Crypto in Russia: More People Using Tokens for Payments, Claims Academic

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 2 min read
Crypto in Russia: More Use Tokens for Payments, Claims Academic

More people are using crypto in Russia than ever before, a leading Moscow-based academic has claimed.

Per the Russian-language media outlet Coinspot, the comments came from Evgeny Kogan, Professor of Economic Sciences at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE).

Crypto in Russia: Adoption on the Rise?


Kogan claimed that “interest in cryptocurrencies” has “grown greatly in Russia in recent years.”

He added that the number of citizens who now “make transactions with Bitcoin and other tokens has increased” recently. Kogan said:

“Cryptocurrencies are becoming a part of our lives. And for some, they have already become a means of payment.”

Evgeny Kogan, Professor of Economic Sciences at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE), speaking in 2023.
Evgeny Kogan, Professor of Economic Sciences at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE), speaking in 2023. (Source: RBC Invest/YouTube)

In spite of this surge in interest, the academic opined that most people still distrust crypto and “consider [tokens] to be [the tools] of financial pyramid” operators.

Earlier this month, the nation’s Central Bank claimed that “almost all” of the financial pyramid scams it detected last year had crypto “themes.”

Kogan said that less than 1% of Russians use “digital tokens.” He said that only 3% of people are familiar with the blockchain industry.

HSE is a public research university that has developed an increasing interest in crypto and regulatory policy.

In January, an HSE study proposed a solution to the problem of increased load on electricity grids from crypto miners in Siberia.

The university’s researchers suggested the launch of a solution involving the forced “disconnection” of crypto miners “from the electrical grid” for “500 hours per year.”

Russian Crypto Regulation: Still a Long Way Off?


Crypto regulation is almost non-existent in Russia, despite tokens’ increased popularity. The government has previously claimed that up to 10% of citizens may now hold crypto.

Western sanctions on Russia’s financial system have also led to an apparent spike in crypto adoption in the country.

Russia’s eastern regions have become a powerful global force in the crypto mining industry, thanks to low electricity costs and cold winter temperatures.

Some firms are also using crypto in Russia as a settlements tool, with domestic banks frozen out of networks such as SWIFT.

Despite all this, and politicians’ promises to accelerate the rollout of crypto legislation, Russian lawmakers are yet to vote on any meaningful piece of crypto-related draft law.