The price of bitcoin looked set to drop below the important $10,000 mark in trading Wednesday as the cryptocurrency loses most of it gains made since the beginning of the month.
Bitcoin was trading at $10,043.19 as of 10:45 p.m. EDT, down 5.5% over the last 24 hours and well down from its monthly high of $11,972.61 on Aug. 8.
Much of bitcoin’s rise this month is attributed to the devaluation of the Chinese renminbi as the U.S.-China trade war heated up with investors looking for a safe-haven investment. Conversely, bitcoin’s drop may also be directly related to the U.S.-China trade war with the RMB starting to rise again on global markets while trade tensions have eased somewhat.
Peter Chiff, chief executive officer of Euro Pacific Capital Group believes that the safe-haven buying was pure speculation since Chinese investors didn’t flood into bitcoin at the time.
Now that trade tension with China has eased, the pressure on the yuan is off. Those who bought Bitcoin to speculate on Chinese safe haven buying, which never happened, are taking their chips off the table. But with Bitcoin it’s much easier to put your money in than to cash out!
— Peter Schiff (@PeterSchiff) August 13, 2019
The safe-haven theory around bitcoin also took a battering Wednesday as markets dropped across the board, including the Dow Jones Industrial Average, down 800 points or 3%. Those drops in equities markets did not prompt a rise in bitcoin’s price.
“Until recently, bitcoin has been a go-to investment while the U.S./China trade war has raged on, but now the flagship cryptocurrency is showing its true colors as a risk-on asset, one having nothing whatsoever to do with safety,” Gerelyn Terzo at CCN wrote.
Travis King, the head of cryptocurrency asset management firm Ikigai, speculated that perhaps bitcoin was only strong enough to act as a safe haven for certain types of stress but not all.
It’s like maybe BTC is strong enough to swim in the pool right now but not in the ocean.
Maybe BTC can act as a safe haven when the VIX goes from 12-17 but acts risk on above 17.
Maybe BTC can rally with gold when its about tariffs but not when its about global growth slowdown.
— Travis Kling (@Travis_Kling) August 14, 2019
The move in global equities markets and the debate as to whether bitcoin is a safe aside, the decision once again by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this week to delay consideration of three bitcoin exchange-traded funds hasn’t helped.
It’s not the first time the SEC has rejected applications or delayed bitcoin EFT decisions, but some observers strongly believe that should the ETFs be approved, they would be a boost to bitcoin. That the SEC is no closer to ever approving one, let alone all three, is a damper on expectations.
Bitcoin was not the only cryptocurrency to lose value today. All the major cryptocurrencies saw large declines. Over the last 24 hours, Ethereum has dropped by more than 9%, Ripple XRP 9.7%, Bitcoin Cash 10.5% and Litecoin 9.9%.
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