In a notable development, leaders from Russia and Iran’s crypto and fintech industries recently convened at the International Exhibition of Financial Industries in Tehran. The discussions centred around leveraging digital tokens to navigate international sanctions and foster trade between the two nations. Notably absent were Russian government officials, but the panel boasted high-profile figures from both countries, including Alexander Brazhnikov, Executive Director of the Russian Association of the Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Industry (RACIB), and Mustafa Amiri, Secretary of the Iranian Fintech Association.
Changing Regulatory Landscape:
During the panel discussion, the participants delved into Russia and Iran’s evolving regulatory frameworks for cryptocurrencies. Brazhnikov expressed his anticipation for forthcoming legislation in Russia, expected to take effect by September. Russian lawmakers are keen on legalizing crypto for international trade as Moscow finds itself isolated from US dollar-dominated transactions. The Russian Central Bank has proposed a “pilot” program to supervise trading companies engaged in crypto transactions, while Rosbank is reportedly facilitating trade through a pilot initiative for Russian businesses.
Banking Sector Regulations and Crypto Trade:
Brazhnikov emphasized that companies wishing to trade with crypto instead of traditional fiat currencies need not overly concern themselves with banking sector regulations. He suggested that banks are not required for such transactions, as crypto brokerages and exchanges play a more significant role in facilitating trade in Russia. Moreover, the RACIB highlighted existing connections between Moscow-based crypto exchanges and Iranian companies, indicating potential collaborations in this domain.
Early Signs of Crypto Trade and Challenges:
Although Russian officials previously refrained from expediting crypto trade with Iran, evidence suggests that some Russian firms have already ventured into crypto-powered trade. The possibility of co-launching a gold-pegged stablecoin has been previously discussed, and crypto-powered trade between the two nations may have commenced as early as 2019. Notably, unlicensed crypto exchanges and peer-to-peer (P2P) traders were found to utilize Russian commercial bank accounts to facilitate crypto sales, raising concerns about the reputational risks faced by traditional financial institutions.
The International Exhibition of Financial Industries in Tehran was a platform for Russian and Iranian crypto and fintech industry leaders to explore avenues for evading sanctions and bolstering trade using digital tokens. The panel discussion shed light on the changing regulatory landscape in both countries, with Russia anticipating new legislation to support crypto trade by September. As Russia seeks to reduce its dependence on the US dollar, efforts are underway to streamline crypto transactions under the central bank’s supervision. Although challenges exist, including concerns over unlicensed exchanges and P2P traders, the momentum toward crypto-powered trade between Russia and Iran continues to grow, paving the way for enhanced economic cooperation in the future.