In recent trading Bitcoin (BTC-USD), the largest cryptocurrency by market cap, was down 4.9% to ~$41.5K. Other top digital tokens are also in the red. Ether (ETH-USD) is falling 6.4% to ~$2.35K, XRP (XRP-USD) -3.8%, Binance coin (BNB-USD) -3.8%, terra (LUNA-USD) -3.4%, solana (SOL-USD) -8.0%.
Coinbase (NASDAQ:COIN) CEO Brian Armstrong said in a string of tweets on Friday that "some ordinary Russians are using crypto as a lifeline" as the ruble collapsed. The crypto exchange isn't banning all Russian users, but said it is complying with U.S. government sanctions against individuals or entities.
If the government decides to impose a ban on all Russian users, Coinbase (COIN) will comply, he said.
The data, though, doesn't seem to back up the narrative that Russians are evading sanctions through crypto, Bloomberg reported, citing Chainalysis data. Ruble-denominated crypto activity stood at $34.1M on March 3, the firm said, down from a recent peak of $70.7M on Feb. 24 and far below the record of $158M on May 20, 2021.
Citigroup estimated that actual bitcoin (BTC-USD) buying from Russia was only 201 BTC on average per day in the past week compared with a total daily volume that tends to range between $20B and $40B.
"Russian volumes have been relatively small so far, suggesting that the price action is more due to investors positioning for an expected uptick in demand from Russia, rather than Russian demand itself," Citi analysts said in a report on Wednesday.
In premarket trading, Marathon Digital (NASDAQ:MARA) is falling 2.1%, Riot Blockchain (NASDAQ:RIOT) -0.9%, Hut 8 Mining (NASDAQ:HUT) -2.3%, Silvergate Capital (NYSE:SI) -3.3%, Coinbase (COIN) -1.7%, and Bakkt Holdings (NYSE:BKKT) +0.6%.
Previously (March 3), Bitcoin (BTC-USD) slips to $42.1K but still keeps within two-month range.