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Blog|News|Amidst sanctions, Russia is turning to cryptocurrency in order to facilitate international payments
Published May 29, 2022|1 min read

Amidst sanctions, Russia is turning to cryptocurrency in order to facilitate international payments

While Russia has been slow to adopt cryptocurrency, It ould help Russia skirt sanctions and access the global economy, and it may even become a key part of the country's economic strategy moving forward. With more businesses and individuals beginning to use crypto, Russia could be on the verge of a crypto revolution.

The adoption of cryptocurrency in Russia is still in its early stages. However, given the difficulties associated with conducting international financial transactions under sanctions, it is possible that crypto could play a major role in helping Russia circumvent these restrictions in the future.

The Moscow-based Interfax news agency and Reuters reported Friday that Ivan Chebeskov, who heads the Financial Policy Division within Russia’s Finance Ministry, is actively considering the possibility of incorporating crypto payments.

“The idea of using digital currencies in transactions for international settlements is being actively discussed,” he said.

According to the local daily Vedomosti, the Finance Ministry is contemplating including the international payments idea into an upgraded version of a crypto legislation that is currently under preparation.

Given that the crypto market is insufficiently big and liquid to satisfy a sovereign nation's transaction requirements, it is unclear how Russia might employ digital assets to circumvent Western sanctions. To begin with, the United States Office of Foreign Assets Control has prohibited U.S. citizens from doing business with persons or organisations on its Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN) List.

The prohibition on doing business with Russian SDNs remains independent of the existing payment channels. Jake Chervinsky, director of policy at the Blockchain Association in the United States, explained:

“There's zero reason to think crypto's existence will convince any of them to willfully violate sanctions laws, risking fines & jail time."