Rosbank in Russia is piloting an international cryptocurrency payment system. Other banks may join the government’s plan for cryptocurrency.

Rosbank, a megabank in Russia, has announced the launch of a pilot program for “cross-border crypto payments.”

According to RBC, Rosbank is the first major Russian bank to launch cross-border payments services “in cryptocurrency.” The bank has partnered with a local crypto firm called B-Crypto for this project.

B-Crypto works as an intermediary by purchasing cryptocurrency on behalf of importers and transferring it to foreign suppliers. The bank is already conducting pilot transactions with corporate and private clients.

B-Crypto specializes in making international payments in digital currencies. Companies can use the pilot platform to pay for imported goods or services in cryptocurrency after completing Know-Your-Customer/Client (KYC) protocols. The platform also requires vendors to submit invoices to Russian buyers in crypto rather than fiat.

Firms will not buy crypto as part of the deal. Instead, they will deposit fiat funds for the purchase of cryptocurrency in a special Rosbank account. The bank then transfers this money to B-Crypto, which buys cryptocurrency in friendly countries and transfers it to foreign suppliers.

The media outlet Vedemosti reported that it had approached the 50 biggest banks in Russia for comment, but none of them confirmed they were providing similar services.

Russia’s Cross-border Crypto Trading Plan – Will It Work?

Alexey Voylukov, the Vice-President of the Association of Banks of Russia, said that cross-border crypto transfers were mainly handled by smaller banks. Leading banks were hesitant to launch similar pilots due to the lack of cryptocurrency liquidity necessary to service the operations of large clients. A legal expert also expressed doubt about Rosbank’s move, claiming that many countries are taking steps to include crypto transactions in sanctions packages.

However, top Russian politicians have confirmed that some domestic companies are already doing business in crypto. Moscow has yet to officially give its blessing to this, but it is either approving crypto-powered trade behind closed doors or turning a blind eye to the practice. The crypto-skeptic Central Bank has previously claimed that tokens will not become a panacea for international payments, but it has conceded that everything must be done to allow Russian firms to trade with foreign partners. The Central Bank also wants to launch a pilot platform that would allow domestic crypto miners to sell their tokens overseas.

A year ago, the French banking partner Societe Generale sold its stake in Rosbank and announced that it was exiting the nation.

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