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What Are Russians Doing in Lockdown? Praying and Trading Crypto

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 1 min read

Religion and crypto are emerging as the unlikely winners as locked-down Russian internet users flock to bitcoin (BTC) and the Bible in a bid to bust the coronavirus blues.

Source: Adobe/Anton Petrus

Internet habits appear to be changing fast in the country, with online traffic now spiking on crypto exchange websites. Per data compiled by Qrator Labs and published by Russian media outlet RBC, cryptocurrency trading platforms saw a rise in traffic of 5.56% in the last week of March.

Forex trading platforms also saw a rise in traffic – albeit smaller – of just over 3%.

Religious sites saw even more dramatic rises, with traffic growing by up to 500% on sites run by the Russian Orthodox church.

The Orthodox church’s largest portal is seeing a surge in traffic of 30% from this time last year, while Yandex Radar statistics show that Islam- and Judaism-related website traffic has also hit record levels in recent days.

This all was offset by a noticeable drop in visits to travel-related websites and airline websites, which saw a 1% fall in website visits over the same period.

However, it was not all good news for Russian crypto exchanges. The Qrator report’s authors also provided an update on the rate of distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks, stating that 2019 data showed an increase of 486% of DDOS-type attacks on crypto exchanges.

Other businesses, such as payments providers, also saw a 100% rise in attacks over the same period.

But it appears that Russian companies are already well aware of potential dangers lurking online. RBC says that per web security provider Searchinform, the number of requests to provide corporate-level data leakage protection systems for remote workforces has doubled in the past two weeks.