With currency controls in place and the hryvnia at all-time lows, Kuna, a long-running native crypto exchange, is seeing a rapid shift in client activity.
Trading volumes of bitcoin (BTC) and altcoins have increased at a major Ukraine cryptocurrency exchange in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion, according to data. According to CoinGecko, the volume at Kuna nearly tripled to over $4 million on February 24.
The impact on both countries’ fiat currencies was instantly apparent as the armed conflict with Russia began. While the Russian ruble took the brunt of the losses, the Ukrainian hryvnia also dropped, aiming for a new all-time low of 30 per dollar.
After a considerable back-and-forth between politicians, Ukraine recently adopted a law legalizing cryptocurrencies, which sparked a surge in interest in alternatives.
The effect was visible at seven-year-old Kuna, where volumes were less than $1 million on Feb. 21 but nearly $4.1 million three days later.
According to CoinGecko data, the initial frenzy has already begun to fade, corresponding with stabilized fiat rates vs the US dollar and other major currencies.
Kuna’s own rates were less apparent, with a peculiar spread either side of the Bitcoin market price. At the time of writing, BTC/USD was trading on Bitstamp for $38,300, while Kuna’s USD pair was trading for more than $40,000.
Tether (USDT), on the other hand, was trading at $37,800 per bitcoin. The National Bank of Ukraine began restricting cash on Wednesday, capping hryvnia withdrawals at 100,000 UAH ($3,353) per day and outright prohibiting cross-border foreign currency purchases and withdrawals.
According to a Facebook post, the Bank also aimed to establish a stable hryvnia exchange rate. Meanwhile, Russia’s central bank began intervening in currency markets on Thursday to support its collapsing ruble, with numerous movements appearing to have occurred in the previous 24 hours.