Bitcoin and Ethereum Trading at a Discount in Russia as Ruble Plummets

  • Both Bitcoin and Ethereum are currently trading at a discount in Russia, at a time in which the Russian Rubble is plummeting over US sanctions
  • Behind the trend may be  a feigning interest in cryptocurrencies, although prices are currently rising

Bitcoin and Ethereum, the top two cryptocurrencies by market cap, are currently trading at a significant discount in Russia, at a time in which the country’s fiat currency, the Ruble, is plummeting

According to data from CryptoCompare, Bitcoin is currently trading for 425,550 RUR, worth roughly $6,680. On average, the cryptocurrency is trading for $6,880. Ethereum, on the other hand, is currently going for 26,060 RUR, worth about $408, while worldwide, on average, the cryptocurrency is trading for $417.

Both cryptocurrencies are up by little over 5 percent against the Ruble, as the fiat currency has recently started plummeting after Donald Trump’s administration imposed new sanctions on 24 wealthy Russian and government officials. The sanctions affect over a dozen Russian-controlled entities.

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Reasons for the discount are, at press time, unclear as cryptocurrencies often trade at a premium when fiat currencies start losing value. Bitcoin and Ethereum are both rising fast against the ruble, which may mean the trend will soon change.

Analysts believe the Ruble will keep plummeting, as according to Business Insider new confrontations between the US and Russia may soon arise. Per Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK:

"Coming on the back of events in Salisbury last month and the use of a nerve agent there, and the fact that renowned Russia hawk John Bolton started his role as National Security Advisor in the White House yesterday, the risk is that last weekend’s measures may only be the start to financially ostracize Russia.”

Michael Hewson

If Hewson’s right, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies may soon start trading at a premium against the Ruble. Notably, historical data shows the flagship cryptocurrency was trading at a 24-hour low of about $6,200 against the fiat currency.

The discount may potentially be justified using Google Trends data, as it shows search interest for “Криптовалюта” (cryptocurrency) has recently plummeted.

 

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While the motives behind it plummeting are still unclear, the discount is quickly disappearing at press time. Updated data from April 9-11, not yet available, may paint a different picture.

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Tim Draper Calls Indian Government “Pathetic and Corrupt” Over Bitcoin Ban

  • Tim Draper calls the Indian government "pathetic and corrupt" over a proposed ban on cryptocurrency.
  • Unofficial drafted bill has emerged online making the use of cryptocurrency punishable with 10 years in prison.

American billionaire investor Tim Draper has called out the Indian government over its purported plan to ban bitcoin and all forms of cryptocurrency. 

Proposed Bitcoin Ban

On July 14, blockchain lawyer Varun Sethi published to Twitter an unofficial draft of a bill circulating the Indian government that would ban the use of cryptocurrency. 

In addition to prohibiting the use of bitcoin, the bill seeks to impose a 10-year prison sentence on Indian citizens who “mine, generate, hold, sell, transfer, dispose, issue or deal in cryptocurrencies.” The bill does allow one caveat for the digital rupee, which is a token issued and backed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). 

Pathetic and Corrupt

In response to the proposed ban, Tim Draper took to Twitter to vent his feelings against the Modi government. 

Draper, who is known for his massive investments in Baidu, Skype, and Tesla, has become a bitcoin bull over the years, in addition to issuing some of the more far-fetched price predictions.

The American investor has also been an active presence encouraging developing countries to consider the benefits of bitcoin and digital currencies. More recently, he advocated the utility of bitcoin to the Argentine government, a country that has been combating fiat hyperinflation for years. 

Others Weigh In

Other high profile individuals have voiced their disapproval over the Indian government considering a bitcoin ban, including Barry Silbert who predicted the decision having the opposite effect on bitcoin adoption. 

John McAfee also chimed in with his belief that governments have little control over the use of bitcoin. 

Supporters of the Ban

However, not everyone took kindly to Draper’s harsh criticism of the Modi government. Given the rise in cryptocurrency-related scams over the past two years, some Indian citizens believe banning bitcoin will be a net positive for the country. 

While Draper may be stirring national sentiment related to cryptocurrency, it’s worth noting that the Indian government has yet to impose a ban of any sort. However, given the amount of rhetoric over the last several months and the more recent emergence of the drafted bill, it appears the Modi government is indeed contemplating decisive action against bitcoin and digital currencies.