Russia Considers Criminal Liability for Illegal Crypto Turnover
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May 21, 2020
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Russian authorities proposed introducing administrative and criminal liability for violations of the rules for working with digital financial assets and cryptocurrencies, iHodl Russia reports.

According to iHodl Russia, two bills, which described the liability for violation, were sent to the Ministry of Economic Development.

The documents suggest a fine of 50 up to 500,000 Russian rubles ($0.72 - $7050) for individuals for "organizing the illegal circulation of digital financial assets and digital currencies, making transactions with them, including with foreign currencies and digital rights, or for providing services for issuing digital rights and digital currency using sites registered in Russia or hardware located in Russia.

For officials, the fine is up to $14,000, for legal entities — $28,000.

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The same actions can be regarded as a criminal offense, "if it [turnover of crypto-assets] caused major or especially large damage to citizens, organizations or the state or led to the extraction of large or especially large income." It also provides for criminal liability for "the purchase of digital currency in Russia by cash payment or by transferring funds to accounts opened with Russian banks."

The maximum penalty provided, if it is not a particularly large amount, is imprisonment for up to four years.

Earlier iHodl reported that Russia may prohibit the issuance and turnover of cryptocurrencies.

Alexei Guznov Director, Legal Department, Bank of Russia, said that from the point of view of the functioning of the financial system and the consumer protection system, the legalization of the issue and the organization of cryptocurrency turnover "was an unjustified risk."

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