Tether Is Trading at a Premium in Ukraine Markets


Key Takeaways

  • Tether’s USDT stablecoin is trading at a premium in markets and trading pairs involving the hryvnia (UAH).
  • On Kuna, a popular Ukrainian exchange, USDT/UAH was priced as high as 33.4 UAH, equivalent to $1.12.
  • Similar premiums were also seen on Binance and Exmo.

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Tether’s USDT stablecoin reached prices well above $1.00 today on exchanges handling the Ukrainian hryvnia (UAH).

USDT Surpasses $1.10 Price Peg

On the prominent Ukrainian exchange Kuna, the USDT/UAH pair was priced at 33.38 UAH, equivalent to $1.12. Since then, prices for the same trading pair have fallen to 32.03 UAH ($1.07).

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Similar premiums can also be seen on Binance and Exmo, where USDT/UAH pairs are currently priced around 32.00 UAH ($1.07).

Those prices only apply to USD in the USDT/UAH pair. However, a lesser premium applies to other trading pairs: Kuna’s USDT/USD pair is priced at $1.03, close to the stablecoin’s $1.00 baseline.

The premium does not apply to pairs featuring the Russian rouble (USDT/RUB) or USDCoin (USDT/USDC), both of which are close to $1.00. Kuna has 42 pairs featuring USDT in total.

These premiums are limited to Ukrainian markets. On U.S. exchanges, USDT pairs are very close to $1.00, as intended.

Russia Declares War on Ukraine

Today’s price premiums were seen alongside Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

According to recent interviews with Kuna by CoinDesk, tensions have devalued the Ukrainian hryvnia over the past week. Kuna representatives suggest that there is a limited supply of Tether’s USDT stablecoin in the country as well. Both of those factors appear to have led to the price premiums seen today.

Despite Kuna’s prominence within Ukraine, Kuna is a fairly small exchange. The 24-hour trading volume of the exchange is just $4.8 million, whereas leading U.S. exchanges handle billions of dollars per day. Kuna has just 400,000 active accounts.

Conflicts between Russia and Ukraine have also resulted in more general economic restrictions. Ukraine has enacted a ban on the issuance of digital cash to prevent outflows. Meanwhile, various countries have imposed sanctions on Russia.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned BTC, ETH, and other cryptocurrencies.

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