The global impacts of coronavirus are having far-reaching effects on cryptocurrency markets with 30-day volatility increasing as traders attempt to second guess the next moves.
Once hailed as a safe haven investment to rival gold, Bitcoin and rival cryptocurrencies have struggled in the face of global panic about the viral outbreak.
Fear the virus’ spread will lead to a pandemic that could slow the global economy is dragging down stock prices; the S&P 500 index is in the red by 10 percent since the beginning of 2020. Bitcoin (BTC) has also taken a hit, with the cryptocurrency trading below $9,000 for the first time since January, although March has seen some positive correction.
Since the end of February, the number of new COVID-19 cases reported in the rest of the world has surpassed new cases in China, according to the World Health Organization.
Despite this, cryptocurrency over-the-counter (OTC) trading volume has been on the rise since the virus became a constant part of the news cycle.
“We have been seeing a significant uptick in volume over the last 60 days,” said Michael Leon, a trader at Chicago-based Althena Investor Services, which specializes in serving OTC clients. Upticks in week-over-week volume for cryptocurrency exchanges such as Coinbase and Kraken are also being seen, according to data from CoinGecko.
Globally, the virus’ impact has been varied. Australia, which is closer geographically to Asian economies highly affected by COVID-19, has not seen a significant drop in trading, at least according to one desk. “No noticeable effects here in Australia,” said Tilo Grieco, head of OTC desk at ORTUS, based in Sydney.
One strategy some traders are contemplating to prepare for COVID-19 is not holding volatile cryptocurrency assets unless absolutely needed. That’s what Althena’s OTC desk is doing. “We manage inventory very tight and run a matched book, so the coronavirus hasn’t been a factor,” said Althena’s Leon.