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September 26, 2022

Russia greenlights use of crypto for cross-border settlements

The Bank of Russia and the nation’s Ministry of Finance have approved the use of cryptocurrencies for cross-border settlements, stated reports citing Russian news daily Kommersant.

“Now we have a bill in this part already agreed with the central bank on the 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,” Russian Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev was quoted as saying by the publication.

The latest move seeks to enable Russian citizens to access digital wallets.

In April this year, the Ministry of Finance reportedly finalised a draft legislation to allow crypto as a medium of payment in the country. This also covered digital asset mining. 

The bill proposed to recognise crypto as a payment method that is “not a monetary unit of the Russian Federation”.

However, it did not specify which cryptocurrencies would be legalised.

In recent discussions between the Bank of Russia and government officials, the bank had opposed the legalised operations of crypto exchanges.

Earlier this month, the Deputy Finance Minister said: “Now that people are opening crypto wallets outside the Russian Federation, it is necessary to do this in Russia with entities supervised by the central bank, which are required to comply with Anti-Money Laundering and Know Your Customer requirements.”

“On the one hand, to give people the opportunity to do it, on the other hand, to put it under control so that there is no laundering, payment for drugs, and so on,” he added.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, several crypto exchanges cut transactions with Moscow entities facing sanctions. While US crypto exchange Coinbase blocked over 25,000 Russia-linked wallet addresses, Binance stopped accepting cards of Russian banks under sanctions.

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