An institute that facilitates Russian exports is now working on setting up a sandbox for international crypto payments, local media reported. The aim is to identify potential regulatory and technological challenges for billing with digital assets.

Russia is preparing to test crypto payments for exports in a dedicated sandbox

The Russian Export Center (REC), a government institute tasked with supporting Russia’s exports, is now considering the use of digital currencies as an alternative approach to international regulations under sanctions.

The organization sees the establishment of a “cross-border digital sandbox” as a promising initiative. The project aims to create opportunities for fintech companies to process payments using digital financial instruments on behalf of Russian exporters and importers.

Settlement in cryptocurrencies represents an alternative payment system, which, according to Veronika Nikishina, head of the REC, will now develop incredibly quickly. In a speech at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, she stated:

As a development institute that captures all current trends, we are now closely examining the possibility of becoming a digital sandbox to test the use of cryptocurrencies in cross-border payments.

Quoted by Tass, Nikishina added that the institute has already gathered representatives of fintech companies and regulators and is working closely with the Central Bank of Russia, as well as the country’s financial regulator, Rosfinmonitoring. Without these participants, it would be impossible to create all layers of crypto payments, the official noted.

The REC director stressed the importance of building a sandbox “to identify any potential regulatory and technology risks.” Veronika Nikishina believes that in the future such payments can be made quickly and safely.

The initiative comes after the Bank of Russia, a staunch opponent of legalizing cryptocurrencies in the country, softened its stance on crypto payments in foreign trade deals amid increasing Western restrictions on Russia’s finances imposed in the context of its military invasion of Ukraine .

Most Russian institutions agree that the ruble should remain the only legal tender in Russia as authorities prepare to enact sweeping crypto regulations. Earlier this week, members of the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, approved a bill banning the use of cryptocurrency as a means of payment, but left the door open to exceptions provided for in other federal laws.

tags in this story

Crypto, Crypto Assets, Crypto Payments, Cryptocurrencies, Cryptocurrency, Digital Assets, Digital Currency, Institute, Payments, REC, Restrictions, Russia, Russian, Sanctions, Sandbox, Settlements, Tests, Processes, Ukraine, War

Do you think Russia will start using cryptocurrencies for international settlements? Share your expectations in the comments section below.

Lubomir Tasev

Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchen’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, not what I do.” Along with crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and business are two other sources of inspiration.

photo credit: Shutterstock, Pixabay, WikiCommons

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