Digital currencies traded slightly higher Wednesday, shrugging off signs of escalating political tensions in the Middle East following a bellicose-laced tweet from President Donald Trump that rattled traditional markets.
However, bitcoin and other virtual currencies — sometimes viewed as havens — drew little flight-to-safety buying, as is normally the case with gold and government bonds, which are perceived as haven securities.
“I think it’s a sign that bitcoin is neither a safe haven nor a risk-correlated asset that people want them to be,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA. “Maybe one day when it matures [we will know] but for now this is not the case. It’s in a world of its own.”
The No.1 digital currency, bitcoin BTCUSD, -1.24% was slightly higher, having traded within a $100 range in the past 12 hours — and didn’t budge after tweets from Trump that declared the U.S.’s relationship with Russia the worst since the Cold War and that the country, an ally of Syria, should “get ready,” suggesting that a military strike on Syria may be coming soon. A single bitcoin was last worth $6,902.91, up 1%.
The verbal salvos came after Syria’s leader allegedly unleashed a chemical attack on his citizens that left scores dead and injured in a suburban town over the weekend.
Ethereum death cross
Ether, which runs on the Ethereum network, pushed above $400, trading to $422.86, up 2.1% on the day. In doing so, the much-talked-about “death cross” chart formation was confirmed.
The formation, where the 50-day moving average crosses beneath the 200-day moving average, is considered a negative signal by market technicians, as short-term momentum slips beneath a long-term trend.
Bitcoin also saw a death cross form on Mar. 31, but it hasn’t resulted in the virtual unit accelerating losses. Bitcoin has only once traded outside the $6,500-to-$7,500 range since forming that bearish pattern.
What are futures and altcoins doing?
Meanwhile, smaller alternative coins to bitcoin, or altcoins, mostly followed their predecessor in recording slight gains. Bitcoin cash was up 0.8% at $653.53, Litecoin was up 0.3% at $114.63 and Ripple’s XRP coin was trading at 50 cents, up 0.3% on the day.