update 14 October 2021

Vladimir Putin Says He Is Tolerant of Cryptocurrency

The crypto community just received another significant green light from a world superpower. Russian President Vladimir Putin recently stated that cryptocurrency “has the right to exist and can be used as a means of payment.”

Russia Accepts Crypto

Putin aired his thoughts in a recent interview with CNBC, when discussing alternative settlement means for crude oil contracts. Several months ago, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister suggested that the country forgo dollar-denominated contracts in response to US sanctions. This spurred questions of what other means of payment Russia had in mind. Also, it made many wonder if cryptocurrencies were on its table.

Vladimir Putin passes law that may keep him in office until 2036 | Vladimir Putin | The Guardian
Vladimir Putin. Source: The Guardian

Currently, the president rejects using crypto for such things, as volatile prices make them a complex unit of account. On this front, he calls the industry “premature” as it is “not backed by anything.”

However, he acknowledges that crypto is an effective means of transferring funds from one place to another. Generally, he says it has a right to exist and that Russia may even start accumulating crypto one day.

Putin’s tolerance for crypto may come as a surprise, as it is directly contrary to China’s treatment of the industry. Though he considers president Xi Jinping a “friend,” he doesn’t intend to follow Jinping’s lead on banning crypto.

This marks a second global superpower that has chosen to be more lenient on Bitcoin. Similarly, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell confirmed recently that he has no intention to ban cryptocurrency.

A New World Reserve Currency?

However, Putin intends to find currencies besides the US dollar in which to settle international transactions for sanctioned products. He says that he and other countries are starting to reduce the share of dollars they hold in their reserves.

He adds that rampant inflation is further reducing confidence in America’s money. Overall, he believes the dollar’s position as the world reserve currency is weakening.

Bitcoin maximalists such as Max Keiser have longed to see Bitcoin adopt the position of ‘world reserve currency. Bitcoin has a maximum supply of 21 million coins. Therefore, its purchasing power is not under the threat of artificial undermining. Currently, significant institutions are starting to invest in Bitcoin as an inflation hedge rather than gold.

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Some influential people are starting to see Bitcoin as a serious competitive threat in this regard. Donald Trump has suggested that cryptocurrency could threaten the dollar’s world reserve status. Echoing this sentiment, Peter Thiel believes that Bitcoin could indirectly benefit China by weakening the dollar’s leverage.