The bitcoin narrative could be tested this week as investors monitor tense developments between Ukraine and Russia and weigh the possibility of the Federal Reserve hiking interest rates by 50 basis points, or 0.5 percentage points, in March.
The largest cryptocurrency by market capital currency has long been regarded by early investors and enthusiasts as a safe haven asset — one that ideally could offset risk in investors’ portfolios and limit exposure to negative shocks.
However, in recent months bitcoin has has been trading like equities, specifically like riskier growth-oriented stocks. It’s still recovering from a big drop from earlier in the year, when rising rates led investors to shed positions in tech and other risky assets.
“Bitcoin is labeled by some as a stateless currency, and it has indeed performed well in the past when there were geopolitical tensions, so we could expect some demand as a safe haven asset,” said Yuya Hasegawa, crypto market analyst at Japanese bitcoin exchange Bitbank.
However, “the change in the landscape made bitcoin fragile to the U.S. stock market volatility, so bitcoin investors may not be able to feel at ease until the situation at the Russia-Ukraine border starts to settle down,” he added.