Bank of Russia to Pilot Digital Asset Payments in Foreign Trade
The Bank of Russia gears up to pilot cross-border payments using digital assets and central bank digital currencies.
The Russian government is fully on board with this initiative, backing the idea of testing digital asset payments in settlements with trade partners. Alexey Guznov, the Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank of Russia, explained that using digital financial assets (DFAs) has the potential to revolutionize foreign trade. However, he was quick to clarify that these innovative settlements won’t be allowed domestically, as per Russia’s monetary authority’s consistent stance.
The trials will be conducted in two stages. In the first stage, Russian authorities will introduce legislation to create a legal basis for experimental regimes, where cryptocurrencies can be used. The Bank of Russia and the finance ministry are working on a bill to amend 30 legal acts to make it happen.
Currently, DFAs, as regulated by the law “On Digital Financial Assets” from 2021, typically represent tokenized traditional assets on private blockchains operated by CBR-authorized entities. Some big players in this game include Atomyze, a tokenization service, and Lighthouse, a fintech company. Even major Russian banks like Alfa-Bank and Sberbank are getting in on the action, with Sberbank planning to allow retail investors to trade digital assets on its blockchain platform soon.
The second stage of the experiment will involve testing international transactions with digital assets. Central bank digital currencies, like the digital ruble, and tokens issued by Russian companies in collaboration with foreign partners will take the stage. Of course, foreign entities participating in the pilot will need access to Russia-based information systems. In fact, an amendment to the law on digital financial assets is in the works to facilitate their entry into the Russian market. This move is expected to help with international settlements, especially in light of sanctions.
This exhilarating plan to legalize cross-border payments with digital assets has been a hot topic in Moscow for over a year now, especially considering the financial restrictions imposed on Russia due to its actions in Ukraine. Multiple bills are currently being reviewed in parliament, fueling the anticipation. Last month, it was even revealed that large Russian firms are already embracing crypto for foreign trade settlements. The future looks bright, exciting, and digital for Russia’s financial landscape.
Clever Robot News Desk 19th June 2023