Russia Developing Sandbox for Cross-border Crypto Payments

The Russian Export Center ( REC), a state-run institution, was established to support Russia’s exports. It is currently considering digital currencies as an alternative to international settlements due to sanctions.

According to the organization, setting up a “cross-border digital Sandbox” is a promising idea. This project will allow fintech companies to use digital financial instruments to make payments on behalf of Russian importers and exporters.

According to Veronika Nikishina, who is the head of the REC, settlements in cryptocurrencies are an alternative payment system that will grow very quickly. She elaborated on this point at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

We are a development institution that tracks all current trends and are currently studying the possibility to become a digital sandbox in order to pilot the use cryptocurrency for cross-border payments.

Tass quoted Nikishina as saying that the institute had already assembled representatives of fintech companies and regulatory bodies. It is also closely collaborating both with the Central Bank of Russia and Rosfinmonitoring, Russia’s financial watchdog. The official stated that it was impossible to create all layers in crypto payments without these participants.

Director of REC stressed the importance of establishing a sandbox ‘to identify all possible risk in terms of technology and regulation’. Veronika Nikishina thinks this would enable such payments to be made quickly and safely in future.

This initiative is a result of Bank of Russia, which was a strong opponent to legalizing cryptocurrencies in Russia. has softened its position on crypto payment in foreign trade deals amid increasing Western restrictions on Russia’s finances due to its military invasion of Ukraine.

As authorities work to develop comprehensive crypto regulations, most Russian institutions agree that the ruble should be the sole legal tender in Russia. The State Duma, which is the lower house in parliament, approved an earlier draft law that prohibited cryptocurrency from being used as a method of payment. However, it left the door open to other federal laws for exceptions.