Two years later: the Ministry of Finance returned to criminal liability for cryptocurrency transactions

«The Ministry of Finance threatens criminal liability for cryptocurrency transactions»: this phrase has two years familiar to all the citizens of Russia who are interested in the subject cryptowall and, God forbid, at least once in your life bought, sold or minili bitcoins.

For the first time about criminal responsibility and real prison time for any operations with cryptocurrencies in the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation spoke exactly two years ago: in March 2016. And despite the fact that lately the attitude of the authorities to the crypto currency has become much more constructive, the old wording back, and without significant changes. Dropped only the maximum terms of imprisonment and the notion of «collective schemes», whereas, according to the Finance Ministry, the prison was supposed to be a home miner with a single graphics card, spend mined coins for the proverbial Cup of coffee.

Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev today once again stated about the criminal liability for the circulation of «money substitutes», which the authorities traiciono include cryptocurrency. However, this relationship is not yet backed by law, and even in the latest version of the bill «About digital assets» cryptocurrency is not named «money surrogate».

According to Alexei Moiseyev, after the adoption of the law on the regulation of cryptocurrencies criminal penalty for «group of persons who commits a crime on preliminary arrangement». What transactions and in what amount will be considered a crime, the Deputy Minister said. Overall, his statements are pretty vague:

«There will be a period of near four years, but only for collective schemes, which include a large number of objects and volumes», — says Alexey Moiseev.

According to him, the law on circulation of money substitutes, a draft of which is nearing completion, will apply the same principle as in criminal proceedings for the creation of financial pyramids.

The penalty will not affect people who «bought bitcoin, and then sold.» It is expected that the document will be submitted for consideration of deputies of the state Duma during the autumn session.

It is also a significant departure from previous rhetoric, as the authors of the bill focused on the end of June in accordance with the decree of the President of the Russian Federation, which has set the task to develop appropriate regulation until July 1, 2018. In addition, after the re-election of Vladimir Putin as President of Russia, he announced the intention to amend the composition of the government. Even if these changes do not affect the Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance, permutations are more likely to contribute to delays in the adoption of the law on crypto-currencies, than to its acceleration.

The bill will obviously be quite General, and many specific aspects will remain at the discretion of the departments that will be tasked with the regulation — primarily of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation. Today we already reported that the Bank of Russia and the Ministry of Finance has eliminated the existing differences, which related to the exchange of cryptocurrency for Fiat currency or other financial instruments. This question referred at the discretion of the Central Bank, which in 2014 underlines its position that the only legal tender in Russia is the ruble, and any private money is prohibited.

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