Russia approves BTC, ETH and use of crypto for cross-border payments
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- The Central Bank of Russia and the Ministry of Finance have jointly made a decision to facilitate the use of crypto in cross-border payments.
- Russia’s deputy finance minister said that people outside of Russia have started using digital wallets, so it is an ideal time to grant this opportunity to Russians as well.
In the latest development, Russia has finally given the green signal for the use of cryptocurrencies in cross-border payments. The Central Bank of Russia and the Ministry of Finance jointly reached an agreement on cross-border crypto use on Thursday, September 22.
Russia’s local news paper Kommersant quoted the country’s Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseyev as saying:
Now, in this part, we already have the invoice agreed with the central bank in its entirety… It describes in general how to acquire cryptocurrency, what you can do with it and how you can or cannot pay cross-border settlements with it in general.
The current rule also allows Russian residents to send payments across the border using digital assets. The proposed policy specifically aims to give Russian citizens access to digital wallets.
In the last couple of weeks, the Russian central bank had been discussing cross-border crypto payments with its government officials. However, it had opposed the legality of cryptocurrency exchanges, but did not accept digital assets as legal tender.
Ensuring strong regulatory action
Earlier this month, Moiseev said the Russian government’s financial bloc has proposed “too rigid” infrastructure for crypto use. But Moiseev had supported legalizing the use of digital assets for cross-border payments.
The Deputy Finance Minister also stated that they will ensure that appropriate regulations are in place to prevent the illegal use of crypto. He further added:
On the one hand, giving people the opportunity to do it, on the other hand, to get it under control, so that there is no laundering, paying for drugs and so on.
Now people are opening crypto wallets outside the Russian Federation. It is essential that this can be done in Russia, that it is done by entities supervised by the central bank, who must comply with the requirements of anti-money laundering legislation and, above all, of course, know their customers. .
Russia’s mixed relationship with cryptocurrencies
Russia has had a rather mixed relationship with digital assets in recent years. In 2020, Russia wanted to ban payments with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Russian President Vladimir Putin himself signed a law banning the use of digital assets.
However, in May of this year, Russian Trade Minister Denis Manturov said that they would legalize crypto payments sooner rather than later. Russia has recently become more familiar with digital resources as the country has faced heavy sanctions over this year’s invasion of Ukraine. As a result, Russia is cut off from the SWIFT financial system used worldwide for global trade. Thus, utilizing crypto could be a way to mitigate the impact of sanctions.