26 Jan 2018 10:13

Bill on money surrogates in Russia to provide for harsh penalties

MOSCOW. Jan 26 (Interfax) - A bill being prepared in Russia on money surrogates provides for harsh penalties for the use of such surrogates, Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseyev told reporters.

"[The bill] will be published soon. Harsh sanctions are being proposed, similar to [those for] pyramids," Moiseyev said. It was reported earlier that there are plans to legislatively prohibit the use of cryptocurrencies as money surrogates for settlements in Russia.

If someone buys a photocopier and starts printing something that they call a means of settlement, they will also be prosecuted, he said. "[In the bill] it's proof by contradiction. There is the ruble, and everything else is a surrogate," Moiseyev said.

Central Bank chief Elvira Nabiullina said earlier that the regulator is opposed to cryptocurrencies as private money and money surrogates. However, the Central Bank is considering creating a national digital currency (not private like Bitcoin) based on blockchain technology.