The Russian Rostec Group is a government organization that includes a number of technology companies. This group has announced that it has developed a blockchain platform to launch a digital system for international payments capable of replacing the Swift system.
Russian banks were barred from the SWIFT system last February following sanctions imposed by the countries revealed in response to the Russian-Ukrainian war. Since then, Moscow has been struggling to find an alternative financial payment system to SWIFT in order to protect its foreign trade transactions.
The digital system of international payments will allow Russia to pay for its imports in its national currency, the ruble, instead of the dollar. According to the Rostec Group, the new system will also allow foreign countries to pay for their imports from Russia in their national currency as well.
Blockchain and cryptocurrency storage
According to the Rostec press release, the blockchain platform on which the international payments system was developed, called CELLS, was developed by the Novosibirsk Institute of Software Systems (NIPS), which itself is affiliated with the Rostec Group. .
The platform is designed to be able to provide an integrated system based on blockchain technology. According to the Russian group, the platform includes among its contained elements a digital system allowing payments to be made in the national currencies of the countries associated with it.
The company says its new system “could constitute a real alternative to the international payment services provided by the SWIFT system“, from which Russian banks have been isolated due to Western sanctions.
Along with the international payments service, the CELLS platform offers its users the ability to create wallets to store digital currencies, according to the statement.
Russia pledges to secure transactions
Oleg Yevtushenko, CEO of Rostec Group, pledged that the new international payment system will ensure “high speed and secure transactions“, specifying that the new digital system can carry out approximately 100,000 transactions per second, with the possibility of doubling this figure.
Yevtushenko also explained that the payment function in local national currencies offered by the new system will allow users to circumvent Western sanctions imposed on Russia.
The Rostec group targets large companies that have business relations with Russia, as well as foreign government authorities that do business with Moscow, as well as financial institutions and banks.
Russia: Position on cryptocurrencies has evolved
The announcement of this new system comes days after the Russian government said it was considering adopting cryptocurrencies in international payments. The Russian Central Bank proposed last January to ban the introduction and use of all cryptocurrencies.
There are discussions within the Russian government about the idea of using cryptocurrencies in international trade regulations, said Ivan Chepskov, head of the financial policy department of the Russian Ministry of Finance.
This is seen as a change in Russia’s stance on cryptocurrencies, as Russia’s Central Bank earlier this year warned of risks to the country’s financial system. It has been claimed that cryptocurrencies undermine the monetary policy sovereignty of the country.
In contrast, the legal status of cryptocurrencies in Russia remains up in the air, and previous efforts to legalize them have failed to yield results. The government is pushing to allow them in order to attract foreign investment and bring domestic trade out of the shadow of Western sanctions.
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