The Russian Ministry of Finance are reported to have begun discussions to treat cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, as a foreign currency.
This action follows the Party of Growth proposal —a political party in Russia which represents the
liberal free market economy—to legalize Bitcoin.
Ministry representatives said that while cryptocurrency-based business operations are still illegal in Russia, the Ministry of Finance is currently developing a set of regulations to enable purchasing and selling of Bitcoin. However, cryptocurrency mining is illegal in the country because it goes against the country’s constitution which states that Ruble is the only currency accepted by the country.
The highly anticipated statement of the Ministry of Finance is suspected to spur the growth of Bitcoin in Russia significantly, according to cointelegraph.com. The Presidential Commissioner for Entrepreneurs’ Rights in Russia and the Leader of Right Cause party says that Russian agencies estimate that there around two million Bitcoin wallets held or opened by Russian users, the site continues.
Despites this news, mainstream payment outlets and networks including QIWI and Skrill are being threatened by the Russian government’s media-watchdog, Roskomnadzor. QIWI and Skrill have been put on the official list of banned websites for containing opportunities to participate in gambling.