Last Updated: 7 September 2022
The Bank of Russia and the Ministry of Finance of Russia have reconsidered their position on bitcoin and altcoins. They recognise that it may be necessary to legalise the use of cryptocurrencies for international payments.
— ThePrimedia (@ThePrimedia) September 7, 2022
The news was brought by the local news medium TASS. The two government agencies agree that “it is impossible” to continue without cryptocurrency as a legal means of payment for international trade.
It’s not crazy. Today’s international payment system is centralised and therefore subject to politics (and sanctions). A neutral, global, open and permission-free alternative is therefore a welcome option for excluded entities.
Russia has to deal with Western sanctions on, for example, the SWIFT payment system. It also sought alternatives to the US dollar in settling oil and gas deals. Partly because of this, the value of the rouble shot up sharply (compared to the dollar index).
In March, Pavel Zavalny, the chairman of the Congressional Energy Committee, was still saying that the country was open to bitcoin payments for natural gas exports. Non-friendly countries had to pay with roubles or gold. Among the friendly countries are China and Turkey.
Slowly, Russia’s attitude towards bitcoin is changing. The Bank of Russia was vehemently against bitcoin and advocated a ban. President Putin, however, saw opportunities in bitcoin mining. The war and sanctions seem to have accelerated the forming of opinions within the Russian ministries.
According to TASS, a necessary regulatory framework will be introduced to make international payments with crypto-currencies possible in Russia.
Iran idem ditto
Iran recently did something similar. They too have had problems with SWIFT for years. Last month, the very first $10 million import deal was made with crypto-currency. A similar framework is being drawn up in Iran for companies that want to use crypto-currencies for this purpose.