All that bull sentiment vaporized as sell pressure mounted on the network.
Bitcoin has plummeted 5% in the opening hours of trading thanks to a bunch of different factors that have almost completely crushed yesterday’s rally. Let’s break down the blockchain:
ASML manufactures lithography machines, basically, ultra-precise lasers that etch extremely small patterns into silicon to make semiconductors. Before this announcement, ASML’s most powerful Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography machines were already banned from being shipped to Chinese countries. That’s thanks to an agreement between the U.S. and Dutch Governments.
Since September, the Netherlands has had the power to block any chip-making equipment exports. So the market was shocked this morning when ASML announced that a small number of customers would be affected by a new export ban on ASML’s Deep Ultraviolet Lithography machines. While this equipment isn’t as powerful as their EUV tech, it still is capable of etching advanced processors. Specifically, shipments of ASML’s NXT 2050i and 2100 are being blocked by the dutch government.
This latest ban is probably connected to reports that the Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp in China was able to leverage old DUV machines from ASML to produce a powerful enough chip to allow Huawei smartphones to really compete with Apple products. While this ban won’t stop China from producing advanced chips, it can potentially slow things down as the U.S. and allies rush to achieve irrefutable dominance in the processing space.
WHY IT MATTERS
This is yet another escalation in tensions between the U.S. and Chinese tech spaces. China has already responded to chip and EUV bans by putting pressure on Apple devices, among others. Huawei and other domestic manufacturers are the big winners here as international cooperation in the tech space takes another blow. ASML initially stated that these bans would not have an effect on their goals, and they also announced that these bans won’t hurt their 2023 FY outlook. However, the market is afraid that more bans will come to light here, and ASML shares fell nearly 4% in early trading.