Cryptocurrencies around the world are getting pummeled today. A quick glance at CoinDesk’s tracker will show you a wall of red. At the time of this writing, most major cryptocurrencies are down at least 5% or more, including Bitcoin, which is down nearly 7% to $40,443; Ether is down almost 6% to just over $2,900; and Dogecoin and Shiba Inc are down 4.5% and 6.5%, respectively.
So what’s causing this downturn? Unlike recent selloffs, which were largely driven by the threat of increased regulation by the likes of China or the United States, today’s selloff appears to be purely geopolitical. With the threat of Russia going to war over Ukraine, and Russian President Putin announcing he’ll oversee nuclear military drills this weekend, investors are ditching volatile stocks and digital assets in favor of more stable assets like gold.
Bitcoin and cryptocurrency prices have moved sharply lower after charging into the week yesterday (subscribe now to Forbes’ CryptoAsset & Blockchain Advisor and discover crypto blockbusters poised for 1,000% gains).
The bitcoin price, which briefly touched $40,000 per bitcoin yesterday, has dropped more than 7%, falling back to $36,000 after retail giant Amazon AMZN -2% denied reports it was poised to add bitcoin and cryptocurrency support.
Bitcoin and cryptocurrency investors were yesterday glued to one of the most hotly-anticipated events in the crypto calendar so far this year—a live discussion between Tesla and SpaceX billionaire Elon Musk, Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, and major Tesla and bitcoin investor Cathie Wood.
The bitcoin price jumped in anticipation of the virtual event, climbing back from under $30,000 per bitcoin to over $32,000, and finding fresh support after Musk revealed that his rocket company SpaceX has joined Tesla TSLA -0.9% in holding bitcoin.