Faced with financial sanctions amid the invasion of Ukraine, Russia’s Ministry of Finance is considering allowing the use of cryptocurrencies for international trade, local news outlet Interfax reported on Friday.
“The idea of using digital currencies in transactions for international settlements is being actively discussed,” Ivan Chebeskov, head of the finance ministry’s financial policy department, was quoted as saying.
Discussions have been ongoing for months and though the government expects cryptocurrencies to be legalised as a means of payment sooner or later, no consensus has yet been reached.
As mention by Mint, “Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov was asked at a forum whether he believed cryptocurrencies would become legal as a means of payment. In reply, Manturov said, “The question is, when this happens, how it will be regulated, now that the central bank and government are actively working on it.” “But everyone tends to understand that … sooner or later this will be implemented, in some format or other.”
Allowing crypto as a means of settlement for international trade would help counter the impact of Western sanctions, which has seen Russia’s access to traditional cross-border payment mechanisms “limited,” Chebeskov said.
“If the digital currency is recognized as property, in principle, within the framework of barter transactions with such a digital currency, it will be possible to carry out operations on foreign economic activity,” Chebeskov said, per Interfax’s Friday report. “This topic is being discussed and, it seems to me, deserves attention, given that we have limited possibilities for settlements in the classical, traditional payment infrastructure.”
The proposed bill also recommends launching a register of Russia crypto mining businesses. The proposal is aimed at making crypto mining a legal activity under a regulatory framework. The proposals were made after many Russian ministers advocated for legalizing the industry in the country.