Let’s file this under not confirmed, before we get things going here, but a report published today by Russian news outlet Lenta.ru suggests that the Russian Ministry of Finance is preparing to issue fines to those who use digital currency like bitcoin, in addition to other ‘money substitutes’.
Legislation is pending, apparently, but the penalties are stiff: a fine of 50,000 rubles for individuals breaking the rule ($1,250 USD), 100,000 rubes for officials ($2,500 USD), and a whopping one million rubles for companies ($25,000 USD).
Lenta writes “Similar penalties may be established for individuals and companies who deliberately spread information that allows to issue money substitutes or transactions with them.”
Rumors have circulated over the past few months on Russia’s aggressive stance toward digital currency.
Back in August, reports circulated that the Ministry of Finance was considering a ban on bitcoin, citing Russian Federal Law, which declared the ruble as the one and only currency permitted in the country.
Electronic money systems are not to be affected, the report indicates.
If true, these developments are disturbing, to say the least — particularly for cryptocurrency enthusiasts living in the country.
Just how Russian authorities plan to enforce such fines (assuming this news is fact) is still a mystery. Certainly, as more developments become available, we’ll update you accordingly.