Today, March 12, bitcoin lost 20% of its value in less than an hour, bringing it to below $6,000 (£4,740) – the lowest its value has been since May 2019. Just last week, the bitcoin price was trading around $10,000 per bitcoin.
Other major cryptocurrencies were down between 30% and 40%, knocking billions of dollars from the value of combined cryptocurrencies in a matter of minutes, with traders citing a sell-off across global markets.
The cryptocurrency market as a whole has lost $100 billion in the last week, and $50 billion has been wiped from bitcoin’s overall value since the start of the month. Bitcoin makes up around 65% of the cryptocurrency market’s value.
The loss has wiped out bitcoin’s gains since the start of 2020 after starting the year at around $7,000 per bitcoin, Forbes reports.
Bitcoin and cryptocurrency expert and Forbes writer Billy Bambrough spoke about how bitcoin’s value has changed since the start of the year, saying:
Bitcoin had a phenomenal start to 2020, almost doubling in value and climbing back above the psychological $10,000 per bitcoin mark, so this pretty sizeable crash does come on the back of a strong market rally.
That said, many had hoped bitcoin had begun acting as a so-called safe-haven asset, similar to gold, and bitcoin’s failure to hold its value in the face of the wider coronavirus market turmoil will worry both retail and institutional investors who had piled into bitcoin over recent months.
Bitcoin has always been highly volatile so long term bitcoin investors won’t be too worried but bitcoin could fall much further before it finds a firm floor.
Expert Simon Peters talks
Simon Peters, analyst and crypto expert at multi-asset investment platform eToro, also cited coronavirus as a possible reason for the crash.
Speaking to The Independent, he said:
Bitcoin has fallen as cryptocurrencies become caught up in the turmoil we’re seeing in traditional market.
Previously seen as a possible safe haven in difficult times, investors now seem to be selling out to take back liquidity in case the coronavirus spreads even further. In a time of uncertainty, many investors might feel it is better to own cash or gold rather than more speculative cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.
Jesse Colombo, who predicted the 2008 global financial crash, added that he believes another crash may be on the way. He described coronavirus as ‘the one-two punch’ that will send the economy ‘hurtling towards recession’.
There are several ways you can protect yourself from contracting coronavirus, such as washing your hands for at least 20 seconds and not touching your face frequently.
Misinformation concerning the coronavirus is, unfortunately, rife, and the pandemic has brought out the worst in human ability to spread fear at an unprecedented global scale.