The bloody conflict that began with Russia’s attack on Ukraine has led to an increase in crypto-related activity in both countries, according to Chainalysis. Fiat inflationary pressures and sanctions have led to a significant spike in transaction volumes this year, the blockchain forensics firm found, while Eastern Europe as a whole has maintained its role in the global cryptocurrency ecosystem.
Russians and Ukrainians turn to cryptocurrency amid consequences of escalating military clash
In an excerpt from the upcoming 2022 Crypto Geography Report, Chainalis said that the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the ensuing military conflict that is currently escalating has affected all aspects of life in the two countries, and cryptocurrencies are no exception. Citizens of both countries felt the economic impact of the war and suffered from high rates of inflation.
Shortly after hostilities began in late February, Russian and Ukrainian cryptocurrency transfers saw an increase. Trends in the following weeks and months varied, and while Russian transactions fell in a relatively narrow range, they may have been affected by Restrictions on servicesUkrainian transactions rose steadily until June.
In March, immediately after the outbreak of the war, the volume of trade denominated in Ukrainian hryvnia jumped by 121% to 307 million dollars, while the volume of trade denominated in Russian rubles increased by 35% to 805 million dollars. “Then we see volumes decline in both countries, ebb and flow during August, but never reach their highest levels in March,” the study authors noted.
Center Currency controls Under Kyiv’s martial law, including restrictions on cash purchases in US dollars or euros and transfers abroad, some Ukrainians may have been looking to exchange their hryvnia holdings for cryptocurrency, according to Tatiana Dmitrenko, a senior adviser at the Ukrainian ministry. Finance and a member of the Digital Asset Task Force of the World Economic Forum. Cryptocurrency trading volumes fell when these measures were eased in July.
Chainalysis quoted a money laundering specialist who commented on similar activity in Russia, where currency restrictions have also been implemented. “The main question not only for the oligarch but also for ordinary Russians is ‘How do you get money from Russia?’” said the expert, who chose to remain anonymous. “Many are starting to look for new places where they can exchange their cryptocurrency,” he added, citing the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Kazakhstan and Georgia as jurisdictions where Russians can find such services.
While according to the researchers, the cryptocurrency markets barely have enough liquidity to support the systematic evasion of sanctions, it is possible that the cryptocurrency plays a role in financing Russia’s foreign trade, after its banks were excluded from the global payment messaging network SWIFT. The expert pointed out that the Russian Central Bank recently agreed To legalize cross-border crypto payments settlements Some companies may have already started Use digital assets for such transactions. In his opinion, stablecoins are more likely to be preferred as a medium of exchange because they are not as volatile as Bitcoin.
Eastern Europe holds a 10% share of global crypto transactions, sequence analysis data show
Overall, Eastern Europe is the fifth largest cryptocurrency market with $630.9 billion received on-chain between July 2021 and June 2022, which is just over 10% of global transaction activity during that period, according to Chainalysis. The company explained that “the comparative role of the region in the larger cryptocurrency ecosystem around the world has remained surprisingly consistent over the past few years” while other regions have seen more volatility.
“Risk and illicit activity still stands out when we look at Eastern European activity across the chain: high-risk exchanges – those with no or low KYC requirements – account for 6.1% of transaction activity in the region,” the report further notes. According to aggregated data, more than 18% of all cryptocurrencies received in Eastern Europe come from addresses linked to risky or illicit activity, more than any other region, according to Chainalysis.
Do you expect crypto activity in Russia and Ukraine to increase further if the military conflict between them deepens? Share your thoughts on the topic in the comments section below.
Lubomir Tasev is an Eastern European technologist who likes to quote Hitchens: “Being a writer is what I am, not what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain, and fintech, international politics and economics are other sources of inspiration.
photo credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wikicommons
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CRO price started a fresh increase from the $0.062 support area. The Chronos bulls are now targeting a strong move towards the $0.094 level in the near term.
CRO price started a decent increase above the $0.065 resistance against the US Dollar.
The price is trading above $0.070 and the 100 simple moving average (4 hours).
There was a break above a major descending trend line with resistance at $0.0650 on the 4-hours chart of the CRO/USD pair (data source from Coinbase).
The pair could continue rising towards the $0.080 and $0.094 resistance levels.
Chronos CRO Price Eyes Fresh Rally
In the past month, Kronos price found support near the $0.0615 area against the US Dollar. CRO formed a base above the $0.0615 and $0.0620 levels before starting a fresh increase.
There was a clear move above the $0.0650 resistance area and the 100 simple moving average (4 hours) to move into positive territory. Besides, there was a break above a major bearish trend line with resistance at $0.0650 on the 4-hours chart of the CRO/USD pair.
The price is now trading above $0.070 and the 100 simple moving average (4 hours), outperforming bitcoin And the raised. On the upside, an immediate resistance is near the $0.074 level. It is close to the 23.6% Fibonacci retracement level of the main decline from the $0.131 swing high to $0.0568 swing low.
The next major resistance is forming near the $0.080 area. If there is an upside break above the $0.08 resistance, the price could start another strong increase.
In the mentioned case, the price could steadily rise towards the $0.094 level. It is close to the 50% Fibonacci retracement level of the main drop from the $0.131 swing high to $0.0568 swing low.
Limited dip in CRO?
If CRO price fails to rise above the $0.074 and $0.080 resistance levels, it might start a bearish correction. There is an immediate support on the downside near the $0.07 level.
The main support is near the $0.0650 level and the 100 simple moving average (4 hours). A break-down below $0.065 could open the doors for a fresh decline towards $0.062. The next major support is near the $0.060 level.
4-hour MACD – The MACD for CRO/USD is gaining momentum in the bullish zone.
4-hour RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI for CRO/USD is now overbought.
Key Support Levels – $0.070 and $0.065.
Key Resistance Levels – $0.074, $0.08, and $0.094.
“Vox Populi, Vox Dei, man.” So says self-proclaimed Chief Twit Elon Musk from a private jet flying high above the world during a Twitter Spaces appearance on Sunday, Dec. 4 (JST). It does sound nice to say, but the voice of the mob should never be the voice of “God.” The reasons are myriad. Suffice it to say that in the same way failed crypto-exchange CEO Sam Bankman-Fried supposedly set off Musk’s BS detector, so should Musk be setting off our own alarm bells. His actions simply don’t match his nice-sounding words, and anyone who refuses to understand free speech is also going to miss the boat on crypto and economic freedom.
God Save the ‘Technoking,’ the People Are Disposable
Tesla CEO and self-proclaimed “free speech absolutist” Elon Musk recently ended a massively-tuned-into Dec. 4 Twitter Space hosted by Mario Nawfal, by noting that we live in a time which, different from times past, doesn’t involve “some king or whatever [that would] just by default suppress” free speech. This is interesting, given this seems to be exactly the role self-labeled “Technoking” Musk is filling via his newly acquired social media platform, by arbitrarily and single-handedly deciding who gets to stay and what they can or cannot say. Musk acts, as billionaire entrepreneur and crypto advocate Mark Cuban has recently noted, like a one-man “judge and jury.” Cuban tweeted to Musk on Nov. 29:
We have no idea what Free Speech on Twitter is because you are judge and jury. There is no transparency.
Indeed, it is now Elon’s platform. He can do what he wants, and I am 100% okay with him doing that in principle, ignoring the glaring issue that social media platforms are massive data collection agencies for the state, complete with special government portals for the control of “misinformation.” That very topic was brought up to Elon, by the way, and he said: “I gotta dig into this trusted partnership thing. Obviously that has like some big brother vibes … Twitter will adhere to the law, but it’s not going to go beyond the law.”
Anyway, as an actual freedom absolutist (voluntaryist) myself, I have to put this Fed-funded Musk to the test. As “private” as his image may be now, he’s clearly in a position of state-influenced power which could be a huge detriment to everyday individuals and free speech/crypto advocates down the line. While he noted repeatedly that he wants Twitter to “come clean” about its past “suppression of information” in relation to U.S. electoral politics, Musk still delivered many mixed messages.
‘Free Speech Absolutist’ Musk ‘Personally Wanted to Punch Kanye’ But Allows Murdering and Child-Abusing Politicians on His Platform
Let me be very clear that I am not saying this is intentional here — it could ostensibly be a product of severe statist brainwash or ignorance — but Musk does allow literal child molesters (people who touch children inappropriately) and child-murder approvers (drone warfare executive signatories such as Joe Biden, Donald Trump, and Barack Obama) on the Twitter platform. They are seemingly welcomed with wide-open arms.
And if you call these atrocities and such tragic loss of life going on mere “collateral damage,” or “misrepresented love of kids” I’m just going to laugh at you and call you an idiot, because you are. I would also ask you to be the first to volunteer yourself and your children as victims of such attacks and sexual improprieties the next time a bankers’ war or pervert politician comes to your town. But I digress.
At the same time Musk allows these creeps on Twitter, he arbitrarily refuses to reinstate the account of controversial talk show host Alex Jones (another suspect character). This is because, according to Musk: “I have no mercy for anyone who would use the deaths of children for gain, politics or fame.” Jones, for his part, used free speech to question the official narrative of the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, causing a media uproar. However distasteful that may seem to some, it in no way compares with the actual murder and abuse perpetrated by those allowed to remain on Twitter.
Along with saying we shouldn’t use the death of children for gain, Musk quoted Jesus of the Christian Bible and told a disputed story about his own child’s tragic death to further emotionalize his point — a story which Musk’s ex-wife says was not even true. Whoever is right or wrong here, Musk did all this, ironically, under a Sam Harris tweet. For those unaware, the renowned atheist philosopher Harris was not so long ago on the media hot seat for proclaiming:
Hunter Biden literally could have had the corpses of children in his basement, I would not have cared.
Elon Musk seemingly has no problem with this. In the Space, he even proclaimed: “Hunter Biden seems kind of fun, to be honest.” The stories and ideas above are all so tragic and/or disgusting that disputing details seems almost insensitive, on either side, but a dispassionate look under the microscope of reason is necessary in order to maintain rational clarity, and to avoid being tricked by manipulators who love to hide behind just such so-called taboo and “unmentionable” topics. Sacred cows.
As for the reinstatement of former U.S. president Donald Trump’s account, Musk had initially told “the people” a council would be determining such activities, but this plan was scrapped in lieu of a single Twitter poll from Elon’s personal account.
However, the “Vox Populi” demanding Alex Jones be brought back, and pressing questions about what constitutes so-called “negative” or “hate” tweets — which Musk said would now be “max deboosted” and demonetized under his new rule — was summarily ignored by the self-crowned tech king.
Musk also recently banned hip-hop star Kanye West (who himself seems to me — for many reasons — another shill character designed to stir up misguided chaos and muddy the waters) for sharing a controversial image, and after comments about Nazis and Hitler in an interview with Alex Jones. Musk stated in the Dec. 4 Twitter Space that Ye’s recent tweet was an illegal “incitement to violence” specifically because:
I personally wanted to punch Kanye, so that was definitely inciting me to violence.
Needless to say, “incitement to violence” doesn’t mean words that make one individual feel like using literal violence against the speaker. No matter how ludicrous or insensitive the words — or in this case, image — may be. Incitement to violence is saying something such as “Let’s all go rob Joe tomorrow!” It’s beyond the scope of this article to go deeper into the behavior of narcissists and megalomaniacs, but talking endlessly about saving humanity, posturing as a literal messiah figure, and thinking you get to physically harm people because of their words is not usually a good sign. As H.L. Mencken famously wrote:
The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it. Power is what all messiahs really seek: not the chance to serve.
Elon’s Bitcoin and CBDC Confusion: ‘Money Is Digital Already’
In the Dec. 4 Twitter space, joined by the likes of Ben Stiller, Musk’s mother, and a slew of militantly-moderate-opinion-toting normies, Musk was asked if he was worried about the rapid advent of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) across the globe. Like all the important questions in the live stream, he lived up to his self-applied label of being “fanatically moderate,” and refused to answer directly. Instead, Musk presented some bizarre ideas implying that CBDCs would really be no different than the digital fiat currency we use today.
Ignoring the fact that retail CBDCs can function as programmable money issued directly by reckless governments and central banks, and their similarly disastrous policies — with the added ability to ‘bake in‘ mechanisms like taxation, digital ID, negative interest rates, and potential social credit systems right into the money itself — Musk diverted the conversation by focusing on the antiquated tech of today’s digital version of fiat, for an easy laugh from the all-to-eager fans listening.
While openly acknowledging that “you can starve people to death” with draconian control of monetary systems earlier in the Space, he nevertheless said: “I think they’re conflating a few things. First of all, almost all money is digital already,” Musk said, noting: “Whether banks create their own cryptocurrencies I think is somewhat irrelevant. People will use the cryptocurrencies that they think will accrue value over time and not use the ones that don’t.”
Of course, it’s unsettling for a supposed tech genius to ignore the critical difference between actual crypto like bitcoin cash or monero and CBDCs. Namely, that the latter involves the violent force of the state. The only individual who seemed to even slightly push back against’s Musk’s assumptions during the Twitter Space was Kim Dotcom, but overall, and even from Kim, the amount of rear-end licking going on throughout was pretty nauseating.
Musk’s missing the boat on crypto and money should not surprise us. After all, he has missed the boat on free speech, and these two concepts are inextricably related. Governments are already cracking down on mere code, as evidenced by the recent United States OFAC ban and sanctions on the Tornado Cash mixing platform.
It was this same ostensible tech whiz Musk that failed to understand bitcoin’s minimal impact on, and even benefits for, the climate and environment (especially compared to things like the fiat banking system’s energy consumption, private jets constantly flying to Davos, and the dropping of bombs on people all over the world). Musk has instead chosen to push the climate panic and urge for a carbon tax, while canceling bitcoin payments at Tesla. Again, either he is acting and gaslighting you, or isn’t actually very bright.
Using Musk’s ‘Bull**** Meter’ Against His Own Actions
Whatever you believe about the official narratives regarding freedom activist whistleblowers Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, Musk’s milquetoast stance on the two in the Dec. 4 Twitter Space hosted by Nawfal is telling.
It is hard to watch the Wikileaks footage exposing the murder of innocent people by U.S. forces in Iraq, including journalists and children, and not feel sickness and rage boiling in your stomach at the injustice. One would imagine that at the very least, a free speech absolutist like Musk would be one hundred percent on the side of exposing such horrific crimes. But again, the self-proclaimed “fanatic moderate” chewed his lips, answering:
“I don’t know enough about the Assange situation to give an accurate answer. There are things where national security stuff is involved that I think do need to be kept secret,” Musk said. He concluded that, regarding NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: “Probably the best thing would be a jury of the public.”
When pressed by Kim Dotcom, who noted that the legal system in the U.S. would render such a jury impossible, as exposing info such as Snowden did is a crime regardless, Musk gave up, sheepishly copping out:
I don’t know. I mean, there’s no easy answer to the Snowden/Assange situation.
So much for the voice of the people, I guess. There actually is an easy answer for a “free speech absolutist,” and it’s not what Musk said. Adherence to draconian statist law seemed to be the running thread throughout Elon’s whole Spaces interview: We’ll do what we can, as long as it doesn’t conflict with the legal system, in other words. And, as evidenced by his recent single-handed Twitter bans, as long as it doesn’t hurt his feelings. To think that the fawning fans during the Spaces session were concerned about his safety from the powers that be. Why would he worry when he has just openly stated he will never disobey them?
When asked about a conversation Musk had with failed FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried in the Space, Musk said:
Deep insight wasn’t necessary. If someone’s calling you to talk about investing in a big transaction they should be asking questions about the transaction, not talking about themselves, and talking at the speed of an auctioneer. It didn’t require deep insight to figure out that the bull**** factor is high.
I submit to you, reader, that if someone is presenting themselves as a “free speech absolutist,” crypto advocate, and candidate for savior of humanity from the uncontrollable NPC left and big-gov/big-tech oppression, they should not be a fed-funded, carbon-tax-pushing, gov-contract-having, centralized-content-censoring, WEF-young-global-leader-being, Canadian-Social-Credit-Party-chair-descended, neuralink-monkey-brain-damaging, New-World-Order-jacket-wearing, technocrat-social justice warrior who wants to physically assault people for the mere words they say.
Free speech absolutist. Okay. Cool story, bro.
In Conclusion: Something Is Very Wrong Here
Looking around at the world and back at history, the Vox Populi is obviously not the Vox Dei — unless god is a raging idiot. And in the case of Hitler, the Vox Populi in Germany loved him. If Elon was truly as bright as they say, he would live by some of the many accurate words he has spoken. For example, when he noted that the state is a monopoly on violence. But, for whatever reason, instead of speaking out against that same state, and pushing for a more voluntary and free market/open source society which truly would be conducive to free speech and crypto innovation and peace — like voluntaryism — Musk contracts with it, and pushes for more of the same oppression, but in a more deceptive way. Meet the new boss, worse than the woke boss.
Toward the end of his appearance on the Twitter Space, Musk noted that account verification will likely be more specifically leveraged to get rid of bots, but who knows exactly what this process will eventually entail. It could mean that individuals wishing to have a voice on the platform and remain private and anonymous, may have a difficult time of it. “So there will be a gold check mark for commercial organizations, a gray check mark for governments, and a blue check mark for verified individuals,” Musk noted. “There will be a strong policy against impersonation and deception,” he added.
Musk is a tough case because he often sounds convincing, speaking generalized, cliched truths to oppressed people desperate for an escape from the woke technocratic nightmare that is happening. He is the perfect synthesis of an elitist Hegelian dialectic to pacify and gaslight (intentionally or otherwise) dissenters on both sides of the fake bipartisan political scheme, allowing those that have always controlled the world — the eugenicists, bankers, and secretive interests behind closed doors, to continue duping “the people.”
In other words, it’s all a big pro-wrestling show, going on while the overarching draconian agendas involving CBDCs, global surveillance, and impending climate lockdowns move steadily forward. As such, what is perceived as Gospel truth by the majority — the “Vox Dei” — is almost always lunacy. If I am deemed a lunatic for taking this view, well, time will tell it.
But in the words of AC/DC’s Brian Johnson in the hit song “Hells Bells”: “If god’s on the left, I’m stickin to the [apolitical] right.”
To listen to Musk’s Twitter Spaces appearance, one can do so on Twitter here, or on Odysee, here.
What do you think about Musk? Let us know in the comments section below.
Graham Smith is an American expat living in Japan, and the founder of Voluntary Japan—an initiative dedicated to spreading the philosophies of unschooling, individual self-ownership, and economic freedom in the land of the rising sun.
Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons