Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are gaining steam, as Russia faces economic sanctions and its currency, the ruble, rapidly decreases in value. Ukrainians departing Ukraine may also be to blame since they have flocked to the blockchain's digital mattress to hide their money.
While bitcoin hasn't shown to be "digital gold," it has grown more popular in countries with currency problems—such as Turkey, when the lira fell last year.
What’s crypto companies’ role in all this?
Ukraine's officially asked eight cryptocurrency exchanges, including industry leaders Coinbase and Binance, to cease service to all Russian customers. Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov continued, tweeting, “It's crucial [for major exchanges] to freeze not only the addresses linked to Russian and Belarusian politicians, but also to sabotage ordinary users.”
Coinbase and Binance have chosen not to blanket-ban Russia, but they have removed users identified by sanctions. Most exchanges are opposed to account freezes since ease of international use and anonymity for consumers are fundamental aspects of cryptocurrency.
Cryptocurrency is playing a major role in this war for both Russians and Ukrainians. Parties on both sides are utilizing it as a safe-haven, and Ukraine has raised over $22 million in crypto to fund its war effort.