Russia accepts crypto for cross-border payments

Russian government officials have finally taken their first step towards legalizing cryptocurrency, and it’s working for everyone.

Russia-based news agency Kommersant reported Thursday that the country’s Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev and the Bank of Russia reached an agreement on using cryptocurrency for cross-border payments.

Under the new development, residents will be allowed to connect to digital wallets and make international payments using cryptocurrencies, according to Kommersant.

A regulatory framework for crypto assets

According to Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev, the main focuses of the proposed policy include ways “Obtaining cryptocurrency, what you can do with it and how you can even settle with it in cross-border settlements or not.”

Moiseev said that the new development was approved jointly by the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank “on the whole.”

Russia already has plans to issue its own digital rubles, but the government only recently began to advocate the use of private cryptocurrencies after years of arguing that they could be used to launder money or finance terrorism.

Previously, it was reported that Russia remains skeptical about cryptocurrencies. Instead, the country’s regulators have shown more interest in stablecoins and the central bank digital currency (CBDC).

The central bank, on the other hand, did not welcome investments in cryptocurrencies, which account for about $5 billion in transactions by Russians each year, and had proposed banning cryptocurrency trading and mining.

Russian news sources revealed that there were talks between the central bank and government leaders about setting up cross-border crypto payments.

However, the two parties failed to reach a mutual agreement as the Bank of Russia showed a solid stance against using cryptocurrency as legal tender.

According to Moiseev’s September 5 public statement:

“Now that people are opening crypto wallets outside of the Russian Federation, there is a need to do so in Russia with central bank-supervised entities that are required to comply with anti-money laundering and Know Your Customer requirements.”

Russia will sooner or later legalize cryptocurrencies as a payment option, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov stated earlier this month, suggesting governments and central banks are getting closer to settling their differences.

Excessive sanctions

Russia has been sanctioned by the United States and many Western countries for its military activities in Ukraine. However, Moscow is ready to legalize overseas trade in cryptocurrencies and this scenario is very close.

Russia has been trying to find a way around the western nations’ mounting financial constraints in its military confrontation with neighboring Ukraine.

The Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank have concluded that the country cannot function without financial institutions that accept cryptocurrency payments and transactions.

As mentioned above, Russian regulators have ambitious goals for stablecoins. The Russian Finance Minister is in favor of being able to legally conduct transactions with such digital assets.

This information was revealed by Ivan Chebeskov, the head of the Department of Financial Policy at the Ministry of Finance, during a discussion on the impact of Web 3.0 held within the framework of Russian Creative Week.

According to the senior official, those higher in his hierarchy support the free circulation of stablecoins across Russia.

In addition, he said the ministry is ready to help set up companies in the country that take advantage of this innovation.

During this meeting, Chebeskov also discussed other issues, including the possibility of creating an entirely new financial system. This is not only based on blockchain technology in general, but also on crypto assets, digitization and tokenization.

However, despite the fact that government agencies are certain that digital currencies can lay the groundwork for an eventual renewal of the financial landscape, it is not yet certain whether these currencies will be as effective as fiat currencies or not.

Leave a Comment