Russian energy ministry could accept Bitcoin (BTC) for oil and gas

By:
on Mar 25, 2022
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  • Russia is considering allowing friendly countries to buy oil and gas using Bitcoin.
  • However, this will only be a payment method available to friendly countries.
  • Russia has also said that unfriendly countries will have to buy Russian oil and gas using rubles.

The energy chief at the Russian Federation, Pavel Zavalny, has announced that the country is considering accepting Bitcoin (BTC/USD) as a payment method to buy oil and gas. However, it would only apply as a payment method used by friendly countries like Turkey and China.

The announcement comes at a time when there are concerns that Russia could use crypto to avoid the sanctions imposed by the US and other Western countries.

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Russia could use Bitcoin to buy oil and gas

Zavalny was quoted by a news publication saying that friendly countries could buy oil and gas using the Chinese yuan, Turkish Lira or even Bitcoin. These would be the new accepted means of payment for Russian oil and gas and not the usual US dollar.

The publication noted that Zavalny was speaking in a meeting with representatives from China and Turkey, where they discussed a change in the means of payment accepted to buy Russian oil and gas products.

Zavalny also added that unfriendly countries would pay for oil using rubles or gold. This move has been opposed by EU countries that imposed sanctions against Russia. It is still unclear if Russia can change the terms of the existing oil contracts to require countries to pay using rubles. Currently, these countries pay for Russian oil using the US dollar or euros.

Crypto use in Russia

There have been echoes of concern about Russia using cryptocurrencies to avoid the sanctions levied against the country by the US and its Western allies. Russian oligarchs and several financial institutions have been targeted by these sanctions.

However, the possibility of Russia using crypto to avoid sanctions has been heavily debated. The crypto community has noted that blockchain technology made transactions traceable, leaving cash as the best way of laundering or hiding assets.

Moreover, recent reports have noted that the crypto trading volumes in Russia are considerably low. The crypto trading volumes coming from Russia are currently lower than in early February. The crypto trading volumes peaked a few days before the war, but they have since cooled down.

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