The Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation plans to let any industry in the country to accept bitcoin and cryptocurrencies for international trade without restriction, per a report from local media outlet TASS.
Ivan Chebeskov, director of the Financial Policy Department for the ministry, explained in a recent interview. “We are going to allow international settlements in cryptocurrencies for any industries without restrictions.”
However, though the ministry intends to offer a non-restrictive flow for the acceptance of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, there seems to be a difference of opinion coming from the Bank of Russia.
“[The central bank] is in favor of creating a full-fledged infrastructure for the circulation of digital currencies in Russia,” said Chebeskov.
Thus, while the Ministry of Finance prefers a local approach to the regulation of digital assets, the central bank is pursuing a broader range of regulatory action. Chebeskov detailed that the Ministry of Finance has two primary functions as it relates to the regulation of digital assets for international payments.
“We believe that we need local crypto infrastructure,” said Chebeskov. “First of all, to protect the interests of citizens.”
“Because now those who trade their digital currencies on crypto exchanges are limited,” Chebeskov continued. “Secondly, to control when digital currency is used legally and when not.”
Last month, the central bank and the Ministry of Finance agreed on a draft bill that would establish a regulatory framework for the acceptance of digital assets as payment. This decision follows an ongoing debate between the two institutions which has seen multiple draft bills, and even led to President Vladimir Putin expressing his concern that the country not miss an opportunity to use the country’s “advantage” in the ecosystem.
Moreover, the central bank will reportedly begin testing a digital ruble sometime in April 2023. The exchange of the digital ruble for foreign currencies and the opening of digital wallets to non-residents is expected to take place in 2024.