By Gaurav S. Iyer, IFC Published : October 11, 2017
Bitcoin’s ascent to $5,000 was put on hold yesterday as investors priced in harsh comments from Russian authorities. Based on those comments—some of them from President Vladimir Putin himself—it seems as if the Kremlin is turning bearish on cryptocurrencies.
BTC prices weren’t hurt by the regulatory shift, but investors should be wary. This is major Bitcoin news. It could affect our Bitcoin price forecast of $10,000 by 2018.
In all likelihood, we’ll see strident regulation from Moscow, rather than an all-out ban.
Putin’s comments certainly lean that way, calling for a regulatory environment to reduce the threat of money laundering, tax evasion, and funding of terrorism.
“The usage of crypto-currencies carries serious risks,” Putin said. “I know the central bank’s position on that.” (Source: “Russia turns cold on crypto-currencies,” Reuters, October 10, 2017.)
He added that “It’s also important not to put up too many barriers.”
While this can’t be called a middle-of-the-road approach to cryptocurrencies, it does seem like Putin will stop short of a China-style ban on cryptocurrency trading.
This might mean that Bitcoin trading will be limited to registered brokers or that reporting requirements for cryptocurrency exchanges will become more stringent. We simply do not know yet.
At the moment, the Bitcoin to USD exchange rate remains relatively strong at around $4,831.30. It increased 0.44% overnight and is one moderate trading session away from $5,000. There is also strong concentration around Bitcoin, with BTC dominance coming in at 51.6%.
It’s possible that Russia is barking more than it will bite. There was a lot of involvement between Russian state entities and cryptocurrency projects in the last year, plus Putin called for a “regulatory environment” instead of fire and brimstone. So even if we have to extend the timeline on our Bitcoin price forecast, it won’t be by much.
Also Read: Bitcoin Price Prediction 2018