Russian lawmakers have announced that cryptocurrency legislation will be up for debate in parliament in April. The bill, which has been in the works for years, has seen divisions between law enforcement agencies and the Central Bank on one side, and most major ministries on the other, leading to its prolonged delay.

The Chairman of the State Duma’s committee on the financial markets, Anatoly Aksakov, expressed optimism during the Russian Financial Market Forum this week and stated that measures pertaining to criminal punishment for illegal cryptocurrency operations had already been agreed upon.

However, critics have raised concerns about the bill’s reported plans to punish illegal crypto exchanges and brokers with jail time.

Sergei Shvetsov, the former deputy head of the Central Bank, likened these measures to those taken to eradicate black market foreign currency trading in the Soviet Union and opposed criminal liability charges for crypto offenders.