Leaders of the crypto and fintech industry groups from Russia and Iran have recently discussed the potential use of tokens to evade sanctions and facilitate trade between the two countries. This conversation took place during a panel discussion on crypto adoption at the International Exhibition of Financial Industries in Tehran. The panel included Iranian government officials, such as the head of the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology’s innovation and investment department. Notably, Alexander Brazhnikov, the Executive Director of the Russian Association of the Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Industry (RACIB), was also in attendance. The RACIB is one of the most well-known and vocal Russian crypto industry organizations.
During the panel, Brazhnikov discussed the changing regulatory framework for crypto in Russia and Iran, predicting that new legislation will come into force in Russia by September. Russian lawmakers are hopeful that they will be able to legalize the use of crypto in international trade, as Moscow is currently frozen out of most USD-powered trade. The Russian Central Bank has expressed its desire to introduce a “pilot” program that will allow it to supervise trading companies as they conduct crypto transactions. Rosbank, one of the largest banks in Russia, is also reportedly facilitating trade for Russian businesses via a pilot program.
Brazhnikov suggested that companies interested in trading with crypto instead of fiat currency would not need to concern themselves with banking sector regulations, claiming that banks are not needed in this sector. He explained that Russia has crypto brokerages and crypto exchanges that would suffice for conducting trade deals in crypto. The RACIB also stated that “certain relationships” had already been formed between Moscow-based crypto exchanges and Iranian companies.
P2P Crypto Trades Between Russia and Iran Could Undermine Reputation of Russian Banks
In February, Russian government officials announced that they would not be rushed into green-lighting crypto trade between Moscow and Tehran. However, the two countries have previously discussed the possibility of co-launching a gold-pegged stablecoin, and Moscow has confirmed that several Russian firms are already doing trade in crypto. Experts have claimed that Russia and Iran may have begun crypto-powered trade as early as 2019, with almost $300 million worth of P2P crypto trades being made available on a “daily” basis.
This development could undermine the reputation of Russian banks, as analytics firm reports suggest that P2P traders and unlicensed crypto exchanges are using Russian commercial bank accounts to make crypto sales. It remains to be seen how much crypto-powered trade will take place between Russia and Iran in the future, but the recent panel discussion suggests that both countries are exploring ways to use tokens to facilitate trade and bypass sanctions.