Majority of Russians are familiar with crypto currencies, survey shows

The majority of active Internet users in Russia are familiar with crypto currencies and would like to use them for online payments for products & services. The data comes from an online survey conducted by PayPal and Ipsos ComCon, quoted by TASS. The survey, carried out earlier in June 2017, covered 1,000 Russians (of 18-45 years of age) who made online purchases and/or payments during the past month.

The survey shows that about 62% of Internet users in Russia are familiar with crypto currencies, with the percentage highest among respondents who are 36-45 years old: in this group, the percentage is 67%. Among 18-25 year olds, the percentage is 53%.

However, the Russians do not believe that Bitcoin and other crypto currencies will ever replace traditional money.

The results of the survey seem to be in tune with those of the Twenty-Third Monex Global Investor Survey, which has shown that investors in the US, Japan and Hong Kong are rather reluctant to invest in bitcoin. The data shows that meager 3% of retail investors in Japan and the United States said they had already invested in virtual currency. The percentage is somewhat higher in China (Hong Kong) where it stands at 10%.

In addition, 20% of retail investors in the United States and China (Hong Kong) that participated in the Monex survey said they were not familiar with virtual currency. Most retail investors in Japan, are familiar with virtual currency although the majority of them have not made any investment in such type of assets.

Russian institutions have been gradually warming up to the idea of crypto currencies. Olga Skorobogatova, Deputy Governor at the Central Bank of Russia, has unveiled plans by the regulator regarding the taxation of crypto-currencies as digital assets. The relevant proposals are set to be published in the end of June.

Elvira Nabiullina, Governor of the Bank of Russia, has been more skeptical with regards to crypto currencies and Bitcoin legalization, in particular. She said there was no time frame on any potential legalization of Bitcoin and that there were many risks of using this “asset”. Ms Nabiullina also said the central bank saw no substantial benefits from introducing digital assets in the Russian economy.

Valerie Krutanova