Russian Oligarchs are Not Buying Bitcoin

Mr. Butthead is hyping bitcoin again:

The world finally found a practical use case for Bitcoin – helping the citizens of a country evade sanctions when that country’s ruler completely loses his mind. As the kids say, Putin decided to f*** around and find out. Well, he found out. It’s not just oligarchs and Putin cronies making use of the crypto rails to save their wealth and move it out of the Russian banking system. There are major fundraising efforts afoot using crypto donations so that people around the world can get aid and comfort to the displaced or under siege Ukrainians.

I can assure you hardly any Russians are buying Bitcoin, and the few who are, only in tiny amounts. The crypto market is $1.6 trillion, and the vast majority of Russians are penniless or close to it. Their economy has just been devastated: who has $40,000 lying around for Bitcoin [or a fraction of a Bitcoin]. Also, converting toiler paper Rubles into Bitcoin also requires banking, so it’s not like Bitcoin bypasses banking.

Oligarchs are not buying Bitcoin either. The only stories are about how oligarchs, in theory, can use Bitcoin to bypass sanctions, but there is no evidence to suggest it actually works or that anyone has done that. It’s not like these oligarchs have liquid wealth, but rather it’s tied up in the equity of companies, which over the past few weeks have lost 70-95% of their value. So many of these oligarchs are probably no longer billionaires. Also, given that the financial markets have seized up, there is no way to convert said equity into useable cash to buy Bitcoin. So another narrative debunked.

Fundraising with Bitcoin, again, does not bypass banking, because the Bitcoin still needs to be converted into cash.

It’s not going anywhere, so getting it under control is the next best thing.

Yes, Beanie Babies still exist too. Sure, most of them are worthless, but they exist. And commemorative plates. Those exist too.

He has no idea what he is talking about.

Already, Bitcoin is in freefall again. This is why you cannot rely on media narratives and overrated experts to make financial decisions. Competence tends to be inversely related to exposure. I posit it’s much more likely that some anonymous guy on Twitter or Substack, who has few or no readers, is a better source of financial advice and economic insight, than someone with thousands of followers. Anons on 4chan know more, have a more accurate pulse on reality, than 6-figure salary pundits. The industry does not select for ability at all, but rather who has the best branding, the most opportune timing, or who has the best connections.