Home / Markets / Cryptocurrency /  Bitcoin overtakes Russian Ruble as Russians scramble for cryptos

Amid the volatility and the recent gains, Bitcoin now has a higher market capitalisation than Russian currency ruble, that has been declining under the weight of Western sanctions being put on Russia over the invasion of Ukraine, after Russian President Vladimir Putin last month started a military operation in Ukraine.

Bitcoin has overtaken Russia's ruble in terms of total value as the bitcoin price surges just as the ruble goes into freefall. Data from FiatMarketCap showed that the cryptocurrency has surpassed Ruble for the first in the global ranking of fiat currencies by market value in BTC, as the crypto is ranked 14th, whereas RUB at 17th in the list.

Trading volumes in Bitcoin using the ruble have surged to the highest level since May, suggesting Russians are potentially moving their money into crypto as the ruble plunges to a record low amid the intensifying war between Russia and Ukraine, as reported by Bloomberg.

The world's most popular and largest cryptocurrency has added over 20% since dropping to lows of under $35,000 last week, even if its still far away from its record high of $69,000 it had hit in November last year. Meanwhile, Russian currency has crashed almost 30% following new Western sanctions imposed on the country over the weekend.

Russia has responded to the currency weakness by more than doubling its benchmark interest rate to 20% and telling companies to convert 80% of their foreign currency revenues on the domestic market as the central bank, which is now under Western sanctions, has stopped foreign exchange interventions.

Russia’s rating has been cut to ‘junk’ by rating agency Moody’s. On the other hand, Fitch has also slashed the country's credit rating six levels to junk whereas widely tracked global indices MSCI Inc and FTSE Russell are eliminating Russian equities from its emerging-markets (EM) index. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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