The President of the European Central Bank, Christine Lagarde has reiterated warnings that Russian individuals and businesses are using cryptocurrencies to skirt sanctions.
However, as of March 18, daily ruble-denominated crypto trading volume was sitting at just $7.4 million, down over 50% from recent figures and a peak of $70 million on March 7, according to data from Chainalysis.
This amount represents a tiny slither of the total global crypto market volume, with Bitcoin’s total daily volume generally fluctuating between $20 billion and $40 billion.
In a presentation at the Bank for International Settlements Innovation Summit on Tuesday, the crypto skeptic Lagarde said that European financial authorities had seen the “volumes of rubles into stable, into cryptos, at the moment [is at] the highest level that we have seen since maybe 2021.”
Lagarde did not point the finger at the Russian government and outlined that it was primarily Russian individuals and businesses turning to cryptocurrencies. However she said that cryptocurrencies “are certainly being used as a way to try to circumvent the sanctions.”
“So is it [crypto] a threat? Yes. Has it … been a threat in the past? Yes, because when you look at a lot of the dubious transactions that are taking place, a lot of the criminal activities payments that are taking place, very often you find some crypto assets.”
Lagarde’s comments seem to be at odds with data provided by Chainalysis and Kaiko, as well as that of expert opinion. The Blockchain Association’s Jake Chervinsky has said that Russia is unlikely…