No, Putin Isn’t Embracing Cryptocurrency Just Yet

Home Technology No, Putin Isn’t Embracing Cryptocurrency Just Yet
No, Putin Isn’t Embracing Cryptocurrency Just Yet
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin speaks during a United Russia ruling party’s members meeting in Moscow on August 22, 2021.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin speaks during a United Russia ruling party’s members meeting in Moscow on August 22, 2021.
Photo: Mikhail Voskresenskiy/Sputnik/AFP (Getty Images)

Russian President Vladimir Putin gave a tentative and halfhearted approval to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin on Thursday, signaling that it’s something he may accept as a legitimate payment option in the future. Perhaps the very distant future, if we’re being honest.

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While news outlets like Bloomberg have arguably oversold Putin’s enthusiasm for cryptocurrencies this morning—even going so far as to use a headline that said he “defended” crypto—Putin’s actual words are much more nuanced.

Putin made his remarks about cryptocurrencies during an interview with CNBC that hasn’t been aired yet, but was published online by the Kremlin in text form early Thursday. Crypto came up when CNBC asked Putin about whether oil contracts could eventually be settled in cryptocurrencies rather than dollars.

“Cryptocurrency contracts? It’s too early to talk about this, because cryptocurrency, of course, can be a unit of account, but it is very unstable. In order to transfer funds from one place to another—yes, but to trade, let alone trade in energy resources, in my opinion, is still premature,” Putin told CNBC in Russian. 

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