Ukrainians are turning to cryptocurrencies as the central bank makes a swift attempt to crack down on digital money transfers after the government declared a nationwide martial law. In an official statement, the National Bank of Ukraine highlighted that the distribution of e-money was temporarily off-limits. The order calls for suspension of the foreign exchange market, prohibiting the issuance of foreign currency, and limit cash withdrawals.
A popular Ukrainian crypto exchange – Kuna highlighted that domestic buyers are paying a premium for Tether’s USDT stable coin. This crypto is pegged to the US dollar. Michael Chobanian, the founder of Kuna, outlined that they do not trust the government. He said they don’t trust the banking system either. Chobanian said the Ukrainians don’t trust the local currency. He pointed out that people have nothing else apart from cryptocurrency.
With a market cap of nearly $80 billion, USDT is the most popular stable coin. Unlike popular cryptocurrencies – Bitcoin and Ethereum which have experienced high volatility in recent days owing to the geopolitical tensions, USDT is fairly stable in value. The price of 1 USDT is around 32 Ukrainian hryvnia or $0.10 due to the increased demand.
Ukraine, as per local media reports, was planning to open its cryptocurrency market to businesses and investors. A week ago, the Ukrainian parliament passed its crypto bill. Mykhailo Fedorov, the deputy prime minister of Ukraine, described the new law as an opportunity for business development in the country. Foreign and Ukrainian crypto companies, through the new law, will be able to operate legally. Moreover, Ukrainians will get secure access to the global crypto market.