"We are beginning to see some discorrelation between bitcoin and the equities market, which is very nice," he added. "But while we're seeing some traditional safe havens pop off with the Ukraine and Russia situation, we haven't really seen that in crypto."

Bristling tensions and looming laws in Europe could offer clues to two questions: Can bitcoin be a safe-haven asset? And can Russia emerge as a crypto superpower, asks Reuters.

The answer to the first, for now at least, is no; while fortress gold has risen 2.3% over the past week, as Western warnings about Russian aggression have intensified, bitcoin has lost 3%. That was worse than the 0.9% decline of the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) index.

“I don’t see any evidence of bitcoin being a safe haven,” said Chris Weston, head of research at Melbourne-based brokerage Pepperstone. “The Ukraine situation with Russia is a really hard one to price, so in that situation, you just buy crude futures.”

Yet it’s too early to dismiss the argument made by many bitcoin advocates who say the cryptocurrency, just into its teens, is destined to be a form of digital gold that should retain its value when riskier assets such as stocks tumble.

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