Coindesk reports that Russia’s Ministry of Finance has been gracious enough to lower the proposed fines for dealing in bitcoin. The fines are stipulated in a draft bill that would ban all use of Bitcoin, including its mining, distribution and dissemination of information facilitating the aforementioned.
The size of the fine depends on whether the violator is an individual, official or company, and if the violator is actually performing the prohibited activities or disseminating information.
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The proposed change comes as varying views of Bitcoin are expressed even amongst financial authorities. Evgeny Volovik, head of Russia’s Federal Financial Monitoring Service (a rough equivalent of FinCEN), said that while Bitcoin will likely have a limited future as a payment system, there’s no effective way of banning digital currencies.
The proposed ban represents the latest of multiple changes of heart on the matter this year. After issuing strong hints, authorities formally declared Bitcoin illegal, only to reverse the decision in the summer.
Understandably, Bitcoiners have not been impressed with the proposed changes. Intuitively, one wonders as to the exact rationale for the changes- if authorities are having another change of heart on the matter, it would seem that the ban should not be implemented at all.
Indeed, virtually all feedback on the proposal has been negative. Yet, Deputy Finance Minister Aleksey Moiseev previously indicated that while comments are welcome, the “law is set in stone.”