Russian residents’ cryptocurrencies demand has surged as sanctions restrict the country from access to the global financial system, S&P Global Ratings said Friday.
The rising demand for cryptocurrencies will likely accelerate the pace of regulatory scrutiny, the rating agency said in a statement.
The agency, however, said it does not believe cryptocurrency use has reached a scale that could blunt the severe consequences of sanctions on the Russian economy.
The cryptocurrency market has lost nearly $100 billion of its value overnight amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Bitcoin fell to lows of $41k early this morning but has since recovered a bit and is now trading at $41,800. Ethereum too, suffered a 5% dip after crossing $3k pic.twitter.com/KM425ihCzC
— Xapa Wallet (@WalletXapa) March 4, 2022
“Traded volume for Bitcoin in ruble jumped on the day of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, signifying a scramble for the cryptocurrency,” the statement said.
“In our view, the surge of interest in Bitcoin is primarily attributable to customers trying to protect savings against a weaker domestic currency along with other local asset depreciation. Under extreme circumstances such as war and severe sanctions, Bitcoin may be viewed as a way to safeguard wealth and bridge access to reserve currencies,” it explained.
The price of Bitcoin soared over 14% on Feb. 28, the day after the US and its allies agreed to bar some major Russian banks from the international payment system SWIFT.
Altcoins and the crypto market, in general, followed suit in the following days, although they lost some of those gains in recent days.
Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk