By Bradley Keoun
Bitcoin’s recent price jump after the U.S. killing of a top Iranian general has rekindled a long-running debate among investors: whether it will work as a safe-haven asset like gold in times of heightened geopolitical and economic turmoil.
The cryptocurrency changed hands around $7,500 on Monday, up about 10 percent since Iran’s top general, Qassem Soleimani, was killed in a lethal drone strike authorized by U.S. President Donald Trump. U.S. stocks fell on the news as investors worried the conflict between the two nations might escalate into a prolonged and damaging war.
For some market analysts and investors, bitcoin’s rally served to underscore the digital asset’s perceived value as a hedge against inflation, historically an economic consequence of major wars. Oil prices jumped in the aftermath of the killing, given Iran’s status as one of the world’s major producers, potentially a harbinger of higher gasoline costs at the pump for U.S. consumers.