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The Swiss crypto company Smart Valor‘s CEO Olga Feldmeier believes that the crypto market is extra important in times of sanctions and war.
“What do people buy in times of war? Yes, they buy gold; it is protection”, says Feldmeier.
The ruble has had serious problems as a result of recent sanctions imposed on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine. According to RFERL, the ruble plummeted by 23.7 percent against the US dollar since March, to just over 104 rubles per dollar, which is a record low despite interest rate increases.
As a result, the spotlight has shifted to alternative financial systems like cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrency has been mentioned as a possible way for Russian oligarchs to avoid sanctions.
Bitcoin and Ethereum’s ether have also risen significantly as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; a bitcoin is now worth slightly more than $46,182. However, it is still a long way from the November record of $69,000.
Olga Feldmeier, dubbed Europe’s “crypto queen” by Forbes, was born in Ukraine. She is the founder and chairman of the First North-listed crypto company Smart Valor, which has a market capitalization of $3.8 million but has fallen by 35 percent since the non-listing in February.
For us at Topicster she shares her feelings in light of what is going on in her home country, as well as the situation on the crypto market.
“It’s terrible, a terrible trauma for both Ukrainians and the rest of the world. My mother is Russian, and my father is Ukrainian, but I consider Ukraine to be my home country. It’s absurd for me that one side of my family in Moscow would attack the other side of my family in Ukraine,” she said.
When asked if she has been in contact with her relatives in Ukraine, Olga Feldmeier says that those who were able to flee Kyiv have already left, despite the fact that so many of their relatives remain.
“They understand that it is a big risk, and what awaits them. In western Ukraine, where part of my family is, it is relatively calm at the moment – but no one knows for how long.”
The role of cryptocurrencies during the war is important, according to Olga Feldmeier, who believes that an alternative financial system is required, especially given Europe’s precarious security situation.
“You can still help Ukrainians by sending money to them. Furthermore, it is critical to emphasize that the majority of Russians do not want this war; it is Putin’s war. So, if Russians want to help Ukraine, they can’t go to banks, but they can send stable coins (cryptocurrencies backed by regular currencies, usually dollars) and bitcoin.”
At the same time, she claims that media reports on Russia using cryptocurrencies to circumvent sanctions are unlikely.
“The reality is different; we (the crypto sector) have several systems, such as anti-money-laundering preventive systems, just like banks.” Smart Valor also operates under European law. “We make certain that we understand where every penny comes from and where it is going.”
According to Olga Feldmeier, the price movements are due to “bitcoin being viewed as digital gold.”
When the traditional banking systems do not work, an alternative financial system is necessary. Bitcoin is digital gold “, she says and continues: “What do people buy in times of war? Well, they buy gold; it’s a protection. We see flows globally linked to Russia, people are trying to protect their assets. They are trying to buy half a bitcoin to protect whatever they have.”
Regardless, many are concerned about Russian cryptocurrency.
In the aftermath of Russia’s sanctions, Sberbank was also ordered to close its European operations.
According to Business Insider, the cryptocurrency that the Russian banking giant has now issued, sbercoin, it is now speculated that Russia is rounding the sanctions. Russia is said to be having obvious difficulties meeting its dollar debt obligations.
According to some observers, Russia has declared that it wants to pay in rubles, and the Russian cryptocurrency sbercoin can be quietly exchanged for other currencies.
Olga Feldmeier, on the other hand, believes that Russia will find it difficult to implement. At the same time, she says, an active stock exchange that accepts the Russian ruble is required.
She is not sure that sbercoin is of any great help to the Russians to get in and out of liquidity in the country. With the sanctions, the Russian currency plunged the ruble and the Moscow Stock Exchange was forced to stay closed for several days to avoid a crash.
According to Business Insider, the Russian cryptocurrency sbercoin has dropped by 90 percent since its launch on March 17.
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