- Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies sank as Russian forces invaded Ukraine this week.
- The conflict raised questions about bitcoin’s role — as a haven, a tool for the unbanked, and an authority-free zone.
- Here’s what Sam Bankman-Fried, Michael Saylor and three other top voices in crypto had to say.
Russian forces attacked Ukraine from several directions Thursday, starting a large-scale invasion that had been brewing for days.
Financial markets reeled and cryptocurrencies tumbled as investors sought out safe-haven assets. Bitcoin fell to its lowest in weeks, and strategists said it could drop to $30,000 if the crisis worsens.
That raised questions about bitcoin’s role — as a haven asset, a resource for the unbanked, and an authority-free zone. Here’s what five leading voices in crypto had to say about it.
Bitcoin bull Michael Saylor
“Nation state conflicts create uncertainty, constrain production, weaken currency, cripple trade, and undermine credit, making investments in debt & equity riskier and underscoring the benefit of converting treasury assets into pure digital energy – Bitcoin,” the MicroStrategy CEO said in a tweet.
“Wars create inflation, cripple commerce, and make bitcoin compelling,” he added.
Crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried
“What should BTC be doing here? Well, on the one hand, if the world gets shittier, people have less free cash. Basically, selling BTC — along with stocks, etc.— to pay for war,” the CEO of crypto exchange FTX tweeted.
“On the other hand, this is likely destabilizing for Eastern European currencies. And, more generally, for Eastern European financial systems. Which means they might be looking to alternatives. If you were in Ukraine right now, where would you trust your money?”
“So there are arguments both ways for what should be happening to BTC right now. I’m not really sure I would have guessed it would go down, based on the fundamentals.”
“There’s a push and a pull, with fundamental investors buying and algorithmic investors selling; on net, BTC ends up halfway in between, down 8% on the day.”
“But I also think we’re probably in a new regime than we’ve been in the last year and a half. We’ll have to see how things work here.”
Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson
“People often say that I shouldn’t wade into politics. And I keep reminding people the core of who we are as an industry is political, because our fight isn’t about a particular token having a higher price over another token,” Hoskinson, also a cofounder of ethereum, said on YouTube.
“Our fight is ultimately one of liberty and freedom — to give people the power to be their own institutions, to be their own bank. To verify what previously could not be verified, whatever that might be.”
‘Wolf of All Streets’ crypto trader Scott Melker
“Bitcoin is a crappy tool for criminals but a brilliant one for charity and donations,” Melker tweeted as bitcoin donations to Ukraine’s army surged.
Anthony Pompliano, cofounder of Morgan Creek Digital
“The United States has to start considering what to do in a world where a large portion of the world doesn’t use the US dollar as their reserve currency,” the host of The Pomp Podcast said in a Substack post.
“The hypothetical situation would see Russia and China, who have long publicly stated their intention to get off the US dollar system, decide that the costs to using the current global reserve currency has become too high.”
“This game theory leads us to bitcoin. The next best option to being the producer and distributor of the global reserve currency is to be the most advanced user and holder of a global reserve currency that no single country controls.”
“That incentive leads these superpowers to realize that bitcoin will be essential for decades to come. The countries that have a large ownership stake, along with conducting mining and other pro-bitcoin activities within their country, will have a significant advantage.”
Read more: A Wall Street veteran weighs in on why escalating Russia-Ukraine tensions are unlikely to delay the Fed’s hawkish campaign to raise rates — and shares 3 commodity-based strategies to leverage in this environment