Russia to Soon Legalise Crypto For Cross-Border Payments

Key Takeaways

  • Russian PM Mikhail Mishustin stated that the adoption of digital assets is required as a “secure alternative” for cross-border payments.
  • In July, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law that prohibits the use of digital assets to complete transactions.

Russia’s Central Bank-the Bank of Russia is reportedly looking to legalize crypto for cross-border payments.

According to Russia’s news agency TASS, the country’s apex bank has been rethinking the approach to regulating crypto and has agreed with the finance ministry to legalize crypto for cross-border payments.

Reportedly, the need for local cryptocurrency services in Russia was emphasized by deputy finance minister Alexei Moiseev, who stated that many Russians use international sites to create cryptocurrency wallets.

He added that engaging organizations under the central bank’s supervision must adhere to Know Your Customer(KYC) and anti-money laundering regulations.

According to reports, during a strategic meeting on the advancement of the domestic financial system, Russian Prime Minister(PM) Mikhail Mishustin stated that adopting digital assets is required as a “secure alternative” for cross-border payments.

The prime minister further added that digital assets offer a solid way to guarantee continuous payments for imports and exports.

The Bank of Russia has long voiced skepticism over cryptocurrencies, stating financial stability concerns, and has even advocated for a complete ban on crypto trading and mining, at odds with a Russian government keen to regulate the industry.

In July, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law that banned using digital assets, including cryptos like Bitcoin or Ether, to complete transactions.

The law banned digital securities and utility tokens from being used to pay for goods or services in Russia. 

The Central Bank of Russia is often at loggerheads with Russia’s Finance Ministry regarding legislation about digital assets and crypto in the country.

While the country’s Central Bank wanted to ban cryptocurrencies, the Ministry of Finance feels that the crypto space should be regulated to allow it to develop more.

In February 2022, the Finance Ministry introduced a bill that treated crypto as an investment tool, not a legal tender, adding cryptocurrencies may not be used to pay for goods and services.

The bill further specifies requirements for crypto exchanges and over-the-counter desks to obtain a license. With this latest development, Russia’s Central Bank is likely to view the world of digital assets with a more open mind and less skepticism.

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