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Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies sink on mounting Russia-Ukraine tensions

Russian-Ukrainian tensions sink bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies

February 23, 2022: -On Tuesday, Digital currencies took a beating as geopolitical tensions over Ukraine roiled global markets.

Bitcoin sank as lowest as $36,370 in early morning trade, lowest in more than two weeks. The world’s biggest cryptocurrency later pared its losses, the last trading down 3% in 24 hours to a price of $37,495.

Other digital assets also tumbled, with ether decreasing 4% and XRP sinking 10%.

On Monday, Analysts attributed the drop to escalating tensions over the Russia-Ukraine crisis. Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine moments after declaring them independent.

The move has fueled fears of a completely-blown invasion, sending global stocks sharply lower as traders’ appetite for risk declines.

“Bitcoin, and crypto more, moved in lockstep with Asian stock indices overnight as Russian-Ukraine headlines drove price movements,” Chris Dick, a quantitative trader at London-based crypto market maker B2C2, told CNBC.

“First a sell-off as Putin announced he was ordering troops into Ukraine and then a bounce back as the market processed the headlines.”

Its proponents often tout Bitcoin as a haven asset akin to gold, which means it should offer a store of value in times of uncertainty.

Although, the case for bitcoin as a sort of “digital gold” has broken down as institutional investors have started to trade it. The cryptocurrency is becoming closely aligned with fluctuations in traditional markets like equities.

Bitcoin is now well below the all-time highs of nearly $68,000, which it reached in November 2021, and investors believe this is as good as it’s going to get for the cryptocurrency for some time.

Du Jun, the co-founder of crypto exchange Huobi, said the next bitcoin bull market is unlikely to occur until 2024 at the earliest when the following so-called “halving” event is due.

“Following this cycle, it won’t be until the end of 2024 to the beginning of 2025 that we can welcome the next bull market on bitcoin,” Du said.

The bitcoin halving reduces the rewards that cryptocurrency miners get for verifying transactions, effectively squeezing the supply of new coins in issuance.

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