Roughly $38 billion has been shaved off of crypto markets has been shaved off of the market cap of all cryptocurrencies within the last 48 hours, according to data from CoinMarketCap.
Indeed, crypto markets fell from $263 billion at 05.00 GMT on Saturday, March 7th, to $225 billion at the same time on Monday, March 9th, representing a decline of roughly 14.4%.
The most significant decline took place over the last 24 hours when the market cap fell from $251 billion from $225 billion (roughly 10.3%).
The majority of the decline appears to have been taken out of Bitcoin markets–the market cap of BTC fell from $166 billion to $143 billion, or roughly 13.8%, over the same 48-hour time period. As a result, the price of Bitcoin has plummeted from roughly $9,100 on Saturday, March 7th (05.00 GMT) to $7,840–a price level that BTC hasn’t seen since January.
CNBC pointed out that the sell-off in the crypto markets followed after a cliff dive in oil prices and continuous sell-offs in stock markets–drops that a number of prominent analysts have connected the falling stock markets and plummeting oil prices with the rise of the coronavirus.
CNBC reported that specifically, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) failure to make a deal with its allies regarding cuts in oil production caused Saudi Arabia to significantly lower its crude prices, signaling that the country could be preparing to increase its production. Ensuing fears of an all-out price war allegedly caused the drop.
Indeed, the price of Brent Crude futures–which is widely considered to be the international benchmark for oil companies–fell a whopping 30% over the weekend, a move that NDTV said was the largest percentage drop since January 17th, 1991, which also happens to be the date of the start of the first Gulf War. Prices have bottomed out around $30 a barrel, the lowest they have been since February 2016.
CNBC also reported that stock markets in Japan had dropped more than 5% so far today, while Hong Kong shares have fallen 3.5.%. Stock markets in the US are also reportedly poised for further drops when markets open later today.
Safe havens under attack
While declining confidence in stocks and commodities may be considered as par for the coronavirus’s course, the decline in cryptocurrency markets and the price of Bitcoin has come as something of a surprise to many Bitcoin supporters who have slated BTC as a “safe haven” asset in times of crisis. However, it seems that even the more traditional “safe haven” assets aren’t safe from the coronavirus’s economic damage.
Indeed, not even gold–which has historically been one of the world’s most important ‘safe haven’ assets–has been safe from the economic cliff dive that has surrounded the coronavirus. At press time, the USD had sharply declined against the Euro over the past 24 hours.
However, the price of gold had significantly rallied, following a sharp dive earlier this month.