Bitcoin price shoots up after Trump tweets about China tariffs

Cryptocurrency increasingly seen as safe investment as trade war escalates

Anthony Cuthbertson
Wednesday 04 September 2019 17:06 BST
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The price of bitcoin has been unusually erratic in recent days
The price of bitcoin has been unusually erratic in recent days (Getty Images)

The price of bitcoin has shot up following a series of tweets by Donald Trump which further intensified trade tensions between the US and China.

Cryptocurrency analysts said it was the first time bitcoin’s price had reacted in “real-time” to a breaking news story about the trade war.

The price spike added to growing evidence that investors are treating bitcoin as a safe haven asset during times of economic turmoil and geopolitical uncertainty.

"Escalating tensions between the two world's largest economies will see investors pile in to decentralised, non-sovereign, secure currencies, such as bitcoin, to protect them from the turmoil taking place in traditional markets," Nigel Green, chief executive of financial consultancy firm deVere Group, told The Independent.

The ongoing trade dispute, he added, will likely continue to drive the price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies higher.

On Friday, China announced a new round of tariffs on $75bn (£61bn) worth of US goods would come into force on 1 September.

In response, Mr Trump tweeted his condemnation of the “politically motivated” tariffs and laid out his plan for retaliatory import taxes on Chinese goods.

“Sadly, past administrations have allowed China to get so far ahead of fair and balanced trade that it has become a great burden to the American taxpayer,” Mr Trump tweeted.

“I can no longer allow this to happen! In the spirit of achieving fair trade, we must balance this very unfair trading relationship.”

Bitcoin's price shot up after Trump's tweets about Chinese tariffs (CoinMarketCap)

He added that from 1 September tariffs on $300bn (£246bn) worth of imports from China would be increased by 5 per cent.

Immediately after Mr Trump's tweets, the price of bitcoin experienced a sudden surge of $200 (£164) to take its value to $10,400 (£8,151).

"Today was the first time bitcoin reacted sharply in real-time to a Trade War breaking headline," noted market analyst and cryptocurrency investor Alex Kruger.

"As far as I can recall, this in fact is the first time bitcoin reacts in real-time to any event outside of crypto."

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