5 Sep 2022 11:14

MinFin, CBR agree on need for availability of cross-border cryptocurrency settlements - Moiseyev

MOSCOW. Sept 5 (Interfax) - The Russian Finance Ministry and the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) are in agreement on the need for cross-border settlements in cryptocurrency amid current conditions, Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseyev said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 TV channel.

"It is already clear to us and the Central Bank that in the current conditions we cannot do without cross-border settlements in cryptocurrency," he said.

The Finance Ministry and the CBR still have disagreements in terms of regulation of cryptocurrencies, Moiseyev said. At the same time, both the Finance Ministry and the Central Bank are rethinking their positions given that the situation has changed. "We are also rethinking, because maybe our infrastructure that we planned to create is too rigid for the use of cryptocurrencies in cross-border settlements. What we should legalize in the first place, on the one hand, is to give people the opportunity to do it, on the other hand - to put it under control, so that there is no 'laundering', no payment for drugs, we should introduce some framework," Moiseyev said.

The essence of the ministry's proposal is that "people could have wallets, just as you now open wallets on the Internet and as you open crypto-wallets outside of Russia, so it can be done in Russia, but that it is done under the supervision of Central Bank entities, which must comply with a number of requirements related to anti-money laundering legislation, primarily, of course, to 'know your client'," the deputy minister said. "That is, if I have an account at some bank and that bank can sell me a number of services - gold, currency, whatever, and that includes a crypto-wallet. When the lender opens a crypto-wallet, it knows it's me, it's seen my passport, its's seen me, and it understands that this is not some phantom launderer, this is a specific individual who can be seized and prosecuted to the full extent of the law if he misbehaves," he said.

Furthermore, speaking about the draft bill on the regulation of cryptocurrency mining, Moiseyev said that the Finance Ministry is in talks with the Central Bank, their positions are converging. "I hope that we will come to some kind of compromise, so that it becomes possible to adopt something as soon as the autumn session, at least as far as mining is concerned. Even the Digital Ministry and Energy Ministry are very interested in passage of a law on mining, because they need to somehow put in order all this wild capitalism which is now developing in the market. In terms of the law on mining I do not see any fundamental disagreements, they remain only textual, and I think that we will resolve them fairly quickly," he said.