The Russian Federation’s energy chief Pavel Zavalny has sailed the possibility of acknowledging Bitcoin as payment for its oil and gas from “friendly countries” like China and Turkey.
He expressed that those countries could start paying for energy in Russian rubles, Chinese yuan, Turkish lira, or even Bitcoin (BTC) — rather than the United States dollar’s international standard.
As stated in Russian news media RBC, Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Energy Zavalny, at a Thursday press conference, he and representatives from China and Turkey have been debating changes to preferred settlement currencies for its biggest export.
He further noted that “unfriendly countries” could pay for their oil in rubles or gold. Nevertheless, it is not clear whether Russia can change the terms of existing agreements with countries that pay in euros or USD.
Everything prohibited apart from oil and gas
Russia has been exploring ways to circumvent international economic sanctions levied for invading Ukraine. Russian banks have been removed from the SWIFT system to prevent them from settling cross-border payments, and most businesses have been prohibited from dealing with Russia, except for oil and gas trading.
Energy is the essential commodity Russia exports and is a crucial energy source in Europe and other countries, which have discovered it challenging to replace. As stated by Reuters, the oil and gas trade provided Russia with $119 billion in revenue in 2021.
Including electricity, kerosene, coal, and natural gas, the energy trade accounted for 53.8% of Russia’s entire $388.4 billion in 2021 exports, according to Russia Briefing.
The crypto market seems to have responded positively to the news of an expanded international use case for BTC. Bitcoin is up 2.5% over the past day and is now hovering at 30-day highs, trading at $43,917, as stated by CoinGecko.