The Russian government has recently turned bullish towards blockchain technology adoption, raising hopes that the age of crypto had come. There has been excitement over Russia recognizing, legalizing and taking part in the creation of trading regulations.
The Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) has however released a survey that might put a damper on the Russian buzz the crypto market has been on. The study published on April 9, 2019, shows that it is only a paltry 2 percent of the Russian population that has investments in Bitcoin form. The Russian population with a thorough knowledge of Bitcoin is approximately 9 percent of the population.
The report went further to state that 65 percent of the surveyed population has skepticism that Bitcoin was a sound investment vehicle. This could be the reason why then trading in BTC was low in a country deemed to be a beacon of hope for cryptocurrency adoption.
Things Are Looking Up
On the bright side, however, at least 56 percent of the Russian population know the basics of Bitcoin. Another massive 74 percent of the Russian population has heard of the cryptocurrency. The good news is that these low adoption statistics could quickly change soon. To illustrate this, 50 percent of all ICOs have been launched in Russia. The Russian government is also making moves that are encouraging the blockchain and crypto adoption. The government, for example, has hinted at the creation of a cryptocurrency backed by its oil reserves.
In his 2018 address to the Russian federal assembly, Russian President Vladimir Putin had asked Russians “to build our own digital platforms…to pave the way to reorganizing manufacturing processes, logistics, and financial services, including using blockchain technology, which is very important when it comes to financial transactions, property rights.”
IMF has given green light to eight nations, to launch a national cryptocurrency and those nations are Russia, Venezuela, Canada and some larger countries, some smaller are on the list as well, he thinks we will see one or two G20 nations emerge as crypto friendly @philosophyofmet pic.twitter.com/sl5yafumxl
— ༜༝🅂🅃🅄🄰🅁🅃🅇🅁🄿💧⚡ (@stuart_xrp) 16 января 2019 г.
A Highly Centralized Culture and A Weak Economy
Russia has had a weak economy in recent times due to its over-reliance on natural gas and oil as income resources. Oil prices have been on the plunge, leaving an already economically and politically isolated nation on its wit’s end. The sanctions slapped on Russia by the U.S, and other countries have further worsened the economic situation.
Secondly, many of the older institutions, the oil oligopolies, and significant banks love the status quo. The Russian government has decided to regulate the trade, with many speculating that it was a ploy to control the trade. Putin has at one time given the nod to a regulatory crackdown on crypto trading. President Putin, however, said that “it is important not to create unnecessary barriers, of course, but rather to provide essential conditions for advancing and upgrading the national financial system.”
Consequently, the highly centralized systems have encouraged many a pro blockchain developer jaded by the old systems to innovate. The nation has an extensive engineering, cryptography and computer talent nurtured by the Soviet Union’s technological advancements race.
As a result, Elena Maslova an angel investor, in 2017, stated that when ranked by the funds raised, at least 20 percent of all the top 50 blockchain projects were linked to Russians. Russian youth are the most active cryptocurrency users according to the survey. In fact, the male population with higher education and under-25 are more aware of cryptocurrencies. The study also reported Russia’s largest cities Saint Petersburg and Moscow to have the largest number of people with cryptocurrency awareness.