Russians have been losing interest in Telegram channels devoted to cryptocurrencies and tokens, according to new research covering the period since the start of the war in Ukraine. Industry experts behind the study say that bitcoin’s lower valuation and financial restrictions increasingly limiting access to the crypto market are the key reasons.
Telegram Crypto Channels’ Audience Expected to Shrink Further Amid New EU Sanctions on Russia
Interest in crypto-related channels on the popular messenger Telegram has diminished in the past few months. Between late February and the end of September, their average daily audience decreased by 38%, according to Crypto Provider Agency (CPA), a company specializing in launching and developing Telegram platforms for the Russian-speaking market.
The firm’s researchers recently told the Russian news outlet RBC Crypto that general interest in digital currencies dropped sharply in early May, when the price of the leading crypto by market cap, bitcoin (BTC), fell from $39,000 to around $28,000 per coin. They were able to establish that after studying over 100 leading Telegram channels about cryptocurrencies.
The report further notes that the largest increase in the audience of these channels in 2021 and early 2022 was mainly due to the influx of newcomers to the crypto space. But the decision of payment processors Visa and Mastercard to pull out of Russia as part of Western sanctions imposed over the invasion of Ukraine cut off a large number of users from exchanges and wallets.
These are the people who were ready to try crypto by converting a small amount of fiat, the CPA pointed out. The company now expects the latest EU sanctions against Russia, which targeted crypto assets among other measures, to exacerbate the trend. Brussels recently banned the provision of all related services to Russian nationals, residents, and companies.
The analysts insist that only a rising bitcoin price could change the situation and claim that even a short-term spike would have the potential to cause a new wave of interest in the cryptocurrency market. However, the Crypto Provider Agency also remarked that a return to the levels witnessed in 2021 is unlikely.
A number of crypto platforms have already started to comply with the new sanctions adopted by the European Union last week and block Russian accounts. These include cryptocurrency exchanges, wallet providers, and NFT marketplaces. At the same time, major global exchanges, including some that conformed to the previous package of penalties in April, are still available to Russian users.
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Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.
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