Russian Central Bank First Deputy Governor Ksenia Yudayeva said on Tuesday that the bank was open to using cryptocurrency for international payments, Reuters reported, along with Russian media, which added that the bank was also reconsidering its stance on crypto mining. Yudaeva reportedly said:
“We have changed our position on mining and also allow the use of cryptocurrency in foreign trade and outside the country”,
The bank official’s statement, sandwiched in announcements about national banking regulation, appears to be a concession to lawmakers preparing a new version of the “On Digital Currency” law. Business newspaper Vedomosti reports that the Finance Ministry unveiled the bill during a discussion hosted by the United Russia party on Friday.
During this discussion, Anton Gorelkin, a member of the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, mentioned the need for the central bank to intervene. Input from many state departments and agencies has already been factored into the project.
The provision allowing international trade in cryptocurrency is an innovation in the law. Adding it to the existing law was a matter of expediency, Economic Development Ministry official Anatoly Dyubanov said at the United Russia event, Vedomosti reports.
Related: Government says crypto miners consume 2% of total electricity in Russia
The Russian central bank has previously strongly opposed cryptocurrency trading and even offered to ban crypto mining in January. Russian President Vladimir Putin voiced his opposition to the use of cryptography for oil trading in October, saying “it’s too early to talk about it.” Since the imposition of new sanctions on the Russian Federation in connection with its invasion of Ukraine, support for cryptocurrency has grown within the government.
Russia’s goal to expand the use of cryptocurrency internationally is unclear, as the use of digital assets does not affect the terms of the sanctions affecting the country, nor the risks to sanctions violators.