Bitcoin nose dive as political tensions escalate in the Middle East

The price of Bitcoin (BTC) fell more than 8.4% on April 13 after Iran launched an attack on Israel, intensifying geopolitical conflicts in the Middle East.

The price of the cryptocurrency fell from around $67,000 to $61,625, wiping out more than $130 million in market capitalization within minutes of the attack.

The massive sell-off is also affecting other cryptocurrencies. At the time of writing, Ether (ETH) was down 9.81% to $2,927, while Solana (SOL) fell 15.96% to $129. According to data from CoinMarketCap, the global crypto market cap decreased by 8.19% to $2.23 trillion.

Bitcoin price on April 13. Source: TradingView

According to Bloomberg, Iran launched drones towards Israel on Saturday. This decision constitutes retaliation for an attack carried out by Israel a few days earlier. Israel attacked a diplomatic compound in Damascus, Syria, killing seven Iranians, including two generals.

In addition to the airstrikes, Iranian authorities reportedly seized a cargo ship belonging to an Israeli billionaire.

US President Joe Biden warned on April 12 that Iran would launch attacks “sooner rather than later,” emphasizing that the United States would help defend Israel:

“We are dedicated to the defense of Israel. We will support Israel, we will help defend Israel, and Iran will not succeed. »

The conflict between Iran and Israel is significantly escalating tensions in the region, something the United States has reportedly been trying to prevent since the conflict between Israel and Hamas in October.

US officials have urged Israel not to escalate tensions in their response to Iran, a government source told CNN. Officials also expressed frustration with the lack of advance information provided by Israel regarding its airstrike in Damascus. Israel only informed a US official when its planes were already en route to Syria, sources said.

“We did not know in advance that Israel was going to carry out this airstrike,” the official said. “Minutes before this happened and with Israeli planes already in the air, Israel contacted a US official to tell him it was carrying out a strike in Syria. It contained no details about who would be targeted or where the attack would be carried out, and the strike was already underway before the U.S. government could talk about it. »