With tensions rapidly rising between the US and Iran, will Bitcoin (BTC) and other major cryptocurrencies prove safe havens?
Overnight Iran retaliated against the killing of Qasem Soleimani, its top military leader, by launching over 20 ballistic missiles against US and coalition bases in Iraq, bringing the region to the brink of all out war.
Despite no reports of casualties from the missile attacks, a Ukrainian airliner crashed shortly after take-off from Tehran just hours later, killing 176, including many Canadians and Iranians, as well as Ukrainians, Swedes, Afghans, Brits, and Germans. Though initial Iranian reports blamed technical difficulties, many are speculating that it could have been nervous Iranian air defence forces mistaking the low flying jet for a US air raid.
US President Donald Trump has refrained from immediately retaliating, and the Iranians, using Twitter, have suggested they have done all they intend to do. Under normal circumstances, this would be the end of the latest drama, with both sides backing down and portraying a victory to their own people.
These are anything but normal circumstances. In the White House sits a man who has previously brought the region to the very precipice of destruction, before being persuaded by cooler heads around him to back-off…at literally the last minute.
With tensions in the region already the highest they have been in decades – and so many powers, including the US, Russia, the UK, and Turkey having troops and aircraft actively deployed in combat operations in Iraq and Syria, ISIS still active across the region, Lebanon on the edge of falling back into chaos, a brutal war between Saudi Arabia and its allies and Iran and its allies in Yemen, plus numerous other tensions, its easy to see how one wrong move could set of a wildfire that can’t be contained.