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Russia Talks On Legalizing Cross-Border Crypto Payments

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By Shella Artillero - - 5 Mins Read

The Russian central bank now appears to be collaborating with the country's ministry of finance to legalize the use of cryptocurrencies for international payments. As a result, the nation will apparently seek to allow international bitcoin payments soon.

The action is a part of an effort to get around the nation's separation from SWIFT (the international payment system) and enable payments to and from local suppliers.

Russian Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev has noted that many Russians have created bitcoin wallets using foreign websites. 

The official insisted that Russia must take action by involving organizations governed by the central bank and mandated to follow Know Your Customer and anti-money laundering laws.

In June of this year, the Russian government made another step in favor of cryptocurrencies when it passed a draft law that may exclude issuers of digital assets and cryptocurrencies from value-added tax. 

The proposal in the document also suggested lowering the income tax rates applied to the sales of digital assets.

Russia Decides To Legalize Cryptocurrency For International Trade

In 2020, Russia's 'On Digital Financial Assets' crypto legislation proposal was accepted, making it illegal to use cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) as a form of payment. 

The Bank of Russia has been hesitant of facilitating cryptocurrency payments in any way as the Russian ruble is the only legal tender in the country, and Russian legislators have long been opposed to the idea of enabling cryptocurrencies to be used as payment.

However, Governor of the Bank of Russia Elvira Nabiullina later suggested that cryptocurrency could be used for cross-border payments, but only if the asset class is not allowed to enter Russia’s domestic financial system. 

The Minister of Industry and Trade further reiterated the sentiment, declaring that Russia would legalize crypto payments “sooner or later.”

Why It's Important

Cryptocurrencies have allowed pro-Russian military supporters to donate money to the Russian military. A prime example is the manufacturer of Lobaev weapons, who was frequently seen on his Telegram channel pleading with fans to send cryptocurrency so that Lobaev could supply more ammo to Russian troops in Ukraine.