Russian official says bill to give businesses leeway in use of crypto internationally

A Russian Finance Ministry official has provided new details about a bill on digital currencies, whicht is currently being drafted.

The bill provides local infrastructure for settlements and regulation on mining, but will leave many details for businesses to work out on their own, the Finance Ministry’s Financial Policy Department head Ivan Chebeskov said Monday at a roundtable hosted by the International Chamber of Commerce Russia in Moscow. Interfax quoted Chebeskov as saying:

“It is not completely clear how it should be regulated, so we give businesses the opportunity with this bill to pay with cryptocurrency, but in terms of what cryptocurrencies will be used, how to negotiate with counterparties, with which countries it will operate – all this we are leaving to entrepreneurs.”

On Sept. 13, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin ordered the Finance Ministry, Central Bank, tax service, Rosfinmonitoring Anti-Money Laundering authority and FSB security service to come to a consensus by Dec. 19 on legislation regulating the issuance, circulation, mining and the use of cryptocurrency in international settlements. The prime minister’s instruction did not extend to the domestic use of crypto.

Chebeskov said the Finance Ministry and Central Bank were beginning new discussions on cryptocurrency regulation in response to that order and several texts of the bill currently exist. Mining was being discussed separately and the agencies’ “vision is more similar” on mining than on settlements.

Related: The Moscow Exchange is a good base for crypto trading, Russian lawmaker says

The Finance Ministry and Central Bank have long disagreed on the proper place of cryptocurrency in the Russian economy, with the Central Bank at first strongly opposing the use of cryptocurrency for payments. The bank’s position has been slowly eroded, however, as sanctions imposed in February after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began to take their toll.

An announcement made on Sept. 5 indicated that after lengthy deliberation, the Central Bank may be prepared to agree to the use of crypto in international trade. Mishustin spoke favorably of using cryptocurrency in international trade after Iran approved the use of crypto for import payments.

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