Russia and bitcoin have not exactly been on good terms. The country showed a particularly strict attitude towards the digital currency and was looking to enforce a ban that would threaten any users with heavy fines and other forms of punishment should they engage in the “pleasures of bitcoin.” It appears that while on the playground, Russia had primary control over the sandbox.
However, now that sandbox is possibly up for grabs. Following the Ruble’s massive drop in value, the country seems to be reconsidering its approach to bitcoin and digital currencies, and the ban it was once aiming to integrate in 2015 may become a thing of the past.
Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development is frowning upon the current draft law outlining the potential ban and its related prohibitions. The agency believes that the law as is could damage major retailers, banks and telecom operators alike, and that several risks may arise over time:
“The proposed draft regulation act doesn’t solve any tasks assigned, but only serves to create legal barriers to the implementation of marketing programs of businesses and business development in general.”
Other issues being speculated include the role of gift cards and certificates, which are listed as “quasi-money” and aren’t fully outlined in the current draft. According to RBK News Agency, the lacking specifications “could throw [Russia’s] payment service market a few years into the past, leading to a fall in the number of non-cash payments for goods and services.”
The law is now facing several revisions.