Bank of Russia To Legalise Cryptocurrencies For Cross-Border Transactions

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Move is aimed at getting around SWIFT disconnection and allowing payments to and from local vendors  

The Bank of Russia, the nation’s central bank, has acknowledged that cross-border payments made via cryptocurrency transfers are to be legalised. According to TASS, the Russian central bank has changed its mind about how to regulate cryptocurrency and is now working with the Russian Ministry of Finance to legitimise its use for international payments.

Alexei Moiseev, Russia’s Deputy Finance Minister has stated that the Bank of Russia and the Finance Ministry anticipate legalising cross-border cryptocurrency payments soon. The need for local cryptocurrency services in Russia was emphasised by Moiseev, who pointed out that many Russians use international sites to create cryptocurrency wallets. This must be done in Russia, the official said, engaging organisations under the central bank’s supervision who are required to adhere to Know Your Customer and anti-money laundering regulations.

Legislators in Russia have long been against the concept of accepting cryptocurrency as payment. A significant crypto regulation called “On Digital Financial Assets” was approved by Russia in 2020, outlawing the usage of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) as payment methods. As the Russian Ruble is the only form of legal tender in the nation, the Bank of Russia has been wary of the idea of cryptocurrency payments.

In Russia, the concept of using cryptocurrencies as a form of payment first emerged in late 2021. Then, Russian President Vladimir Putin remarked that using cryptocurrency for the trading of energy resources like oil and gas was “still premature.” However, the situation has shifted as a result of economic penalties from the West and the termination of most Russian banks from the global SWIFT network. Elvira Nabiullina, the governor of the Bank of Russia, later suggested that cryptocurrency can be used for cross-border payments but only if cryptocurrency does not enter Russia’s domestic financial system. In May, the Minister of Industry and Trade reiterated this by declaring that Russia would legalize crypto payments “sooner or later.”

The decision shows how the sanctions against Russia are in fact driving forward the use of new technologies. Dezan Shira & Associates, the professional services firm behind ‘Russia Briefing’ use Cryptocurrency services to assist make payments to vendors. Please contact the firm for introduction to vetted providers utilizing KYC protocols. Email: russia@dezshira.com

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Russia Briefing is written and produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. During these uncertain times and sanctions imposition, our firm assists Russian companies relocate to Asia, and provides financial and sanctions compliance services to foreign companies operating in Russia. We also provide market research and advisory services to foreign exporters interested in Russia as the economy looks to replace Western sourced products. Please contact us at russia@dezshira.com or visit us at www.dezshira.com.