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Bitcoin Falls 5% Amid Russia-Ukraine Crisis

Russian president Vladimir Putin’s decision to recognize the independence of breakaway regions of Eastern Ukraine saw markets slump.

3 min read

The price of Bitcoin (BTC) fell by nearly 5% over the last 24 hours, amid growing tensions over Russia and Ukraine.

The leading cryptocurrency is currently changing hands at around $37,150, according to CoinMarketCap—down 4.6% from yesterday and reaching levels last seen at the beginning of the month.

Prior to that, Bitcoin tumbled to a daily low of $36,488, dragging the entire crypto market down.

Ethereum, the industry’s second largest crypto asset by market cap, is down 6.1% over the day to a current price of $2,550.

Among the top ten largest cryptocurrencies, XRP, Cardano (ADA), and Solana (SOL) are the worst hit, with their prices plummeting as much as 12%.

Many other digital currencies, including Avalanche (AVAX), Shiba Inu (SHIB), Polygon (MATIC), Cosmos (ATOM), and Chainlink (LINK), posted double-digit losses as well, as the market capitalization of the entire crypto market sank to $1.67 trillion.

Stocks slump as geopolitical tensions mount

On Monday, Russia announced that it had recognized the independence of two breakaway Eastern Ukrainian regions, raising more fears of full-scale military action.

The latest developments, which also saw Russia starting to move its troops into the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) overnight, caused global stocks to tumble.

After the closing bell on Monday, the S&P 500 futures fell 1.5 % and the Nasdaq futures lost 2.2%, while the Russian rouble briefly touched an 18-month low against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday morning.

Russian blue-chip stocks fell dramatically on Monday, with the Moscow Exchange (MOEX) equity index tumbling 10.5% amid the fears of a large-scale military invasion of Ukraine, extending the plunge on Tuesday morning following Putin’s statement on the recognition of the 'DNR' and 'LNR.'

According to The Telegraph, this is the biggest fall for Russian stocks since 2008.

Ukraine, which is considered among the countries with the highest levels of crypto adoption in the world, passed new legislation legalizing cryptocurrency last week.

Amendments to the “Virtual Assets” bill, which was first introduced in September, will see the National Commission on Securities and Stock Market become the primary regulator for digital assets.

Markets may see more gloom in the coming days. The European Union is set to impose heavy sanctions against Russia over its recognition of Ukrainian separatist regions and further deployment of troops on Ukraine territory, the bloc's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell stated on Tuesday morning.

Earlier this month, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin said that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will not only harm the two countries, but the whole of humanity.

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