Iran and Russia are reported to be collaborating on the creation of a gold-backed stablecoin, known as the "token of the Persian Gulf region," to serve as a payment method in foreign trade. This partnership aims to enable cross-border transactions using the stablecoin instead of traditional fiat currencies such as the US dollar, Russian ruble, or Iranian rial.
The Joint Stablecoin Project
According to Alexander Brazhnikov, CEO of the Russian Crypto Industry and Blockchain Association, the stablecoin will be issued in the form of a gold-backed stablecoin. The potential cryptocurrency is expected to operate within a special economic zone in Astrakhan, where Russia has begun accepting Iranian cargo shipments.
Russian MP Anton Tkachev, a member of the Committee on Information Policy, Information Technology and Communications, emphasized that the joint stablecoin project will only be possible once Russia fully regulates the digital asset market.
The lower house of parliament has promised to start regulating crypto transactions during 2023.
Iran and Russia's Shared View on Cryptocurrency
Iran and Russia are among the countries that have banned the use of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and stablecoins like Tether (USDT) for payments.
However, both nations are actively working to adopt crypto as a foreign trade tool. In August 2022, Iran's Ministry of Industry, Mining and Trade approved the use of cryptocurrencies for imports into the country amid ongoing international trade sanctions.
The local government said that the new measures would help Iran ease global trade sanctions. Iran subsequently placed its first international import order using cryptocurrencies worth $10 million. The Bank of Russia, which has historically opposed the use of crypto as a means of payment, has agreed to allow crypto in foreign trade to mitigate the impact of international sanctions.
However, the regulator has not clarified which cryptocurrencies would be used for such transactions.
Bitcoin Mining in Russia
Russia has expressed an interest in concentrating on Bitcoin mining. President Vladimir Putin said last year that he sees potential in this and that Russia has certain competitive advantages in mining, including excess electricity and well-trained personnel.