Russian officials consider partial lift on crypto payment ban

Some Russian officials want to allow cryptocurrencies for payments under domestic contract law.

Russian lawmakers are reportedly weighing a partial reversal of the country’s ban on cryptocurrency payments.

Pavel Krasheninnikov, chairman of the Russian Duma’s Committee on State Building and Legislation, announced that the government is considering amending civil law to allow crypto payments as a “contractual medium.” 

According to Interfax on Monday, Krasheninnikov noted that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) do not currently represent a legal payment method in Russia, which means that merchants are not required to accept it. The planned amendments would allow crypto payments in Russia under contractual law — meaning that such payments would be only possible with the consent of all involved parties:

“We believe that it is necessary to make amendments to the Civil Code, the initiative is currently undergoing a necessary approval procedure. Currently there is an understanding that digital currency is not legal as payment but this payment method, quite possibly, can be contractual.”

As previously reported, Russia enforced its cryptocurrency payment ban this January, officially prohibiting residents from making and accepting payments in crypto in the country. Anatoly Aksakov, chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee on Financial Markets, argued last year that legalizing crypto payments would essentially mean the “destruction of the financial system.” Aksakov is confident that Russia’s not-yet-launched central bank digital currency is poised to be the “highest form of money” and will be an integral part of national settlements by 2023 or 2024.

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