The Ministry of Finance of Russia develops the law on criminalization of the use of cryptocurrencies as money substitutes.

Earlier, the Bank of Russia and the Ministry of Finance spoke against the use of cryptocurrency in this capacity, on the grounds that payment for goods and services in Russia can be used only rubles.

According to Interfax, last week the Finance Ministry of Russia proposed to “to criminalize the circulation of money substitutes”, including cryptocurrency. During the conference, which was held at Vnesheconombank, Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseyev said that the Ministry “has prepared a bill on criminal liability for the circulation of money substitutes”.

It should be noted that although monetary and surrogates is prohibited on the territory of the Russian Federation, but the existing laws do not provide penalties for such violations. Therefore, the Ministry of Finance decided to fill this gap.

We will remind that this year in the Russian legislation it is expected a lot of positive changes for cryptocurrency. However, the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Russia continue to accept cryptocurrency as a substitute for money.

The head of the Central Bank Elvira Nabiullina has repeatedly stated that the regulator is opposed to “offering it as private money and money substitutes”.

Recently, the Ministry of Finance submitted a bill on digital of financial assets on the background of the dispute with the Central Bank about the “cryptocurrency exchanges on the ruble and other assets.” The Ministry of Finance has underlined that it “should finalize the bill that will define the concept of “money substitutes” in the legislation and establish liability for the use as means of payment”, concluding that:

“This is necessary to protect the ruble as the single legal means of payment in Russia.”

While the bill has not yet passed, but last week Alexei Moiseev has already given a pretty clear definition:

“There is the ruble, and everything else — surrogate”.

Despite the impending ban the use of cryptocurrencies as money, there are some nuances. According to Moses, many Russian companies that accept bitcoin use the services, instantly convert crypto currencies into rubles. Referring to the fact that these companies have only rubles, he confirmed that “such operations will not be closed.”