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The current trade war between the United States and Beijing is perhaps the most pivotal occurrence in the global economy since the crash of 2008. Trump and Xi Jinping, both strong-willed, idealistic men (in their way, at least) have made pretty much every play in the book to show themselves as the stronger party in this conflict. As such, stock trading investors the world over is flipping through business news platforms daily to see what’s new in the war of world powers.
However, tensions seem to have reached a new level in the past few weeks. On 1st August, Trump announced that Washington would be imposing a 10 percent tariff on about $300 billion in Chinese goods from 1st September. Following months of negotiations, many saw this action as Trump setting everything on fire. Expecting a retaliation from Beijing, you can bet that investors ran amok.
The fears were, in a way, justified. Less than a week after the tariffs were announced, the Chinese yuan fell to 7.0562 against the dollar, with many believing that it was a move to level the playing field and make the Trump Administration regret its decision. While the Chinese Central Bank blamed the sharp drop on market forces, the immediate fear was that they would use this plummeting currency as a trade weapon.
Well, Trump thought so. Immediately the news of the falling yuan broke out, he called China a currency manipulator in a tweet, adding that this was a crime that would weaken the country over time.
Well, it turned out that China was indeed not planning to leverage on its currency. The Peoples’ Bank of China bought more yuan on Friday, assuaging some fears in the meanwhile.
That’s pretty much where we are right now; everyone is on high alert for the next tit (or tat, as the case may be) in this war between the world’s two largest economies, and with no one being able to place a finger on his indexes would move, it’s understandable that investors are looking for the proverbial safe haven.
Well, to amend the words of comedian Samantha Bee, “It’s Bitcoin, stupid!”
Whenever an economic quandary of this size gets the limelight, every sensible investor will prefer to sit it out and safeguard their assets. Back in 1930, gold was the Hail Mary for investors in the face of the Great Depression.
However, given how much the world has changed with the advent of the Internet and the goal of a global economy, investors need something more stable and liquid. Gold trading won’t cut it, and this is where Bitcoin thrives.
Bitcoin comes with the same benefits that gold did; mining is difficult, the asset itself is rather scarce (with a 21 million cap), its fungible, and its transferable. However, while divisibility is a huge problem for gold, Bitcoin scales this problem easily. With the abundance and increasing reach of cryptocurrency exchanges, sending gits of the asset is as easy as you can expect.
Of course, there is always the argument that Bitcoin is a tool in the hands of criminals. However, when you consider that even the establishment has its history with criminal activity, things kind of become mute.