Putin Says Crypto Is ‘Not Worthless’ and Has ‘the Right to Exist’

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The Russian President Vladimir Putin has made a surprisingly positive-sounding statement about crypto – claiming that it has a “right to exist” – and added that it could one day find a niche in economies “as a means of accumulation.”

Putin was speaking to the news channel CNBC in an interview on the subject of energy, the transcript of which was posted to the Kremlin’s website. During the interview, he was asked about the possibility of using crypto as a means of payment in oil export deals.

He answered:

“Cryptocurrency[-funded] contracts? It’s too soon to talk about this. Because cryptocurrencies, of course, can be used a unit of account [in deals], but they are very unstable. Using them to transfer funds from one place to another [is viable]. But in my opinion, it is still premature to trade [with crypto] – 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 as gas and oil prices continue to surge worldwide. And when pushed on his crypto views, he claimed that “everything has a right to exist” – even crypto.

He added:

“We will see how much further [crypto] will go. Maybe one day [tokens] could also become a means of accumulation. We see how the market develops. It’s a bit early [to pass judgment on crypto] at the moment.”

And while he stated that cryptoassets are “electronic resources” that “are not yet backed by anything,” he balked when asked if he thought crypto was “worthless” by his interviewer, replying:

“Why? [Crypto] does have worth. The question here is just whether it can be used as a unit of account when buying and selling oil? That’s all I’m talking about. For energy trading, it is necessary to use traditional units [of payment], particularly in the case of hydrocarbons.”

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