Bitcoin trading volumes have surged drastically at a major Ukraine cryptocurrency exchange amid the Russian invasion. According to monitoring resource CoinGecko, on Feb. 24, volume at the local crypto exchange Kuna almost tripled to over $4 million. As the armed conflict with Russia began, the impact on the fiat currencies of both countries was immediately apparent.
Ukrainian hryvnia falls to an all-time low.
While the Russian ruble suffered noticeably more, the Ukrainian hryvnia also fell, targeting 30 per dollar to hit a new all-time low. Ukraine, which just this month finally ratified a law legalizing cryptocurrency after much to-and-fro between lawmakers, unsurprisingly saw interest in alternatives snap higher. As per the CoinGecko data, the fervor has already begun to subside after the initial rush, this coinciding with stabilizing fiat rates versus the U.S. dollar and other major currencies. At the time of writing, BTC/USD traded at $38,300 on Bitstamp, while Kuna’s USD pair was over $40,000. Stablecoin Tether, on the other hand, was at $37,800 per bitcoin.
Ukraine’s Central bank tightens currency freedoms.
A separate argument for entry into Bitcoin came from government currency controls this week. Earlier, the National Bank of Ukraine began restricting cash, limiting hryvnia withdrawals to 100,000 UAH ($3,353) per day, and outright banning cross-border foreign currency purchases and withdrawals. A Facebook post also confirmed that the bank also sought to establish a stable hryvnia exchange rate. Russia’s central bank meanwhile began intervening in forex markets to prop up its nosediving ruble Thursday, with several moves seemingly occurring over the past 24 hours. Bitcoin has made a noticeable recovery from yesterday, as it bounced back from trading near $34,000 to above $38,000.