- Russia's finance minister, Anton Siluanov, announces an innovative payment system that enables unrestricted use of digital currencies for international transactions.
- This step is viewed as Russia's strategic response to Western sanctions, aiming to reduce reliance on the US dollar and Western payment infrastructure.
- The Bank of Russia is concurrently investigating the feasibility of a digital ruble, enhancing its de-dollarization initiative and ushering in a new era of digital finance.
In an innovative leap into the future, Russia has announced the introduction of a groundbreaking payment system. This system, as stated by Anton Siluanov, the Russian Finance Minister, will be unfettered by any limitations and will enable the use of digital currencies for cross-border transactions. "An agreement reached between two parties, settled through payments, shall stand immune to interference or freezing by any third party," explains Siluanov, emphasizing the unique selling point of this nascent system.
This forward-thinking payment system is being brought into existence as an unrestricted platform for the utilization of digital currencies in international transactions, according to reports from Russian news outlet, Tass. "We're setting in motion an alternative payment system, built on cutting-edge technology such as digital financial assets and digital currencies," Siluanov is cited saying. Further expounding, he reveals that digital currencies could serve as the medium for cross-border transactions. However, he clarifies, "We're merely in the nascent stages of discussing this possibility. The future is likely to witness the deployment of digital ruble, digital yuan, and similar currencies."
The proposed system, Siluanov reiterates, is envisioned as a framework where transactions are not subject to any constraints. "Two parties reaching an agreement, settling their dues, and not having their payments frozen by any external authority, forms the cornerstone of this system," he elaborates.
This move comes as a response to the economic sanctions imposed by the US and other western nations in light of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, which has spurred Russia to take significant strides towards diminishing its dependence on the US dollar. Over $300 billion in Russian central bank foreign currency assets have been seized and frozen due to these sanctions by the US and its western allies.
As part of these efforts, the Bank of Russia is exploring the potential for a digital ruble. This digital currency is envisioned as a tool to further diminish reliance on the US dollar and its related payment infrastructure. A report from the US Congressional Research Service from July 2021 elaborates on Russia's drive to de-dollarize since 2014, and notes the introduction of a digital ruble as a significant step in this direction.
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