In the summer of 2019, the 10-year minus 3-month yield curve inverted for the first time in 13 years. During the time of the inversion, Bitcoin’s price hit all-time highs for the year. The previous inversion in 2006 was followed shortly thereafter by the global economic crisis of 2008.
On Jan. 3rd 2020, United States President Donald Trump ordered the killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani by drone strike. The Iranian government retaliated on Jan. 8th by launching missiles at two American bases in Iraq located near Baghdad.
Throughout the Iran-U.S. conflict, Bitcoin’s price spiked upward by 21%, from just below $7,000 to nearly $8,500.
The foreshadowing of another global economic crisis and the threat of further international conflict has given rise to an important question: is Bitcoin a safe haven asset?
To investigate this narrative, we sought the opinion of world-renowned economist Campbell Harvey, who is best known for theorizing yield curve inversions as accurate signals of oncoming recessions. Harvey is now the J. Paul Sticht Professor of International Business at Duke University, where he has been teaching a course on blockchain and cryptocurrencies for seven years. In this interview, he discusses whether “Bitcoin is a safe haven” in the context of both war and recession. He also details a vision of the future in which digital tokens could undermine the global hegemony of the US Dollar.
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