Russian lawmakers have suggested penalties of up to 2 million rubles ($27,800) and seven years in prison for the illegal exchange of digital assets and crypto-currencies.
According to reports by the Russian commercial channel RBC, draft amendments to the administrative and criminal offence codes were received but have not yet been agreed by law.
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Degrees of sanction
The suggested sanctions are small-scale, starting with administrative sanctions for violating the proposed rules governing transactions that use digital currencies to pay for goods or services provided.
In that case, the goods may be seized, along with fines issued from 20,000 to 200,000 rubles ($278 to $2,780) to individuals, from 50,000 to 400,000 rubles to employees, and legal entities may be fined from 100,000 to 1 million rubles.
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Fines apply for organizing the illegal movement of digital assets or providing means for issuing digital currency within the Russian territory.
The same acts may be considered criminal violations if they cause great harm to citizens, organizations or the state. This will result in higher fines, as well as up to five years of forced labor or seven years in prison.
There is also a fine for buying digital assets for cash on Russian territory and transferring funds from the kryptonie to Russian bank accounts.
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Yuri Pripachkin, president of the Russian Association of Kryptomonas and Blockchain, says the new package of laws essentially comprises a complete ban on cryptomonas and will not allow Russian companies to benefit from this technology.
He believes the new rules, if implemented by law, could lead to a mass exodus of companies out of Russia to relocate to neighboring countries with more encryption-friendly jurisdictions, he said:
In fact, the Russian government proposes to build a new iron curtain on the digital economy with its own hands.
Russia has not known what direction to take with crypto currencies for several years, although it has recently taken more concrete steps to regulate digital assets.