Bitcoin has long been hailed as the flagship cryptocurrency representative of a new generation of value assets that do not play by traditional rules – and one that has paved the way for the wave of altcoins that have emerged in recent years. As the world economy is struggling to understand the long-term repercussion of the coronavirus pandemic, could this dark hour prove one of Bitcoin’s finest moments?
The Initial Impact of COVID-19 Across Financial Markets
If ever there was a bear market in the past decade, it’s nothing compared to what investors are experiencing due to the uncertainty that COVID-19 is causing. Market volatility is off the charts as stock markets keep fluctuating wildly to match mitigation measures and efforts made by governments to provide some much-needed stimulus for the economy. Among many other indexes, the S&P 500 suffered one of its worst crashes ever – and reacted much more rapidly than historical disruptions during the Great Recession of 2007 or even Black Monday in 1987.
As whole sectors of the economy, including restaurants, educational institutions, and airlines, were forced to close down, lockdown measures had a ripple effect across several financial markets, including the foreign exchange market. If you would like to learn more about what forex trading is and why it was affected by market volatility, you need to consider the fact that countries took measures individually and in waves.
This means that the base currency listed in a forex pair and the quote currency could represent economies at vastly different lockdown stages. Forex traders saw even the value of EUR/USD, which are both traditionally stable currencies in this market, fluctuate across the weeks that the European Union and the US government announced measures to mitigate the financial effects of the pandemic.
Will Bitcoin Rise to the Occasion?
Within this bleak and bearish environment, Bitcoin could be the silver lining for traders looking for a safe haven. This could be the big moment for cryptocurrencies and especially for Bitcoin, which has long been criticized for its volatility and its inability to break into the real economy, remaining largely a means of accumulating wealth and a trading asset. In a strange reversal, this lack of correlation with the real economy could be what sets Bitcoin apart and boost its popularity with investors. This is evidenced by its movement in mid-March, while European countries started implementing lockdown measures to imitate Italy.
After falling under $4,000 to match the general market volatility, it took mere days for Bitcoin to experience a bullish moment that saw it skyrocket to over $6,000. What could this mean for the cryptocurrency? Bitcoin’s lack of correlation could render it a safe haven for investors looking to place and protect value until markets are out of the woods. GDP growth is expected to halt significantly, as the OECD has already reviewed its forecast as early as March 2020, downgrading projected global growth in 2020 from 2.9% to 2.4%.
If Bitcoin holds this position, it could signal a new era for the cryptocurrency post-Covid-19 – one where it has emerged as a measure of stability, proving sceptics wrong.