Mike Chobanian, the CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Kuna, has evacuated part of his workforce from Kyiv and is keeping a wary eye on the impact of Russia’s invasion on his thriving sector.
Before the war, many Ukrainians turned to cryptocurrency as a result of Russia’s military buildup.
However, it continues to aid worldwide fundraising campaigns, albeit through an obscure decentralized that Russia may use to evade sanctions.
On Friday, the Ukrainian government implemented measures against the rouble, forcing Mr. Chobanian to stop trading bitcoin for roubles.
“But who cares when it’s war?” said Mr. Chobanian.
His platform has recently seen a steady increase in activity from Ukrainian accounts.
Concerned about escalating tensions, people began buying stablecoins, dollar-backed digital currencies whose opacity has been criticized by Western regulators.
However, since the war, trade has become more difficult.
Mr. Chobanian believes that there are no limits; it can be funded from anywhere globally; this is not reliant on the financial system; and, since it is a blockchain, there is much more transparency.
The Ukrainian government does not share this joy entirely.
The ministry of defense requests donations through bank transfers via UkraineNOW, but notes that “national legislation prohibits the defense ministry of Ukraine from using other payment services.”
The very same network that attracts Ukrainian fundraisers to cryptocurrencies could potentially benefit Russia.
Suspension from the Swift system, which permits financial firms worldwide to settle interbank transactions, is one of the measures being discussed against Moscow.
Many believe that cryptocurrencies will help Russia to evade sanctions.
Iran frequently uses cryptocurrencies to get money into the nation, but she said that they mined it instead of hacking it.