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Could Putin be buying cryptocurrency to circumvent Western sanctions?

While many people are investigating the source of the serious rise in cryptocurrencies, Vladimir Putin kept it simple: “Of course we have certain competitive advantages here, especially in so-called mining.” After the events of this weekend when Russia faced severe financial sanctions, the Russian president may be considering taking advantage of these benefits.

Putin was speaking in January, days after the country’s central bank proposed a blanket ban on cryptocurrency trading and mining. In the case of bitcoin, the cornerstone cryptocurrency, mining is the energy-intensive process by which computers verify new bitcoin transactions – putting them on a virtual ledger known as a blockchain – and generate new bitcoins as a reward for that work.

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