Russia’s central bank and the Ministry of Finance have agreed on legislation to allow cross-border cryptocurrency payments, according to a report by Russian channel Kommersant on Wednesday.
The policy change is reportedly aimed at allowing Russian citizens to access digital wallets.
Leveraging the blockchain
According to Russian Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev, the bill has already been accepted by the central bank “as a whole”.
“It generally describes how to acquire cryptocurrency, what can be done with it and how it can or cannot be settled with it in the first place in cross-border settlements,” he explained at the 14th International Banking Forum “Banks of Russia – 21st Century”.
Earlier this month, a local news agency reported that the central bank was weighing the possibility of allowing cross-border crypto payments in the near future. According to the finance minister, both the central bank and the finance ministry had agreed that “it is impossible to do without cross-border cryptocurrency settlements”.
“People are now opening crypto wallets outside of the Russian Federation,” he said. “It is necessary that this can be done in Russia, that it is done by the entities supervised by the Central Bank, which must meet the requirements of the anti-money laundering legislation.”
The central bank’s position was in stark contrast to some of the bank’s previous positions, which were intended prohibition crypto assets in their entirety.
However, the central bank opposed the Ministry of Finance, which suggested this cryptography should be regulated.
The State Duma also rejected a blanket ban approach. In fact, a Russian MP said in March, that Russia might start accepting Bitcoin for oil payments, following international sanctions imposed on the country.
In a few months, the central bank revised his position, saying he is not opposed to the use of cryptocurrencies “in principle” for cross-border payments.
What does Putin think?
In June, Russia agreed to pass a law forbidding cryptocurrencies as a national means of payment, in order to strengthen the primacy of the Russian ruble as a national currency. President Vladimir Putin signed the law into law in July.
However, Putin has done this before shown interest to leverage Russia’s climate and energy resources in the Bitcoin mining sector.
“We have certain competitive advantages here, especially in so-called mining,” he said. “I mean the surplus electricity and well-trained staff available in the country.”
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