On February 4, news emerged that Russian President Vladimir Putin had sent a letter to the people of China, published by a local news agency, detailing ongoing trade between the two countries and mutually beneficial infrastructure projects.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin also met in Beijing ahead of the opening of the 2022 Winter Olympics, to be held in Beijing, and dropped an intense conversation on the cables. Following that meeting, the leaders issued a joint statement confirming Russia’s support for China in its disputes with Taiwan; expressed concern about a defense alliance led by Australia, the UK and the US; and criticized the expansion of NATO, among other things.
Neighbors Facing Sanctions Can Turn To Bitcoin
But among all the geopolitical lines these two leaders are drawing in the sand, one issue in particular could signal upcoming attitudes around Bitcoin. Russia and China have been at the forefront of many tense political issues, and both have been the target of threats of economic damage. sanctions recently, so it is not surprising that the two neighbors are seeking alliances around trade and scientific development.
“We are constantly expanding agreements in national currencies and creating mechanisms to compensate for the negative impact of unilateral sanctions,” Putin wrote in his letter to the Chinese people. “An important milestone in this work was the signing of an agreement between the Government of Russia and the Government of China on payments and settlements in 2019.”
This comes on the heels of recent threats to cut off Russia from the SWIFT system. days before. Russia is particularly well positioned to evade sanctions, considering the treasure trove of foreign exchange reserves it holds, valued at more than $600 billion alone. five months ago.
Do these actions imply interest in a broader adoption strategy for Bitcoin by one or both superpowers?
It doesn’t seem like a distant reality. The Russian Central Bank had suggested a Bitcoin ban, and Putin (backed by other members of the government) rejected it, suggesting that Russia could gain advantages with bitcoin and mining, as reported by Bitcoin Magazine at the end of last month. Tangentially, Belarus has signaled interest in maintaining its liberal approach to bitcoin only. one day before.
reading between the lines
To further boost the likelihood of an implicit interest in bitcoin, we need to move on to reading between the lines. China has been under pressure during this energy crisis, along with the members of the EU. Of particular note is the drought that has been occurring this winter in China, resulting in warnings of uncharacteristic and unannounced water supply outages. being the province of Yunnan in particular squeezed by the reduction of hydroelectric power production due to droughts, which affected a major energy supplier in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong. Guangdong is advertised as a “power plant” of China in terms of commercial activity. If the energy supplier of such an important source of trade for China has a problem, then President Xi has a problem.
Against this background, another section of Putin’s letter is particularly revealing:
“A mutually beneficial energy partnership is forming between our countries. Along with long-term oil and gas supplies to China, we have plans to implement a series of large-scale joint projects. The construction of four new power units in Chinese nuclear power plants with the participation of Rosatom State Corporation started last year is one of them. All of this significantly strengthens the energy security of China and the Asian region as a whole.”
Putin appears to understand the value bitcoin brings by providing incentives to create expanded and robust energy production (from all sources), including the positive environmental aspects bitcoin mining produces by providing a use case for flare gas. On top of that, Bitcoin has likely proven desirable in its censorship-resistance potential in the face of threats from Western nations hoping to isolate Russia from the SWIFT system.
And last but not least, there is the basis of the decentralization of the network. The number of accessible Bitcoin nodes around the world has rapidly approached the staggering 15,000 in number… Of particular interest is that these are just the nodes that are not obfuscated via Tor or other privacy tools, meaning we have no idea what the concrete number is, but it’s likely to be higher than this total estimated.
Bitcoin continues to prove its value to the world, and it seems safe to say that we can expect more countries to announce their interests in the future. Fasten your Bitcoin seatbelts, we just started the second month of the year.
This is a guest post by Mike Hobart. The opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.