Ruble-Denominated Bitcoin Volume Surges to 9-Month High

The increase comes as the West's sanctions on Russia trigger a flight from the ruble.

AccessTimeIconFeb 28, 2022 at 6:28 a.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 5:27 p.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global hub for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

Trading volumes between the Russian ruble and bitcoin increased to a nine-month high as the country's fiat currency plunged to record lows due to the fallout from the invasion of Ukraine.

Data tracked by Kaiko, a Paris-based cryptocurrency research provider, shows that ruble (RUB)-denominated bitcoin volume surged to nearly 1.5 billion RUB on Thursday, hitting its highest level since May.

"The activity was concentrated on Binance," Kaiko research analyst Clara Medalie told CoinDesk in an 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."

Similar trends were observed in tether-ruble and tether-hryvnia trading volumes, Medalie added. Tether (USDT), the world's largest stablecoin by market value, offers price stability in the often volatile world of cryptocurrencies by maintaining a 1:1 peg with the U.S. dollar.

Kaiko data shows USDT/RUB trading volume also rose to an eight-month high of 1.3 billion RUB on Thursday.

Tether-ruble daily trading volume
Tether-ruble daily trading volume

The spike in the ruble-based crypto trading volumes came as investors scrambled to move out of the ruble, fearing stricter sanctions from the West.

The Russian currency plunged over 8% to 90 per U.S. dollar last week and extended the slide by another 28% early today, reaching a record low of 118 per dollar, according to Bloomberg data. Gold, U.S. Treasurys, the U.S. dollar and the Swiss franc have been the beneficiaries of the flight to safety.

Over the weekend, the U.S. and its allies stepped up punitive measures against Russia, intending to stop its banks from accessing SWIFT, the messaging network underpinning global financial transactions. The European Union banned all transactions with the Russian central bank in a bid to prevent it from selling overseas assets to support its banks.

Early Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the country's nuclear deterrence force to be on high alert. According to reports, the Russian central bank has asked brokers to ban nonresident investors from selling securities.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Omkar Godbole

Omkar Godbole is a Co-Managing Editor on CoinDesk's Markets team.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.