Does Russia have its eye on Bitcoin, to get around US sanctions?

If Russia moves its reserves towards Bitcoin, a fresh price spike is almost certain to follow…

In areas of the world where American sanctions have been kicking in, we’ve already seen governments look to cryptocurrencies as a way around them. Iran for one has been looking to do so by investigating its own cryptocurrency. Venezuela too launched its own troubled national cryptocurrency – the Petro – with that partly in mind.

In the case of Russia, though, it’s a far bigger economy, and a very different story. The country is still set to find itself on the wrong end of sanctions that Donald Trump is imposing on many nations around the world. Russia currently holds sizeable assets in US dollars, too, and it’s likely looking for a new home for them.

According to Vladislav Ginko, a Russian economic expert, “US sanctions may be mitigated only through Bitcoin use”. He was chatting to Australian crypto site Micky.com.au, and argued that Russia’s central bank is sitting on over $400bn in reserves “and has to diversify in case there is limited opportunities to do it (in the future)”.

The argument thus runs that the Russian government may choose to invest in Bitcoin over the coming weeks, and if that starts to happen, it’s also a fair bet that the fresh swathe of investment will send the coin’s price north. At a point where Bitcoin has been struggling to hold its value, it could spark a massive turnaround.

This is speculation at this stage, of course. But those trade sanctions are soon to start biting, and if Russia is going to make a move, it won’t be far behind. We’ll keep you posted…

Image: BigStock

 

 

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