Major government institutions have agreed that Russia should legalize crypto payments for international settlements. The proposal has gained traction in recent months since Moscow’s move to invade Ukraine was met with successive waves of Western sanctions.
Russian financial authorities plan to legalize international cryptocurrency payments
Under current conditions, “it is impossible to do without cross-border cryptocurrency settlements,” the Russian finance ministry and central bank concluded after reconsidering their positions on the issue, Russian media reported. The institutions obviously refer to the restrictions imposed by the conflict in Ukraine which have significantly limited Russia’s access to global finance.
Both financial regulators now believe that it is necessary to legalize international settlements with cryptocurrencies, Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev revealed in an interview with the Russia-24 TV channel, quoted by the agency. Tass press. He thinks it should happen soon.
The two institutions have had a longstanding clash over the regulation of digital currencies like bitcoin in Russia, with the Ministry of Finance (Minfin) pushing for the legalization of various operations with them and the Bank of Russia proposing a blanket ban earlier this year.
Moiseev admitted that those differences remained. But the senior official pointed out that the Central Bank of Russia (RBC) updated its approach to crypto payments in foreign trade relations, taking into account the evolving situation. He then clarified:
We are rethinking it. Because the infrastructure we plan to create is too rigid for the use of cryptocurrencies in cross-border settlements, which, of course, we must first legalize somehow.
The Deputy Minister of Finance explained that the goal will be to give the Russians the opportunity to use cryptocurrency in international payments, on the one hand, and on the other hand, to bring it under control so that there is no possibility of using it for money laundering, payment for drugs or other illicit purposes.
Minfin is also proposing to allow people who now open crypto wallets abroad to have wallets offered by domestic entities supervised by the CBR. These will be required to comply with the country’s anti-money laundering and know-your-customer regulations, Moiseev pointed out.
In June, Bank of Russia Governor Elvira Nabiullina said cryptocurrencies could be used for payments as long as they “do not penetrate” the Russian financial system. Commenting on Moiseev’s latest statements for RIA Novosti, the bank’s press service pointed out that the monetary authority and the Ministry of Finance were not talking about legalizing the payment or exchange of crypto inside the country. Recently, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin described digital assets as a “safe alternative” in foreign trade.
Do you think Russia will legalize international crypto payments in the near future? Share your expectations in the comments section below.
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