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Ukraine-Russia crisis drives bitcoin demand as sanctions restrict financial transactions

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The Russian invasion of Ukraine has driven demand for cryptocurrencies in both countries, helping boost the price of bitcoin.

Bitcoin has been trading at a premium against the Ukrainian hryvnia on a number of exchanges, both globally and locally, a sign of high demand. On Binance, the largest exchange in the world, bitcoin was trading for the equivalent of $45,894 in hryvnia terms. On Kuna, the largest exchange in Ukraine, it was at $46,847, and had traded as high as $51,240.

In US markets, bitcoin was recently trading near $44,000 on the night of 1 March, up more than 17% since 27 February evening, according to data from CoinDesk.

READ Bitcoin’s surge confuses even pro traders: ‘It’s trading like a Treasury’

On Binance, there has been a surge in trading volume of bitcoin in exchange for rubles since just before Russia’s invasion began. Between 20 February and 28 February, about 1,792 bitcoins exchanged hands in the ruble/bitcoin trading pair, compared with only 522 in the nine days before that, according to data on Binance.

Western sanctions have effectively cut Russia…

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