Russian President Putin Mulls Using Blockchain for Global Payments

  • The largest country by landmass is making pro-crypto steps amid crippling sanctions by the West.
  • According to Putin, blockchain technology offers a payment system free from the ‘‘dictates of monopolists.’’

Russian President Vladimir Putin has hinted at developing a system for global payments based on blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. During the Sberbank-organized conference – The Artificial Intelligence Journey 2022 International AI and machine learning – Putin spoke in length about the matter.

‘‘The technology of digital currencies and blockchains can be used to create a new system of international settlements that will be much more convenient, absolutely safe for its users and, most importantly, will not depend on banks or interference by third countries,’’ Putin opined, possibly referring to the sanctions imposed on his country since Russia invaded Ukraine.

Following the conflict, the global banking messaging network SWIFT removed major Russian financial players, restricting their international payments. Although Putin did not elaborate on what his concept of the blockchain system would look like, he slammed the current financial systems, saying they were “controlled by a narrow club of states and financial groups.”

While referring to the Western-imposed sanctions, the Russian leader added that he is confident that “something like this (the blockchain-based payment system) will certainly be created and will develop because nobody likes the dictates of monopolists, which is harming all parties, including the monopolists themselves”

Russian Legislators Push for a “National Crypto Exchange

According to a report sent to a local media house, the Russian Assembly’s lower house recently proposed regulations to support the creation of a national crypto exchange. The state Duma deputies are reportedly persuading the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Russia to adopt the proposal.

The Russian Economic Policy Committee representative Sergey Altukhov recently commented on the proposal saying it was time for Russia to adopt blockchain. ‘‘It makes no sense to say that cryptocurrencies do not exist, but the problem is that they circulate in a large stream outside government regulations,’’ Sergey said.

The legislative agenda is yet to receive a full commitment from the Russian Ministry of Finance and the central bank. The two institutions have held views against crypto in the past, with sources claiming they never took part in the State Duma’s market engagement.

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