According to a new study covering the period since the start of the war in Ukraine, Russians are losing interest in the Telegram channel devoted to cryptocurrencies and tokens. Industry experts behind the study say the low valuation of Bitcoin and financial regulations that increasingly restrict access to the crypto market are the main reasons.
Telegram Crypto Channels’ Audience Expected to Shrink More Amid New EU Sanctions on Russia
Expected to Shrink More Amid New EU Sanctions on Russia
Interest in crypto-related channels on the popular messenger Telegram has declined in the past few months. According to Crypto Provider Agency (CPA), which specializes in launching and developing Telegram platforms for the Russian-speaking market, its average daily audience dropped 38% between late February and the end of September.
The company’s researchers recently told Russian news outlet RBC Crypto that public interest in digital currencies dropped in May, when the price of bitcoin (BTC), the leading crypto by market cap, fell from $39,000 per coin to about $28,000 per coin The report showed a sharp decline in early May. They were able to substantiate this by investigating over 100 major Telegram channels for cryptocurrencies.
The report further noted that the largest increase in viewership of these channels in 2021 and early 2022 was mainly due to the influx of newcomers into the crypto space. However, the decision by payment processors Visa and Mastercard to withdraw from Russia as part of the Western sanctions imposed in regards to the invasion of Ukraine has disconnected a large number of users from exchanges and wallets.
These are people who were ready to try crypto by converting small amounts of fiat, the CPA noted. The firm now expects the latest EU sanctions against Russia targeting crypto assets, among other measures, to exacerbate this trend. Brussels recently banned the provision of all related services to Russian citizens, residents, and businesses.
Analysts argue that only an increase in the Bitcoin price can change the situation, and that even a short-term spike could trigger a new wave of interest in the cryptocurrency market. However, the Crypto Provider Agency has stated that a return to the levels witnessed in 2021 is unlikely.
Many crypto platforms have already begun blocking Russian accounts in compliance with new sanctions adopted by the European Union last week. These include cryptocurrency exchanges, wallet providers, and NFT marketplaces. At the same time, major global exchanges, including those that complied with the previous penalty package in April, are still available to Russian users.
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