Putin signs law prohibiting crypto payments in Russia

People in Russia will soon no longer be allowed to use digital assets as a form of payment. Russian president Vladimir Putin has signed a bill into law prohibiting the use of digital assets, such as cryptocurrency and NFTs, to pay for goods and services. In addition, as Protocol notes, the new law also requires crypto exchanges and providers to refuse transactions in which digital transfers can be interpreted as a form of payment. The new law states:

“It is prohibited to transfer or accept digital financial assets as a consideration for transferred goods, performed works, rendered services, as well as in any other way that allows one to assume payment for goods (works, services) by a digital financial asset, except as otherwise provided by federal laws.”

As a New York Times report said earlier this year, US authorities believe that some Russian companies affected by sanctions imposed against their country after its invasion of Ukraine could be using cryptocurrency to circumvent those limitations. The value of Bitcoin even surged for a few days after the invasion started in February.

That said, Russian authorities aren’t quite keen on digital assets: The Central Bank of Russia called for an outright ban on cryptocurrency. That most likely didn’t happen, because Russia’s Finance Ministry was opposed to the idea and believed it was necessary to allow crypto technology to develop. In 10 days’ time, the law will take effect and will make paying with crypto illegal in the country. According to Decrypt, though, Russians can still invest in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and presumably continue mining them as well.

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