The Price of Bitcoin Is Falling As Markets For Russian-Ukrainian Tensions
Cryptocurrency markets are seeing volatility this week, spurred by the Russian-Ukrainian tensions. The question is, will these tensions affect cryptocurrency exchanges, which will not shut down accounts in Russia? After all, the market is a global one, and cryptocurrencies have historically been used for purchasing military supplies. Read on to learn more about the implications of the rising tensions.
Cryptocurrency market volatility spurred by Russian-Ukrainian tensions
The world’s most valuable cryptocurrency, bitcoin, plunged to a two-week low on Tuesday due to concerns of a Russian invasion. It was also a day when the S&P 500 entered a technical correction, and commodities rose on concerns of a potential supply disruption. Despite the recovery on Friday, Bitcoin is now trading at its lowest price since late January. Other cryptocurrencies including Ether and XRP dropped as well.
The war in Ukraine and Russia has massive global implications. Not only will it disrupt financial markets around the world, but it could have devastating human costs. President Zelensky of Ukraine said that at least 100 Ukrainians were killed on the first day. The war has undoubtedly upended the lives of ordinary citizens in both Ukraine and Russia. As many of them seek to flee their countries or defend their homes against Russian troops, it is probable that the market volatility will only increase.
But while the world is focused on the benefits of digital coins, Russia is also realizing the potential of crypto and utilizing it to its advantage in the conflict. The heightened tensions in the region have led to international sanctions aimed at both Russia and Ukraine. The sanctions have forced the value of the Russian ruble to plummet against the dollar, severely restricting the access of ordinary citizens to their money. Fortunately, the crisis has also spurred the development of several crypto hard wallets in Russia.
While the Russian-Ukrainian conflict has only increased the tensions between the two countries, the crisis could also increase the appeal of stablecoins that are tied to the U.S. dollar. Meanwhile, the US-Ukrainian conflict has increased the number of institutional investors in crypto. The crisis in Ukraine could finally separate the myth from the reality. It will also increase the demand for USD-pegged stablecoins, including bitcoin.
While many cryptocurrency investors tout their asset as being uncorrelated with stock markets, the ruble has dropped dramatically. Many investors are attempting to get out of the ruble, which has devalued sharply. The volatility in the market is likely to persist until the situation stabilizes. It will be interesting to see if the cryptocurrency market is a knee-jerk reaction to the Russian-Ukrainian tensions.
Bitcoin and Ethereum have fallen more than 10% from their highs this week, as investors are selling them to secure their investments. Meanwhile, many of the lower-cap coins, such as Litecoin and Ethereum, are down even more. Even the hyvrna is down over 13.6%. This means that Bitcoin and Ethereum are now considered to be “safe haven assets” for investors who are wary of risk.
The turmoil has led to a crisis of sorts in the global economy. The Russian-Ukrainian conflict is upending the globalization drive of the last 30 years. In a letter to its shareholders, BlackRock executives said the conflict would force nations to reassess their currency dependences. Meanwhile, the Russian finance ministry said it would take central bank proposals into account, but it had recently submitted legislative proposals for their use. While these proposals clashed with the demands of the central bank, the conflict is causing cryptocurrency prices to plummet.
Cryptocurrency exchanges won’t shut down Russia-based accounts
Although all the major financial institutions have stopped doing business with Russia due to the autocrat Vladimir Putin’s recent invasion of Ukraine, cryptocurrency markets aren’t affected by this. According to a recent report in Vice, Coinbase, Binance, and Kraken Exchange aren’t shutting down accounts in Russia because of supposed values or increased trade. Rather, they’re cashing in on a new wave of Russian investors and users.
Although Binance and Kraken are refusing to block all Russian-based accounts, they’ve blocked accounts of 100 individuals on international sanctions lists. While this is a concern for some investors, cryptocurrency exchanges won’t shut down Russian-based accounts unilaterally, as the move would be unfair and limit the freedom of financial freedom. However, the CEOs of both exchanges have reiterated that they won’t ban any Russian-based accounts in advance of the upcoming Ukrainian elections.
The biggest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, Kraken, has said that it won’t freeze Russian-based accounts unless the State Department orders them to do so. The San Francisco-based company is within its legal restrictions and works with law enforcement. The company’s chief legal officer, a former magistrate judge and Facebook’s deputy general counsel, said that total bans on Russian-based accounts are unfair to the average Russian, who might not support the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The Ukrainian government has made vocal statements about the role of cryptocurrency exchanges in the conflict, and Western companies are scaling back their activities in the country. Microsoft and Netflix, which recently announced that they would not do business with Russia, have stopped doing so, too. Some argue that this could weaken Putin’s grip on Russia. On the other hand, Fedorov sent letters to eight cryptocurrency exchanges, asking them to stop serving Russian customers.
Despite the pressure, Coinbase has announced it won’t shut down Russia-based accounts, despite calls from the Ukrainian government for them to do so. The CEO of Coinbase, Brian Armstrong, has said that many ordinary Russians are using the cryptocurrency as their lifeline and a ban would hurt them, too. After all, many ordinary Russians don’t support the war.
While cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have become a popular investment among Russians, the repression in the country has triggered a new wave of cryptocurrency trading. Despite Russia’s attempts to limit the use of cryptocurrency, it has been a valuable tool for ordinary citizens to resist the financial totalitarianism in their country. But the current war is a warning sign that Russia is in danger of losing its economic freedom and its currency.
The US Treasury has warned financial institutions and virtual asset service providers to be vigilant against the threat of sanctions evasion. While most crypto exchanges require ID checks, the level of rigor varies across the industry. While regulators worry that crypto will become a conduit for illicit cash, the U.S. Treasury Department has not publicly accused any exchange of doing so. This situation could spell trouble for the industry as a whole.
Cryptocurrencies used to buy military supplies
There is a big story in the news today. Amid Russian-Ukrainian tensions, the price of Bitcoin is dropping as the global economy struggles to cope. Bitcoin advocates cite the plight of ordinary Russians, who had no say in Putin’s decision to send troops to Ukraine. The price of Bitcoin is falling in part because a huge portion of these people’s savings has been deposited into crypto hard wallets, enabling them to flee the country with nothing more than the clothes on their backs.
Cryptocurrency investors have been using the cryptocurrency to donate to Ukraine. The price of Bitcoin has fallen by around 22% in recent weeks. According to a blockchain analytics firm, investors have donated $22 million worth of crypto to the Ukrainian government. As a result, it could prove to be an excellent way to donate to causes around the world with a much lower friction than traditional banking systems.
After a sudden drop in prices last week, Bitcoin fell to a low of $35,000, while Ethereum sank to around $2,400. While the price of Bitcoin is now climbing back up to $42,000, Ethereum has also fallen by more than 8%. According to Edward Moya, a senior market analyst at OANDA, the situation in Ukraine is unsettling investors. Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent troops to the pro-Moscow regions in eastern Ukraine.
While the ruble is recovering, cryptocurrency prices are still dropping, due to the Russia-Ukrainian crisis. Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops to two breakaway regions last Monday and declared them independent and sent a clear signal to Ukraine. This sent fears of invasion across the globe and led to a sharp decline in global stocks late Wednesday. The crisis is also unsettling younger investors who are wary of the government’s actions.
A war in Ukraine may result in massive destruction for economies and markets around the world. Oil prices are up in the past few months. The president of Ukraine, Zelensky, recently announced that 100 Ukrainians were killed in the first day of the Russian invasion. The situation has thrown the lives of ordinary Ukrainian citizens upside down. Some have fled their homes while others have defended their property against Russian forces. This war is likely to cause further volatility in global financial markets.
However, this price drop could be temporary and a sign of a broader conflict. Despite the current rift, cryptocurrency donations are pouring into Ukraine. Meanwhile, non-sanctioned Russians could be locked out of the crypto ecosystem. In the worst-case scenario, they could even be blocked from the internet. These are all possibilities. That is why regulators need to pay close attention to the situation.