Trading volume in the stablecoin tether (USDT) with Ukrainian hryvnia (UAH) is again seeing strong growth on crypto exchange Binance, with the volume on several days this week reaching and surpassing the level seen on the day the war started.
According to data from Binance, which is the only major international exchange that deals with both the Ukrainian hryvnia and the Russian ruble (RUB) fiat currencies, the 24-hour trading volume in the USDT/UAH pair on Wednesday reached USDT 8.71m.
The figure is just above the USDT 8.69m seen on February 24, the day Russian forces first attacked Ukraine.
Price and volume of USDT/UAH on Binance:
Similarly, interest in bitcoin (BTC) trading against the Ukrainian fiat currency also remains high, although volume in this market has yet to reach its high from the start of the war.
On Thursday, volume in the BTC/UAH market on Binance reached BTC 48, its second-highest during the war since the spike to BTC 79 when the war broke out in the country.
Falling interest in Russia
Notably, USDT and BTC trading using the Russian ruble has not seen the same uptick as trading with the Ukrainian hryvnia in recent days.
As of Thursday this week, interest appears to have fallen from the peak, with the 24-hour volume in the USDT/RUB market reaching USDT 16.94m, and the BTC/RUB market reaching BTC 229.
The figures mean the volume in the two markets is now down to about half of its war-time highs of USDT 37.31m in the USDT/RUB market, and BTC 506 in the BTC/RUB market, both reached on March 7.
Price and volume of USDT/RUB on Binance:
The sharp reduction in trading volume marks a turnaround from Tuesday this week when Cryptonews.com reported that trading among Russians on Binance had continued to surge after the war broke out.
A possible explanation for the fall in trading volume using the Russian fiat currency could be the ban on Russia-issued cards from Visa and MasterCard that Binance announced on Tuesday this week.
High bitcoin premium in Ukraine
Looking at the premiums that exist on Binance, the strongest indication of increased appetite for crypto now comes from Ukraine, where traders using the local fiat currency as of Friday at 11:40 UTC were forced to pay USD 41,000 for BTC 1. That compares to an international market price of USD 39,590 at the same time – a premium of about 3.4%.
Similarly, a premium also existed on tether, which traded at a price in UAH that equaled USD 1.04 – a 4% premium.
Using Russian rubles, premiums were smaller, with BTC 1 trading at a price in rubles equivalent to USD 40,655, and USDT 1 trading at USD 1.01 at the same time.