Russia’s replacement of the service rendered to the financial sector by the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) may have finally arrived after months of discussions on its development.
The blockchain to replace SWIFT
The Russian Rostec Group is a government organization that includes a number of technology companies. They announced that they have developed a blockchain platform to launch a digital international payments system capable of replacing the global Swift system.
In his press release, the company pointed out that the CELLS blockchain was developed by one of its 700 subsidiaries, named Novosibirsk Institute Software Systems (NIPS). The platform is multifunctional and can handle up to 100,000 transactions per second, with the possibility of further increasing the throughput. In addition to the international payments service, the CELLS platform offers its users the possibility of creating wallets to store digital currencies, according to the statement.
Russia was excluded from the SWIFT system after it entered into conflict with Ukraine, this is one of the strongest sanctions proposed by the United States. Cryptocurrencies and the blockchain are at the heart of this major conflict, with a massive use of cryptos as a means of donation for the Ukrainian army.
The Russian organization believes that the establishment of a “cross-border Sandbox” is a promising initiative. The project aims to create opportunities for fintech companies to process payments using digital financial instruments on behalf of Russian exporters and importers.
Russia has already been talking for a few weeks about the use of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment.
Cryptocurrency settlements represent an alternative payment system, which will develop incredibly fast now, according to Veronika Nikishina who heads the REC. Speaking at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, she clarified :
“As a development institution that captures all current trends, we are now closely studying the possibility of becoming a Sandbox to pilot the use of cryptocurrencies in cross-border payments. »
The Director of the REC stressed the importance of building a Sandbox “ in order to identify all possible risks in terms of regulation and technology. ”Veronika Nikishina believes that this would make it possible to make such payments quickly and safely in the future.
A two-speed system in Russia
Most Russian institutions agree that the ruble should remain the only legal tender inside the country, while the authorities are preparing to adopt a comprehensive regulation on cryptocurrencies. In addition, the Central Bank of Russia has stated that international payments in cryptocurrency are conceivable.
Earlier this week, members of the State Duma, the lower house of Parliament, approved a bill banning the use of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment, but left the door open to exceptions envisaged in other federal laws.
Russia is therefore developing a very singular approach, mainly due to the heavy financial sanctions on its economy, according to which cryptocurrencies would be banned from use in the country while being the preferred means to continue selling and exporting its resources abroad.
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