Russians Bought $8.6 Billion in Bitcoin, Says Kremlin Economist

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Russian economist, Vladislav Ginko, is out with another bold claim. This time he says that some companies and wealthy individuals in Russia have bought 1.8 million bitcoin (about $8.6 billion).

OFAC Sanctions Will Push Russia to Bitcoin

Ginko doubled down on his previous comments. He told Bitcoinist:

1.8 million BTC were bought by Russian companies and wealthy Russians. There is no direct involvement of Russian state but some who buy bitcoin are awaiting that the increasing US sanctions will make impossible to do international transactions as usual so they purchase bitcoin as a way to circumvent US sanctions.

According to Ginko, Russia’s pivot towards Bitcoin is due to mounting sanctions by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). The Kremlin economist, says Russian oligarchs are stockpiling BTC to ensure continued oil and gas deals even when OFAC bans the use of U.S. dollars by Russian oil companies.

He adds:

There is no direct influence of Russia’s purchases to the bitcoin price but in mid-term it starts playing role in driving bitcoin higher. Russia’s companies and people, especially those who are under risk being put on OFAC list, have to purchase bitcoins indirectly, buying up digital wallets when they may formally still belong to some US citizens.

Others Say Russian Gov’t Buying BTC Makes No Sense

Ginko is no stranger to making bold claims about Russian involvement in BTC. Earlier in the year, Ginko’s comments about the Kremlin looking to make a $10 billion investment in Bitcoin caused quite a stir.

In the wake of Ginko’s earlier statements, many experts reacted calling the statements ludicrous. As reported by Bitcoinist at the time, one senior government official also denied the rumors, saying the government buying bitcoin is “unlikely in the next 30 years.”

This time around, Ginko who is a member of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), clarified that the government currently has no part in the BTC investment.

Concerning critics who question the validity of his claims, Ginko had this to say:

I’m deeply involved in political and economic affairs of Russia frequently cited person in Russia’s media.

Bitcoin Price $2 Million by End of 2019

Ginko also believes that the weight of Russia’s BTC involvement will push Bitcoin price to stratospheric heights before the end of 2019. According to Ginko, BTC will top $2 million by the end of 2019.

The top-ranked cryptocurrency began the day with a bullish breakout beyond $4,200 to briefly reach $5,000. A slight pullback has seen the price drop to the $4,800 mark.

Today’s gains saw bitcoin price reaching its highest price level in 5 months with many analysts declaring the end of the 15-month long bear market. Bitcoin had been on a winning streak of six consecutive weekly price gains prior to Tuesday’s bullish breakout.

What do you think about Ginko’s claims of wealthy Russian oligarchs gobbling up on Bitcoin? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Twitter (@martik), Shutterstock

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Mechelle Brown is a cryptocurrency writer who's in love with Blockchain technology and focuses on helping people see the value digital currencies have She joins BTC Heights after working as a freelance journalist and blogger.

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