During an interview at an event in Moscow with CNBC, Vladimir Putin said that cryptocurrencies have value, but that he is not sure whether they can replace the US dollar in the settlement of oil transactions.
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Putin was asked if he thought Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies could be used in place of the dollar for oil trading. He responded by saying that it was “too early to talk about trading in crypto energy resources.” I believe it has value, but I don’t think it can be used to trade oil. “
He went on to say that cryptocurrency is still only supported by a basic payment method.
“Cryptocurrency is not supported by anything yet. It may exist as a means of payment, but I think it’s too early to talk about trading oil in cryptocurrency.
While Putin was unsure if Bitcoin was ready for use in oil trading, his stance on dollar dominance and how the United States was using the global reserve was clear.
“I think the United States is making a huge mistake by using the dollar as a sanction instrument. We are forced. We have no choice but to switch to transactions in other currencies, ”Putin said.
Putin added that the United States has a competitive advantage with the dollar as the universal reserve currency.
“In this regard, it can be said that the United States is biting the hand that feeds it. This dollar is a competitive advantage. It is a universal reserve currency, and the United States uses it today to pursue political goals, which is detrimental to their strategic and economic interests. “
Earlier this year, Russia announced that it will no longer hold the US dollar in its sovereign wealth fund.
Russia is a country that has suffered heavy sanctions from the United States. Other countries that have similar issues with sanctions, such as Iran, Cuba, Belarus, and others, have started to see Bitcoin as a way around these issues. Iran specifically started mining Bitcoin for the purpose of generating more wealth while facing heavy US dollar sanctions.
While Iran’s GDP is less than $ 200 billion, Russia’s is nearly $ 1.5 trillion. If Russia follows a similar path to circumvent sanctions and the need for dollars, Bitcoin could see a significant increase in its use.