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Russia’s Central Bank Exploring Use of Crypto, CBDCs with BRICS Allies

The Governor of Russia’s Central Bank is in discussions with BRICS member states regarding the use of “digital currencies” to facilitate international trade.

Elvira Nabiullina, who has been the bank’s Governor for a long time, mentioned that the Central Bank is currently engaged in consultations with friendly nations, including BRICS members, to explore the potential of using digital currencies for cross-border payments.

Nabiullina also noted that when developing the digital ruble platform, the Central Bank had explicitly considered the possibility of integrating it with similar foreign platforms.

Despite her previous stance against cryptocurrencies, which included advocating for a China-style ban on crypto in Russia, including crypto mining, Nabiullina’s recent remarks signal a shift in her perspective towards exploring digital currencies for international trade within the BRICS group of nations.

In recent times, there has been a notable shift in her stance. In her most recent interview, Nabiullina made what could be considered her most pro-cryptocurrency statements to date, stating:

“Our position on cryptocurrencies is well known. We are against their use in domestic payments. However, we support their use in international trade.”

She mentioned that there is an ongoing discussion in the State Duma about a bill that would permit the use of cryptocurrencies in international payments.

Nabiullina also pointed out that many countries are at different stages of developing their Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs).

The Governor expressed optimism about the progress of the digital ruble, noting that more commercial banks and private sector entities were showing interest in participating in the pilot program. Nabiullina stated:

“Everything is proceeding according to plan, and it’s crucial that we see increasing interest from financial institutions. They want to be part of the pilot program.”

BRICS and ‘Russia-friendly States’ Turn to CBDCs & Crypto?

BRICS member nations have previously explored the concept of introducing a “digital currency” for facilitating international trade.

Certain BRICS countries, including Russia, have already been utilizing the Chinese yuan and the Emirati dirham as alternatives to the US dollar for payments.

However, Moscow is of the opinion that solutions involving interoperable digital fiat currencies would be more desirable as part of their de-dollarization efforts.

In a recent development, a prominent Russian economist asserted that Western sanctions imposed on Russia would have the effect of weakening the dollar while potentially boosting the adoption of the digital ruble.

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