Peer-to-peer (P2P) trading platform Paxful says that Russians are growing very weary of the coronavirus pandemic and that they are regularly turning to bitcoin as a means of keeping themselves safe and their wealth hedged against weakening economic conditions.

Paxful Has Seen a Surge in Russian Trading Activity

The pandemic has had some nasty effects on global markets around the world. The United States, for example, has released $1,200 stimulus checks to all citizens making less than $75,000 per year, while also pumping billions back into businesses through new loan programs that either delay or involve no interest. The U.S. has also witnessed a massive surge in BTC interest from standard traders given the harsh economic conditions the country is facing.

Coinbase and other crypto exchanges, for instance, have stated that many people are likely spending their stimulus funds on crypto. They report witnessing trades and purchases of approximately $1,200 each, which is how much the stimulus checks were for.

Apparently, the same kind of uncertainty and economic unrest is occurring in Russia. In a statement, Paxful explains that Russian customers are likely turning to BTC to “combat inflation.” Russia is still a relatively new region for Paxful – the platform did not begin devoting time, energy or resources to the country’s residents until the end of 2019 – and yet already executives are noticing massive changes.

The company explained in an official statement:

Coupled with the economic distress of the coronavirus, which has weighed heavily on its citizens, a charge to an alternative finance system has become more than apparent within the region.

The company also stated that trading has increased by more than 350 percent from one year to the next (from 2019 to 2020), and that much of the activity is stemming from Russia and its people. Paxful explains:

Broken down month-over-month (MoM) during the COVID-19 pandemic… Paxful saw +50 percent MoM for May, +41 percent MoM for April, +34 percent MoM for March, with the last three months averaging +42 percent MoM. Each consecutive month was the highest of all-time, with July set to surpass June as the highest month yet. Additionally, there was a spike in new users YoY up 365 percent for the same period.

At the time of writing, it’s not entirely understood where Russia even stands on bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. The country has attempted to have digital trading banned in the past, though Anton Kozlov – the manager for Paxful’s Russia market – says that right now, Russia’s banking system is predominantly controlled by a small group of players, and many standard customers are looking for alternative ways to take control of their financial futures.

Crypto Can Help People Out in Big Ways

He’s confident that crypto can serve a loftier purpose in the country, mentioning:

Bitcoin within the P2P context allows them much more freedom to do so, and our data is proving it.

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