Russia’s central bank has revealed that the country could re-consider using crypto for international payments, local news agency TASS reported on Sept. 5.
According to the report, Russia’s Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev said the apex bank and the finance ministry could legalize crypto payments soon.
Moiseev continued that Russians’ reliance on foreign platforms for crypto transactions further emphasizes the need to legalize the industry locally.
“Now people open crypto wallets outside the Russian Federation. It is necessary that this can be done in Russia, that this is done by entities supervised by the Central Bank, which are required to comply with the requirements of anti-money laundering legislation, and first of all, of course, to know their client.”
Russia has faced increased scrutiny and sanctions from western countries over its Ukraine invasion.
The sanctions birthed talks of the possibility of Russia using crypto to evade these sanctions, but stakeholders in the crypto industry have insisted that this is not possible.
Russia’s posture towards crypto remains unclear as President Vladimir Putin recently signed a law that banned local cryptocurrencies payment in the country.
Meanwhile, Russia is not the only country considering using crypto to bypass sanctions. Iran recently completed its first foreign trade order using cryptocurrency worth $10 million to import goods.
UK orders crypto exchanges to report Russia-linked transactions
UK authorities have formulated new rules that mandate crypto exchanges to report transactions linked to sanctioned entities like Russia, Guardian reported on Sept. 4.
The new official guidance stated that crypto exchanges should also freeze crypto assets from these sanctioned entities.
The guideline described “crypto assets” as digital currencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), etc., and non-fungible tokens.
The action follows suspicions that Russia could be using crypto to bypass sanctions.
A Treasury spokesperson reportedly said:
“It is vital to address the risk of cryptoassets being used to breach or circumvent financial sanctions. These new requirements will cover firms that either record holdings of, or enable the transfer of cryptoassets and are therefore most likely to hold relevant information.”