Bitcoin has had an interesting past in Russia with many conflicting statements and unknown certainty about the legalities of use. This comes at a time where the massive success of Bitcoin, decentralized nature, along with much illicit use of the currency has left many governments on the defensive.
In 2014, Russian Deputy Finance Minister Aleksey Moiseev proposed a ban on Bitcoin stating it was a “surrogate currency” that threatened the Russian ruble. “We will discuss this law [to ban Bitcoin] in the current session of parliament, and possibly even pass it then, or at the very latest by spring next year. We are currently dealing with comments from the law enforcement agencies, about the specifics of legal measures, and we will take their remarks into account. But the overall concept of the law is set in stone,” Moiseev stated.
Similarly, Russia’s Investigative Committee chairman Alexander Bastrykin claimed that Bitcoin posed “a real threat to the financial stability of the state.” Moiseev has consulted with the experts in the cryptocurrency field for the past two years and has completely changed his perspective on Bitcoin. He has revealed that the Finance Ministry has put the ban initiative of Bitcoin on hold. The Finance Minister instead wants to wait and see how the events play out with the currency.
In the most recent statement by Moiseev in November of last year, “All of this does not pose much of a danger to the public, as it has not taken on a mass character that could pose a threat to our financial system right now… In the future, it could possibly emerge given that it is not regulated.”