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Russia Plans to Allow Cryptocurrencies for International Payments

  • Russia plans to legalize cryptocurrencies for international payments
  • Blockchain technology-based cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum registered tremendous growth in recent years
  • According to GlobalData, the global blockchain market is likely to grow from $5.2 billion in 2021 to $7.5 billion in 2022 at a growth rate of 45% YoY

Russia is considering accepting the use of cryptocurrencies for cross-border transactions. Private cryptocurrencies have been prohibited until recently, but after the invasion of Ukraine drew a harsh response from Western countries in the form of sanctions, Russia took a more constructive approach to digital assets. According to Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina, “Cryptocurrency is being evaluated as one of the various strategies to reduce the impact of Western sanctions on the Russian economy.”

Blockchain Adoption in Other Countries

In recent years, blockchain technology-based cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum gained a lot of attention from the general public. Governments and corporations are now paying more attention, with some of them exploring practical applications of the blockchain technology on which cryptocurrency is built.

Central banks around the world are taking advantage of blockchain technology to develop digital currencies. The first digital currency was the Sand Dollar in The Bahamas, which was launched in October 2020. Nigeria launched its digital currency, eNaira, in October 2021. Among major economies, China is set to launch its digital currency, and India recently announced plans to introduce a CBDC named Digital Rupee. The Monetary Authority of Singapore is collaborating with other central banks and the Bank for International Settlements to develop a test platform that could enable international transfers using multiple digital currencies. If successful, this would solve the issue of interoperability between digital currencies issued by central banks.

Blockchain Use Cases

The blockchain industry is a sector that is still in the early stages of development. Even then, this sector registered tremendous growth in recent years due to different use cases in supply chains, payments, digital assets (cryptocurrencies), and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Within sectors, blockchain use cases are most common in industries such as banking, finance and insurance, retail, and transport. However, because of its immense potential, blockchain is being explored in sectors ranging from healthcare to video gaming. Recent initiatives in this direction include the application of blockchain technology in COVID-19 vaccine supply chain management, and the use of blockchain to decentralize and democratize video gaming. According to GlobalData, the global blockchain market is likely to grow from $5.2 billion in 2021 to $7.5 billion in 2022 at a rate of 45%.

Blockchain technology could help governments adopt cashless economies, as it facilitates the creation of digital currencies in place of physical cash. A number of central banks are developing their versions of digital currency. Besides conducting research on digital currencies, governments are also working on strategies to regulate cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies to increase transparency.

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