Ukraine’s Bitcoin Trading Volume Soars 200% as War in Russia Raises Currency Worries
Bitcoin (BTC) and altcoin trading volumes surged at a major Ukrainian cryptocurrency exchange following Russia’s invasion, the data shows.
According to monitoring resource CoinGeckoon February 24, the volume in Kuna nearly tripled to more than $4 million.
Crypto on Ukrainians’ radar
When the armed conflict with Russia began, the impact on the fiat currencies of both countries was immediately apparent.
While the Russian ruble suffered significantly more, the Ukrainian hryvnia also fell, targeting 30 to the dollar in what would be a new all-time low.
Ukraine, which this month finally ratified a law legalizing cryptocurrency after much back and forth between lawmakers, has unsurprisingly seen interest in alternatives increase.
The effect was evident at seven-year-old Kuna, whose volumes were below $1 million on Feb. 21, but nearly $4.1 million three days later.
According to data from CoinGecko, the fervor has already started to fade after the initial rush, coinciding with fiat rates stabilizing against the US dollar and other major currencies.
Less clear were Kuna-specific tariffs, these showing a curious discrepancy either side of the Bitcoin spot price. At the time of writing, BTC/USD was trading at $38,300 on Bitstamp, while Kuna’s USD pair was above $40,000.
Stablecoin Tether (USDT), on the other hand, was at $37,800 per bitcoin.
Central bank tightens monetary freedoms
Meanwhile, a separate argument for entering Bitcoin came from government currency controls this week.
Related: Russian Miners Keep Running, May See Pivot To Bitcoin In Response To Sanctions
On Wednesday, the National Bank of Ukraine began restricting liquidity, limiting hryvnia withdrawals to 100,000 UAH ($3,353) per day and outright banning cross-border purchases and withdrawals of foreign currency.
A Facebook post confirmed that the Bank also sought to establish a stable hryvnia exchange rate.
Russia’s central bank meanwhile began intervening in the currency markets to support its ruble in a dive on Thursday, with several moves appearing to have taken place in the past 24 hours.