Russia May Put $10 Billion into Bitcoin in Q1 2019

Russian Economist Vladislav Ginko has said that he expects the Russian government to invest at least $10 billion from its national reserves into Bitcoin in the first quarter of 2019. The investment, he believes, will help alleviate some of the damage from US sanctions.

Ginko spoke to Australian publication Micky about the possibility, saying,

US sanctions may be mitigated only through Bitcoin use. Because of US sanctions, Russia’s elite is forced to dump US assets and US dollars and invest hugely into Bitcoins. The Central Bank of Russia sits on $466 billion of reserves and has to diversify in case there is limited opportunities to do it.

The decision is a direct consequence of the sanctions, and Russia hopes that diversification in Bitcoin may be a sound contingency plan.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has spoken earlier of the Russian economy’s relation to the US Dollar,

We have no goal of moving away from the Dollar. It’s the dollar that’s moving away from us. Those making such decisions are not shooting themselves in the foot, but somewhere more delicate, further up the body.

Ginko has said that the move could come within a few weeks. It will be interesting to note the effect it may — or may not — have on the market.

Russia’s Wading a Little Further Into Crypto

Like other major nations, such as the US and China, Russia has taken a somewhat cautious approach to cryptocurrency, imposing some restrictions while examining its potential. While Ginko has appeared on news outlets, support Bitcoin as an asset class, as whole, the country’s legal policies have not always been in favor of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

In September 2018, the Head of the Russian Central Bank, Elvira Nabiullina, said that “cryptocurrency fever” was fading, stated during FinTech forum Finnopolis,

Back in old times, technologies like blockchain caused a great deal of enthusiasm, but, in our opinion, now a more sober attitude towards such technologies has begun.

McKinsey and Company, in a recently released article, shared that sentiment in essence, saying that crypto was struggling to get out of its pioneering stage, and that the sober stages lay ahead in the near future.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Maxim Akimov said that the stricter regulations are justified by the recent bear market. The 3 bills related to cryptocurrencies, called “On Digital Financial Assets,” were prepared independently and that clarity from the government’s side is still due. The central bank has more of a conservative view, while the Ministry of Economic Development thinks that DLTs can be used to boost the economy.

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