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Russian Finance Ministry Says ‘Why Not?’ to Crypto in International Payments

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 1 min read
Source: 999xy/Adobe

The Russian Finance Minister has confirmed that his department wants to green-light the use of crypto as a payment tool in international trade. And he says that countries that “want to do business” with Moscow should be allowed to pay in crypto if it is “convenient” for them.

The comments, which were reported by Tass, came from the ministry chief Anton Siluanov. The minister was speaking to the TV channel Rossiya-24 ahead of the New Year.

Siluanov stated that the ministry did not want to “exclude the possibility of” authorizing “settlements in cryptocurrency with trading partners from other countries.” But, he stated, the “process” should “be comfortable for all parties.”

He said:

“We do not make settlements in dollars and euros. But using cryptocurrency – at least with the countries that are ready to have trade relations with us – as a possible tool for settlements…Why not?”

Siluanov added:

“If we are going to use cryptocurrency as a [tool] in our cross-border payments, then we need to make it convenient for participants in foreign economic activities.”

Russia’s Central Bank: A Stumbling Block for Ministry’s Crypto Adoption Plan?

The Central Bank – which opposes the use of crypto in Russia – would likely prefer a total ban. But there are indications that the bank will likely not stand in the way of companies trying to conduct trade deals in crypto. Indeed, the bank has already signaled that it is prepared to create a regulated “testbed” for domestic firms who want to buy or sell goods using crypto.

The 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. The Central Bank has repeatedly insisted that it does not want cryptoassets to “enter the Russian economy.” Lawmakers have already proposed possible workarounds – including a state-run crypto exchange.

Siluanov added that the ministry “considers it necessary to gradually develop the cryptocurrency market in Russia and bring it into the legal field.” But he added that the department “has not yet struck a compromise with the Central Bank on this issue.”