Russians have been losing interest in Telegram channels dedicated 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 the key reasons are bitcoin’s lower valuation and financial restrictions that increasingly limit access to the crypto market.
Telegram Crypto Channels Viewership Expected to Drop Further Amid New EU Sanctions Against Russia
Interest in crypto-related channels on popular messenger Telegram has dwindled in recent months. Between the end of February and the end of September, their average daily audience decreased by 38%, according to the Crypto Provider Agency (CPA), a company specializing in the launch and development of Telegram platforms for the Russian-speaking market.
Researchers at the firm recently told Russian media outlet RBC Crypto that general interest in digital currencies dropped sharply in early May, when the price of the leading cryptocurrency 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 cryptocurrency Telegram channels.
The report further notes that the largest increase in viewership for these channels in 2021 and early 2022 was primarily due to the influx of newcomers to the crypto space. But the decision by 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 noted. 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 citizens, residents and companies.
Analysts insist that only a rise in the price of bitcoin could turn the tide, stating that even a short-term spike would have the potential to cause a new wave of interest in the cryptocurrency market. However, the Crypto Providers Agency also noted that it is unlikely to return to the levels seen in 2021.
Several 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 markets. At the same time, major global exchanges, including some that adjusted to the previous package of sanctions in April, are still available to Russian users.
Do you think a bull market could restore Russians’ interest in cryptocurrencies? Share your thoughts on the matter in the comments section below.
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