The founder of Mobius Capital Partners, Mark Mobius, explained why the price of bitcoin has been rallying in an interview with CNBC Tuesday as the crisis between Russia and Ukraine escalates.
Prior to starting his own company, Mobius was executive chairman of Templeton Emerging Markets Group. He joined Templeton in 1987 where he managed more than $50 billion in emerging markets portfolios. He founded Mobius Capital Partners in March 2018.
Mobius was asked whether he would buy bitcoin in this environment since the price of BTC is rallying. “I would not be a buyer,” he replied but noted, “If I was a Russian, I would be a buyer.”
He proceeded to share that in Dubai where he lives, a lot of foreigners come to buy properties. He detailed: “I was talking to a property agent yesterday. He said they’ll buy anything. They get money out of Switzerland, they have Swiss bank accounts.”
Mobius added: “If they can pay with bitcoin. Of course, that’s an avenue to get money out of Russia.” He continued:
I would say that’s the reason why bitcoin is showing strength now because the Russians have a way of getting money out, of getting their wealth out.
“Otherwise they are really in trouble with all the closures of different avenues for them to transfer money out,” the veteran investor opined.
Mobius has long been a bitcoin skeptic. In November last year, he advised people not to look at cryptocurrencies as a means to invest. “It’s a means to speculate and have fun. But then you got to go back to stocks at the end of the day,” he advised.
A number of analysts have said they doubt cryptocurrencies can help Russia evade sanctions. Ari Redbord of TRM Labs, for example, explained on CNBC Monday that while Russia will turn to cryptocurrencies, there is not enough liquidity in those markets to allow Moscow to deal with the heavy sanctions imposed by the U.S. and its allies.