Russia Edges Closer to Using Bitcoin for International Trade

The Russian government has drafted new legislation that edges the embattled nation one step closer to accepting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for international trade.

According to a report from Russian news outlet Tass, Russia’s Ministry of Finance and its central bank have agreed on a draft bill allowing crypto payments for international trade settlements.

The move comes after Russia was banned from using the SWIFT system for international trade payments in response to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev said that the bill, “as a whole, writes out how cryptocurrency can be purchased, what can be done with it, and how cross-border settlements can or cannot be made.”

The agreement follows a previous report in which Moiseev stated that, due to current circumstances concerning sanctions, it was impossible for Russia to conduct international trade without the use of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.

However, the Bank of Russia still opposes the legalization of cryptocurrency exchanges and settlements in cryptocurrencies within Russia, per the report.

The central bank’s sentiment continues to illustrate the divergence of opinion between regulators and government officials in Russia.

As Slay News previously reported, the initial bill proposing a framework for digital assets was presented earlier this year by the Russian government which encouraged a ban on bitcoin mining.

However, the Ministry of Finance rebutted with a bill of its own which only called for stricter regulation of the space.

President Putin then announced his support for the Ministry’s bill, citing Russia’s competitive advantage with natural resources.

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Since then, the Minister of Energy and the Federal Tax Service have commented on how bitcoin can help small businesses or alluded to interdepartmental conversations on the matter of international trade.

Ivan Chebeskov, director of the financial stability market for the Russian Ministry of Finance previously explained that there are many more “like-minded people” on the matter.

“Also, I know that there are deputies in the State Duma who are actively engaged in this topic, perhaps it will be their initiative,” Chebeskov explained.

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By Frank Bergman

Frank Bergman is a political/economic journalist living on the east coast. Aside from news reporting, Bergman also conducts interviews with researchers and material experts and investigates influential individuals and organizations in the sociopolitical world.

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