Bitcoin hits lowest level in a year as coronavirus panic selling takes toll

Bitcoin fell to its lowest level in almost a year on Friday, as coronavirus panic selling continues to drive prices lower across asset classes.

Bitcoin tumbled to its lowest level in almost a year on Friday, only to rebound abruptly, with coronavirus panic selling taking its toll on asset classes including cryptocurrencies.

The cryptocurrency saw increased volatility as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, with bitcoin falling more than 20% to $3850 in overnight trading – its lowest level since March last year.

Since then, bitcoin rebounded sharply, climbing more than 40% to trade at $5770 as of 10:15 (GMT) on Friday.

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Bitcoin suffers worst day in seven years

On Thursday, bitcoin fell 38% to a low of $3080 – its worst daily loss in nearly seven years – with the cryptocurrency driven lower as investors panic over the coronavirus led to a major sell-off in global equities that spilled over to other asset classes.

Over the last six days, the cryptocurrency has lost around 60% of its value, calling into question its ability to become a truly viable and widely adopted digital currency.

You can go long or short bitcoin with IG using derivatives like CFDs.

Since its inception, advocates of bitcoin have compared the cryptocurrency to ‘digital gold’, with some investors viewing it as a safe haven asset during times of market instability. But with volatility gripping bitcoin in recent weeks and eroding all its gains for the year and pushing it into negative territory, the cryptocurrency’s risk profile is more comparable to an equity than gold.

Outside of bitcoin, the broader cryptocurrency market suffered significant losses this week, with rival coins like Ethereum down 33% this week to $130, while Ripple (XRP) is trading 23% lower.

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