The use of cryptocurrency as a payment method for international transactions is being considered for small private business contracts in Russia, but this will apparently not affect oil supplies.
Director of the Financial Policy Department of the Ministry of Finance, Ivan Chebeskov, shared this information with media members, per a report by Russian news outlet RTVI.
According to Chebeskov, the Ministry of Finance plans to utilize cryptocurrencies not as a payment method but rather as an asset, and it will conduct transactions in the form of bartering. This would occur when a buyer officially trades Bitcoins (or another cryptocurrency) for a product or service.
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“The task is to give an alternative, not to say that now Russia is paying crypto for everything. It’s not about state calculations, but only about private business,” the official stressed.
He added oil is likely not to be sold “for Bitcoins” due to large export volumes.
“It has become more difficult to make settlements in dollars and euros. Someone will not want to switch to national currencies – it is not possible with all countries.”
Crypto transaction with friendly nations
Bitcoin, FIRA, and other cryptocurrencies may be settled with friendly nations that are receptive to receiving cryptocurrencies, according to the official.
He pointed out that the Central Bank and the majority of bankers do not object to international settlements being conducted in cryptocurrency. A revised version of the Ministry of Finance’s draft legislation titled “On Digital Currencies” was submitted in May.
Within this version, a provision was included that enables payment in cryptocurrency for exports and imports of legal companies and individual entrepreneurs (IEs).
In order to make this possibility available, the recognition of cryptocurrencies as property in the Civil Code and an amendment to the section of the legislation governing international economic activity that deals with barter are also required (Article 45 of FZ-164).
Sanctions on Russia
The United States has announced that it is exploring measures to prevent Russia from evading sanctions by using cryptocurrencies, and global exchanges, including Binance and Coinbase, have blocked Russian account access.
“Why do Americans say they will try to block? Because in fact, all public cryptocurrencies are quite easy to track. It’s a myth that they are very opaque,” Chebeskov commented.
Notably, prior to the tightening of sanctions, the Bank of Russia and the Ministry of Finance took views on cryptocurrencies that were practically diametrically opposed to one another.