Russian prime minister Mikhail Mishustin has said that Russians have spent close to 10 trillion rubles ($130 billion) on cryptocurrency.
He made this statement while speaking on government TV and Moscow journalist Jonny Tickle shared it on Twitter. If true, this might confirm the belief by authorities in the US that Russia could turn to crypto.
Russian Prime Minister Mishustin says Russians have already put around 10 trillion rubles ($130 billion) into cryptocurrency.
I’m not surprised. Many hastily bought bitcoin when it looked like the ruble was gonna tank. Some foreigners are also using it to get money out of Russia. pic.twitter.com/o9R3VQRtP0
— Jonny Tickle (@jonnytickle) April 7, 2022
The rising talks about crypto adoption in Russia comes amidst the flurry of economic sanctions that have affected the country’s currency and entire financial system.
According to Tickle, with many of the banks in the country incapable of cross-border transactions, many residents have used crypto as a hedge in fear that their currency will crash. In addition, some foreigners are using crypto to get money out of the country.
No data backs Russian PM statement
While the Russian prime minister statement might show a massive rate of crypto adoption in the country, no on-chain data confirms that crypto exchanges operating in the country or wallets connected to Russians witnessed a massive inflow of cash.
According to a previous CryptoSlate report where we cited a Chainalysis report, there’s been no evidence that Russia has been able to use crypto to evade sanctions.
This report corroborates the general belief within the crypto industry that the country would find it difficult to use the space because of how transparent and public it is.
Russian officials and their crypto statements
Crypto has played a significant role in the war between Ukraine and Russia. Ukraine, for instance, has been able to raise close to $70 million in crypto donations.
As for Russia, while the country itself hasn’t officially adopted crypto, residents might have turned to crypto as international traditional financial companies moved out of the country.
Just recently, a high-ranking member of the Russian parliament, Pavel Zavalny, suggested that friendly countries could be allowed to buy Russian gas in cryptocurrency or their local currency.
Another high-ranking government official, Evgeny Grabchak, the country’s Deputy Minister of Energy proposed that cryptocurrency mining should be fully legalized as soon as possible.
However, regulators in the country have disagreed with this and deem it impossible. Watcher.Guru tweeted that Russia’s central bank rejected the proposal of using crypto to evade sanctions.
According to the first Deputy Governor of the bank, Ksenia Yudaeva, such a development would be impossible in the face of the strict regulatory and surveillance framework for crypto in most western countries.