The Russian parliament is reportedly considering banning any cryptocurrency usage within the nation’s borders by introducing new legislation. If implemented successfully, local digital asset investors could face significant fines and even be sentenced to years of jail time.
Russians Going To Jail For Owning Bitcoin?
Per the local report from earlier today, members of Russian’s lower house (the State Duma) consider passing strict legislation regarding digital assets.
According to people familiar with the matter, should the government accept the regulations, it would mean a “total ban on cryptocurrencies.” Hence, any usage, from full-blown operations like owning an exchange or a mining firm to smaller transactions such as buying bitcoins with a Russian bank account, could be deemed illegal in the future.
The draft bill suggests that fines could range from 500,000 rubles ($7,000) to two million rubles (app. $28,200). If residents have broken this law and have earned “especially large income” from the crime, they could receive a sentence of up to five years of forced labor or imprisonment for up to seven years.
The president of the Russian Association of Cryptoeconomics and Blockchain (RACIB), Yuri Pripachkin, also believes that the potential acceptance of this law would lead to “a complete ban on cryptocurrencies in the country.” He outlined that such legislation could push Russian digital asset companies and investors to other jurisdictions, such as Belarus, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan.
As CryptoPotato reported in March, the adoption of similar legislation was delayed by the unexpected outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. After several amendments, however, it seems as the largest country by landmass is preparing to insert a full-on ban on digital asset operations.
Russia Halts Gold Purchases
Aside from the opposing views on cryptocurrencies, the Central Bank of Russia recently decided to cease buying gold. The nation’s precious metal reserves reached $120B as the bank was accumulating considerable amounts in the past five years.
Upon the decision to halt buying more, prominent local economists implied that the country would focus on selling it internationally. They noted that large buyers from the UK, India, Singapore, and Turkey had expressed interest in purchasing portions of Russia’s gold supplies.