Russia is considering a ban on the use of Crypto for payments
Izvestia quotes several sources familiar with the current discussions in the country's Central Bank of the ban on the use of cryptocurrency to pay for goods and services.
"Currently, cryptocurrencies can be used for e - Commerce, and many Russian freelancers, including programmers, designers and copywriters, agree to receive their salaries in bitcoins (BTC) or ether (ETH)," Vladislav Antonov told the publication.
Antonov, an analyst at the Alpari Information and analysis center, noted that while they are not officially allowed, cryptocurrencies are often used to buy a range of goods and services; including tickets, computers and appliances, apartment rentals or hotel reservations.
If the sources of the publication are right, Russian regulators believe that it is necessary to ban the use of cryptocurrencies as payment, citing their concerns about the use for criminal purposes.
The article mentions comments by Alexei Yakovlev, Deputy head of the banking regulation Department of the Ministry of Finance, who reportedly confirmed at a recent conference on the crypto economy: "We see no reason to use cryptocurrencies as a means of payment."
The press Department of the Central Bank has not officially confirmed the drafting of the bill, but stressed that private cryptocurrencies can not be equated to Fiat currency and can not be considered a legal way to pay for purchases:
If a decision is made to ban cryptocurrencies as a means of payment at the level of legislation, we consider it appropriate to support this position.
The law will create a "grey market"
The report also claims that the Russian crypto community is already preparing for a potential tightening of restrictions, and rumors are allegedly spreading about criminal penalties for violating the new law, up to a prison sentence of 5-8 years.
Due to enforcement difficulties, some industry representatives reportedly believe the ban will be limited to a series of" demonstration cases " designed to dissuade the public from flouting the law.
Antonina Levashenko, head of the Russian-OECD center Ranepa, warned that the bill could promote the development of the gray market outside the control of Supervisory authorities. As we recently wrote, Russia is now also trying to establish legal rules that should come into force by 2021, allowing the government to confiscate digital assets.