Following the ban of Russian banks from the SWIFT network used in international payment transactions, the ruble’s value against the dollar plummeted on Monday. As the Russian economy is now effectively cut off from any dealings with the Western world, the country’s currency is facing an uncertain future, with the threat of hyperinflation very real.
While the Russian population will suffer in the face of surging prices and suddenly diminished savings, the ruble’s role in global financial markets was insignificant even before the latest escalation. According to data published by SWIFT, the Russian currency was used in just 0.2 percent of all payments processed on SWIFT in December 2021 based on total transaction value. That puts the ruble 20th among global currencies, behind the Danish krone, the Polish złoty and the South African rand.