The Russian Central Bank is open to the idea of cryptocurrencies being used for cross-border settlements, an official said on Tuesday. The announcement comes as various ministries and legislators come together to prepare a new version of a law on digital currencies.
Cryptocurrencies for international payments only
Russia’s central bank is open to the idea of allowing the use of cryptocurrencies for international payments, reports Reuters.
According to the report, the first deputy governor of the central bank, Ksenia Yudaeva, told the media on Tuesday that “en principle, we do not oppose the use of cryptocurrencies in international transactions.”
Ksenia Yudaeva then clarified that the Central Bank still believes that cryptocurrencies create “great risks” for Russian citizens and the country’s financial infrastructure. The Central Bank had previously recommended a blanket ban on cryptocurrencies, but international sanctions are starting to change its stance on cryptocurrencies.
The Central Bank’s announcement comes as Russian lawmakers prepare a new version of a law on digital currencies. Government departments and lawmakers have struggled to find a consensus on the acceptance and use of cryptocurrencies within the Russian Federation since the start of the war with Ukraine and subsequent sanctions.
Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov said crypto payments will be legalized “sooner or later, in one form or another.” Ivan Chebeskov, director of the finance ministry’s financial policy department, also said last week that the ministry was actively discussing the use of cryptocurrencies for international settlements.
Due to growing Western sanctions, Russia’s access to global finance and international payment systems has been severely limited. The government is looking to replace US dollars and euros for cross-border payments and is considering multiple options, including using rubles, gold and allowing politically friendly countries to pay for their goods in their own currency. The head of the parliamentary energy committee, Pavel Zavalny, said in March that Russia would be willing to accept bitcoin payments for energy exports.