- The Central Bank of Russian Federation recently discussed using bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for international settlement.
- Currently, the central bank holds that Russia should only use the assets for international settlement, not within Russia.
- The comments were made by the head of the central bank and oppose previous positions held by the monetary authority.
Elvira Nabiullina, head of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, recently attended the St. Petersburg Economic Forum (SPIEF) where she commented on Russia’s use of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for international trade, per a report from state-media outlet Kommersant.
"Our position is that cryptocurrency should not be used as a means of calculation within the country... As for use in international settlements, if it does not penetrate the Russian financial system, it is possible," Nabiullina told reporters during the event.
Earlier in the event, before the remarks made by Nabiullina, First Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank Ksenia Yudaeva also stated that Russia did not object to the use of payments like bitcoin “in international transactions and international financial infrastructure."
Previously, the central bank proposed a ban on the mining and trading of cryptocurrencies this past January. Following this announcement, Russian President Vladimir Putin openly challenged the central bank’s opinion stating the country had a “competitive advantage” in the mining sector and asked them to reconsider.
In response to Putin’s request for reconsideration, a bill was submitted to regulate bitcoin and the broader cryptocurrency ecosystem by the Russian government. Within the same month, the Ministry of Finance released its amended version of the bill seeking to properly regulate the ecosystem.
Consequently, as the Russian government and monetary authorities have been divided on the matter, so too have individuals stationed within those authoritative positions. In fact, Denis Manturov, Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation recently stated “The question is when it will happen, how it will happen and how it will be regulated [cryptocurrencies]. Now both the Central Bank and the government are actively engaged in this.”