Russia May Approve Crypto Payments For Use in International Transactions

Major government agencies have acknowledged Russia’s need to authorize cryptocurrency payments for foreign settlements. The plan has been gaining popularity after Moscow’s decision to invade Ukraine was followed by waves of Western sanctions.

According to Russian media, Russia’s finance ministry and central bank reconsidered their standpoints on the matter. They concluded that “it is impossible to do without cross-border settlements in cryptocurrency” under the current circumstances. Here, the Russian institutions are referring to the limits put in place because of the crisis in Ukraine that has drastically reduced Russia’s access to international funding.

Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev revealed that both financial authorities now think it’s important to legitimize cross-border cryptocurrency transactions, as the Tass news agency reported in an interview with the Russia-24 TV channel. This, in his opinion, ought to occur quickly. The two agencies have been at odds over regulating digital currencies like bitcoin in Russia. The Ministry of Finance (Minfin) has long pushed for the legality of certain transactions involving them, while the Bank of Russia recently proposed a broad prohibition.

Moiseev acknowledged that those discrepancies still exist. But the high-ranking source emphasized that, in light of the new circumstances, the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) has revised its strategy on crypto payments in the framework of international commercial ties. He explained further and said, “we are rethinking it. Because the infrastructure that we plan to create is too rigid for the use of cryptocurrencies in cross-border settlements, which, of course, we must first of all legalize somehow.”

According to the deputy finance minister, the objective is to provide Russians with the option of adopting cryptocurrencies for foreign payments while also keeping them under control to prevent their use for money laundering, the purchase of illegal substances, or other illicit activities. The Minfin also suggests allowing individuals who now open cryptocurrency wallets abroad to use wallets provided by local organizations under the CBR’s supervision. Moiseev emphasized that they must adhere to the nation’s anti-money laundering and know-your-customer laws.

The Bank of Russia Governor Elvira Nabiullina stated in June that cryptocurrencies might be used for payments as long as they “don’t penetrate” the financial system of Russia. The bank’s press staff reiterated that the monetary authority and the finance ministry are not discussing allowing cryptocurrency payment or exchange within the nation in response to Moiseev’s most recent remarks to RIA Novosti. Mikhail Mishustin, the prime minister of Russia, has referred to digital assets as a “safe alternative” in international commerce.

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