Russia is actively exploring accepting bitcoin for natural resource purchases, according to Pavel Zavalny, chairman on the country’s Congressional energy committee.
“When it comes to our ‘friendly’ countries, like China or Turkey, which don’t pressure us, then we have been offering them for a while to switch payments to national currencies, like rubles and yuan,” Zavalny said during the press conference.
“With Turkey, it can be lira and rubles. So there can be a variety of currencies, and that’s a standard practice. If they want bitcoin, we will trade in bitcoin.”
The statement comes after President Vladimir Putin’s comments on Wednesday regarding “unfriendly countries” will pay for Russian gas in rubles.
Right now, Russia has agreed upon contracts to export its natural gas in euros.
The State Duma’s energy committee chair endorsed Putin’s statement adding Russia should also accept gold.
“When we exchange with Western countries…they should pay in hard money,” Zavalny said.
“And hard money is gold, or they must pay in currencies which are convenient for us, and that is the national currency – ruble. That relates to our ‘unfriendly’ countries.”
Last year, Putin rejected the option of Russia accepting bitcoin during an interview at the Russian Energy Week event in Moscow.
“I believe that it has value,” Putin said at the time, referring to Bitcoin. “But I don’t believe it can be used in the oil trade.”