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Russia should use crypto for payments with Africa

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A senior official at Russia’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry has urged the government to allow cross-border payments in cryptocurrencies and central bank digital currencies (CBDC).

According to the local state-backed daily TASS, Chamber president Sergei Katyrin wrote to Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin with a set of ideas for expanding collaboration with African countries.

Katyrin reportedly supported the use of CBDCs and cryptocurrencies for mutual settlement and payments in the letter, stating:

“Instructing the Russian Federation’s Ministry of Finance, in conjunction with the Central Bank, to ensure the provision of intergovernmental agreements with African governments on the use of national currencies and cryptocurrencies in mutual settlements and payments, appears to be advantageous.”

The CEO continued, “It’s critical to establish a specific export-import bank and a trust fund to promote export activity in African countries’ small and medium-sized firms.”

The announcement comes as numerous African governments investigate collaborating with blockchain networks linked to Russia.

Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and the Republic of the Congo jointly announced their plans to adopt TON, the Telegram-initiated layer-1 proof-of-stake blockchain, on Monday. The DRC may possibly introduce a new national stablecoin based on the TON blockchain, according to reports.

Despite the fact that Telegram is no longer technically involved in the TON blockchain after exiting the project in May 2020, Telegram co-founder Pavel Durov declared public support for TON and its potential connections with Telegram in late 2021.

“Each of these countries will make a gradual transition to adopting bitcoin as a major pillar of their economic frameworks,” the countries stated in a joint statement.

Russia is still working on a federal crypto bill

After banning residents from paying in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) in early 2021, Russia is still working on a federal crypto bill. The Bank of Russia formally inaugurated the digital ruble pilot in mid-February, with the first CBDC transfers between people completed successfully.

A number of African countries have made headway with CBDC development, with Kenya and the Republic of South Africa stating early this year that they had made some progress. Ghana was working last year to build offline capabilities for its future CBDC in order to promote its adoption across society.

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