Investing.com – Cryptocurrencies overall traded higher on Friday, with bitcoin leading gains as speculation mounted on whether it could be used as a hedge against the threat of currency wars.
Total cryptocurrency market capitalization increased to $311.32 billion by 11:12 PM ET (15:11 GMT), compared to $294.27 billion a day earlier.
Bitcoin, the largest alt coin by market cap, rose 8.3% to $11,742.8 on the Investing.com Index.
As part of the ongoing Sino-U.S. trade conflict, Beijing allowed the Chinese yuan to fall to its weakest level in a decade against the dollar while also calling on state-owned companies to suspend imports of U.S. agricultural products.
The action was in response to last week’s pledge from U.S. President Donald Trump to place further tariffs on Chinese goods starting on Sept. 1 if trade negotiations did not show marked progress.
Trump responded quickly, saying the action with regard to yuan was “currency manipulation”, once again calling on the Federal Reserve to step up to the plate, presumably implying that the U.S. central bank should pursue more aggressive policy easing like its global counterparts.
Clement Thibault, senior analyst at Investing.com, broke down talk about whether Monday’s rise in bitcoin was due to these currency wars.
Thibault pointed out that the recent rally in bitcoin started well before the weekend news hit the wires, but admitted there was a “conspiracy theory” about someone in China moving yuan into the digital currency in order to avoid a further devaluation by the Chinese government.
“I’m not partial to conspiracy theories as a whole and I still think bitcoin is a lot more of a speculative instrument than an actual hedge against currency wars,” he said.
“That being said, this is the kind of thing that is very self-fulfilling, in that the more people who believe that bitcoin is a store of value and a way to avoid currency wars, it’ll just become one.”
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