Russia Willing to Sell Natural Gas for Bitcoin, says Congressional Energy Official

Pavel Zavalny – chairman of Russia’s Congressional energy committee – recently stated that his country would be open to accepting Bitcoin as payment for natural gas sales. This is part of Russia’s willingness to accept new currencies for trade. Also, it follows its ban from access to US dollar payment systems.

Russia’s Post-Dollar Plan

The chairman revealed the nation’s willingness to trade Bitcoin during a press conference on Thursday.  He said that Russia would be willing to adjust to accepting foreign buyers’ preferred payment methods for Russian exports, depending on their existing relations.

According to Zavalny, paying in Bitcoin is okay too:

“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,” he said at 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.”

By contrast, Putin has ordered that unfriendly countries must pay for Russian gas exports in roubles. The State Duma Energy Committee chairman agrees that this is the most convenient route for the nation, adding that they should also be willing to accept hard money – such as gold – for such transactions.

Russia appears to have been somewhat ready for Western sanctions, as its vast gold reserves show. This way, even as its overseas assets are frozen and the ruble collapses, the nation can maintain some modicum of wealth. One famous investor has even suggested that the currency collapse could be bullish for Bitcoin.

Pivoting to Bitcoin?

The regulators have been considering Bitcoin, or “digital gold,” since the start of Russia’s war with Ukraine. Many have feared that the country might start using it to evade Western sanctions. While this remains unlikely, using it to conduct trade with friendly countries is starting to look much more realistic.

Bitcoin facilitates peer-to-peer global transactions. This makes it and other cryptocurrencies impossible to censor in the way that fiat payments can be. Furthermore, Bitcoin uniquely has an absolutely fixed supply. Arguably, this makes it the strongest currency on Earth, at least by its fundamentals.

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Even Russia itself likely did not expect such developments. Back in October, while Putin acknowledged cryptocurrencies as a legitimate means of payment, he had dismissed Bitcoin as a tool for oil exports.

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