It is now illegal to make cryptocurrency payments in Russia

Russians will no longer be able to use cryptocurrencies and NFTs to pay for goods and services. Russian president Vladimir Putin has signed a bill into law prohibiting the use of digital assets as a form of payment. The new law also requires crypto exchanges and providers to refuse transactions in which digital transfers can be interpreted as a form of payment.

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The 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.”

Many Russians have been using cryptocurrencies as a means of payments and to preserve the value of their assets, as a result of Russia being heavily sanctioned for the invasion of Ukraine. It has led to the Russian economy suffering a major downturn, many major brands pulling out the country altogether, and many Russians unable to move their money and being diluted due to historically high inflation. Companies were also taking advantage of cryptocurrencies to circumvent these sanctions.

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. Russians can still invest in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and presumably continue mining them as well.

President Putin expressed enthusiasm for Bitcoin mining in January, when he said that Russia had “certain competitive advantages” including a “surplus of electricity and well-trained personnel available in the country” to mine the currency.