Russia’s Tech Giant Rostec to Test Digital Asset Payments in International Trade

Russia’s leading technology company, Rostec, is working on a project to integrate digital assets into cross-border trade. The state-owned corporation says the market is interested in cryptocurrency payments which can reduce sanctions pressure on Russian exporters and importers.

Rostec Eyes Russky Island for Trials of Digital Currency Payments

The largest Russian industrial and technology conglomerate, Rostec, us preparing to launch a project dedicated to integrating cryptocurrencies into cross-border transactions. The main task will be to limit the negative effects of sanctions on the activities of Russian importers and exporters that are experiencing mounting pressure.

The Russian economy, especially foreign trade operations, was hit hard by financial restrictions imposed by the West over Moscow’s military intervention in Ukraine. Proposals to legalize the use of digital financial assets in deals with partners, including cryptocurrencies, stablecoins and the upcoming digital ruble, have been gaining support among officials.

Speaking during the “Digital Finance: New Ways of Development” conference at the Eastern Economic Forum this week, Rostec’s Managing Director for National Projects Anna Sharipova unveiled that the corporation is exploring the possibility of testing digital assets as a means of payment for imports and exports. Trials will be held under the experimental legal regime for electronic trading on Russky Island, off the coast of Vladivostok, the second-largest city in the Russian Far East.

Quoted by the crypto news outlet, the high-ranking executive said that the market is now extremely interested in introducing cryptocurrencies into international trade relations. Separated by borders, suppliers and consumers are looking to modern and efficient settlement systems in the face of various restrictions stemming from the sanctions, Sharipova elaborated. Rostec experts are currently developing a launch strategy for the project, supported by market participants and local authorities.

The news from Vladivostok comes after this week Deputy Finance Minister Alexey Moiseev unveiled that his department and the Central Bank of Russia have studied cryptocurrencies and reached a conclusion that the Russian government needs to legalize and regulate international payments in digital assets as soon as possible. The head of the Financial Market Committee at the State Duma, Anatoly Aksakov, also urged for the adoption of a relevant legal framework. Bank of Russia later indicated it intends to also promote its digital ruble for the same purpose.

In late August, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin praised digital assets as a “safe alternative” that can ensure uninterrupted international payments. In July, the head of Russia’s financial watchdog, Rosfinmonitoring, Yuri Chikhanchin said that crypto payments are acceptable in foreign trade. In June, Rostec announced it had developed a blockchain-based alternative to the global payment messaging system SWIFT, from which a number of Russian banks were disconnected. The system is designed to facilitate the processing of international settlements and the storage of digital currency.

Do you expect Russia to soon start using digital assets in foreign trade? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.

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