According to Russian energy official Pavel Zavalny, Russia is willing to accept bitcoin payments for energy exports.
Russia wants to sell gas for Bitcoin
Pavel Zavalny, who heads the State Duma’s energy committee, held a press conference with Russian government news channel Russia Today on March 24. In it, he attempted to explain how Russia would refrain from selling its natural gas for dollars and euros and suggested that the country could accept Bitcoin in exchange for energy exports.
Zavalny’s appearance follows Putin’s announcement yesterday that Russia would require ‘hostile countries’, namely the United States and the European Union, to pay for natural gas in rubles rather than in dollars or euros. This decision is a reaction to the toughening of the sanctions imposed by Russia and its financial system.
Could Russia Use Bitcoin?
Although Russia has mentioned Bitcoin as a means of payment, it is questionable whether the peer-to-peer currency can be used because, with a current market capitalization of just over $800 billion, it would face serious liquidity problems if it were to cover a large share of Russian energy exports.
The United States government has repeatedly expressed concern that cryptocurrencies could be used to circumvent sanctions. Due to these concerns, several senators have proposed new cryptocurrency laws that would add non-US-based crypto companies to the sanctions list if they support sanctions evasion.