Data from the Bitcoin (BTC) Paxful market show a significant increase in interest in peer-to-peer cryptocurrency trading in Russia, with an annual growth of 350% (annually).

According to the study, from May 2019 to May 2020, Paxful now sees an average monthly trading volume of $ 4 million in Russia. The company says this number has “exceeded expectations”, along with growing usage numbers on an annual basis.

The last three months saw an increase of 42%, with May recording the best monthly performance in the COVID-19 pandemic. This virus is one of the main drivers of growth, according to Paxful.

Lack of confidence in Russian banks
Speaking to Cointelegraph, Ray Joseph, CEO of Paxful, gave his thoughts on the reasons behind the increase. He says there is “a strong belief in the future of the digital currency” along with “the distrust that some people may have in their traditional financial system.”

“COVID-19 also brings a wave of financial insecurity around the world, contributing to more peer-to-peer interactions in the crypto sector.”

Youssef recalled the experience of the Russians during the economic downturn of 1998, when people tried to withdraw money to no avail, because “the banks seemed dry.” He said that the change in BTC could “compensate for any economic losses” that might occur as a result of the spread of the disease.

Beware of monolith
Anton Kozlov, Paxful director of the Russian market, added that Russia “always has an interconnected banking system”, which encourages citizens to find alternative ways to participate in financial markets such as P2P cryptocurrency trading.

Recently, a branch of the Russian federal government has published a new litigation project called Digital Financial Assets, which focuses on the strict application of the country’s cryptocurrency laws. The law has not been passed and discussed since 2018.