One of Russia’s biggest banks is reportedly launching a new cross-border payments system utilizing crypto assets.
According to a recent report by the Russian publication Vedomosti, a representative of Rosbank says that the institution is already conducting test transactions with private and corporate clients.
Though it isn’t clear which digital assets the bank will support for cross-border payments, Russian fintech group B-crypto will be handling the technical aspects of the new protocol.
To use the service, clients must undergo a KYC (know-your-customer) verification process with both the bank and B-crypto, according to a report by the RBC Group.
In the report, Alexey Voylukov, the vice president of the Association of Banks of Russia, says that crypto-focused cross-border payments are generally offered by smaller banks and that large-scale institutions have yet to adopt such services.
First Deputy Chairman of the Bank of Russia Vladimir Chistyukhin notes that cross-border payments are not slated to become a full-time remedy for international payments.
Late last year, the US Department of the Treasury sanctioned Rosbank, as well as Vladimir Potanin, believed to be Russia’s richest man and the bank’s owner, in an effort to limit Moscow’s ability to fund its war against Ukraine.
In the RBC Group report, attorney Eduard Davydov, senior partner at Emet Law Firm, says that the cross-border payment system could potentially be a way for Rosbank to circumvent the sanctions placed on it.