Russian President Vladimir Putin has been surprisingly positive about cryptocurrencies – claiming they have a “right to exist” – adding that they could one day find a niche in national economies “as a means of accumulation.”
Putin spoke to the CNBC news channel in an interview on energy, the transcript of which was posted on the Kremlin’s website. In the interview, he was asked about the possibility of using cryptocurrencies as a means of payment in oil export transactions.
“Cryptocurrency[-financed] contracts? It’s too early to talk about that. Because cryptocurrencies can of course be used as a unit of account [in deals], but they are very unstable. Using them to transfer funds from one place to another [is feasible]. But in my opinion, it’s too early to trade [cryptocurrencies] – especially when it comes to trading energy resources.”
The Russian leader was speaking to the media outlet as part of a Russian Energy Week event and at a time when gas and oil prices around the world continue to rise. When asked about his views on cryptocurrencies, he stated that “everything has a right to exist” – including cryptocurrencies.
“We will see how far [crypto] will go. Maybe one day [tokens] could also become a means of accumulation. We’ll see how the market develops. Right now, it’s a bit early [to pass judgment on crypto].”
And while he explained that cryptoassets are “electronic resources” that are “not backed by anything yet,” he sidestepped his interviewee’s question about whether he thought crypto was “worthless,” answering,
“Why? [Crypto] does have value. The only question is whether it can be used as a unit of account in buying and selling oil? That’s all I’m talking about. For energy trading, it’s necessary to use traditional units [as a means of payment], especially in the case of hydrocarbons.”