Analysis: Ukrainian crypto trading volume spiked as the Russian tanks rolled in – but still didn’t approach levels set during the hottest times in the market last year and is already subsiding.

Trading volume on Binance between Ukraine’s national currency, the hryvna, and the leading stablecoin, Tether, hit levels last seen in October, Tradingview data analysed by Stockhead shows.

Tradingview/Stockhead

On the Ukrainian crypto exchange Kuna, trading volume hit a three-month peak of $3.5 million on February 25.

Coingecko

The numbers seem to indicate there’s while there’s some truth to the idea that Ukranians worried about their banking system are fleeing to crypto, it’s certainly not a widespread movement as of yet.

Trading volume on Binance between the hryvnia and Bitcoin shows a spike, but not to the levels set in September.

 

Crypto to evade sanctions?

There’s also been some media reports speculating that Russia might use crypto to evade US sanctions meant to punish the rogue state.

But the US officials in charge of enforcing sanctions say they’re not worried about it.

“The scale of what they have to move, and where they have to move things from, [crypto’s] not necessarily going to be that concerning,” Todd Conklin, counselor to the deputy Treasury secretary, told Politico. An attempt to move that much money through exchanges would contribute to “a bit more of a spike in the crypto market, in my view, than has been observed lately”.

Crypto experts agree there’s little chance of this happening, as crypto markets are both too illiquid to be useful for an entire economy the size of Russia’s, and too transparent to be used for evasion.