Bitcoin trading volumes against the Russian ruble reportedly soared to the highest level in almost a year. At the same time, those who use the Ukrainian hryvnia reached the heights of October 2021.

The result of the embargoes?

NATO and the EU are still staying away from a direct military conflict and have promised not to send troops to Ukraine. However, they imposed severe monetary sanctions on Russia, with the aim of destabilizing it and cutting off its financial connection with the Western world.

The embargoes hit Russia’s economy and, especially, the country’s national currency. The ruble lost around 25% of its value in a matter of 24 hours.

Unlike fiat currency, cryptocurrency market data provider Kaiko revealed that bitcoin is gaining traction in the region after sanctions. BTC trading volumes against the ruble reached the highest level since May 2021, while those using the Ukrainian hryvnia surpassed the October peak. Clara Medalie, head of research at Kaiko, spoke on the matter:

“The trend follows a wave of sanctions against Russia, which has disrupted currency markets and caused the ruble to sink to record law against the dollar.”

Medalie noted that overall bitcoin trading volume has also spiked over the past seven days. She added that the rise in activity for the BTC/UAH and BTC/RUB trading pairs was of “magnitudes greater” than BTC/USD.

Experts believe that the financial uncertainty in the region will cause Russians to potentially convert their money into digital assets. In that regard, the deputy prime minister of Ukraine urged cryptocurrency exchanges to freeze the addresses of users based in Russia.

Some leading malls have already announced that they will not follow such requests. Kraken CEO Jesse Powell emphasized that bitcoin is the representation of libertarian values ​​and therefore his company cannot block customer accounts without a legal requirement. He also assumed that many users based in Russia are likely to be against the war.

At the same time, Binance said, “cryptocurrencies are meant to bring greater financial freedom,” and such an initiative could run counter to the asset class concept.

BTC is also attractive in Turkey

Speaking of countries going through financial turmoil, Turkey is worth mentioning. Last year, the Turkish lira collapsed to record lows, causing many locals to look for other monetary tools to preserve their savings. As such, they turned to cryptocurrencies.

An investigation from the end of 2021 revealed that Bitcoin (BTC) and Tether (USDT) were the most popular transactions against the lira during the last three years. The study further estimated that more than 16% of the world’s cryptocurrency users hailed from Turkey (ranking fourth for most traders globally).

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