Russian cryptocurrency trading volume sank 50%, debunking suggestions of an upturn in digital asset buying to evade sanctions issued by much of the West.
Rouble-dominated crypto trading was US$34.1mln on Thursday, compared with US$70.7mln on 24 February, according to Chainalysis.
Despite Bitcoin’s 15% hike last week, Russian volumes have been relatively weak so far, “suggesting price action is more due to investor positioning for an expected increase in demand from Russia, rather than Russian demand itself”, said Citigroup analyst Alexander Saunders.
In fact, several crypto exchanges blacklisted sanctioned individuals and organisations to prevent them from crypto trading.
Binance refused to ban accounts of “innocent” Russian people, though.
New York State ramped up blockchain surveillance to further halt cryptos in aiding Russian interests.
Despite experts insisting digital assets would not help Russia circumvent international sanctions, the US and EU were continuously tightening crypto regulation.