According to data from CryptoCompare, at 03:15 UTC on Sunday (February 9), the Bitcoin price surged past $10,000 for the first time since 22 September 2019, as you can see from the six-month price chart shown below:

BTC-USD 6 Month Chart on 9 Feb 2020.png

Since then, the price rally has continued, and at press time, Bitcoin is trading at $10,116, up almost 3% in the past 24-hour period:

BTC-USD 24 Hour Chart on 9 Feb 2020.png

Here is what popular crypto analyst/trader Willy Woo, who is a Partner at crypto hedge fund Adaptive Capital, had to say about this breakout:

Bitcoin’s market cap currently stands at $184.26 billion, and its price has gone up an impressive 40.82% so far in 2020. 

Is this due to people buying Bitcoin as a hedge against the risks of the novel coronavirus outbreak or Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) due to the upcoming Bitcoin block reward halving, or both?

Although it is impossible to say with certainty which of these two factors (if any) has had the most influence on the price of Bitcoin, it is undeniable that the daily reports out of China about the effects of the outbreak on the Chinese economy — as the result of temporary closure of shops/, factories, and offices — paints quite a bleak picture not just for the Chinese economy but the world economy.

Here are a couple of examples of how businesses in China are suffering as the result of this epidemic.

On Friday (February 7), Bloomberg reported that Apple is extending the closure of most of its retail stores until February 15. 

Also, this weekend, we found out on Saturday (February 8) that Chinese multinational conglomerate Tencent Holdings Ltd is keeping its offices closed until February 24 (and possibly later):

On the same day, Dovey Wan, who is a Founding Partner of blockchain-focused venture investment firm Primitive Ventures, also pointed out that if China becomes economically crippled, this could potentially also hurt the economies of all countries:

So, it would sense if some people in China and elsewhere were buying gold and/or Bitcoin as stores of value to hedge against potential crashes in the world’s bond and stock markets (even though, thankfully, the U.S. markets have been left relatively unscathed by what is happening in China) and many other undesirable scenarios should this epidemic in China become a pandemic.

But what about Bitcoin’s next block reward halving, which is expected to take place 92 days from now (i.e. May 12)?

The “priced-in or not priced-in” debate still continues with no side yet able to claim a decisive victory, but as we get closer to the halving date, there is bound to be increasing coverage of what this event means in mainstream media (such as CNBC or Wall Street Journal), and this could easily trigger much more widespread FOMO among retail investors.

Also, now that the Bitcoin price has once again gone above $10K, the Bitcoin-related tweets from crypto influencers will probably only get more bullish with time, which could help to generate FOMO among existing Bitcoiners.

Here are a few recent examples of such tweets:

In conclusion, it seems safe to say that both the coronavirus outbreak and the May 12th block reward halving could serve as positive catalysts for the Bitcoin price in 2020.

Featured Image by “Couleur” via