Russia’s central bank has revealed that the country could reconsider using cryptocurrencies for international payments, local news agency TASS report September 5th.
According to the report, Russian Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseyev said that Apex Bank and the Ministry of Finance may soon legalize cryptocurrency payments.
Moiseev continued that Russians’ reliance on foreign platforms for crypto trading further underscores the need to legalize the industry domestically.
“Currently, people are opening cryptocurrency wallets outside the Russian Federation. We need to be able to do this in Russia, and this is done by an entity supervised by the Central Bank and complying with anti-money laundering law requirements. You have to comply and, of course, first and foremost you have to know your client.”
Russia faces increased surveillance and sanctions from Western countries over its invasion of Ukraine.
The sanctions have generated debate about the possibility of Russia using crypto to circumvent these sanctions, but crypto industry stakeholders argue that this is not possible.
Russia’s stance on cryptocurrencies remains uncertain, as President Vladimir Putin recently signed a law banning local cryptocurrency payments in the country.
Meanwhile, Russia is not the only country considering using cryptocurrencies to evade sanctions. Iran recently completed its first foreign trade order with $10 million worth of cryptocurrency to import goods.
UK orders crypto exchanges to report Russia-related transactions
UK Authorities Have Developed New Rules Mandating Crypto Exchanges To Report Transactions Linked To Licensed Entities Such As Russia, The Guardian report September 4.
New official guidance states that cryptocurrency exchanges must also freeze crypto assets from these licensed entities.
The guidelines describe “crypto assets” as digital currencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and non-fungible tokens.
The action follows suspicions that Russia may be using cryptocurrencies to evade sanctions.
A Treasury Department spokesperson was quoted as saying:
“It is imperative that we address the risk that crypto assets will be used to violate or circumvent financial sanctions. They are most likely to have relevant information in order to be targeted.”