Can cryptocurrencies give Russia, others breather from economic sanctions?
London, United Kingdom: Cryptocurrency purchases in rubles are at a record high following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, raising questions about whether piling into the likes of bitcoin can help Moscow and other countries that are at the receiving end of economic sanctions from the West and other countries, get around sanctions.
Why crypto is attracting Russians?
The United States and Western allies have sought to cripple Russia's banking sector and currency with a barrage of sanctions.
They include cutting selected Russian banks from the SWIFT messaging system, rendering them isolated from the rest of the world.
SWIFT's system allows banks to communicate rapidly and securely about transactions -- cutting Russia off is aimed at preventing it trading with most of the world.
Western measures that prohibit transactions with Russia's central bank have also helped plunge the country's economy into turmoil.
The ruble is down 27 percent against the dollar since the start of the year and is trading at more than 100 rubles per US unit, its weakest level on record.
Russians are consequently flocking to cryptocurrencies that operate on a decentralised network and therefore are not directly affected by sanctions.
Crypto data-provider Kaiko has reported record-high purchasing volumes of bitcoin in rubles since last week's invasion.
Another type of digital currency to have benefitted hugely from Russia's assault on its neighbour is tether, a "stablecoin" that is seen as less volatile than cryptocurrencies since it is pegged to the dollar.
"What we saw... looking at tether (is) the average trade size has increased" in Russia, Clara Medalie, head of research at Kaiko, told AFP.
"However it's still relatively low, which shows an interest split between institutional and retail buyers."
Is crypto a long-term solution against sanctions?
Governments can, if they wish, order shopping platforms to place restrictions on purchases made using cryptocurrencies as a way of blocking attempts to get round sanctions.
Ukraine's deputy prime minister Mykhailo Fedorov, who is also minister of the country's digital transformation, demanded via Twitter that crypto platforms block Russian accounts, a request reportedly being considered by US authorities.
Analysis group Chainalysis said in a statement that it was "optimistic that the cryptocurrency industry can counter attempts by Russian actors to evade sanctions".
It pointed out that blockchains, or the registers of transactions made by digital currencies, allow Western governments to identify violations.
At the same time, North Korea and Iran have succeeded in getting round sanctions thanks to cryptocurrencies.
North Korea has earned billions of dollars thanks to cyber attacks, while Iran has used low-cost energy to mine bitcoin, according to Caroline Malcolm of Chainalysis.
However, using crypto to sell key Russian export commodities wheat, oil and gas is unlikely, with one veteran broker stressing that trading volumes of bitcoin and its rivals remain insufficient to support large-scale trades.
Crypto reactions to invasion?
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency prices have jumped since the invasion but not simply because of Russian investment.
The Ukranian government since Saturday has received $17.1 million worth of crypto following a call for donations, according to analysts Elliptic.
"We didn't get to choose the time or manner of our little industry becoming geopolitically critical overnight, but it is upon us," tweeted Nic Carter, partner at crypto fund Castle Island.
But Medalie cautioned that the "ruble is not a large cryptomarket. There is not a lot of influence on the rest of the market", she said.
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Coinbase to acquire BtcTurk exchange for $3.2 billionRead More..
Paris Hilton invests in Afterparty's new NFT ticketing platformRead More..
Ridley Scott to Make a Movie on EthereumRead More..
Russia to include cryptocurrencies in its updated tax lawsRead More..
40 crypto companies sign open letter to EU regulatorsRead More..
BTC and ETH will break all-time highs in 2022: Celsius CEORead More..
Blockchain games are leading the DApp industry: DappRadar reportRead More..
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman calls for global crypto regulationsRead More..
WazirX co-founders shifting base to DubaiRead More..
Blockchain.com reportedly exploring IPO this yearRead More..
CoinDCX raises over $135 million in fresh funding round, now worth $2 billionRead More..
Atari terminates blockchain joint venture with ICICB GroupRead More..
Monero's July hard fork confirmed by its communityRead More..
Backed by Shark Tank's Kevin O'Leary, WonderFi set to acquire Canadian exchange CoinberryRead More..
US Govt Links North Korea to Axie Infinity HackRead More..
Jack Dorsey's first tweet NFT resells for only $280Read More..
Opera crypto browser now available on iOSRead More..
Beanstalk Stablecoin protocol loses $182 million in governance exploitRead More..
Jack Dorsey vs. Vladimir Tenev on Bitcoin transaction feesRead More..
Ripple claims 'a very big win' in SEC caseRead More..
Argentinian town to invest in crypto mining to fight inflation, upgrade rail infraRead More..
Pantera Capital closing fundraise for its blockchain fund after raising $1.3 billionRead More..
Homegrown blockchain co Polygon commits to go carbon neutral this yearRead More..
NBA registers four NFT trademarksRead More..
US crypto expert jailed 63 months for helping North KoreaRead More..
Fortnite developer Epic Games raises $2 billion to build for the metaverseRead More..
Indian companies storm the metaverse and NFT spaceRead More..
Coinbase is producing a movie trilogy on Bored Ape NFTsRead More..
Multiple Indian Twitter accounts hacked, NFT content postedRead More..
German police shut down $1.3 billion illegal darknet firmRead More..
Meta tests sale of virtual goods in metaverseRead More..
Bitcoin 2022 Conference: Bitcoin Maximalists attack national currenciesRead More..
Binance Gets In-Principle Approval to Operate as Crypto Broker in Abu DhabiRead More..
EU limits Russians' crypto investments to 10k EurosRead More..
Coinbase suspends UPI payments in India three days after launchRead More..
From KFC to Tesla, Dell: Crypto-curious corporations struggle to find right recipeRead More..
In Texas, crypto miners turn to solar powerRead More..
South Africa concludes technical Proof-of-Concept for its CBDC settlement systemRead More..
Terra buys $200 million in AVAX for reservesRead More..
Bitcoin will remain as a standard: Chess world champion Garry KasparovRead More..
Coinbase launches in IndiaRead More..
Meta working on virtual money 'Zuck Bucks': reportRead More..
Germany closes Russian darknet marketplace HydraRead More..
Britain paves way to accept stablecoinRead More..
Crypto industry reels from $600 million hackRead More..
NFT of Nelson Mandela's arrest warrant auctioned for $130,000Read More..
Bank of England calls for tighter regulation of cryptocurrenciesRead More..
ECB's Lagarde 'concerned' about crypto use to dodge Russia sanctionsRead More..
Crypto provides fix for some in crisis-hit AfghanistanRead More..
Bitcoin to the rescue: Cryptocurrencies' role in UkraineRead More..
Digital art in spotlight as Dubai makes crypto hub bidRead More..
G7 looks to thwart cryptoassets use as Russian sanctions dodgeRead More..
Can cryptocurrencies give Russia, others breather from economic sanctions?Read More..
Cryptocurrencies enter Russia-Ukraine conflictRead More..
Russia seeks to regulate cryptocurrenciesRead More..
Donald Trump's NFT collection to laud his own presidencyRead More..