Draft Bills in Russia Seek to Put Illegal Crypto Dealers Behind Bars or Fine Them 2M Rubles

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The State Duma in Russia had received the filing of multiple draft bills that seek to punish illegal crypto users and dealers in the country. If made into law, those who would be caught and proven guilty would either pay 2 million rubles or spend up to 7 years in jail. RBC, a local news channel, published the update last Thursday. 

As emphasized by RBC, the draft bills, which were once doubted for authenticity, have already been forwarded to the country’s Ministry of Economic Development just recently. 

Notably, one of the bills proposes to ban the crypto-related operations and issuance throughout the Russian territory. Those citizens who already own cryptocurrencies before the bill passed as law would need to register their holdings with the help of the country’s tax authorities. They would also be required to explain the history of their crypto-assets. 

Another one targets crypto companies that operate in Russian-owned sites. They would need to obtain approval from the country’s central bank, which would be given after undergoing a unique registration. If they failed to get support, they might end up paying 2M rubles or $27, 900.) Meanwhile, individuals may be fined around half a million rubles ($7, 000.) Additionally, those companies and individuals who would be caught using cryptocurrencies as a form of payment would be charged with 1M rubles and 200,000 rubles as fines, respectively. 

The draft bills also emphasized that if a particular situation had caused extensive damage to the state and its citizens, the perpetrators might land behind jails within a maximum sentence of seven years. Even those entities who would purchase cryptocurrencies using cash or via a Russian-registered bank account would face the same punishments. 

A senior tax attorney, Dmitry Kirillov, fears that if the draft bills would be one day enacted as laws, it could mean the end of the crypto industry in Russia. Those who own crypto as an asset would be on the losing side as they cannot be sold. However, what he feared is that some crypto dealers might be forced to drag their operations underground. 

Sergey Mendeleev, the founder of Garantex, a BTC exchange platform, thinks the same as Kirillov. He went as far as saying that the draft bills represent the country’s desire to ban cryptocurrencies altogether. 

Interestingly, crypto analysts believe that the bills won’t be passed as laws. However, the country’s crypto enthusiasts could only wait as the officials are conducting a serious review of the proposals. 

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