Bitcoin breaks over $41K as ruble-denominated bitcoin volume surges

Bitcoin (BTC-USD) on Monday is zooming past $41K per token as trading volumes between the Russian ruble and BTC jump to a nine-month high, CoinDesk reported, citing data from crypto research provider Kaiko.

Bitcoin (BTC-USD +4.9%) has climbed to as high as $41.3K on strong volume and ethereum (ETH-USD +1.1%) is rising toward $2.85K. The global crypto market cap is up more than 2% in the past 24 hours. 

Given their relatively high correlation, the crypto rally could be helped by an intraday turnaround seen in U.S. equities, with the Nasdaq (COMP.IND) +0.6% jumping back into positive territory.

It appears the Western sanctions against Russia and central bank restrictions on trading have triggered a flight from the ruble, as ruble-denominated bitcoin volume jumped to nearly 1.5B RUB ($14.42M) on Thursday, the highest since May, CoinDesk highlighted. "The activity was concentrated on Binance," Kaiko Research Analyst Clara Medalie told CoinDesk via email. 

"Bitcoin-Ukrainian hryvnia volume has also spiked, but not as high as October levels. BTC-UAH only trades on 2 exchanges – Binance and LocalBitcoin." Note the ruble is plummeting almost 25% against the U.S. dollar as sanctions heat up.

In the wake of payment restrictions imposed on Russia, virtual currencies could offer the world's third largest bitcoin (BTC-USD) miner a way to work around sanctions, thus reducing the "efficacy of American sanctions," the U.S. 

Treasury reported in its 2021 sanctions review. Cryptos "offer malign actors opportunities to hold and transfer funds outside the traditional dollar-based financial system," the department explained. "They also empower our adversaries seeking to build new financial and payments systems intended to diminish the dollar’s global role."

Some of the largest cryptos by market cap that are making the biggest upswings intraday include: binance coin (BNB-USD +2.6%), cardano (ADA-USD +4.5%), polygon (MATIC-USD +2.9%), wrapped bitcoin (WBTC-USD +4.9%), bitcoin cash (BCH-USD +3.2%) and Monero (XMR-USD +3.4%).

See details about the West's sanctions on Russia here.


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