Russia’s central bank is planning to use cryptocurrencies for cross-border payments in a test with private companies, one of its executives said. The tests will take place under a special legal regime currently under development.
Russian Central Bank to Test Virtual Currency Amid Financial Sanctions
The Central Bank of the Russian Federation (CBR) plans to test settlements in international cryptocurrency transactions, Deputy Chairwoman of the monetary authority Olga Skorobogatova said Monday.
“We are planning to test the use of cryptocurrencies for international settlement, that is, for foreign economic activity, under an experimental regulatory regime that is currently under preparation,” she quoted TASS as saying.
In the lower house of the Russian parliament, the lower house, Skorobogatova said the pilot project will be carried out in cooperation with interested companies. However, she did not name specific market participants that will be involved.
Government agencies in Moscow are working to expand the regulatory framework for digital financial assets to include decentralized cryptocurrencies. The central bank has been adamantly opposed to legalizing these products in Russia, but has softened its stance in response to Western regulations related to the Ukrainian aggression.
In September, Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseyev said his agency and financial policy regulators agreed that in the current environment Russia could not do without cross-border settlement of virtual currencies.
Nevertheless, the central bank continues to oppose the free circulation of digital currencies such as Bitcoin under Russian jurisdiction, including domestic cryptocurrency payments. Recently, it supported a law regulating mining, provided that mined cryptocurrencies are traded abroad or exclusively within Russia under special legal arrangements.