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Iran and Russia make moves to allow cryptos to be used as payments for imports

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(Kitco News) - Iran has signaled that it is wading deeper into the realm of cryptocurrencies as the country’s Industry, Mines and Trade Ministry approved the use of cryptos to pay for imports into the heavily sanctioned nation.

Trade Minister Reza Fatemi Amin confirmed the development with local news outlets, saying that the new regulations have approved the use of cryptos for trade and to pay for fuel and electricity for Bitcoin (BTC) and crypto miners in the country.

According to Amin, the resolution “specifies all issues related to cryptocurrencies, including how to provide fuel and energy for mining them, and how to grant licenses."

This announcement comes just weeks after Iran’s Trade Development Organization approved its first official import order that used cryptocurrencies as a payment method – worth $10 million for the import of cars.

Under the new regulations, any goods can be imported to Iran and paid for using cryptocurrencies, a move which is being done as a workaround to U.S. sanctions that have hobbled the economy and weakened the national currency.

The Iranian traded ministry had previously made statements indicating that cryptos and smart contracts would be widely used in foreign trade by September 2022.

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Russia is taking notes

Shortly after this news out of Iran broke, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin declared that the adoption of digital assets is necessary as a “safe alternative” for cross-border payments during a strategic session on the development of the domestic financial system on Tuesday.

According to Mishustin, digital assets enable payments for imports and exports to go uninterrupted, so it’s important to ensure that the technology required to support them is properly integrated with the country’s financial institutions.

“We need to intensively develop innovative areas, including the adoption of digital assets. This is a safe alternative for all parties that can guarantee uninterrupted payment for the supply of goods from abroad and for export,” Mishustin said.

This is not the first time that authorities in Russia have considered crypto for international payments. Back in May, Ivan Chebeskov, the Russian Finance Ministry’s head of the Financial Policy Division, stated that “The idea of using digital currencies in transactions for international settlements is being actively discussed.

The Bank of Russia also confirmed the possibility of crypto payments back in June when Bank of Russia governor Elvira Nabiullina stated that cryptocurrencies could be used in cross-border or international payments, but only if they don’t get into Russia’s domestic financial system.

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