Legal regulation of operations with cryptocurrencies in Russia

In 2015, the National Agency for Financial Investigations stated that the idea of ​​banning digital money is supported by more than 40% of Russian citizens. Despite such a fuss about this subject, the draft law on the prohibition of cryptocurrency was not registered in the State Duma and legal regulation of operations with cryptocurrencies in Russia is provided.

In 2016, the opinion of Russians has changed significantly. Now against the digital money 20% of the population expressed their opinion. A positive mood was to encourage the government to adopt changes to the current legislation in order to bring the legal regulation of operations with cryptocurrencies into the proper form.

Until now, there have been no changes in the legislative acts. Attention deserves only the letter of the Federal Tax Service, which states that the law does not explicitly prohibit the use of digital money when making deals. At the same time, the tax legislation remains the same, and the taxation of digital means is not provided at all.

The permission of the regulator to use digital money contradicts the direct instructions of state institutions. From 2014 to 2016, the Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Communications stopped the work of sites whose activities were connected with the crypto currency.


In 2014, the Bank of Russia announced that legal entities that carry out operations with digital funds will be held liable in accordance with the current legislation for the performance of sensitive operations. Thus, the government evened the cryptocurrency to a money surrogate.

President of the Savings Bank in response to such a statement sent a letter to the Presidential Administration asking not to be so categorical to Bitcoin, as electronic money is successfully developing all over the world, followed by the future.

Despite this letter, in February 2014 the Prosecutor General’s Office officially announced digital funds as a surrogate, which is banned in the Russian Federation. The opinion of the Prosecutor General’s Office was shared by the Federal Service for Financial Monitoring.

The main reason for the prohibition of the credit-currency operations in Russia was the statement of the State Tax Control Service that Bitcoin uses the drug mafia for money laundering in the sale of narcotic substances.

In 2015, the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin at an educational forum called Bitcoin the unit of calculation. In the media immediately appeared information about the breakthrough of the cryptocurrency business. However, just a few hours after this statement, the press secretary explained that the words of the president should not be taken literally, he does not support Bitcoin. In the speech, it was only about conditional calculations.

In 2016 Rosfinmonitoring said that legal entities that work with digital money must pass state registration and receive a license for their activities. The Federal Tax Service supported the opinion of colleagues and suggested starting to improve the legislation in order to assess the legal status of the cryptocurrency in the Russian Federation.


In 2014, on one of the sites appeared a bill prohibiting cryptocurrency in the territory of the Russian Federation. Users actively discussed the normative legal act, in which penalties were provided for the issue of digital currency, software development, cryptocurrency transactions.

The Ministry of Economic Development disagreed with the text of the draft, so it was never adopted by the State Duma.

At the end of 2015, the State Duma registered a draft code on administrative violations, in which an article was published on the ban on the production of surrogates, providing for legal responsibility. However, it was stated there that the digital currency, which is issued outside the Russian Federation (Bitcoin), is not a monetary surrogate.

The joint research center conducted a large-scale study of the issue of informing the population of the Russian Federation about the possibilities of cryptocurrency. According to the research, only 19% of Russians knew about digital money.

In 2016, the public learned about the new project of the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation, which provided for criminal responsibility for cryptocurrency transactions. The bill was not registered in the State Duma, and its creators announced their intention to finalize the normative act. Rosfinmonitoring said that today it is necessary to settle transactions with digital funds, and not to prohibit them.

During the year there were several attempts to change the current legislation, but they were unsuccessful. At the financial forum, representatives of the Russian Federation announced that they would consider the possibility of developing a cryptocurrency business in the territory of the federation so as not to abandon innovation.

The Russian company Qiw expressed its intention to create a Russian cryptocurrency. The press reported that the government supports such an idea solely with the full control of the state regulator. The presidential press secretary denied this information, saying that such questions were not discussed by the president.

In 2016, the head of Sberbank announced its intention to develop its own platform for crypto-currency transactions, because I am sure that soon digital money will fill the Russian market. After the international conference on the issues of the cryptocurrency, work began to evaluate the introduction of new technologies for working with digital money in all areas.


There is no precise definition of the legal status of the cryptocurrency in the Russian Federation. The letter of the federal tax service, which was mentioned earlier, has an informational and recommendation character. Content of the letter:

  • In the legislation of the Russian Federation there is no concept of “cryptocurrency”.
  • Operations with virtual money are regarded as criminal.
  • There is no direct ban on working with digital currency in the legislation of the Russian Federation.
  • The Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation is developing draft laws on the definition of the legal status of the cryptocurrency.
  • Operations related to the purchase of cryptocurrency are foreign exchange transactions.

None of the documents relating to virtual currency raised the issue of taxation of cryptocurrency transactions. To date, the rules for taxing securities to digital currency are not applied. With the income received in the form of digital money, an individual pays 13% of tax, and a legal entity – 20%.

In order to obtain legal regulation of digital funds in Russia, it is worthwhile to call Eternity Law International’s lawyers and protect themselves from all problems with the legality of the matter.

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