In the wake of tough western sanctions, Russia is being forced to find alternative payment arrangements for its natural resource exports, such as the ruble, bitcoin, and even gold.
On Thursday, chairman of the State Duma committee Pavel Zavalny announced that Russia is open to accepting various methods of payment for its exports, including bitcoin and gold. However, he said that the preferred method of payment will be dependent on the country’s foreign relations status towards 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. “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.”
Zavalny’s latest proposition comes a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that “hostile” nations will have to pay for natural gas in rubles. The State Duma reiterated Putin’s remarks, adding that Russia will also accept gold as payment. “When we exchange with Western countries…they should pay in hard money,” Zavalny continued. “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.”
However, given recent volatility across crypto markets, conducting transactions on such a large scale may prove to be risky. Since reaching a record-high in November, the price of bitcoin has shed a lot of its value, and currently trades at around $44,000 at the time of writing. On the other hand, though, with Russia open to conducting crypto trades for major commodities, it could set a precedent where countries conduct transactions in a stateless monetary system.
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