As the coronavirus outbreak in China continues to attract global attention, Bitcoin’s price has spiked $900, reaching $9,300 per coin today. At the same time, traditional stock markets reacted negatively and saw a mild drop among numerous reports about the infection.
But is there really some kind of correlation between the price action and the situation in Wuhan?
Crypto analyst and Quantum Economics founder Mati Greenspan says the two are clearly uncorrelated. “The markets have been overheating of late and this little de-leveraging session may well have occurred with or without a pandemic scare. For those wondering how the news is affecting bitcoin and the other cryptos, my feeling is that the impact is less than zero,” he said.
The broader argument being made by some Bitcoin bulls is that the cryptocurrency is a safe haven asset—one that investors might flock to when signs of uncertainty arise. But plenty of analysts disagree with this narrative. “Despite recent signs of integration, cryptoassets remain largely uncorrelated with traditional markets,” Greenspan added.
China loses focus on Bitcoin
If anything, China is distracted by the coronavirus, at a time when the government is mandating a push on blockchain but not Bitcoin.
For a start, the number of queries associated with Bitcoin has “seen a sharp drop” on Chinese search service Baidu among the coronavirus outbreak, according to Garlam Won, head of marketing at Harmony (ONE).
He also noted that Bitcoin trading volumes continue to drop on LocalBitcoins in China, which are now hitting a two-year low. This shows that China—where the outbreak is occuring—is not where the latest bullish activity is coming from.
If anything, the coronavirus will have a negative effect on the Bitcoin industry in China. Crypto businesses and conferences are likely to see significant setbacks over the next few weeks, if things get any worse. Further, if the coronavirus spreads to next province along—Sichuan—it could disrupt Bitcoin miners there. Both bearish signs.
Much has been made of China’s influence on Bitcoin, but while it deals with the coronavirus and moves away from Bitcoin—the price just doesn’t seem to care. Perhaps its influence is weaker than we think.