Since crypto’s nascency, a number of industry insiders have claimed that Russia and Bitcoin are perfect matches for each other. And while the nation’s view on the world’s first cryptocurrency has changed over the years, hearsay indicates that the nation itself is looking into divesting into BTC.
Kremlin May Purchase Bitcoin
Speaking to Micky, an up-and-coming crypto-friendly media outlet, Vladislav Ginko, a professor at Moscow’s Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, a state-funded higher education provider, claimed that he expects Moscow to take active stakes in Bitcoin.
More specifically, Ginko noted that stringent U.S. sanctions will push his nation to use BTC on the global financial stage. He explained that Russia’s elite will also be forced to liquidate their U.S.-based assets and fiat for BTC, specifically in a bad to escape the American vise. Speaking on the matter more in-depth, the Russian economist stated:
“The Central Bank of Russia sits on $466 billion of reserves and has to diversify in case there are limited opportunities to do it (in the future).”
He added that he expects this diversification to occur by February, which is when U.S. Congress will supposedly impose more sanctions on the European/Asian powerhouse.
While, many initially doubted these comments, claiming that Micky’s source as an imposter, the outlet purportedly confirmed their interviewee’s identity and position. And a tweet from Ginko, who purportedly has deep ties with the Kremlin, himself cleared the water as well.
In response to Placeholder Ventures partner Chris Burniske’s take on blockchain’s underlying potential, Ginko noted that true cryptocurrency adoption will come when Moscow starts to invest $10 billion in BTC during Q1 of 2019.
Chris, I believe sitting here in Moscow, Russia, that the real factor of Bitcoin apotion will be when Russian government I'm working for will start investing almost $470 billion reserves into Bitcoins. I expect that it'll be at least $10 billion in the first quarter of this year.
— Vladislav Ginko (@martik) January 6, 2019
Some have argued that Ginko is speaking out of his ass, so to speak.
While many optimists have latched onto the Russia news, it has since been mostly debunked. Tim Copeland of Decrypt Media, an outlet backed by ConsenSys, recently wrote an op-ed on the matter, claiming that this newfound narrative is bonkers.
In the opinion-centric piece, Tim explained that Russia isn’t, in fact, coming to save the cryptocurrency realm from falling prices, a dismal global outlook, and the like.
While the Decrypt staff writer did mention bullish comments on the matter, which included positive quips from Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano, Michael “Shill Nye,” and eToro’s Mati Greenspan, Tim noted that Putin’s “comments [on sanctions] were suggestive.” Not only did Putin not mention Bitcoin, but cryptocurrencies as well.
Although the former KGB agent purportedly met Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin to discuss… something, Putin has been quiet on the topic of “magic Internet money” for a while now.
In Tim’s eyes, the numbers and rationale just don’t add up. Even if Ginko’s call for $10 billion of Russia-sourced fiat to flow into BTC was accurate, that would put more value into the cryptocurrency market than what is already present (look at Alex Krüger’s thread on fiat multipliers for context).
There likely isn’t even enough liquidity for $10 billion to enter this market. So while Ginko seemed confident, maybe his head is in the clouds…