Russian President Vladimir Putin made new comments during an interview with CNBC posted on the Kremlin website Thursday, suggesting a growing tolerance for bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, Bloomberg reports.
“I believe it has value,” CNBC’s Putin Hadley Gamble said at the Russian Energy Week event in Moscow on Wednesday. “But I don’t think it can be used in the oil trade.”
The questions arose out of concerns about how Russia would get out of dollar-denominated oil contracts because of US economic sanctions.
Putin said that while bitcoin and crypto may exist as a means of payment, it was “too early” to talk about processing raw contracts in bitcoin or crypto instead of dollars.
The Russian President also raised concerns about the energy consumption required to maintain the Bitcoin network, but expressed a clear intention of turning Russia off its dependence on the US dollar.
“I believe the US is making a big mistake in using the dollar as a sanctioning tool,” he said. “We are forced. We have no choice but to switch to transactions in other currencies.” In June, Russia announced that it would withdraw US dollar assets from its sovereign wealth fund.
“In that regard, we can say that the United States is biting the hand that feeds it,” Putin added. “That dollar is a competitive advantage. It is a universal reserve currency and the US is using it today to pursue political goals, thereby damaging its strategic and economic interests. “
While it is too early to say whether Russia sees bitcoin as a store of wealth to replace the dollar, it is clear that officials understand that the dollar is unsustainable in the long run as a reserve currency and that bitcoin is a potentially neutral alternative could represent.
That came almost a month after Dmitry Peskov, acting press secretary for Russian President Vladimir Putin, said Russia had no reason to recognize Bitcoin.
Many Bitcoiners are excited to see which country will introduce Bitcoin next in an official state function. While Russia isn’t a contender for Bitcoin adoption in the near future, its government is talking about it because it’s on the table.