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Russia Moving To Greenlight International Trade In Cryptocurrency

Russia’s Congressional finance committee chairman, Anatoly Aksakov, said the country is moving to greenlight international trade in cryptocurrency within the next month.

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Anatoly Aksakov, the chairman of Russia’s Congressional finance committee, reportedly stated that the nation is moving to approve international cryptocurrency trade within the next month. “In January, we want to legalize cryptocurrencies to ensure foreign trade activities,” Aksakov said, per a translated version of the report.

The chairman emphasized that although Russia is moving to permit bitcoin and cryptocurrency payments for imports, there are no plans to promote similar usage of the rapidly expanding assets inside the borders of the country.

“The circulation of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment on the territory of Russia will be prohibited, and liability will be prescribed in this regard. But to pay for foreign trade transactions, we still assume the possibility of using cryptocurrencies, for example, for parallel imports,” he reportedly stated.

Following a harsh set of Western sanctions imposed in the wake of their country’s invasion of Ukraine, Russian officials have hinted at this possibility for almost a year.

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In January 2022, Russia outlined a plan for regulating bitcoin; the Ministry of Finance followed that month with a proposal.  The first round of Russian sanctions, which blocked five of the largest Russian banks and froze all of their American assets, were announced at around the same time by U.S. President Biden. Russia declared a month later that it was willing to trade bitcoin for natural gas.

“There can be a variety of currencies, and that’s a standard practice. If they want bitcoin, we will trade in bitcoin,” the chairman of the country’s Congressional energy committee, Pavel Zavalny, said in a press conference at the time.

The concept quickly gained traction, and various branches of the Russian government started supporting it. The nation’s tax agency put forth a change to the local cryptocurrency law in April to allow businesses to accept cryptocurrency as payment in international trade. By May, Russia was actively discussing the issue.

The Bank of Russia, whose prior calls for a total ban on bitcoin and cryptocurrency made it the most difficult government body to persuade, first hinted at the prospect of allowing bitcoin payments for international settlement in June.  The Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Russia agreed in September that it would be impossible to do without cross-border settlements in cryptocurrency.

Now, as the year draws to a close, the legal basis to allow such payments is about to become a reality, per the TASS report.


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