In a recent interview with Parlamentskaya Gazeta news outlet, Anton Tkachev, the deputy head of the State Duma Committee on Information Policy, Information Technologies and Communications, revealed that the internal circulation of cryptocurrencies will soon be “completely banned” in Russia. While cryptocurrencies are currently legal in the country, their use is limited and lacks sufficient regulation. Tkachev stated that the authorities have been working to amend this situation.
Under the proposed amendments to crypto laws, ordinary Russians will no longer be able to use cryptocurrencies for shopping within the country. However, Russian businesses will be allowed to conduct crypto transactions. Tkachev emphasized the importance of this, especially in light of the Western sanctions imposed on Russia due to the situation in Ukraine. These sanctions have effectively cut Russia off from the Western financial system. To address this issue, the country’s central bank and the Ministry of Industry and Trade have developed a tool for conducting cross-border payments using cryptocurrency. The system is currently undergoing testing and is expected to be implemented within a few months.
Once the testing is completed, the government will officially carry out transactions in cryptocurrency, according to Tkachev. This means that Russian businesses will have the option to pay their foreign partners in either cryptocurrency or digital rubles. The digital ruble, while currently used only within the country, allows for transactions without the need for intermediary financial organizations. This solves the problem of international settlements amid the sanctions imposed on Russia.
Tkachev also highlighted the advantage of conducting trade using cryptocurrencies for companies, as they are not subject to sanctions pressure. Tracking payments becomes more challenging, making it harder for sanctions to be enforced. This potentially opens up new avenues for trade for Russian businesses.
It is important to note that while the internal circulation of cryptocurrencies will be banned, the use of digital rubles will still be allowed within the country. This distinction will enable businesses and individuals to continue conducting digital transactions domestically.
The amendments to crypto laws in Russia aim to provide a more regulated framework for cryptocurrency use while taking advantage of the benefits it offers, particularly in cross-border transactions. By embracing cryptocurrency, Russian businesses can bypass the Western financial system, which has been inaccessible due to sanctions. This move highlights the country’s efforts to adapt to the changing global financial landscape.
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