Source: A video screenshot, Youtube/Reuters
Many in the cryptoverse have taken it to social platforms to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine — with people highlighting that this will put the lives of millions of civilians at stake, adding that it is essential now to “have some perspective” and not only worry about portfolios.
Echoing this point of view, Sam Bankman-Fried, founder and CEO of major crypto exchange FTX, warned that there might be war, which is “really bad for the world.” He urged everyone to “go outside and do something nice for someone.”
However, he seemed to be baffled by bitcoin (BTC)‘s price performance. He pointed out the fact that the Ukrainian hryvnia has hit its lowest level against the US dollar, implying that people living there “might be looking to alternatives” such as bitcoin. And it seems like some of them are looking at BTC.
On the other hand, Bankman-Fried argued that BTC might be going down as people need cash. “Basically, selling BTC–along with stocks, etc.–to pay for war,” he said.
Mark Jeffrey, an American author and crypto investor, argued that BTC might be going down because people are turning to cash and view it as an “exit.” He added that people will again turn to gold and BTC when they “start thinking about how to preserve wealth in mad inflation.”
Meanwhile, Polylunar, a pseudonymous Bitcoin enthusiast, has called this a turning point in worldwide geopolitics. They said that any western sanctions, including banning Russia from the SWIFT financial system, would not be able to deter Russia.
Polylunar further speculated that Russia will not stop in Ukraine.
“To secure their homeland they’ll have to move further west into the Baltic countries, by whichever means possible – not today, but also not too far in the future,” the pseudonymous crypto user opined.
According to Polylunar, this situation is not about Russia and Ukraine only. It may further involve China (and its relation to Taiwan), a number of European countries, and the US.
Furthermore, this could have far-reaching consequences for both the USD and BTC. They claimed that the US dollar may see its end as the world reserve currency, while bitcoin, if Russia should choose to adopt it, could become an alternative.
However, Tone Vays, a derivatives trader and Bitcoin analyst, doesn’t see “WW3 happening. He opined that Russia will likely “take a chunk of East Ukraine” just as it did with Crimea back in 2014, and will “then negotiate to leave the rest alone if NATO is scaled back.”
Julian Hosp, CEO and Co-Founder of decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol CakeDeFi, shared what he thought should be the West’s reaction. He argued for the ban of SWIFT, illegalization of Russian-related securities, an embargo on Russian oil and gas, halt of all non-food exports to Russia, and a number of other economic sanctions.
In the midst of all this, another strong argument has revolved around the impact of this attack on global energy prices. According to a 2021 report by BP, a British multinational oil and gas company, Russia is the third-largest oil producer, after the US and Saudi Arabia. Therefore, sanctions on Russia could send energy prices to new levels, and exacerbate inflation.
Pseudonymous crypto user AusMMT noted that stagflation — economic stagnation accompanied by inflation — may happen if renewables are not rolled out faster.