Interfax news agency reported that Russia is looking into allowing cryptocurrency to be used in international payments.
According to Ivan Chebeskov (head of the financial policy division of the finance ministry), "The idea of using virtual currencies in transactions for international settlements are being actively discussed."
Russian officials are trying to figure out how to regulate Russia's crypto market and digital currency use. The finance ministry is opposed to the central banks' calls for a blanket ban.
The discussions have been ongoing for months, and although the government hopes that cryptocurrencies will be legalized as a method of payment soon or later, there has not yet been a consensus.
Cryptocurrency as a method of international trade settlement would counter the effects of Western sanctions. Russia has had limited access to cross-border payment methods due to Western sanctions, Chebeskov stated.
Russia has plans to issue its own digital currency. The government is only now supporting private cryptocurrency use. Russian officials have been arguing for years that crypto could be used to launder money or finance terrorism.
A report published earlier this month by Elvira Nabiullina, Central Bank Governor, stated that the bank could not accept investments in cryptocurrency and suggested banning trading and mining. The annual value of crypto transactions made by Russians is $5 billion, or EUR4.76 billion.
Another central bank official stated last year that they don't see any room for cryptocurrency in Russia's economy. They cited the risk of financial instability caused by the increasing number of crypto transactions.