Russian Cryptocurrencies Surge as Western Banks Cut Ties

1 min read

Listen to this article:

Two Russia-linked cryptocurrencies are surging in price after Visa and Mastercard banned Russians from making credit card payments overseas. 

People living in Russia will no longer be able to use the two major credit cards in other countries, Russia’s Central Bank announced on Sunday. 

Both Visa and Mastercard have suspended operations in Russia as a response to the brutal invasion of Ukraine. 

However, Russian banks are now planning to issue their own cards which use China’s UnionPay, a system that works in 180 countries. 

As the clampdown begins, two Russian cryptocurrencies have surged in price. 

Waves has experienced a rally that started on March 5 and saw its value soar from $17.02 to a high of $24.22.

Russian theoretical physicist Sasha Ivanov created The Waves Platform in 2016 and named it after Albert Einstein’s gravitational waves theory. 

It is one of the only top 100 cryptocurrencies to experience a price increase in the past week, in which a mass sell-off has caused most major tokens to suffer a slump. 

Ivanov is from Ukraine and shared a post on Twitter that said: “Peace please.”

He also linked to an article which set out the reasons for the recent rally: a migration to Waves 2.0, a partnership with Allbridge and the establishment of Waves Labs, an “incubation program” backed by a $150m fund that will develop products in the US to “drive mass adoption in 2022”.

SIBCoin, a much smaller cryptocurrency linked to Russia, also shot up by 400% to a high of about 40 cents. 

Coinbase has announced its own restrictions and will block “sanctioned actors” from using its platform.

Paul Grewal, Chief Legal Officer, wrote: “In the past few weeks, governments around the world have imposed a range of sanctions on individuals and territories in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

“Sanctions play a vital role in promoting national security and deterring unlawful aggression, and Coinbase fully supports these efforts by government authorities. Sanctions are serious interventions, and governments are best placed to decide when, where, and how to apply them.

No compliance program is perfect, including ours. But to play our part in these critical economic sanctions, Coinbase implements a multi-layered, global sanctions program.”

You may also like

Recent Articles