$700b wiped off crypto market amid Russia-Ukraine tensions

The combined cryptocurrency market was savaged as key blockchain founders weighed into the Ukraine conflict.

Cryptocurrency has taken a battering after news broke that Russia had finally invaded Ukraine.

Like with many other world markets, blockchain investors were spooked

by tensions and the panic sparked a mass price drop.

Russia began its assault on the Ukraine on Thursday and this prompted cryptocurrency to plunge considerably.

The top-ranked cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, briefly dipped below US$35,000 (A$48,000) per token, representing a 7.26 per cent decrease in the space of a day.

Other prominent coins also fell in value, including ethereum and Ripple XRP, both down by nearly 10 per cent.

The combined cryptocurrency market capitalisation plummeted by a whopping 8.25 per cent to US$1.58 trillion (A$2.20t), wiping off as much as US$500 billion (A$700b) from the industry, according to Forbes.

At time of writing, cryptocurrency had recovered slightly, with the market up by 0.67 per cent.

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin weighed into the discourse surrounding the invasion.

Despite his Russian-Canadian background, Mr Buterin was very critical of Russia’s actions.

He tweeted his support for Ukraine in Russian.

A very basic translation of the tweet reads: “Very upset by Putin’s decision to abandon the possibility of a peaceful solution to the dispute with Ukraine and go to war instead.

“This is a crime against the Ukrainian and Russian people.

“I want to wish everyone security, although I know that there will be no security.

“Glory to Ukraine.”

Although he is closely aligned with Ethereum, he assured crypto enthusiasts that he was not speaking on behalf of the blockchain.

He said in English: “Reminder: Ethereum is neutral, but I am not.”

Those two tweets garnered more than 150,000 likes between them.

Cryptocurrency has largely followed other world markets like the stocks in a sudden drop off the cliff on Thursday afternoon once the invasion was launched.

“Bitcoin is performing in lock step with other so-called ‘risk assets’ as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sends global financial markets into a tailspin,” crypto exchange Bitfinex wrote in an emailed note.

“Markets across the board are dancing to the tune of geopolitical events.”

Cryptocurrency has risen slightly after the initial shock of Russia’s aggression wore off.

The stock market has also recovered slightly. The ASX 200 was up by 0.7 per cent when the market opened on Friday.

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