The economist who told the media Russia was planning to buy $10 billion of Bitcoin has staunchly defended his remarks in the face of ensuing criticism.

‘Who Denied It? Vladimir Putin?’

Speaking to Australian news outlet Micky, which first reported the story earlier this month, Vladislav Ginko dismissed reactions which questioned his reliability.

“The most ridiculous claim was that Russia had denied wanting to buy Bitcoin,” he told the publication January 21.

The logical question is who denied it? Russia’s President Vladimir Putin?

A sense of disbelief had pervaded cryptocurrency news outlets and social media when Ginko went public with his information.

According to the economist, the buy-up by the Kremlin could begin within a matter of weeks as Russia seeks to divorce itself of dependence on the US dollar.

“I believe that the Russia (Government) will start diversifying its reserves with Bitcoin in February this year when US Congress will introduce a new sanctions against Russia,” he previously said.

Ginko is somewhat known for his Bitcoin-related predictions. In November, he suggested the Bitcoin price would shoot to $2 million in 2019 after bottoming in the $1,500-$2,000 range.

Russia Launches Cryptocurrency Trials

If true, the new-found fondness for Bitcoin would add to the seemingly contradictory stance taken on cryptocurrency by Russian officials in recent years.

A combination of local bans and warnings mixed with flashes of bullish support have created a confusing gray area for investors in the absence of official regulations for much of the space.

Russia cryptocurrency

This week, however, ministries revealed they had sanctioned tests of cryptoinstruments for settlements, prior to signing regulations into law by the end of February.

The scheme, local news outlet Izvestiya reports, aims to assist lawmakers in constructing “necessary laws” to govern the emerging sector.

Last week, Anatoly Aksakov, chairman of the financial markets committee at Russia’s state parliament the Duma which now supports the crypto tests, also revealed plans to issue a blockchain-based version of Russia’s ruble by 2022.

“The opinion is that this ruble will not differ in any way from the fiat ruble, except that it will exist on the Blockchain,” he told the media.

What do you think about Vladislav Ginko’s predictions? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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