Back in February 2016, reports floated around on Russian based websites that the Russian Government was considering criminalizing bitcoin users in the large nation. Sure enough, a few days later, the notice got real.
Since then and now, the wheels have been turning in Russia – and Moscow in particular – lawmakers, politicians and perhaps even Putin himself, have been involved with first saying that “Bitcoin is dangerous,” calling the currency for “surrogate money,” and hinting to the possibility of the cryptocurrency being able to compete with the countrys own currency, rubels.
Amidst the heavily imposed sanctions on Russia after the Crimean situation, things have been looking rather gloomy for the citizens of Russia, and one can understand the government being afraid, or at least having to now analyse a situation where the masses start throwing away their rubles in exchange for bitcoin.
Since Rubles of course are backed by the state itself, and thus subject to the whim of Putin or whichever country going to war with it, (these days economic wars are all the rage,) then it is perfectly understandable, and even a natural given, that some form of legislation was about to hit in Russia.
Now though, it seems as if they are reversing their position, and while it has been somewhat difficult to obtain a reliable quote from someone high up, Interfax.ru has reported that the General Prosecutor together with the Ministry of Justice have questioned the statement that bitcoin is a “public danger”
This is interesting for many reasons, first and foremost because Bitcoin is now attracting the attention, the public attention, of some of the country’s leading law- and policymakers. Whereas before Russian officials were only too fast in understating the importance and potential of Bitcoin, they have now gone on to consider various ideas on how to adopt legislation on especially topics such as money laundering, criminal links and other shady business.
While it might not mean much for the day to day trading price of Bitcoin itself, it could very well be a major step in the right direction for the now 7 year old currency, on it’s way to make itself a true household name – and commodity.