Cryptocurrencies during war have taken a unique significance. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, cryptocurrencies have been in the news, with the ever-volatile bitcoin in high demand in Russia and elsewhere.
Here are some figures illustrating how cryptocurrencies performed during the greatest attack on a European country since World War II.
Is there a link? That has always been a conundrum for bitcoin, with the original cryptocurrency sometimes marching to the rhythm of the equity market – and sometimes not.
Bitcoin first fell after Russia launched its attack on Ukraine as investors fled risky assets, plunging as much as 8% on Thursday before recovering losses for the day. European equities dropped 3.3 percent, while the S&P 500 gained 1.5 percent.
Bitcoin and stock markets have since reconnected, albeit to varying degrees.
Bitcoin gained 14.5 percent on Monday, its greatest day in a year, and is now up 12 percent since the invasion began on Feb. 24. Stocks in the United States have gained less ground, with the S&P 500 up 3.3 percent. MSCI’s world index is marginally lower.
“It’s still been largely associated with US stocks during this crisis,” said Joseph Edwards, head of financial strategy at crypto business Solrise Group.
A SAFE HAVEN?
Bitcoin is viewed by cryptocurrency enthusiasts as “digital gold,” a convenient place to deposit funds during times of conflict or calamity. According to the argument, Bitcoin is secure than traditional currencies because it has a finite quantity and operates on a worldwide computer network beyond the control of governments.
Things are seldom that straightforward. Bitcoin’s safe-haven credentials remain unknown: It frequently behaves more like risky assets like equities.
According to investors, the qualities of bitcoin have fueled demand and helped it outperform other traditional havens during the war. Since last Wednesday, gold has gained 2.6 percent while the 10-year Treasury yield has plunged 8.7 percent.