Russian official says bill to give businesses leeway in use of crypto internationally

An official of the Russian Ministry of Finance has provided new details about a draft law on digital currencies that is currently being drafted.

The bill provides local infrastructure for mining settlements and regulation, but will leave many details for companies to work out on their own, the head of the Finance Ministry’s Financial Policy Department, Ivan Chebeskov, told a panel on Monday round organized by the Russian International Chamber of Commerce in Moscow. Interfax quoted Chebeskov as saying:

“It is not entirely clear how it should be regulated, so we give companies the opportunity with this bill to pay with cryptocurrency, but in terms of which cryptocurrencies will be used, how to trade with counterparties, with which countries will operate, we leave all that to the entrepreneurs.”

On September 13, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin ordered the Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank, the tax service, the anti-money laundering authority Rosfinmonitoring and the FSB security service to reach a consensus before December 19 on legislation regulating the issuance and circulation of cryptocurrency. mining and the use of cryptocurrency in international settlements. The Prime Minister’s instruction did not extend to the domestic use of cryptography.

Chebeskov said that the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank were starting new discussions on cryptocurrency regulation in response to this order and that several texts of the bill currently exist. Mining was discussed separately and the “agency view is more similar” on mining than on settlements.

Related: Moscow Stock Exchange Good Base for Crypto Trading, Says Russian Lawmaker

The Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank have long disagreed over the proper place of cryptocurrency in the Russian economy, with the Central Bank at first strongly opposing the use of cryptocurrency for payments. The bank’s position has been eroding, however, as sanctions imposed in February following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began to take their toll.

An announcement made on September 5 indicated that the Central Bank may be willing to accept the use of cryptography in international trade, after long deliberation. Mishustin spoke favorably of the use of cryptocurrency in international trade after Iran approved the use of cryptocurrency for import payments.