With risk appetite dwindling because of escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine, bitcoin lost more than $2K as it plunged to a more than two-week low.
After Russian President, Vladimir Putin announced in a televised address that he would recognize two self-proclaimed separatist republics in eastern Ukraine, and ordered troops to safeguard those areas, Bitcoin dropped as low as $36K on Tuesday morning in Asia.
Earlier in the day, a Kremlin spokesperson said that there were no “concrete plans” for a summit between Putin and U.S. President, Joe Biden as some 150,000 Russian troops have reportedly inched nearer to the Ukraine border.
Recently, worried investors have adopted more risk-averse strategies in anticipation of rising energy prices, U.S. and European sanctions against Russia and possible Russian retaliation that will likely affect an economy already hit by inflation and supply chain delays.
Putin’s speech was followed by a government announcement of penalties for the breakaway republics in Ukraine.
The price of Brent crude oil per barrel jumped past $97 a barrel, a nearly 4% increase.
Ethereum, the second-biggest cryptocurrency by market cap, fell about 7%. All other major cryptocurrencies suffered losses.
The United States equity markets are closed on Presidents’ Day, but several European stock exchanges finished in the red, including the FTSE 100, DAX in Frankfurt and CAC 40 in Paris.
In addition to losing ground on Monday, most Asian indexes did so as well, including the Nikkei 225 in Japan, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong and the Asia Dow.