BITCOIN prices surged after Russia said it could try to evade sanctions by selling oil and gas in cryptocurrency.
Digital money has skyrocketed by around five percent since Putin’s energy chief Pavel Zavalny said it could be used by friendly countries.
He added that they could use different currencies like the Turkish lira or the Chinese yuan depending on the buyer’s preference.
The move is an attempt by the Kremlin to boost Russia’s currency, which has depreciated 20 percent this year, to avoid doing so Western economic sanctions.
Mr Zavalny said on Thursday: “We proposed this China to switch to settlements in local currencies for rubles and yuan for a long time.
“With Turkey, it will be lira and ruble. You can also trade bitcoins.”
The price of bitcoin has surged from around £32,576 on Thursday to around £34,156 as of Sunday morning.
Analyst David Broadstock from the Energy Studies Institute in Singapore said: “Russia is very quickly feeling the impact of unprecedented sanctions.
“There is a need to support the economy and Bitcoin is seen as a high growth asset in many ways.”
But bitcoin is currently banned for use in China, one of Russia’s main “friendly” trading partners.
It is feared that Russian oligarchs are also using virtual currencies to circumvent sanctions.
Several cryptocurrency platforms have shut down calls from Ukrainian, US and European politicians to ban all Russian users.
Earlier this month, The Sun revealed that the US could target Russian cryptocurrency assets to pressure Vladimir Putin’s troops to pull out of Ukraine.
Daniel Strachman, who has more than 20 years of Wall Street experience, told The Sun: “I wouldn’t be surprised if Washington’s elites targeted crypto assets that they believe influence Putin, and would get him to stop attacking Ukraine.”
He warned that crypto could be used to evade penalties, adding, “It’s easy to move money when it’s masked with a virtual private network.”
Daleep Singh, the deputy national security adviser for international business, said any measures must be “sustainable” and “work over time,” rather than just day one.
Strachman said the world is witnessing a flight to cryptocurrencies.
He said: “Because of the political situation, people are going to a currency that has volatility and stability.
“You can carry Crystal cryptocurrency assets on your phone without worrying about governments confiscating assets or banks saying they can’t release your funds.”
https://www.the-sun.com/news/4987114/bitcoin-russia-oil-dodge-sactions/ Bitcoin price surges after Russia says it may try to evade sanctions by selling oil and gas in cryptocurrency