Bitcoin plunged on Thursday, at one point sinking through $6,000 for the first time since May as a sell-off in cryptocurrencies became a rout amid wider market turmoil sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.
The largest digital currency at one point tumbled to $5,705.31, though the move eased slightly to trade down 23% at $6,068 as of 7:37 a.m. in New York, according to Bloomberg pricing. The wider Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index slumped 25%, with Ether, XRP and Litecoin also plunging.
The wild moves come as stock gauges globally slide into bear markets and credit cracks on fears the spreading virus will cause a significant economic downturn. The retreat threatens to undermine the argument from many of its advocates that Bitcoin can be a haven in times of turmoil.
“Investors are moving out of any risky assets,” said Vijay Ayyar, Singapore-based head of business development at crypto exchange Luno. “Even though Bitcoin is compared to gold as a safe haven asset, it’s very under-penetrated and is considered more as a risky asset to hold at this point.”
© 2020 Bloomberg