Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies have been feeling the heat this week as tensions between Russia and Ukraine escalate and investors shun riskier assets.
On Tuesday, bitcoin was trading at $36,649 at 2:30 a.m. ET, falling nearly 6.5% in the last 24 hours, according to data from CoinDesk. The world’s most valuable cryptocurrency fell below $40,000 over the weekend, and has continued to slide as the Ukraine crisis intensifies.
The currency has lost almost half its value since its November high of $68,990 due to geopolitical tensions, the prospect of interest rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve and curbs by some major economies on digital assets.
Bitcoin’s peers have also been faring poorly. Ethereum, the world’s second most valuable cryptocurrency, fell over 8% in the last 24 hours and was trading at $2,520.
Experts say that bitcoin may not stabilize anytime soon.
“Bitcoin is an unwilling participant in the volatility that is hitting all risky assets from Russia-Ukraine tensions,” wrote Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA, in a note last week. “Bitcoin’s rollercoaster ride won’t end anytime soon,” he said.
Investors across the world have been unnerved this week by the deepening Ukraine crisis. Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered Russian troops into two separatist pro-Moscow regions in eastern Ukraine after recognizing them as independent states on Monday.
The move to recognize the breakaway territories appears to be the opening salvo of a larger potential military operation targeting Ukraine, nearly a dozen US and western officials told CNN.
Global markets tumbled on Tuesday.