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Russian ruble drops as oil sanctions impact global markets

On Monday, Russia’s currency fell 26 percent to a record low versus Bitcoin, extending losses after the US suggested that it was considering penalties against Moscow’s oil exports. One Bitcoin is now worth more than 5 million rubles, with the ruble falling roughly 60 percent versus Bitcoin in the last month.

The newest sanctions imposed by the west in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will be energy restrictions. The US and its allies stopped many Russian banks from using the SWIFT payments network in February, as well as freezing their abroad assets, depleting Russia of foreign cash sources.

Oil accounts for more than half of Russia’s overall exports, according to statistics of the Observatory of Economic Complexity. To preserve the economy, the Russian Central Bank increased interest rates by more than doubling them to 20 percent. 

According to data from a source, crypto trade volumes increased in Russia over the final two weeks of February, notably following the US sanctions. This sparked rumours that Russians were migrating into crypto to secure their riches, especially given the surging popularity of stablecoin tether.

Despite the bans imposed by major payment firms Visa and Mastercard, many major cryptocurrency exchanges remain operational in Russia. According to Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, many Russians are utilising cryptocurrency as a lifeline owing to ruble instability and limited access to global markets. As the hryvnia plummeted, some Ukrainians were spotted resorting to cryptocurrency, with tether in particular in demand.

 

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