• The Russian Finance Minister has confirmed that his department wants to green-light the use of crypto as a payment tool in international trade.
• The minister was speaking to the TV channel Rossiya-24 ahead of the New Year and said that countries that “want to do business” with Moscow should be allowed to pay in crypto if it is “convenient” for them.
• Russia’s Central Bank may be prepared to go along with the ministry’s plan – but only under the condition that the firms immediately convert any coins they receive into fiat currency.
The Russian Finance Minister, Anton Siluanov, has recently made headlines by suggesting that the Finance Ministry should consider allowing for international payments to be made in cryptocurrency. This came in the form of an interview with Rossiya-24, with Siluanov confirming that the ministry does not want to “exclude the possibility” of cryptocurrency being used as a payment tool in international trade.
The minister went on to say that countries that wish to do business with Moscow should be allowed to use cryptocurrency for their payments if it is convenient for them. However, the Central Bank of Russia is likely to be a stumbling block for this plan, with the bank having previously stated its opposition to the use of cryptocurrency in Russia.
Despite this, there have been indications that the Central Bank may be prepared to create a regulated “testbed” for domestic firms who wish to buy or sell goods using cryptocurrency. This will be under the condition that the firms immediately convert any coins they receive into fiat currency.
The minister’s suggestion that cryptocurrency could be used for international payments has been met with both praise and criticism from the cryptocurrency industry. Supporters of the plan argue that it could help to reduce the cost of international payments, particularly for small and medium-sized businesses. On the other hand, some critics have argued that it could lead to increased risks and volatility if the market is not properly regulated.
At this stage, it is still unclear how the Finance Ministry’s plan will pan out. It is possible that the Central Bank could block the plan, or that the government could decide to move forward with more regulation and oversight. Whatever the outcome, it is clear that the adoption of cryptocurrency in international payments is an issue that is on the radar of both the government and the industry.