The recent slide of Russia's currency has led to a large spike in the Ruble-to-Bitcoin volume with the number of trades growing a reported 230% overnight. While still small compared to traditional FX markets, the growth in transaction volume indicates strong interest in BTC as an alternative currency in cases where a domestic financial system is strained or under capital controls.
Bitcoin fell to $307 overnight and is now hovering at about $311, a move that analysts are attributing to panic selling. At the same time, BTC-to-ruble transactions rose to 230%, from 230 trades in the last 30 day period to 819 trades. This rise in transactions, though minor, mirrors the efforts by account holders in Cyprus in 2013 to move cash out of that haven country after banks there began locking down overseas holdings. The fall in Bitcoin price – which one analyst estimates will hit $290 before all of this is over – cannot be directly attributed to the Russian turmoil. However, some conspiracy theorists are already seeing the hand of big banking in the mix.