Daily Management Review

With The Russian Rouble At An All-Time Low, Cryptocurrency Trading In The Russian Currency Is Surging


With The Russian Rouble At An All-Time Low, Cryptocurrency Trading In The Russian Currency Is Surging
The Russian currency rouble has dropped by more than 30% as a result of crippling sanctions imposed by a number of Western countries in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, including restricting access to Russia's central bank's foreign assets and excluding major Russian banks from the international monetary system SWIFT. This has forced Russian authorities to take emergency measures to try to prop up the currency.
According to sources based on publicly accessible data, this was followed by a substantial increase in trade volumes between the Russian rouble and the Tether cryptocurrency on Monday, as the Russian currency dropped to a historic low versus the US dollar.
Tether - a stablecoin – was dominated by rouble trade, with total transactions reaching $29.4 million, the biggest for the cryptocurrency so far this year. According to sources citing statistics from the Oslo-based digital asset analysis firm Arcane Research, the trading volume was also three times more than it was little over a week earlier when the Ukraine invasion had not occurred.
Stablecoins are a type of cryptocurrency that avoids bitcoin's volatile price swings. In theory, their stable value allows consumers to protect their assets or savings during severe economic times.
Following the implementation of sanctions by the West on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, which has had a tremendous negative impact on the local currency, the high trade volumes in rouble reflect a growing interest in crypto assets among Russians.
The Russian currency hit a new low on Monday after a very tumultuous trading day. The rouble has lost about a third of its value this year as the West strengthened sanctions, including prohibiting banks from using the SWIFT global payment system.
The sources cited cryptocurrency trade data suggesting that trading between the rouble and bitcoin (BTC), which has a 13-year history of extreme price volatility, was more moderate.
The rouble-bitcoin transaction peaked at $16 million when Russia began its invasion, the highest sum this year. On Monday, it was roughly $8.5 million.
"People with the rouble are trying to get out of it due to the drastic devaluation after all the sanctions," said Arcane's Bendik Norheim Schei.
"Under the current market conditions, I'm not surprised to see investors, at least those in Russia, seeking stablecoins and not taking on the market risk of BTC. This is about saving their funds, not investing."