Russians are sitting on $214bn worth of cryptocurrencies, according to data released by officials in the country.
This accounts for 12% of the global crypto supply, Bloomberg said in a report last week. The estimates are based on the government’s assessment of IP addresses that circulated crypto and related assets.
Russia has been able to identify specific trends when it comes to crypto ownership. According to the survey, this 12% of the total crypto holdings accounts for one-third of the market capitalization of Russia’s benchmark stock index.
This 12% translates into 17 million nationals who are crypto owners. The bulk of investors, around 60%, are aged between 25 and 44 and some 500,000 local computer coders are currently involved in the industry.
According to investBRO podcast Stanislav Koritsky, many of the investors are young and inexperienced.
“Many of them are young people who don’t understand the market and jumped in amid all the hype”, Koritsky said.
In December alone, retail investors in Russia invested $67bn in crypto, based on the information offered by the lower house of parliamentary financial market committee’s head, Anatoly Aksakov.
The annual volume of crypto transaction is estimated at $5bn based on data provided by the Bank of Russia.
However, blockchain developer TON Labs, believes that these numbers may be an underestimate. TON Labs co-founder and CEO Alexander Filatov estimates that the real data is in fact higher.
At the same time, the government has changed its openly hostile stance towards crypto and is now looking into a raft of potential regulatory rules to define the industry.
This includes simplifying the process of blocking foreign crypto-exchange sites and allowing foreigners to access regulated local exchanges, Rossiyskaya Gazeta, a state-owned newspaper, reported.
The most recent reporting and statements by officials indicate that Russia may be rethinking what it wanted to be a complete ban on cryptocurrencies.
When the suggestion to restrict crypto was first floated, it had a political overtone, with the country’s security services arguing that crypto could be used to fund oppositionist parties. Their stance has since changed.
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