Geopolitical tensions take Bitcoin prices for a rollercoaster ride

Amidst fluctuating geopolitical tensions, Bitcoin experienced a rollercoaster ride, initially plunging before rebounding as global markets reacted to the escalating Middle East conflict. Israel’s retaliatory strike on Iran rattled investors, momentarily overshadowing Bitcoin’s anticipated halving. Despite concerns, historical trends suggest halvings typically bolster Bitcoin prices, with analysts debating whether the impact is already factored in. As geopolitical risks loom, the crypto market braces for potential shifts while closely monitoring the unfolding situation.

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By Suvashree Ghosh and Sidhartha Shukla

Bitcoin rebounded as a bout of acute geopolitical tension eased after earlier sparking steep drops in cryptocurrencies.

The digital asset at one point Friday sank more than 6% to $59,643 but later steadied to change hands at $64,450 as of 8:53 a.m. in London. Tokens such as Ether, Solana and meme-crowd favorite Dogecoin also stabilized.

Israel launched a retaliatory strike on Iran less than a week after Tehran’s rocket and drone barrage, sending tremors through global markets. A report that nuclear facilities in the Iranian city of Isfahan were safe helped to salve some angst. Traditional havens such as bonds, gold and the dollar trimmed gains, while stocks and US equity futures came off session lows.

The tit-for-tat Middle East conflict is overshadowing the Bitcoin halving expected later Friday, which will curb new supply of the token.

Halvings historically bolstered the price of the largest digital asset. This time around, Bitcoin hit a record in mid-March before the event, leading to questions about whether the putative impact is already baked in.

Ongoing Israel-Iran violence could lead to a “general risk-off sentiment across crypto,” said Stefan von Haenisch, head of trading at OSL SG Pte. But it might take a “significant move lower” to undo all of the bullishness around the halving, he added.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Deutsche Bank AG strategists have said that the quadrennial halving is largely already priced in by investors. A batch of three-month-old spot-Bitcoin exchange-traded funds in the US have posted five straight days of net outflows ahead of the event.

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