A bitcoin logo on a mobile phone.
Omar Marques | SOPA Images, LightRocket | Getty Images
Cryptocurrency prices rallied on Tuesday even as equity markets continue to come under pressure due to coronavirus fears weighing on investors’ sentiment.
Bitcoin was up over 10% from 24 hours previously, trading at $6,569.17 at around 11:57 a.m. Singapore time, according to data from Coindesk.
The market capitalization — or entire value of the cryptocurrency market — rose over $14 billion in 24 hours at 11:47 a.m. Singapore time to reach $182.62 billion., according to data from Coinmarketcap.com.
Cryptocurrencies took a beating earlier this month. On Mar. 8, the whole market sold off following a plunge in oil prices. Then on Mar. 12, cryptocurrencies saw $93.5 billion wiped off their value in 24 hours and a 48% crash in the price of bitcoin.
Much of the selling off of cryptocurrencies has happened in lockstep with the equity market. Over the past few years, bitcoin has been likened to “digital gold” and has been seen by some as a safe haven asset to invest in when markets are under pressure. But bitcoin, which is still priced lower than where it was at the start of the year, appeared to be behaving more like a risk asset such as an equity.
Stocks in Europe and the U.S. closed lower again on Monday with cyptocurrencies bucking the trend. In Asia, stocks were broadly higher in Tuesday morning trade after the U.S. Federal Reserve announced an open-ended asset purchase program on Monday to support markets as the number of coronavirus cases globally continue to rise.
“We’re seeing some really bullish bitcoin price action today along with other asset classes after the Fed announced unprecedented measures yesterday to shore up the economy,” Vijay Ayyar, head of business development at cryptocurrency exchange Luno, told CNBC by email. “This has given a lot of confidence to investors.”
“It will be interesting to see how bitcoin fares in such an environment, given this is its first test as a safe haven asset in a market downturn and is yet to be proven.”