Bitcoin exchange volume in Ukraine rises 200% as war in Russia causes currency problems

Bitcoin (BTC) and altcoin trading volumes have soared on a major cryptocurrency exchange in Ukraine in the wake of the Russian invasion, data shows.

According to surveillance source: CoinGekkoon February 24, Kuna’s volume nearly tripled to over $4 million.

Crypto on Ukrainians’ radar

When the armed conflict with Russia began, the impact on both countries’ fiat currencies was immediately apparent.

While the Russian ruble suffered significantly more, the Ukrainian hryvnia also fell, targeting $30 a dollar, which would be a new all-time low.

Ukraine, which this month finally ratified a law legalizing cryptocurrency after much back and forth between lawmakers, unsurprisingly saw interest in alternatives growing.

The effect was evident with seven-year-old Kuna, whose volumes were below $1 million on Feb. 21, but nearly $4.1 million three days later.

According to CoinGecko data, the fervor has already started to wane after the initial rush, coinciding with stabilizing fiat rates against the US dollar and other major currencies.

were less clear Kuna’s own rates, these show a curious spread on 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 $37,800 per bitcoin.

Crypto trading volume for Kuna with popular pairs (screenshot). Source: CoinGecko

Central bank tightens currency freedoms

A separate argument for access to Bitcoin, meanwhile, came from government currency controls this week.

Related: Russian Miners Keep Running, May See A Spindle To Bitcoin In Response To Sanctions

On Wednesday, the National Bank of Ukraine began restricting cash, limiting hryvnia withdrawals to 100,000 UAH ($3,353) per day, and banning cross-border purchases and withdrawals in foreign currencies.

A Facebook post confirmed that the Bank also tried to establish a stable hryvnia exchange rate.

The Russian central bank, meanwhile, has begun to intervene in forex markets to support the ruble’s nosedive on Thursday, with several moves seemingly taking place over the past 24 hours.

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