Russia will soon be accepting digital currencies like Bitcoin in exchange for its gas and petrol exports, says Pavel Zavalny, State Duma deputy.
He insinuated that the country has begun to explore and consider alternative sources of payments due to the low performance of its currency in a press conference.
Bitcoin Payment Option for Gas and Petrol
Pavel Zavalny stated during the conference that new payment options for the country’s export will be considered for “friendly” countries that were “not involved in the sanctions pressure.” such as China and Turkey.
He proposed that Russia can sell gas to the West for rubles and gold, and to friendly countries such as China or Turkey for national currency or bitcoins.
“If they want to buy, let them pay either in hard currency, and this is gold for us, or pay as it is convenient for us, this is the national currency. As for friendly countries, China or Turkey, which are not involved in the sanctions. We have been proposing to China for a long time to switch to settlements in national currencies for rubles and yuan. With Turkey, it will be lira and rubles. The set of currencies can be different and this is normal practice. You can also trade bitcoins”
– Pavel Zavalny
He made it clear that he is in support of the Russian President on the decision to sell gas to “unfriendly” countries for rubles and consider digital payment options like Bitcoin to others.
According to Zavalny, the reason for this decision was the declaration by the US and the EU of default on their obligations to Russia. The new requirements of Russia in the calculation for gas are also aimed at stabilizing the ruble exchange rate on the international currency market.
Members of the public have commented that Russia is beginning to feel the consequence of the sanctions imposed on them. A senior research fellow at the Energy Studies Institute in Singapore, David Broadstock, said “Russia is very quickly feeling the impact of unprecedented sanctions” and “there is a need to shore up the economy and in many ways, Bitcoin is seen as a high growth asset.”
However, he noted there will be a higher risk in trading natural gas with the option of Bitcoin payments, considering the volatility of the asset.
The alternative payment decision has provoked the Ukrainian governments as well as other politicians in the US and EU to ask for cryptocurrency platforms to limit services to Russians.
Most have opposed it, including Brian Armstrong of Coinbase, who stated that users in Russia are turning to cryptocurrency now that their currency is weak.
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