Despite severe conflict and wide-ranging activities that have driven the Russian ruble to an all-time low, Bitcoin looks to be gaining traction in the local currencies of Russia and Ukraine.
Bitcoin trade volumes in the Russian ruble reached new highs for the first time since May, while volumes in the Ukrainian hryvnia reached new highs not seen since October.
Binance has rejected a request to block all Russian users
The threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine and its capital, Kiev, hungover global markets, prompting a stampede to safe-haven assets. As the association between the world’s largest cryptocurrency and the US stock market has become stronger in recent months, the notion of bitcoin as “digital gold” has weakened.
“Total bitcoin trading volume surged amid last week’s price changes,” said Clara Medali, head of research at Kaiko. However, the increased activity in the BTC/UAH and BTC/RUB trading pairs was substantially bigger than in BTC/USD.
Binance, which processes the most ruble and bitcoin transactions, has indicated that it will restrict Russian accounts that are subject to sanctions but will not freeze millions of accounts in Russia arbitrarily.
“Cryptocurrency aims to provide individuals all around the world with more financial independence.” It would be “contrary to the entire reason why cryptocurrencies exist” to decide unilaterally to prevent users from accessing their encryption, according to a crypto exchange spokeswoman.