It seems that the strong reservation the Russian Federation’s Central Bank expressed about the use of crypto-currencies back in January 2014 is under revision. In an interview for TASS news agency, Russian Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseyev stated that currently Bitcoin does not pose an immediate threat to national economic security.
The Russian authorities’ softer position on crypto-currencies comes at a time when legislative amendments are under way to criminalize the issue and turnover of virtual currencies. Fears had been mounting, as such activities would have been treated as grave offences penalized by up to seven years in prison. Under the new circumstances, the popularity of crypto-currency in Russia is on the rise. According to The Bank of Russia, last February the country ranked 5th in terms of international Bitcoin use.
In the light of the recent warm public statements, it seems Russia no longer views crypto-currencies as a means which can be used for terrorism and money laundering. Despite the fact that no measures to counter Bitcoin use will be taken, the Ministry of Finance has promised to treat the matter with caution for the future.