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I get it. One Russian the other week told me he was hoping to raise a few hundred million in an initial coin offering, based on a fintech company he was only just building. Worth noting, Russian messaging app Telegram raised about a billion dollars recently from accredited investors. Telegram has been around for years and has an actual product, but makes no money.

We're at the Baccarat bar—an interview set up by a foreign PR rep for off-record sources and on-record sources who do not live here. It's Russian style, with baccarat crystal chandeliers, and a crystal candleholder on the table keeping the flame. The cocktail waitress tells me someone stole their candleholder from this very table just the other day. “We put it on her tab. She got mad and said she didn’t take it. Then we told her we had her on camera.” I look up … there are cameras everywhere.


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