Bitcoin defied a stock market slump on Monday, surging 9.3% amid what analysts said was increased demand from Russian and Ukrainian buyers.
The world’s most popular digital currency was trading around $41,200 on Monday afternoon, while ethereum was up 7.3% at $2,800.
The surge can be explained in part by Russians flocking to escape the ruble, which has tanked due to crippling sanctions from the US and European Union, according to Marc van der Chijs of First Block Capital.
Van der Chijs said he had seen bitcoin selling for as much as $46,000 on some Russian exchanges on Monday — a roughly $5,000 premium over its US price.
“There’s not normally a difference [between the Russian and US price of bitcoin] because there are arbitrage possibilities,” van der Chijs told The Post. “That seems to indicate that this urge in bitcoin price is because of Russian buying.”
Russians worried about the stability of their currency and financial system may see bitcoin as a way to protect their savings, he said.