74% of Russians Have Heard About Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies, Survey Shows

A recently conducted survey has shown that while most in Russia have heard about cryptocurrencies, only 2% claimed to have already invested in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Some, on the other hand, believe these were illegal in the country.

The survey, conducted by the state-owned Russian public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM), interviewed 1,600 Russians aged 18 via telephone earlier this month, and found 56% of respondents know about bitcoin, while 18% claimed to have heard of the term.

Notably, only about 9% of respondents revealed they had detailed knowledge about cryptocurrencies. About 37% of those who heard about bitcoin noted they are sure anyone can buy cryptocurrencies, while 12% believe they are banned in Russia.

Currently, cryptocurrencies are unregulated in the country. Younger generations showed a higher level of awareness when it comes to cryptocurrencies, as 67% of 18 to 24 year-olds revealed they’re aware of them. Only 2% of these actually bought crypto.

Although the Russian public has shown it hasn’t been too directly invested in the cryptocurrency space, the country’s government has been increasingly focusing on it. As covered, its Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev noted the space was “still interesting” despite last year’s bear market.

In February, Russia’s former Energy Minister, Igor Yusufov, reportedly proposed the development of an oil-backed cryptocurrency to the State Duma. Reports have also suggested the country is looking to use bitcoin to bypass sanctions.

Notably, Russian social media giant Vkontakte (VK) has reportedly launched a “mineable” virtual currency its users can earn on its platforms, although it’s unclear whether the currency is blockchain-based.

Hackers Hijack Major UK Supermarket’s Twitter Account to Promote Bitcoin Scam

Hackers have recently hijacked the Twitter account of a major supermarket in the UK, Tesco, and used their access to promote a bitcoin scam that saw them pose as Bill Gates to try and get users to send them BTC.

According to Bleeping Computer, the hackers compromised Tesco’s official Twitter account, which has over 540,000 followers. The hackers started urging users to send them over BTC, purportedly to celebrate the cryptocurrency’s price rise, claiming they’d double their money.

Later on, they changed the handle to @Billgatesmsc and replaced its profile picture with one of the Microsoft co-founder, before continuing their bitcoin scam attempt. While no customers appear to have fallen for the scam, Tesco briefly lost its verified status on the microblogging platform over the ordeal.

The hackers notably also replied to some Tesco customers, requesting personal information such as full names, addresses, postcodes, and more. This, while still impersonating Bill Gates. Tesco’s customers realized something was amiss, and it’s believed no one fell for the requests.

At press time, Tesco has regained control of its Twitter account, which has gotten its verified badge back. It’s unclear how the hackers managed to compromise the supermarket’s account, and the firm hasn’t issued any statements on it.

Notably, scammers trying to get cryptocurrencies on Twitter with these schemes have been around since last year. As CryptoGlobe covered, the scammers kept on hijacking verified Twitter accounts, and then used them to promote fake cryptocurrency giveaway links.

In a famous case they impersonated Tesla founder Elon Musk, and managed to rake in over $39,000 from unsuspecting victims.