The present volume and liquidity of the Bitcoin market raises doubts about whether the peer-to-peer currency can be extensively employed in global trade at this time. Nevertheless, Russia has chosen to accept Bitcoin and gold for natural gas.
The chairman of Russia’s Congressional energy committee, Pavel Zavalny, indicated in a media conference on Thursday that the country is willing to embrace bitcoin for natural resource exports.
According to Zavalny, Russia is willing to take a variety of currencies for its shipments, starting with natural gas, based on the buyer’s desired purchase option. The chairman, nevertheless, stated that the conditions will be determined by the importing country’s foreign ties with Russia.
“When it comes to our ‘friendly’ countries, like China or Turkey, which don’t pressure us, then we have been offering them for a while to switch payments to national currencies, like rubles and yuan,” Zavalny said during the press conference. “With Turkey, it can be lira and rubles. So there can be a variety of currencies, and that’s a standard practice. If they want bitcoin, we will trade in bitcoin.”
President Vladimir Putin demanded on Wednesday that ‘unfriendly’ nations pay for Russian gas in rubles, prompting Zavalny’s response. Putin’s statement was obvious, but it is uncertain if Russia has the authority to arbitrarily alter established euro-based agreements.
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Putin’s decision was supported by the chair of the State Duma’s energy committee, who added that the government should also take gold.
“When we exchange with Western countries…they should pay in hard money,” Zavalny said. “And hard money is gold, or they must pay in currencies which are convenient for us, and that is the national currency – ruble. That relates to our ‘unfriendly’ countries.”
Russia’s willingness to take bitcoin is a significant change from last year, when Putin denied the prospect in an appearance at the Russian Energy Week conference in Moscow.
“I believe that it has value,” Putin said at the time, referring to Bitcoin. “But I don’t believe it can be used in the oil trade.”
The present volume and liquidity of the Bitcoin market raises doubts about whether the peer-to-peer currency can be extensively employed in global trade at this time.
Nevertheless, by being receptive to the idea and subsequently executing pilot transactions with interested parties, Russia might pave the way for a future trend in which countries choose to operate in a stateless, international monetary system.