Ukrainians pay Tether premiums as desperate citizens abandon fiat currency

Ukrainians are paying a premium of up to USD 0.11 for the dollar-denominated stablecoin tether (USDT), as trading volumes on local cryptocurrency platforms have risen rapidly.

According to data from the Ukrainian cryptocurrency exchange Kuna, over USD 773,000 worth of USDT was traded on the platform in the last 24 hours — as Ukrainians attempted to convert their cash holdings to digital coins.

This surge in demand has resulted in the development of a USDT premium on the market. One USDT token should theoretically cost no more than one dollar, given the unit is tied 1:1 to the greenback. Price variations of this magnitude are typically suggestive of rising demand.

Google Trends data indicate that searches for “USDT” and “tether” are increasing across the majority of Ukraine’s regions, however interest in bitcoin (BTC) acquisition appears to be growing at a considerably slower pace. According to Google Trends, there has been a little increase in BTC-related searches in the country.


According to CoinMarketCap, about 32% of Kuna’s trading volume in the last 24 hours was in the USDT-fiat hryvnia pairing. Russian currency holders have also been purchasing USDT, accounting for more than 12% of trading volume on the platform.

Ukrainians similarly pay a USD 0.08 premium for USD coin (USDC) tokens, which are also tied 1:1 to the dollar, despite the fact that trading volumes in this country are less than 2%.

As previously reported, Kuna’s creator, Michael Chobanian, indicated that the exchange now had a “limited supply of” USDT and acknowledged that this had “pushed the exchange rate to a sizable premium.”

Trading volume on Kuna:


Meanwhile, legal experts in Russia have been debating the possible ramifications of Western allies-led sanctions — and their impact on cryptocurrency users.

According to RBC, Tatiana Kosykh, a lawyer with the Moscow Bar Association’s Advokat Premium, stated that because most crypto exchanges claim to be decentralized, they were unlikely to follow Washington, London, and Brussels.

She said that because Russians control approximately 12% of the “world’s cryptoassets,” a “massive withdrawal of funds by Russians from large trading platforms” would result in a precipitous decline in crypto values.

Kosykh stated:

“There will always be parties who benefit from United States sanctions. My opinion is that crypto exchanges will not yet choose to follow the lead of the USA and the EU – and will not block and restrict Russians’ access to their sites.”

The largest and most popular exchanges, on the other hand, are centralized and generally adhere to laws.

Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.

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