Russia has decided to take under consideration the payment of bitcoins for its oil and gas exports. This is according to a high-ranking lawmaker in the Kremlin.
Accordingly, ‘friendly’ countries to Russia could be allowed to pay in the crypto-currency or in their local currencies. However, Russian President Vladimir Putin said earlier this week that he wanted “unfriendly” countries to use roubles to buy Russia’s gas.
Apparently, this move will boost the Russian currency, after losing over 20% in value this year.
Sanctions imposed by the UK, US, and the European Union have put a strain on Russia’s rouble. This has risen the cost of living.
Regardless, Russia remains the world’s biggest exporter of natural gas and the second-largest oil supplier.
Russia’s State Duma committee on energy head, Mr Zavalny said on Thursday that the country is exploring alternative ways to receive payment for energy exports.
He revealed some of the friendly countries to Russia being China and Turkey which were “not involved in the sanctions pressure“.
“We have been proposing to China for a long time to switch to settlements in national currencies for roubles and yuan. With Turkey, it will be lira and roubles,” said Mr Zavalny.
Despite the risks involved, analysts say Russia may benefit from accepting the popular crypto-currency.
There are concerns that Russian oligarchs could be using virtual currencies to avoid sanctions.
Consequently, this made the Ukrainian government as well as the US and European politicians to ask crypto-currency platforms to ban any Russian users. Unfortunately, most firms ruled this out.
On Wednesday, Mr Putin’s comments on making “unfriendly” countries pay in roubles drove the currency to a three-week high.
However, many existing gas contracts are agreed upon in euros and it is unclear if Russia can change them. The EU relies on Russia for 40% of its gas.
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