- Bitcoin trades at a daily high of USD 8,463
- Bitcoin Iran search interest has climbed over 44 times, according to Google Trends
- Meanwhile, Iran has retaliated the assassination of its top general by bombing US presence in Iraq
As we thought could happen yesterday, American traders ensured that when Asia woke up, they would be trading above USD 8,000. Japan, China, India and then now the Middle East and Europe both took over, happy to continue the momentum as Bitcoin now trades around USD 8,300 with a daily high so far of USD 8,463 (CoinDesk).
All is well for the Bitcoin bulls who will definitely enjoy the 15% or so spike in price over the last two days, though many are wondering if the US aggression in the Middle East against old enemies Iran really does have something to do with it. For now, the US dollar is enjoying some good gains, alongside gold, which is typically positive in times of geopolitical turbulence.
Whatever the case, Bitcoin moved past the 200-day moving average (200MA) for the first time since last November, when it surged past USD 8,400 amid news that Iran had claimed successful attacks against two US military bases in Iraq today.
If the CNN news report is to be believed, over a dozen missiles struck their targets in Iraq, although no casualties were reported from the American side. In a statement made to the press after the attack, US President Donald Trump sounded a bit more somber than usual, but remained firmly on a hardline, promising even heavier economic sanctions. He said:
“Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned and a very good thing for the world… The United States will immediately impose additional punishing economic sanctions on the Iranian regime.”
With the threat of war hanging thick in the air, the price of gold continues to climb as the world’s most recognized safe haven enjoys a renewed buying interest from those who fear that world and state economies stand to lose heavily should any outbreak happen in and nearby the Middle East and the Persian Gulf.
But Bitcoin also appears to be taking part in the gold rally, seemingly for its own recognition by many to be a safe store of value, as compared to traditional money like the US dollar.
And Google Trends suggests that this theory is correct, with the term “Bitcoin Iran” gaining a surge of global interest, increasing by 4,450% over the period of the last week. The term “Bitcoin” itself also saw a major leap around the world. A week ago, it only ranked a normalized score of 40. Today, it achieves a full 100 score.
Both terms originated the most from Nigeria, although people located in Canada, Singapore and the United States also took to Google to look up “Bitcoin Iran”. A look on Twitter and other social media platforms don’t really seem to confirm this interest, however, with the hashtag #BitcoinIran getting a mere single mention the whole of today, and another yesterday.
Nevertheless, many are now convinced that the events in Iran is helping to sell the narrative that Bitcoin thrives in moments of global geopolitical instability. Even those who do not buy the theory apparently acknowledge that the sentiment could be fueling a self-fulfilling prophecy as it goes mainstream.
— Nikkei Asian Review (@NAR) January 7, 2020
Su Zhu, CEO at Three Arrows Capital, is one who points to a Nikkei Asian Review report as evidence that even those outside the industry were beginning to believe in the theory. The publication had already credited the US-Iran tensions as responsible for “triggering a surge in cryptocurrencies“. In went on to say on social media:
“Free from state interference or geopolitical risk, #cryptocurrencies become ‘digital gold’ amid rising #Iran tensions.”
Those reluctant to believe in this are adamant that the rally we are witnessing now is mere coincidence. AAX CMO Sheel Kohli insists:
“For Bitcoin, though, investors feel they can safely put a portion of their funds into it and hold it for the longer term without having to worry about any reversion to a mean, as it is not inherently linked to U.S.-Iran tensions.”
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