Russia should use cryptocurrencies and CBDC for settlements and payments with Africa, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry president believes.
The Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry representative called on the government to conduct cross-border settlements in cryptocurrencies and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).
Chamber Chairman Sergei Katyrin sent a letter to Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin with several proposals for developing cooperation with African countries, TASS reports.
In the letter, Katyrin reportedly advocated the use of CBDCs and cryptocurrencies for settlements and payments as part of Russia’s push into Africa amid Western sanctions, stating:
“I consider it appropriate to instruct the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation, together with the Central Bank, to ensure the provision of intergovernmental agreements with African states on the use of national currencies and cryptocurrencies in mutual settlements and payments.”
The Executive Director went on to say that it is important to establish a dedicated export-import bank and trust fund to support the export activities of small and medium-sized businesses in African countries.
The news comes as several countries in Africa consider collaborating with blockchain networks linked to Russia.
On Monday, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and the Republic of the Congo released a joint statement on national plans to implement TON, the Telegram-initiated Layer 1 proof-of-stake blockchain. The DRC is also reportedly considering the launch of a new national stablecoin built on top of the TON blockchain.
“Each of these countries will undertake a phased transition to adopting cryptocurrencies as the central pillar of their economic structures,” the countries said.
Although Telegram is not formally involved in the TON blockchain after abandoning the project in May 2020, Telegram co-founder Pavel Durov has publicly expressed support for TON and its possible integration into the Telegram messenger at the end of 2021.
Russia is still working on a federal cryptocurrency bill after banning residents from making payments in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin (BTC) in early 2021. In mid-February, the Bank of Russia officially launched a trial version of the digital ruble, successfully making the first CBDC transfers among citizens.
A number of countries in Africa have also made progress in developing CBDCs, with countries such as Kenya and South Africa reporting some progress with CBDCs earlier this year. Last year, Ghana worked to create offline capabilities for its potential CBDC, aiming to promote its use across all sections of society.