Russia's deputy finance minister Alexei Moiseev has reportedly stressed that buying bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will be legal in the country.
The Russian government will not outlaw nor punish buying or selling cryptocurrencies, Moiseev revealed according to RT. However, the official underlined a stricter stance toward mining, suggesting a mandatory registration of cryptocurrency miners who would be limited to 'legal entities and individual entrepreneurs.' For others, cryptocurrency mining could be criminalized.
The official reportedly stated:
The penalties will be different, mostly administrative, but if someone created the cryptocurrency for the purpose of settlements, then there will be a criminal punishment.
Operators who mine cryptocurrencies for the creation of a financial pyramid or for the purposes of avoiding tax will also see criminal penalties, Moiseev added.
Notably, Moiseev has stressed that the buying and selling of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies would be legal in Russia. While there are no rules or laws toward bitcoin trading or mining in Russia presently, a mandate from Russian president Vladimir Putin has pushed for the development of a regulatory framework for initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrency mining in Russia. In a mid-October meeting between Putin and major Russian financial regulators, the Russian leader reportedly signed off on officially regulating both the mining and supply of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.
"[W]e agreed that the state should control the process of cryptocurrency emission and its circulation. The state should take control over it," Russian finance minister Anton Siluanov said at the time. "I won't speak about specific parameters now but in general we agreed that the state should take a lead in this process and to regulate it on the legislative level."