Following Ukraine’s decision to legalise cryptocurrencies, Russia is considering adopting a similar approach by accepting BTC payments for its energy exports. Officials are considering accepting payments in national currencies for their energy exports to friendly countries like Turkey and China, in addition to BTC payments. At a news conference on Thursday, Russian State Duma Deputy and Chairman of the Energy Committee Pavel Zavalny presented the suggestion.

President Zelenskyy of Ukraine had already approved the Virtual Assets Bill earlier this month, making cryptocurrency legal in Ukraine.

President Vladimir Putin had previously asked that “unfriendly countries” be forced to pay in rubles for transactions. The EU, on the other hand, rejected the proposal. Following up on the concept, Zavalny suggested that friendly countries have more flexible payment alternatives, including Bitcoin.

“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…You can also trade bitcoins.”

Sanctions has caused gas prices to skyrocket

As part of its tough sanctions against Russia for invading Ukraine, the US has already prohibited Russian oil imports. European countries, on the other hand, rely heavily on Russian energy, particularly for heat energy during the hard winters. As a result, the EU is unlikely to follow the United States in banning Russian energy.

In an already strained energy market, Putin’s prior remarks drove gas prices rising. Crude oil prices have increased by almost 18% since the invasion, while natural gas prices have increased by 22.5 percent in just one month. Zavalny echoed the president’s warning, saying that Russia would accept payments in the national currency of rubles at its leisure. “, he explained.

“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.”

The Russian government’s shift away from the dollar to crypto signals a shift in policy. Putin likened Bitcoin to the US dollar in 2021, arguing that while the cryptocurrency had worth, it was insufficient to replace the US dollar for oil trade payments. In reality, immediately before the invasion of Ukraine, Russia’s central bank advocated for a ban on cryptocurrency. The harsh penalties, on the other hand, appear to have soured Moscow’s mood and prompted it to look into alternate payment mechanisms to support its international commercial activities. The country’s largest bank, Sberbank, has even been granted a licence to trade digital assets by the central bank. The relative lack of liquidity in BTC, on the other hand, may provide a barrier for such large-scale transactions.

Bitcoin is currently trading at £ 51,745.51, 0.41%  in the last 24 hours. A burst of upbeat news was at the heart of BTC’s recent price surge.


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