Vladimir Putin believes that cryptocurrencies “have the right to exist and be used as a means of payment”. According to a transcript published on the Kremlin’s website on Thursday, the Russian president said this in an interview with CNBC.
Putin’s statements come as regulators in several countries are increasingly suspicious of cryptocurrencies, fearing they could be used for money laundering and other criminal activities.
According to proponents, cryptocurrencies will eventually replace so-called fiat currencies issued by central banks. Under the heading of DeFi (decentralized finance), with the help of blockchain technology, central supervision would no longer be necessary.
Putin emphasized that it is still too early to use cryptocurrencies to trade oil and other commodities – the bulk of Russia’s exports. Moscow has been seeking an alternative to US dollar trading for some time since the country was imposed economic sanctions in 2014 over its annexation of Crimea. The Russian head of state accuses the United States of using its currency as a weapon.
The Russian central bank has warned investors several times about the extreme volatility of the crypto market, saying that the coins should not be used as a means of payment domestically. However, there are no plans for a complete ban, such as in China, Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Mojseev confirmed earlier this week.
Putin’s open stance on cryptocurrencies also comes as Washington works on a broad digital currency policy that could lead to regulation.