Ukrainians are buying more Bitcoin than ever before to protect their holdings as they fend off an attack from neighboring Russia.
A report released Tuesday from Arcane Research showed Ukrainians were using Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, to snap up stablecoin Tether and Bitcoin with the hryvnia. (One Ukrainian hryvnia currently is worth about $.033.)
Arcane’s data shows that 24-hour Tether-hryvnia trading volume shot up from a little over $6 million right before the invasion to about $8.5 million. Over the preceding six weeks, volume rarely exceeded $3 million. Additionally, Bitcoin-hryvnia 24-hour trades roughly went from $1 million to $3 million.
“Like the Russians, Ukrainians are also buying crypto as never before,” the report said. “Many Ukrainians worry that the banking system in the country may collapse and are seeking to crypto as a safe haven.”
The report added that Ukrainians fleeing the country will be “able to bring some of their wealth with them”—hence the surge in trading volume.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, interest in crypto has skyrocketed in both nations.
The Ukrainian government today said it would receive Polkadot—the 11th largest cryptocurrency by market cap—after donations of over $20 million in Bitcoin, Ethereum, and USDT flooded in to help support the military.
1/6 I understand the rationale for this request but, despite my deep respect for the Ukrainian people, @krakenfx cannot freeze the accounts of our Russian clients without a legal requirement to do so.
Russians should be aware that such a requirement could be imminent. #NYKNYC https://t.co/bMRrJzgF8N
— Jesse Powell (@jespow) February 28, 2022
Cryptocurrency activity surged in Russia as the ruble tumbled, with most of that activity involving Bitcoin and Binance.
Meanwhile, exchanges have also faced growing pressure to put blanket bans on transactions involving Russian addresses. Coinbase and Kraken have both said no.