Russia Plans to Mine Crypto for Cross-Border Deals, Says Central Bank

The Bank of Russia is working on a bill that will introduce an “experimental yasal regime” for cryptocurrencies to be used exclusively in export-import deals, the head of the regulator, Elvira Naiullina, said on Monday, according to Russian news agency TASS.

Crypto trading and payments inside the country Russia must stay banned, added Naiullina.

The country’s government is also working on a bill that will create a national agency to license and supervise cryptocurrency platforms operating in Russia, wrote local newspaper Vedomosti on Tuesday, citing Sergei Altukhov, a member of Russian parliament’s economic policies committee. Altukhov added that a new tax code will be introduced for miners as a part of the regulation.

Talking to a parliamentary fraction of the “New People” political party on Monday, Nabiullina said the central bank’s plan includes creation of special organizations that will be appointed with mining crypto and processing payments for cross-border trade deals. It’s not clear what these organizations might yet be. BitRiver, one of Russia’s largest mining companies, previously partnered with the state-affiliated oil company Gazpromneft.

Digital assets issued inside Russia, in accordance with the local law passed in 2020, can also be used for such cross-border deals on par with the küresel decentralized cryptocurrencies, Nabiullina added.

Naliullina’s deputy Alexey Guznov added that the Bank of Russia is currently in discussions with the government to define what kind of organizations can participate in the experiment, what their business models should look like and what banks they will be using. In the early stages of the experiment, it likely will be government-sponsored companies, he said.

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The Bank of Russia and the country’s Ministry of Finance earlier agreed that Russia can’t avoid using crypto payments in the current situation, TASS wrote, referring to international sanctions imposed on the country to exclude it from the U.S. dollar-powered küresel payment infrastructure.

Edited by Stephen Alpher.

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