Market Wrap: Crypto, Stocks Continue Slide as Investors Eye Russia-Ukraine Tensions

The unfolding situation in Eastern Europe has ratcheted up market uncertainty, leading investors to sell or stick to the sidelines

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key takeaways

  • Belarus will join Russia in military drills along Ukraine’s border
  • Putin said the drills were “purely defensive in nature,” though investors seem to be selling or sticking to the sidelines

Stocks extend losses as investors weigh likelihood of Russia invading Ukraine

Equity and crypto markers prolonged their downturn Friday as the prospects of a war between Russia and Ukraine ramped up.

Russia President Vladimir Putin and Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko unveiled a plan for joint military drills along Ukraine's border — the latest sign of aggression in the eyes of the US.

All indices and major cryptos fell on the news, with the S&P 500 dropping by 0.72% and the Nasdaq declining 1.14%.

Putin maintains the drills are not a threat, calling them "purely defense in nature." The exercises are already underway, and the Russian leader said "one of the serious events in this complex of military cooperation" is slated for Saturday.

"These exercises are purely defensive in nature and do not threaten anyone."

The Dow and Russell 2000 took hits as well, dropping by 0.68% and 0.92%, respectively. Bitcoin and ether extended major Thursday losses as bitcoin dipped another 1.11% and ether lost 3.21% by the close of stock markets.

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Top stories

Story: Federal Reserve Officials Banned From Owning Cryptocurrencies, Stocks After Public Outcry

  • The new restrictions take effect May 1
  • The Fed is mulling the creation of a central bank digital currency

Story: Funding Roundup: Capital and Funds Continue To Launch Into Crypto

  • On Friday, Ethereum-focused multichain network SKALE set up a $100 million grant program to fund the future of blockchain-based gaming
  • Large funds announced this week include a $205 million ecosystem fund for The Graph and Sequoia Capital’s new crypto sub-fund for up to $600 million

Story: Ethereum Multi-chain Network SKALE Earmarks $100M To Fuel Blockchain Gaming

  • The ecosystem program will launch in tandem with SKALE V2, or SKALEverse
  • The network aims to onboard billions of users and has a focus on NFTs, DeFi and Web3

Story: Ukraine Passes Law Legalizing Crypto as Threat of War Looms

  • Ukraine has passed an amended crypto law that formally recognizes the nascent asset
  • A legal market will be established and will have a formal regulator in place to monitor and control crypto

Going forward

Investors should prepare for major volatility in the near future as the current conflict between Russia, Ukraine and NATO unfolds. Market spikes will likely be compounded by the Federal Reserve's next steps on interest rate hikes.


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