For both political and financial reasons, the subject of trading oil and gas internationally in alternative currency other than dollar does not lose its relevance. It’s an open secret that the relations of some OPEC states with the U.S. leave a great deal to be desired. Although these countries have repeatedly stated that the price of hydrocarbons should not be denominated in USD, they’ve never been able to agree on a reasonable substitute.
Unsurprisingly, Iran has shown the greatest activity in calling to abandon dollar in oil trading. Russian “Gazprom”, world’s largest natural gas producer, has offered its Chinese and Japanese customers to pay their contracts in yuan, yen and even rubles.
As suggested by Markaz, a Kuwait-based financial company, in their recent report, oil and gas exporters might get the greatest benefit if they sell for Bitcoin. This applies particularly to the Gulf countries.
Crypto-currency does not seem to be the best payment instrument in transactions involving the most sought-after commodity in the world, and even if OPEC decided to make Bitcoin the default currency, none of the member states would benefit from this. The U.S. will do everything to protect the dollar as the one and only oil currency. It is equally true of the Chinese who act enthusiastically to make yuan the new petrocurrency. And if oil and gas are sold for bitcoins, speculators will get a vast and obscure field of activity.
So, what Markaz has in mind then? The company’s analysts say Bitcoin will definitely reduce operational costs, as BTC transactions are completed almost instantly, and the commission rate is near-zero. Currently exporters are obliged to pay regular bank rates, and fund transfer takes usually one to three days. But are bitcoins worth using? There’s no hard and fast answer – Markaz warns that Bitcoin repositories are still very easy to hack.