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As western sanctions increase the pressure on their country’s economy, many young Russians consider cryptocurrency to be a “reliable and profitable” investment option. According to a recent study, the share of Russian citizens who know about bitcoin has reached two thirds of the population.
Financial and other penalties imposed by the West over Moscow’s decision to invade Ukraine are already affecting the economic situation in Russia. Despite the bleak perspectives, for many Russians property and gold continue to be — just like before — the most desired investment.
The share of those who regard the purchase of real estate as the most reliable investment has been declining in the past few years but it’s still 33% in 2022, the Russian analytical center NAFI revealed in a new report. And 36% of the respondents in its study believe it’s the most profitable option.
At the same time, gold has been gaining recognition and 25% of Russians now think investments in the precious metal are reliable, compared to 21% two years ago. Investors who see future profits in gold have increased from 18% to 26% during the same period.
Accumulating and keeping paper cash has also become more common among Russians, 23% of which now consider this method of storing value reliable, an increase from 15% in 2020. Opening a deposit account with a state-owned bank is safe according to 21% of the participants in the survey.
The popularity of cryptocurrencies has grown significantly over the past years, the NAFI researchers have established. Two thirds of the respondents in their latest poll (67%) have heard about bitcoin while five years ago this group accounted for only 16% of the questioned.
The majority of Russians expect the value of cryptos to increase in the future. Currently, 8% view the acquisition of crypto assets as a reliable investment, while 11% think buying digital coins is profitable. Young people, aged 18-24, are even more optimistic. A quarter of them have described crypto investments as reliable (23%) and profitable (24%).
As governments supporting Ukraine continue to widen restrictions limiting Russia’s access to the global financial system, concerns have been raised that Moscow may use cryptocurrencies to evade sanctions. While some crypto platforms have imposed restrictions, major exchanges like Binance and Kraken denied a request by Kyiv to unilaterally freeze the accounts of all Russian users.
Meanwhile, Russian authorities are proceeding with efforts to legalize crypto operations. A draft law “On Digital Currency” was submitted by the Finance Ministry last month. A member of the State Duma working group on crypto regulations suggested this week that digital assets can help Russia reach the global financial market, despite the sanctions.
Do you think more Russians will turn to cryptocurrency if the economic situation in their country worsens further? Tell us in the comments section below.
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