Regional Interest in Bitcoin Sees an Uptick as Russia Invades Ukraine
As Russia launched its military attack on Ukraine amid an international outcry, a number of fiat currencies from Central and Eastern Europe tumbled, while users’ interest in bitcoin (BTC) somewhat increased across the broader region.
In the aggressor’s market, the Moscow Exchange stock exchange index plunged nearly 38% to around 1,167, in response to the war’s outbreak, per Bloomberg data.
The exchange temporarily suspended trading, but resumed it after about two hours at 10 AM local time.
At the same time, Russia’s rouble tumbled to its all-time low against USD and EUR, at 0.011 RUB / USD 1 and 0.010 RUB / EUR 1, respectively, per XE.com data, in extremely volatile trading, as investors continued to flee the market in anticipation of tougher Western sanctions on Moscow.
In pro-Kremlin Belarus, the country’s currency has also hit its record low level, triggering an effort by the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus, the country's central bank, to stop publishing data about the ruble’s dive against USD, as reported by local journalist Hanna Liubakova.
In the attacked country, among a number of temporary measures designed to salvage the Ukrainian economy, the central bank decided to limit cash withdrawals from bank accounts to some UAH 100,000 (USD 3,390) per day.
The National Bank of Ukraine also fixed the official exchange rate for Thursday, as reported by The Wall Street Journal. As the nation found itself under martial law, Ukraine’s PFTS stock exchange halted its activities.
With all these events continuing to undermine currencies across the region, bitcoin was trending in numerous Central and Eastern European states in the early Thursday hours, as indicated by Google search data for Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine. However, worldwide, the interest also increased in the past day.
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