The usage and adoption of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies can look very different depending on where in the world you are–in countries with relatively stable economies and political situations, cryptocurrency is primarily viewed as a dangerous and risky way to make (or lose) money.
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In countries with less-stable economies and political situations, however, Bitcoin can be viewed and used quite differently–in the face of political turmoil and hyperinflation, Bitcoin has been used as a way to protect the savings of individuals and communities.
Therefore, it can be argued that political and economic instability can be fuel for crypto markets. As such, when tensions rise or economies sit on the brink of collapse, crypto investors around the world watch in anticipation of a possible spike in cryptocurrency markets.
It is for this very reason that the cryptocurrency community began to keep a closer eye on events in Iran starting in early January when a US drone strike killed Iranian major general Qasem Soleimani of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. When Iran struck two US military bases in Baghdad less than a week after Soleimani’s death, the price of Bitcoin rose from $7000 to $8500.
The correlation between the US-Iran tensions and a rise in the price of BTC is also supported by data from Google Trends during the week ending on January 8th, which showed that the search term “Bitcoin Iran” had spiked twice–once on January 4th, the day after Qasem Soleimani’s death, and again on January 8th, following Iran’s attacks on US military bases. By the end of the week, searches for “Bitcoin Iran” had risen a total of roughly 4,450%.
“The reality is that thieves and terrorists can profit off of anything,” said Jack Choros, Content Marketing Expert at IronMonk Solutions, to Finance Magnates, pointing to the fact that “Mexican drug cartels are currently profiting off of avocado farms.”
“The reality is almost anything can be used to harm people,” he said, just as help can come from almost any direction–including, when used responsibly, cryptocurrency.