Vladimir Putin used to be strongly hostile to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. But why is that changing so quickly, and what does that mean for America?

Vladimir Putin and his administration used to take a hard line against Bitcoin. They toyed with making it a criminal offense, sending people to prison for up to 7 years for involvement in cryptocurrency schemes.

Putin personally made remarks against it, questioning the fundamentals, and calling cryptocurrencies baseless. He also said there were ‘issues’ with their broader use.

But that’s changing. He’s now praising them, calling them “digital assets,” and saying there’s importance to their use in the future. What changed? Enforcement of the Magnitsky Act, with the blacklisting of more and more Russians from US banking institutions.

Russian industrialists are being forced to find new ways of getting access to US capital, and Ethereum-based technologies are turning out to be a great way for them to do that, bypassing US banking controls. Ethereum is a way for people to make Bitcoin-like stocks and tokens.

Sanctions work, and government-resistant blockchains give ways around sanctions. So now Putin loves blockchains!