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Russian Government Says It Won’t Rush into Crypto-powered Trade with Iran

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 2 min read
Source: MasterSergeant/Adobe

The Russian government has said it is exploring the notion of using crypto in trade deals with Iran – but will not be hurried into action.

Per RIA Novosti, Moscow wants to put a “clear regulatory framework” into place before allowing Russian firms to do business with Tehran in crypto.

The media outlet quoted the Russian Ambassador to Tehran, Alexei Dedov, as stating that officials in Moscow and Tehran were currently “in the working stage” of discussions. Dedov added that nothing had yet been finalized.

Dedov said:

“Both Russia and Iran are considering allowing the use of digital currencies and digital financial assets (DFAs) in settlements for exports and imports. However, [the parties] are still in the process of reaching specific agreements on this matter.”

“DFA” is a term that many Russian lawmakers have used to refer to cryptoassets, including Bitcoin (BTC). However, DFA has often been conflated with central bank digital currencies and stablecoins – even in legal documentation.

Both Russia and Iran are thought to be keen to de-dollarize their trade deals. The nations aim to stop US-led sanctions from disrupting their ability to do business with international partners.

Many forward-looking Russian government departments have been pushing for regulators to allow trade firms to use crypto as a payment tool in cross-border transactions.

Moscow’s plans to de-dollarize the nation predate the Russia-Ukraine conflict – and the ensuing sanctions. But the advent of sanctions has led many – including the Russian finance and trade ministries – to call for the legalization of crypto-powered trade.

However, Moscow is not united on this matter. The Central Bank opposes the idea of allowing Russian firms to use crypto. Its leaders are concerned that the tokens received in trade deals will end up circulating in the Russian economy.

The Central Bank has instead insisted that all crypto-powered trades are conducted within a regulatory sandbox – under its supervision.

Police, too, have expressed concerns that allowing companies to trade freely using crypto could lead to money laundering.

Crypto-powered Trade: The Future for Russia and Iran?

No matter which direction Moscow and Tehran decide to take, both seem convinced that digital tokens now represent the future for its exporters.

Last month, Russian MPs and crypto industry leaders spoke about a Russian-Iranian plan to co-launch a gold-pegged stablecoin for use in international trade.

More recently, BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) leaders have revisited a plan to launch a common stablecoin – one that was first floated back in 2019.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated that BRICS leaders have agreed to discuss the creation of a “common currency” when the group convenes at a summit this August.

Lavrov spoke of the need to “create [BRICS’] own currencies, within the framework of BRICS.”