Bitcoin has been viewed very negatively in Russia over the last few months and years, with the Russian government even going so far as suggesting Bitcoin issuers should face up to seven years in jail. However, it seems the Ministry of Finance, Central Bank, and the rest of the government are becoming more supportive of the crypto-currency. Russian authorities, in a meeting, were allegedly discussing the abandonment of criminal penalties for Bitcoin users.
The news comes from the Russian news agency Interfax. It received the information from a source close to the financial and economic bloc of the government. According to the source:
“The prosecutor General and Ministry of Justice takes the position that the reasons for the introduction of criminal liability in this case [are] not available, and at a meeting held this week, representatives of the Ministry of Finance, Central Bank and government staff agreed to this view.”
The Ministry of Finance has recommended that interested parties should take part in finalising the draft of a report which will then be sent to the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, and then to the government in the second half of August. Despite the upcoming draft, Bitcoin isn't off the hook just yet. Those at the meeting decided to monitor and conduct further analysis into Bitcoin regarding the risks it, and other “money surrogates”, pose from those who use them for criminal purposes.