In a rather swift departure from its prewar crypto stance, the Bank of Russia is weighing in on the possibility of legalizing crypto for facilitating cross-border payments in the near future.
As local news agency TASS reported, the country’s central bank and the Ministry of Finance have agreed that “it is impossible to do without cross-border settlements in cryptocurrency” under the current geopolitical conditions.
Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev said crypto payments will soon be legalized for the same very soon. However, the emphasis was on users relying on overseas platforms to open crypto wallets.
Instead, the official highlighted the need for enabling domestic crypto services in Russia that will be overseen by the central bank itself, which needs to comply with the requirements of anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC).
“Because the infrastructure that we plan to create is too rigid for the use of cryptocurrencies in cross-border settlements, which, of course, we must first of all legalize somehow. On the one hand, give people the opportunity to do it, on the other hand, put it under control so that there is no laundering, paying for drugs, and so on.”
Russia has always had a tumultuous relationship with the crypto industry. President Vladimir Putin recently penned a new law that sought to ban the use of digital assets as payment for goods and services in the country, despite several senior officials sending mixed signals about the asset class.
However, the country’s first Deputy Governor, Ksenia Yudaeva, said that the central bank is open to allowing the use of cryptocurrency for international payments.
This change in heart could be attributed to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, in general, have been widely used on both sides.
Ukraine has received significant support across the globe in the form of crypto donations that are being used to buy war essentials.
For Russia, on the other hand, reports claim the country engages economically with other countries leveraging digital currencies and circumventing international sanctions.
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