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Bitcoin slides as geopolitical risks overshadow looming halving

Bloomberg • 2 min read
Bitcoin slides as geopolitical risks overshadow looming halving
Crypto prices tumble due to wave of caution in global markets, traders spooked by reports of explosions near Iran air base. Photo: Bloomberg
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Bitcoin sank as part of a wider retreat in cryptocurrencies amid a wave of caution across global markets sparked by Middle East tension.

The digital asset fell about 4% to US$60,950 ($83189.74) as of 10.09 a.m. Friday in Singapore. Tokens such as Ether, Solana and meme-crowd favorite Dogecoin also dropped.

Unconfirmed reports of explosions in Iran, Iraq and Syria triggered a flight to traditional havens such as bonds, gold and the dollar. More speculative investments including stocks and virtual currencies endured deepening losses.

Markets in Asia had been braced for an Israeli response to an earlier Iranian drone and missile attack and attuned to the danger of a tit-for-tat escalation. The geopolitical concerns are 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 has already been discounted by traders.

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.

See also: Bitcoin developers are touting ‘programmability’ as the catalyst for the next rally

JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Deutsche Bank AG strategists have said that the quadrennial halving is largely already priced in by investors.

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