Bitcoin losing out to gold has analysts eyeing US$30,000 level


LONDON • Bitcoin traded near a more than two-week low as fears of a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine prompted some analysts to predict the largest cryptocurrency could slide toward the key US$30,000 (RM125,397) level. 

Bitcoin was little changed after touching a low of US$36,372 yesterday after Russian President Vladimir Putin said he’s recognising two self-proclaimed separatist republics in eastern Ukraine and ordering troops there. 

Other cryptocurrencies also fluctuated amid the political uncertainty, with Ether off as much as 3% before edging higher and XRP down as much as 6.7%. 

Bitcoin dipped below US$40,000 level over the weekend and kept weakening as the Ukraine crisis deepened, undermining the argument that cryptocurrencies are a haven in times of geopolitical turmoil. At the same time, gold has reached its highest level since June. 

“In the globe’s latest maelstrom — US/Russia/Ukraine — Bitcoin, the asset purported to be the answer to every question, has quietly weakened and is notably underperforming its arch-enemy, gold,” said John Roque of 22V Research in a note on Monday. 

Roque predicted Bitcoin may fall below US$30,000 — a level it hasn’t seen since July — as traders increasingly favour gold, potentially pushing bullion to an all-time high. 

“Bitcoin’s inability to hold US$40,000 amid heightened Ukraine tensions means US$30,000 is back in play,” Nexo co-founder and managing partner Antoni Trenchev said in an email. “Geopolitics has, for now, replaced inflation as the primary driver of both traditional and crypto markets.” 

Trenchev sees last summer’s lows of around US$29,000 as a “last line in the sand”, but expects Bitcoin to hold at US$30,000, with significant buying interest at that level. 

Katie Stockton, founder of Fairlead Strategies, said technical analysis isn’t in Bitcoin’s favour either. The token, which is already trading below a long-term support level of around US$37,400, would face its next key technical test at US$27,200, she said.