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Russia Changes Stance on Bitcoin Use
- August 16, 2016 By Nemanja L. -
Russian authorities haven’t exactly given the gaming operators and casino gamers in the country a lot to cheer about in recent years, with their plan to ban Bitcoin payments for its residents not going down well with the public.
However, it appears that the Ministry of Finance is no longer keen on punishing anyone who is in possession of a Bitcoin wallet after being on the receiving end of heavy criticism from various government agencies.
Namely, Interfax has learned that the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank are now looking to drop their plans to ban the use of Bitcoin in the country as they no longer thing it is such a bad idea.
The Ministry of Finance had been working on a draft designed to punish persons that make payments with Bitcoins, engage in trade and mining activities of the digital currency.
They wanted a four-year prison sentence and maximum fine of 400,000 rubles ($6,260) for Russian residents using digital currencies, as well as six-year imprisonment and 1 million rubles ($15,650) penalty for Bitcoin trading and mining.
Russia Welcomes Bitcoin After All
However, the bill was challenged by the Ministry of Justice back in May and it now looks that it will be scraped altogether, with the authorities only set to monitor the use of digital currency to ensure it is not being used to fund any criminal activities.
Russia’s struggling economy has been showing small signs of improvement of late and leader of the Party of Growth Boris Titov believes that the situation could be improved by opening up to the blockchain technology.
This could be a good idea considering that over 2 million Russians already own Bitcoin wallets and with the online gambling market expected to liberalise in the next couple of years, demand for Bitcoin payments is likely to go through the roof.