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It’s finally clear. Russia is not planning to buy $10 billion in Bitcoin. A rumour had recently surfaced suggesting that the Russian government was planning to purchase Bitcoins worth $10B this quarter but a Russian official has shot it down quite vehemently.
Recently, some reports from several crypto media indicated that Russia intended to invest billions of dollars in Bitcoin to cushion itself against the effects of U.S sanctions. All of the reports, without further due (or check-up), cited a senior Russian economist and a lecturer at a national economics institution. However, a Russian government official says that this is very unlikely.
Remember, economist Vladislav Ginko, who works at the state-funded Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, posted to Twitter that he believes Russia has no choice besides Bitcoin as a hedge against economic losses taken as a result of the US sanctions against Russia.
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
Australian crypto news website micky.com claimed to have spoken with Ginko who allegedly said:
“US sanctions may be mitigated only through Bitcoin use. I believe that the Russian government will start diversifying its reserves with Bitcoin in February this year when US Congress will introduce… new sanctions against Russia.”
The same “analyst” has, after the news about his claimings came out fake, approached to Coinspeaker demanding money for an “exclusive interview”. As you may see, there is no quotation of Vladislav Ginko in this text.
Elina Sidorenko, chair of the Duma’s cryptocurrency group, confirmed the rumors are complete nonsense.
She gave an interview to a Russian media Forklog saying:
“This statement has no common sense. The Russian Federation — like any other country in the world — is simply not ready to combine its traditional financial system with cryptocurrencies.”
She also added that it’s pretty much unlikely that this idea can be implemented in Russia for at least the next 30 years.
Commenting on the cryptorubble idea, the Chairperson of the Interdepartmental Working Group on Cryptocurrency Risk at the State Duma, said:
“A similar idea is already being considered within the framework of the EAEU, but the BRICS countries have moved closer to it. If a cryptocurrency unit had been invented, which allowed making payments only for energy, in fact, the Russian Federation could have made a long and long-term advance in the economy.”
However, in what is an encouraging nod to the industry, the Russia Prime Minister believes that cryptos have a future. In his address in Russia’s biggest business event, Dmitry Medvedev acknowledged cryptos’ volatility, but he believes they’ll bounce back.
Speaking on the extreme volatility seen in 2018, the prime minister and former president said:
“But this, of course, is not a reason to bury them [cryptocurrencies]. There are both light sides and dark sides, as in any social phenomenon, in any economic institute. And we should just watch closely what happens to them.”
Medvedev went on to discuss trade protectionism, social inequalities, and the speed and scope of global digital transformation, saying that the situation with the cryptocurrency market was among these global challenges.
Earlier this month, there were also rumours of how Russia had refused to use Venezuelan cryptocurrency Petro in its bid to help out the fledgling economy. However, we have also seen a slightly more encouraging trend recently as it was reported that the country’s parliamentarians were considering favourable legislations for cryptocurrencies in the near future.
In fact, it seems that Russia has over 20 cryptocurrency bills that can be passed this year, which suggests it may be on its way to rethink its approach to cryptocurrencies in general.
While Russia, till now, has indeed adopted a more standoffish attitude towards crypto, it wouldn’t be fair to write it off as completely averse without first seeing what bills the Russian Duma has in store for the cryptoverse.
Several news sourced wrote about the potential plan that Russian President Vladimir Putin had regarding moving Russian treasury funds into Bitcoin.
A Troll Makes Russian Government Buy 250,000 BTC, Receiving 3M SPANK Tokens
The fake news picked up a ton of traffic and excitement with community members expecting a massive push upwards in the price of Bitcoin. However, as the saying goes, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
Last funny part of the story happened when Twitter whale watching account @WhaleWatch.io decided to have some fun with it and released a tweet related to a $8.75 billion whale move of 250,000 BTC. The whale move describes the transaction as 250,000 BTC going from the Russian Federation wallet, to Bittrex.
It does not end there, the twitter account also added another whale watch transaction of 300,04336 SPANK tokens from Cryptopia to the Russian Federation wallet. The adult industry based token being sent to the Russian Federation wallet supposably from the hacked Cryptopia exchange, appears to be a dig at the Russians.
— RideTheLightning⚡️ (@MediumSqueeze) January 16, 2019
— RideTheLightning⚡️ (@MediumSqueeze) January 16, 2019
Some of the community did not catch on to the joke, but it appear @WhaleWatch.io was simply having some fun while trolling their followers.