As the Bitcoin crypto industry grows, it comes up with more and more problems that need to be worked out. This week’s surge is just the most recent.
On Tuesday, the S&P 500 lost almost 2%. That’s because stocks aren’t: Because of the restrictions imposed on the country, some Russians may begin to use digital assets. They might then be used as money. Because after a few weeks of following stocks, it has become popular again as a way to protect against rising prices.
On one day, Bitcoin might be in line with the stock market, but on the next, it might not be. For people who have tried to predict its future, this is not a surprise. Confidence is a bad thing when you’re trying to write these kinds of stories in a market this young. Humility is the best way to do this.
As far as we can tell, there are two stories going on right now about how crypto can be useful in this situation. One is about Russia and the other is about Ukraine.
Severe Sanctions for Russia
Russia’s government has restricted individuals’ access to foreign currency, forcing them to consider other savings methods. Some traders believe crypto can help circumvent this, driving up the value of Bitcoin by up to 20% in recent days.
The biggest winners from Monday’s actions were privacy currencies like Monero and ZCash, which mask money movement over their underlying blockchain networks to protect users’ identities. They soared even quicker than the main coins since the government seemed to be supporting untraceable crypto ecosystems.
More Bitcoin Donations for Ukraine
Around the same moment, the Ukrainian government and volunteer organizations have collected bitcoin contributions totaling $30 million. This indicates that while the crypto industry isn’t always a force for good, it can be. There are numerous other traditional methods to give beyond converting cash into bitcoin.
Adulthood Means Following Rules or Paying the Price
The idea of using cryptocurrency to dodge sanctions is a chicken-and-egg problem. For one thing, digital assets are very dependent on exchanges to act as middlemen when people buy and sell them, even though the crypto community’s claims of decentralization.
Companies like Kraken and Binance say that if Ukraine wants to freeze Russian accounts, that’s against the spirit of crypto, which is a way to get around the censorship banks and governments can put on people. They’ve said this even though many people have helped the Ukraine.
But regulators won’t be able to accept that for very long. The European Union may accelerate crypto regulation in order to prevent digital coins from serving as a de facto workaround for penalties. The Biden administration has asked exchanges to follow the sanctions they’ve put on Russian individuals and businesses.
Companies like Coinbase Global Inc. have seen this coming and are getting more and more ready for it. Cryptocurrency firms now have a choice: grow up and be regulated, or continue to resist and risk not being controlled.
If you’re in Moscow or Kyiv right now, crypto might look like a good thing to eat while traditional markets are in trouble. In fact, as the above and the market’s history show, there’s no way to know that it will.
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