With the recent downward spiral of the ruble (the fiat money printed by Central Bank of Russia), some have wondered whether Russians are flocking to bitcoins to save their wealth.
Some of them are, as this year's highly-sponsored CoinFest Russia showed. But the conference's attendees represented a minority of Russians: an April 2015 survey shows that a full 80 % have never heard of Bitcoin or cryptocurrency.
The survey, reported by RBC Russia, indicates that only 4 % of Russians said they understood cryptocurrency “well,” while the remaining 16 % who'd heard of it did so through “hearsay.”
The 45 % of Russians who reported using “electronic purses” (which I'm guessing means mobile payment systems) were more likely to have heard of cryptocurrency than those who didn't. Those who used mobile banking (29 %) or sent remittances (36 %) were also more likely to have heard of it.
And what of the alleged “ban” of cryptocurrency by state actors in Russia?
It would appear that – like all prohibited goods – if people want them, they'll get them. When a CryptoCoinsNews article reported on the pseudo-ban earlier this year, a Russian reader left a comment on the article stating:
“We do not care for ban. We'll move on. Welcome to Russia to #CoinFestRussia.”
The reader then linked to CoinFest Russia's website and invited everyone to attend.
It would seem that the potential for cryptocurrency in Russia is alive and well. Imagine what will happen when the remaining 80 % of Russians finally receive their invite to the crypto party.