Russian billionaires were already feeling the pinch as tensions between Ukraine grew. After Russian President Vladimir Putin decided to attack Ukraine, their net worth plummeted dramatically. They lost nearly $40 billion in less than 24 hours.
Financial analysts believe the current Ukrainian scenario to be one of Europe’s most serious security crises since World War II, with the developing events threatening to exacerbate market collapses across the region, notably in Russia, because of US and UK sanctions.
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Russian Billionaires Lose Big
Several billionaires, including Gennady Timchenko, face sanctions as a result of their ties to Putin.
Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index shows that the chairman of Lukoil, Vagit Alekperov, had his fortune plummet by over a third in a single day, from $6.2 billion to $13 billion.
This brings Alexey Mordashov’s net worth to $23 billion after he lost $4.2 billion on Thursday.
Currently Russia’s richest person, Vladimir Potanin, has lost $3 billion.
The combined fortunes of Russian billionaires Alekperov and Timchenko have plummeted by almost $10 billion this year, a loss of over 40%.
Total crypto market cap at $1.744 trillion in the daily chart | Source: TradingView.com
Russia’s benchmark MOEX Russia Index fell 33% in Moscow, the fifth-worst drop in stock market history. It was the first time a drop of such size hit a market worth more than $50 billion since the 1987 Black Monday meltdown.
Though crypto has long been touted as an asset uncorrelated with traditional financial markets, the crypto market is reacting to news of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in lockstep with stock markets. Both Bitcoin and Ethereum are risky investments, and their prices fluctuate like stocks.
Global Financial Ramifications
“You’re watching markets go off overnight and throughout the day today, and you’re watching crypto do the same thing,” Doug Boneparth, a certified financial advisor and founder of Bone Fide Wealth, said.
One of the numerous costs of war is the worldwide financial ramifications. Experts are particularly concerned about a high human death toll. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky declared that more than 100 Ukrainians had been killed alone on the first day of the invasion.
Experts predict that instability in global financial markets, including cryptocurrencies, will follow as the battle drags on. Bitcoin fell below $35,000, and Ethereum fell below $2,400 soon after the invasion began, but both have subsequently rebounded.
With no signs of slowing what US President Joe Biden called this week as an act of war by Putin, analysts warn cryptocurrency investors should brace themselves for more significant turbulence.
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The Price Of War
Meanwhile, market data show that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has weakened risky assets such as cryptocurrencies, while conventional sanctuaries such as gold and the US dollar have risen.
Because of its volatility and rising link to stock markets, Bitcoin’s status as a “secure” asset, similar to gold, is declining.
Will cryptocurrency detach from stocks, or will it continue to follow the same trajectory as equities? Only time will tell if crypto investors were merely experiencing an early knee-jerk reaction to the scenario.
The crypto market’s reaction right now is somewhat reasonable, given that it has been in decline for the previous few months, which implies that cryptocurrencies are highly volatile investments, a trait that has become even more evident as a result of Russia’s attack on Ukraine.
Market analysts believe the best thing investors can do right now is to remain cool and avoid making hasty decisions in response to market movements.
Featured image from Wealthy Gorilla, chart from TradingView.com