Putin Says The US and EU Have Defaulted on Their Obligations to Russia
Russian President Vladimir Putin stated today that the freezing of the currency reserves of the Bank of Russia marks the "end of reliability of first-class assets" and that "now everybody knows that financial reserves can be simply stolen". While the recent actions of Vladimir Putin in the invasion of Ukraine are abhorrent, he makes a salient point regarding the economic sanctions imposed by the West. They may have effectively ended the Bretton Woods II global monetary system where US debt in the form of US Treasury Bonds was held as the main collateral instrument in global trade. By freezing these assets the trust in this system has been broken, and in doing so many countries around the world will look at what has happened to Russia and think "can this happen to us?" - it may mark the end of dollar hegemony, as 1971 marked the end of the gold standard.
To really dig deep on this topic, listen to this recent podcast from the Grant Williams Podcast with Luke Gromen:
What does this mean for Bitcoin? If countries are looking for an asset to hold sovereign reserves in that aren't confiscatable they may begin to look elsewhere. Some may turn to gold, as central banks already hold gold. But, gold is typically held in reserves in New York and London because the main gold markets are there due to the cost and risk of transport. This opens gold up to confiscation and censorship sensitivities. Some may choose oil, and various other commodities, as many countries already hold vast amounts of oil in reserves. But adding large monetary premiums to commodities can cause massive price inflections, and because we typically need commodities to survive, increasing commodity prices are not necessarily a good thing. Bring in Bitcoin which is a commodity with no industrial purposes, it is pure monetary premium, and a digital bearer asset, meaning the holder of bitcoin has ownership rights (read our article on holding your own bitcoin keys to ensure your ownership rights). Bitcoin's market cap is ~750 billion USD, a small fraction of total world currency reserves, but as nation-states begin to realize the advantages of holding a censorship resistant monetary asset, which is easily transferrable and easily stored, you may begin to see further nation state adoption, and central bank bitcoin acquisitions.