New reports from this weekend indicate that Russia is slated to become the latest country attempting to control the usage of bitcoin.
News agency Russia Today reported Friday that a “top official” in the country announced the passing of a law which would prevent the exchange of bitcoin into fiat currency — effectively making the digital currency much less flexible.
That official — Aleksey Moiseev — who serves as Deputy Finance Minister, said, “People can play with their chips, and they can call them money, but they can’t use these surrogate currencies as tender,” in a statement to journalists.
He adds, “We will discuss this law in the current session of parliament, and possibly even pass it then, or at the very latest by spring next year. 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. But the overall concept of the law is set in stone.”
If passed, the law would be a major blow to cryptocurrency adoption in Russia.
Like many other countries, Russian officials are concerned that the digital currency can be used for illicit purposes, such as money laundering and criminal financing.
Few other countries are going out of their way to issue a ban, however.
And while the news isn’t by any stretch considered to be good, members of the bitcoin/cryptocurrency community aren’t exactly surprised that it’s come to this.
Just last month, we asked whether or not Russia was considering a bitcoin ban. It appears the answer is yes, unfortunately.