Russia Eyes Legal Recognition for Bitcoin in 2018

The Russian government is reportedly looking to recognize bitcoin as a kind of financial instrument in 2018.

According to Bloomberg, senior Russian officials including Deputy Minister of Finance Alexey Moiseev and representatives from the Bank of Russia (the country’s central bank) are developing a position on bitcoin and digital currencies as part of a bid to cut money laundering risks.

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Moiseev reportedly indicated that the government wants access to information about transaction parties, and that services in Russia handling digital currency payments would be required to collect and submit that data.

He told the news source:

“The state needs to know who at every moment of time stands on both sides of the financial chain. If there’s a transaction, the people who facilitate it should understand from whom they bought and to whom they were selling, just like with bank operations.”

While Russia’s final position remains to be seen, past developments have suggested a move toward a softer stance on the technology.

Back in 2015, the government initially proposed steep fines on the use or creation of digital currencies. Those proposed penalties were later beefed up in an amended draft later the same year.

However, last August, officials reportedly backed away from a more punitive approach soon after Moiseev himself indicated that Russia could recognize bitcoin as a kind of foreign currency.

Russian Duma image via Shutterstock

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