According to a new claim from a Russian economist, the world’s 12th largest economy is about to pour $10 billion into Bitcoin.
Vladislav Ginko, a lecturer at Moscow’s Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, says US sanctions are forcing Russia to diversify.
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
Ginko told the Australian crypto outlet Micky that at this point, he believes Russia has no other option.
“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.”
A new report from Forbes highlights the impact that US sanctions are having on Russia.
“Sanctions and isolation are having an impact on the Russian economy. Although Russia is not a big exporter to the U.S., canceled energy and defense contracts in Europe coupled with bans on financing Russia’s key lenders have had an impact on the economy. What else can explain the lackluster growth story in the country since 2014? Even higher oil prices have done little to lift the Russian economy.”
In July, the state-sponsored Russian news outlet RT said President Vladimir Putin gave a speech highlighting the need for alternative reserve currencies in global trade.
“Regarding our American partners placing limitations, including those on dollar transactions, I believe is a big strategic mistake. By doing so, they are undermining the trust in the dollar as a reserve currency.”
At that time, Putin said Russia has no plans to stop using the US dollar unless it is prevented from doing so.
In Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro announced that the country’s newly created digital asset, the Petro, is an official government currency. The Petro is supposedly backed by the country’s oil reserves. After its launch, US President Donald Trump prohibited Americans from investing in it, claiming it was designed to avoid US sanctions.