Bitcoin and cryptocurrency prices have crashed as tensions between Russia and Ukraine reach fever pitch.
The bitcoin price has lost almost 10% over the last 24 hours, crashing toward $40,000, with ethereum, BNB, solana, cardano and XRP seeing similar declines—wiping almost $200 billion from the combined $1.9 trillion crypto market over the last week.
The bitcoin and crypto price crash comes alongside a stock market plunge sparked by comments made by U.S. president Joe Biden that Russia could invade Ukraine in a matter of days.
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“There’s a storm blowing in and markets have been battening down the hatches,” Danni Hewson, AJ Bell financial analyst, said in emailed comments, adding “volatility is unlikely to vanish anytime soon.”
Traders and investors are feeling increasingly nervous about war between Russia and Ukraine. Oil prices have spiked, climbing toward $100 per barrel and the VIX, a measure of market volatility, leaped almost 15% on Thursday. Meanwhile, the chair of the Financial Stability Board warned that imposing sanctions on Russia risks undermining global financial stability.
While Russia has claimed it is moving troops away from the Ukrainian border, president Biden has said Russia is preparing to fabricate a reason to invade the country, warning that an attack could happen in the coming days.
“We have reason to believe they are engaged in a false flag operation to have an excuse to go in,” Biden told reporters outside the White House.
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Before the latest sell-off, the bitcoin and crypto market had been showing signs of recovery after cratering last month. The bitcoin price climbed above $45,000 per bitcoin last week, with ethereum and other top ten coins BNB, solana, cardano and XRP showing similar strength.
“Despite briefly visiting the greed territory for the first time in four months last Wednesday, market sentiment has since slipped back into the fear territory as geopolitical uncertainty affects risk sentiment in the broader financial markets,” Sam Kopelman, U.K. manager at crypto exchange Luno, said in emailed comments.
“Meanwhile, with inflation levels at their highest rates in 30 years, it is likely that macro uncertainty will also affect risk sentiment in the coming weeks.”