Victor Ugochukwu · Dec 14, 2020 . 5min read
Kremlin opposes the use of Bitcoin by Russian activists, takes dire measures to curb them
Russian authorities are not able to impose restrictions on the transfer and uasge of Bitcoin and this is enraging Putin, freezes bank accounts of activists
By Shilika · Jul 16, 2020 . 5min read
Corruption and Russia are almost synonymous. Vladimir Putin has ruled the nation for most of its short history. His election campaigns are bogus and silencing his political enemies is easy. Bitcoin is levelling the playing field.
How Bitcoin levells the playing field?
According to a blogpost by France24 , Russian activists, independent media houses and political opponents are oppressed by the Kremlin government. This was evident during the campaign of Alexei Navalny. He ran against Putin during the 2018 elections. Navalny’s campaign manager was Leonid Volkov. He sought to raise funds through Bitcoin. It was on a hunch and to his surprise their PayPal wallet swelled upto 648 BTC through donations.
Traditionally, Russian authorities will freeze the bank accounts of Putin’s opponents, thus rendering them resourceless. With Bitcoin, the authorities are powerless since they have no control.
‘Russia Behind Bars’ is a fund that is also harnessing the power of Bitcoin. This fund was set up to pay the legal fees for the individuals who were wrongfully imprisoned under bogus claims by the government. Once again, the authorities would have simply frozen the bank accounts of the defendants. However, this is not possible with Bitcoin.
There are still issues to overcome
There are drawbacks, however. Donations via Bitcoin only amount to around 10-15% of total donations. It is also not entirely convenient to pay for things like rent and other goods and services in cryptocurrencies. Enthusiasts are the prime users of Bitcoin. The average Russian is yet to adopt it as a primary currency.
With regards to legality, there is the possibility that the Russian government will simply ban cryptocurrency and its related activities in the country. The bill is currently stuck in parliament. This constitutes an uncertain future.
Corruption in Russia appears to only be getting worse day by day. If this continues then the Russian public might become increasingly interested in the possibilities offered by Bitcoin.