ECB warns of sanctions again but ruble-denominated cryptocurrency volumes are still falling

European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde has again warned that Russian individuals and businesses are using cryptocurrencies to evade sanctions.

However, as of March 18, the daily volume of cryptocurrency in rubles was only $7.4 million, down more than 50 percent from the most recent figures, peaking at $70 million on March 7, according to data from Chainalysis. .

That figure represents a tiny fraction of the total global crypto market volume, which typically fluctuates between $20 billion and $40 billion on a daily basis.

Speaking at the Bank for International Settlements Innovation Summit on Tuesday, Lagarde, a cryptocurrency skeptic, said European financial authorities have seen “the ruble traded against stablecoins and cryptocurrencies at levels that are likely to be the highest since 2021. “

Instead of pointing the finger at the Russian government, Lagarde pointed out that it is mostly Russian individuals and businesses that are turning to cryptocurrencies. However, she said cryptocurrencies are “certainly being used as a way to try to circumvent sanctions.”

“So, is (cryptocurrency) a threat? Yes. Was it a threat in the past? Yes, because when you look at a lot of suspicious transactions going on, a lot of criminal activity going on payments, you often find some crypto assets.”

Lagarde’s remarks appear to be at odds with data provided by Chainalysis and Kaiko, as well as expert opinion. According to Jake Chervinsky of the Blockchain Association, Russia is unlikely to use crypto assets as a means of circumventing Western sanctions.

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Ruble-denominated trading volume on all cryptocurrency exchanges Source: Bloomberg

Data provided by crypto analytics firm Kaiko shows that the ruble-USDT traded volume dropped 86 percent from a peak of $38 million on March 7 to less than $5 million on March 22. There had been a surge in trading volumes both before and after the war, but they have now returned to levels lower than they were for most of early February. That was before sanctions were imposed.

Instead, cryptocurrencies have played a role in helping Ukrainian refugees flee Ukraine. CNBC reported the story of a Ukrainian refugee who goes by the pseudonym “Fadey.” “Fadey” fled the war-torn country with $2,000 in bitcoin in a cold wallet, making it easier for him to withdraw his monetary assets once he arrived in Poland’s safe zone.

Alex Gladstein, chief strategy officer at the Human Rights Foundation, said trying to withdraw money from Ukrainian banks was very difficult in the weeks before the invasion, and highlighted the difficulties currently faced by refugees trying to access funds from countries such as Poland.

“How are you going to get into your Ukrainian bank account in Poland? Good luck.”

According to Merkel Science, donations to Ukraine through crypto-assets have increased dramatically over the past 3 months, with daily donations now totaling $100.9 million per day.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/ecb-warns-of-sanctions-again-but-ruble-denominated-cryptocurrency-volumes-are-still-falling/
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