According to reports, an agreement between the Bank of Russia and the nation's Ministry of Finance has made cross-border cryptocurrency payments possible.
The central bank and the government department have "on the whole" agreed on a law that would permit citizens to transfer cross-border payments using cryptocurrency, according to a story published on Thursday by the Russian magazine Kommersant. According to reports, the planned regulation change was intended to grant access to digital wallets to Russian citizens.
“[The policy] 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,” said Moiseev, according to the report.
Russian news agencies had been reporting that the central bank had been discussing the issue of cross-border crypto payments with government officials. However, the Bank of Russia reportedly opposed allowing crypto exchanges to operate legally and not accepting cryptocurrency as legal tender.
On Sept. 5, Moiseev 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.”
Russia has had a mixed relationship with crypto. In 2020, the country passed legislation prohibiting the use of cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin (BTC) for payments. President Vladimir Putin also signed a bill into law in July banning digital financial assets as payments. In May, trade minister Denis Manturov suggested Russia would legalize crypto payments “sooner or later.”
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, the government, businesses and certain individuals within the country have been the target of comprehensive economic sanctions. On Sept. 15, the United States Treasury Department added 22 individuals and two Russia-based entities to its sanctions list, claiming they had furthered the government’s objectives in Ukraine.