A Russian government minister has stated that Russia will move to pass a new law that restricts the use of Bitcoin in the country as well as cashing the cryptocurrency in for traditional money.
Deputy Finance Minister Aleksey Moiseev made the remarks recently, saying that the law will be discussed in parliament during the current session and that “the overall concept of the law is set in stone.”
RT reports that the law will ban users from making transactions with Bitcoin, using an exchange, and mining for the cryptocurrency. One of the driving forces for the ban is the currency’s decentralized and anonymous nature and how it can be used in illegal activities, like money laundering or purchasing illicit goods.
“People can play with their chips, and they can call them money, but they can’t use these surrogate currencies as tender,” commented Moiseev, who hopes the law will be passed by the spring.
“We are currently dealing with comments from the law enforcement agencies, about the specifics of legal measures, and we will take their remarks into account,” he added.
No draft legislation has been published yet so it is not currently possible to pore over the details of the law or how it will take shape. RT further reports that Moiseev says Russia “was following Europe’s lead”, though no European country has passed laws to ban Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.
Only two other countries have banned Bitcoin in an official capacity so far, Bolivia and Ecuador, the latter of which will be introducing its own national digital currency instead. Other countries, such as Kyrgyzstan have stated that using such digital currencies violates state law.
If passed, the law would be the most significant anti-Bitcoin law yet.