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Russians and Ukrainians Flock to Crypto As War Ravages On

Russians and Ukrainians Flock to Crypto As War Ravages On

Last updated 29th Jun 2022
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  • Russian ruble falls 35% against the US dollar
  • Cryptocurrencies see significant uptick in volume from Russian and Ukrainian users
  • Ukrainian hryvnia trading pair with Bitcoin sees 258% increase in volume
  • Russian ruble trading volume with Bitcoin surges by 260%
  • Bitcoin up 25% since the start of the invasion

The recent conflict in Ukraine has put Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the limelight given the unique qualities that set them apart from other assets in the world.

Many Ukrainians have been forced to flee their homes, leaving most of their possessions behind to escape the violence.

The Ukrainian hryvnia has lost a few percentage points against the US dollar in recent days as uncertainty grips the markets.

However, this decrease is nothing compared to that of the Russian ruble which has dropped more than 35% over the past few days alone.

In response to the invasion, the West has imposed strict sanctions on many Russian entities including banks and high-ranking individuals.

With citizens of both nations anxious about the future of their national currencies, recent data suggests that users have been flocking to crypto instead as a safe haven.

From February 20 onwards, there is a clear uptick in trading volume for ruble pairs.

A massive spike can be seen on the 24th which was the very day that Putin authorized "special military operations" in Ukraine.

A similar pattern can be seen for Ukrainians who may be seeking crypto exposure in fear of their banking system collapsing.

By exchanging their assets into crypto, Ukrainians have the means to escape the country and carry some of their wealth with them.

Some refugees have already been documented using Bitcoin for this exact purpose.

After all, all that is needed to store cryptos are the private keys to wallets that contain the assets.

These can be written on a piece of paper or stored inside a small hardware wallet, regardless of the number of assets held.

This is what sets cryptocurrencies apart from other assets in the world, rendering them into a powerful tool during crucial times like these.

Bitcoin is up around 25% since February 24.

Notably, Ukraine has requested cryptocurrency exchanges to impose a blanket ban on Russian users, however, this plea has been rejected by top exchanges such as Coinbase and Binance at the time of writing.

This is a developing story and will be updated accordingly.

Khashayar Abbasi

Khashayar Abbasi

Khashayar discovered Bitcoin back in 2014 and has since spent countless hours researching the different use cases of cryptocurrencies. He has a bachelor's degree in International Relations and has been a writer in the financial services industry for nearly half a decade. In his spare time, Khashayar enjoys photography, cycling, and ice skating.