The sharp decline of the Russian rouble has provoked a frenzy on the crypto market: on 1 March, the daily BTC/RUB turnover reached 1.5 billion roubles, with one Bitcoin now costing 4.4 million roubles.
The stablecoin Tether is seeing similar demand growth, and the daily volume of USDT/RUB is now in excess of 1.3 billion roubles. Robust demand for cryptocurrencies from Russian and Ukrainian users has seen Bitcoin rise 29% from February lows.
Global data also suggest that further growth is on the horizon for Bitcoin: despite a significant pullback from all-time highs, exchanges are not seeing major inflows of cryptocurrencies of the kind that would signify a sell-off.
The biggest losses have been sustained by investors who bought Bitcoin during the last three months. For long term HODLers, this correction is no reason to exit the market. What's more, HODLers are continuing to increase their volumes, with the number of BTC that haven't moved in the last three months currently sitting above 335,000. The last time we saw this level was in June-September 2021, and it was then followed by a new rally.
In its note to investors on 25 February, Bank of America pointed to the unlikely onset of a "crypto winter", despite impending monetary tightening measures from the US Federal Reserve. Adoption and user activity are both on the rise, which will help increase the crypto's market capitalisation over the long term.
We would also be remiss not to discuss rising global inflation, which is pushing up energy prices and perpetuating disruptions in the supply of raw materials, replacement parts and electronic components. As Bitcoin returns to the $50,000-$60,000 range, people are beginning to speak of the original digital currency as an inflation hedge.
StormGain analytical group
(cryptocurrency trading, exchange and storage platform)