the chairman of the State Duma Committee on Financial Markets has finally explained the problems with cryptocurrencies, although he did so by accident. After announcing potential penalties for miners, he stated that possession of Bitcoin, despite the ban, is still possible.

This took place at the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg, during an interview with Aksakov.

All cryptocurrency miners will be fined

Aksakov stated that any activities related to cryptocurrencies would become unconditionally considered illegal according to Russian law. This means that digging, organizing production, circulation, and creating exchanges would be prohibited, and the penalty for such activities would be fine. However, this rule would only apply to open blockchains (such as Bitcoin and Ethereum). The Crypto-Rubel supported by the state should remain safe. The Russian government has been threatening to introduce this ban practically every month for years. However, a more interesting news has appeared.

Possession will not be banned

Despite the proposed ban on mining and other activities, Aksakov underlined that possession of Bitcoin will be allowed, but only provided that they were acquired under foreign law at foreign points of sale and exchanges. Of course, any Russian sale, exchange or mine would be illegal.  In addition, Aksakov admitted that technologies such as Lightning Network, which improve the speed of transactions, will attract new interest. The enormous amount of upcoming activities will make Bitcoin popular again in Russia. Certainly, this can upset the head of Central Bank of Russia, Elvira Nabiullina. In October last year, she celebrated the disappearance of cryptocurrency boom in Russia. Moreover, she attended the economic forum last week, telling the Duma that she is against the legalization of cryptocurrencies. So is the government's position really so far from the opinion of the central bank? Probably not. Nabiullina stated that she opposes the legalization of cryptocurrency as a means of payment. Presumably, she meant creating exchanges and circulating cryptocurrencies as well.
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