Russian President Vladimir Putin isn't sold on cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, calling them 'too volatile' for oil and gas trading, even as he says Moscow is striving to reduce its reliance on the collapsing US currency.
Speaking to CNBC on Wednesday after attending the 20th Annual Russian Energy Forum in Moscow, Putin attacked Washington's monetary policies for weakening the dollar's status as the world's reserve currency.
Inflation and debt at home, along with the use of the dollar as a weapon of sanctions overseas, are moving all countries away from the US currency, he claims.
“It's too early to talk about this, because cryptocurrency, of course, can be a unit of accounting, but it is very unstable. It can be used to transfer funds from one place to another, yes, but to trade, let alone trade in energy resources, in my opinion, is still premature,” he said.
When asked if Russia was open to utilizing cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to sell oil and gas, Putin sounded doubtful.
Cryptocurrency isn't backed by anything, and it's highly volatile on the open market right now, so it's "too soon" to discuss it as a way of exchanging oil, gas, or other raw resources, according to Putin.
“But everything develops, everything has the right to exist. We will see how it will go further, maybe someday it may also be a means of accumulation,” he said.
Another concern raised by Putin is that the production of various cryptocurrencies necessitates "a massive quantity of energy," which is mostly produced through traditional means, resulting in carbon emissions largely blamed for climate change.
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, stated this view in June, justifying his decision to cease accepting Bitcoin payments.
El Salvador, a poor Central American country, has chosen a different route, lately embracing Bitcoin as a potential substitute for the US dollar, which it has used as money since 2001.
Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele is harnessing the power of the country's 20 volcanoes to create geothermal energy to power the Bitcoin micro.
He revealed earlier this month that the operation has so far successfully earned 0.00599179 Bitcoin, or roughly $269.