Bitcoin payment for goods and services banned in Russia. The new legislation considers digital assets “as an aggregate of electronic data which can be recognized as the means of payment … [but] can not be used simultaneously to pay for other goods and services,” according to a news agency Tass article.
Russians maintain the legal right to buy and hold as an investment bitcoin ( BTC) and other crypto properties, but there is a catch. “The ownership, acquisition and transfer of digital currency by legal means is allowed only if proclaimed,” the law demands.
According to the Tass report, virtual currencies “can be issued, purchased and sold and registered within the framework of special information systems” and “systems and their operators shall conform to Russian laws and stand filed in a relevant register kept by the Bank of Russia.”
An earlier version of the legislation imposed fines of up to $7,000 or seven years’ imprisonment for individuals buying bitcoin with cash.
It also aimed to prosecute companies that issue or operate virtual currencies without Russian central bank approval, with fines of up to 2 million rubles, or around $28,000.
[image: Alexander Smagin]