The price of bitcoin surged in trading Tuesday following reports of Iranian missile strikes in Iraq, taking the cryptocurrency to its highest point since mid-November.
Bitcoin hit as high as $8,438 at 8 p.m. EST before dropping slightly, to $8,306.05, a couple of hours later. Bitcoin had been trading below $8,000 since Nov. 22, dropping to a low of 6,584.04 Dec. 18.
Although bitcoin was up from its December low leading into its surge today, tensions in the Middle East are being attributed for most of its surge, the current mini-bull run starting following the decision by the U.S. to take out an Iranian general Jan. 3.
Joshua Green, head of trading at Digital Asset Capital Management, told Coindesk that the rally was a direct response to the unfolding events in Iraq. “You are also seeing oil and gold up strongly,” Green said.
Josh Rager, a co-founder at Blockroots, tweeted that bitcoin was looking strong after the U.S. base attack news and “could continue to rip up through prior targets to short.”
The direction of bitcoin going forward may continue to relate to how the crisis in the Middle East plays out, but as author and veteran trader Peter Brandt noted, the support for the bull run will also depend on what he refers to “cryptoculists” being shaken out.
What is quite clear is that bitcoin won’t hit $1 million by the end of the year as previously predicted by John McAfee, who famously said in November 2017 that he would “eat his dick” if bitcoin didn’t reach that level.
McAfee now claims his promise was a “ruse to onboard new users,” and it worked. Not content with simply backtracking, McAfee went on to claim that bitcoin is now ancient technology and that “newer blockchains have privacy, smart contracts, distributed apps and more.”
McAfee was still claiming in April that bitcoin would reach the mark, saying that “it is mathematically impossible for Bitcoin to be less than $1 mil by the end of 2020,” then went on to support his prediction in July and in a video in October.
When challenged by one person on Twitter over the decision to withdraw the promise, McAfee responded in exactly the way you’d expect him to, writing, “Wake the fuck up. What idiot thinks anyone is going to eat their own dick ever? Especially in TV!! Are you that idiot? God … I hope none of my followers are that stupid.”