Cryptocurrencies and stocks declined on Friday as traders reacted to geopolitical risk.
U.S. officials continue to warn Russia could attack Ukraine within the next few days, adding that prospects for averting a war are very dim. Meanwhile, Russia denies any plans to invade Ukraine and describes global concerns as “hysteria.”
Bitcoin (BTC) was down 2% over the past 24 hours, and briefly dipped below $40,000 for the first time in two weeks. Meanwhile, alternative cryptocurrencies (altcoins) such as ether (ETH) and Solana (SOL) declined as much as 4% over the past 24 hours.
“Crypto performance in the last week shows us that there’s very little room for complacency regarding any of the major themes impacting this market,” David Duong, head of research at Coinbase Institutional, wrote in a Friday newsletter. “Open conflict could potentially affect bitcoin hashrates, which could exacerbate the knee-jerk market reaction weaker for high-beta risk assets like crypto.”
Earlier this month, Coinbase tweeted that it saw a net inflow into stablecoins (a crypto reserve asset) totaling $3.5 billion between November 2021 and January 2022 as market volatility picked up. That signaled a flight to safety among traders on the Coinbase exchange. Still, the company does not expect a repeat of the 2018 bear market.
For now, technicals are mostly bearish for bitcoin. There are initial signs of downside exhaustion on the BTC daily chart, which suggests the pullback could stabilize between the $30,000-$40,000 support zone.