Crypto is Becoming the Lifeline for Ordinary Russians, Coinbase CEO Says

Meanwhile, as the war between Russia and Ukraine ravages, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong believes that cryptocurrencies are emerging as the lifeline for Russians as the nation faces heavy sanctions. 

Armstrong said:

“Some ordinary Russians are using crypto as a lifeline now that their currency has collapsed. Many of them likely oppose what their country is doing, and a ban would hurt them, too. That said, if the US government decides to impose a ban, we will of course follow those laws.”

Armstrong pointed out that banning Russians from using the crypto exchange was out of the picture because the law did not warrant it. He added:

“We are not preemptively banning all Russians from using Coinbase. We believe everyone deserves access to basic financial services unless the law says otherwise.”

Both Ukrainians and Russians are running to crypto to shield their money, with the Russian Ruble has lost a third of its value this year. As a result, Ruble-denominated Bitcoin volumes are skyrocketing, given that they recently reached a 9-month high.

As Russia continues to be starved of foreign currency based on the sanctions imposed, the nation might turn to BTC mining.

The director of policy and regulatory at blockchain analytic firm Elliptic, David Carlisle, noted:

“It wouldn’t be a stretch for the Russian government or certain sanctioned entities to look to mining as a way to get access to Bitcoin. They could be translated to goods and services or just hard cash.”

Therefore, the geopolitical turmoil being witnessed has made crypto emerge as a powerful fundraising tool and store of value. For instance, crypto donations to Ukraine in Bitcoin, Polkadot, Ether, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) recently topped $52 million. 

Image source: Shutterstock


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US Federal Reserve bank at the helm of CBDC research effort appoints new president

The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, or Boston Fed, has selected economist Susan M. Collins, University of Michigan provost, to serve as its new president and chief executive officer.

The seat has become vacant in September 2021, when the then-president Eric Rosengren expedited his retirement amid a controversy around his securities trading while in office. Collins, who is Jamaican-American, will become the first Black woman in the Fed’s history to lead a Federal Reserve Bank. She will assume office on July 1.

The Boston Fed is one of 12 regional branches of the Federal Reserve. Along with the Fed’s Board of Governors and the Federal Open Market Committee, or FOMC, the Federal Reserve Banks participate in the development of U.S. monetary policy. The Boston Fed president is also one of the five regional Reserve bank leaders who serve as voting members on the FOMC, the body responsible for setting interest rates.

As Cointelegraph reported, the Boston Fed, in partnership with the Digital Currency Initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has recently completed the first stage of Project Hamilton – a research initiative aimed at developing and testing a hypothetical central bank digital currency (CBDC) design.

As an academic, Collins studied development economics, exchange rate regimes, and macroeconomic imbalances. During her career, she has not made public statements related to CBDCs or digital assets in general. Also, little is known about her monetary policy views: According to a Reuters report, in a 2019 interview Collins spoke in favor of raising the Fed’s 2% inflation target.