Is bitcoin as a major cryptoavite really a safe asset?
Fears that the new coronavirus that emerged in the city of Wuhan may turn into a pandemic did not lead to the flight of Bitcoin (BTC) investors' funds. Is
the major cryptovite really a safe asset?
The coronavirus is causing a global sale
The spread of COVID-19 to other countries, Italy, Iran and South Korea has resulted in the sale of risky assets worldwide and the purchase of gold.
On February 25, the Dow fell nearly 900 points after a similar drop a day earlier. The S&P500 Tech Giants Index closed 3% lower.
Stock markets in Japan, UK and Australia fell earlier this week as fears are growing that the spread of COVID-19 may end in a pandemic with a subsequent economic impact. Gold prices reached a seven-year high on Monday as traditional assets considered "safe havens" benefited from fleeing risk assets.
However, this did not lead to an increase in the price of Bitcoin.
Bitcoin is a safe haven. Theory 1
Bitcoin has long ago become a kind of protection against risks, in any case, there are frequent discussions about it. Proponents of this story point to recent price activity, which suggests that investors are comparing "digital gold" with its precious metal of the same name.
In early January, a U.S. air strike in Baghdad killed Lieutenant General and Commander of the Al-Quds special unit within the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, Qassem Soleimani. Iran responded by launching rocket attacks on Iraqi bases where American troops were stationed.
As the world began preparing for a prolonged escalation, the price of Bitcoin soared from less than $7,000 to almost $8500 in a week.
In mid-2019, as U.S.-China trade tensions threatened to escalate into full-scale trade war, demand for Bitcoin rose, especially among Chinese investors fearing a yuan devaluation. After the Trump administration announced a tariff increase on Chinese imports, the BTC price soared by more than 100%.
Bitcoin was also more expensive in Argentina and Hong Kong (often referred to as premium sales) as investors sought refuge from hyperinflation and fear of geopolitical risk, respectively. Arca's CEO from the crypto hedge fund Rayne Steinberg told Bloomberg:
Bitcoin is not a safe haven. Theory 2
As the global sell-off indicates investors' concerns about an increase in the negative coronavirus effect, BTC is experiencing price activity that correlates with risk assets, not gold. In this case, the alleged history of the asset-superver in response to the risks posed to the global economy by COVID-19 is not played.
Mati Greenspan from Quantum Economics commented on this theory:
Greenspan's estimate is consistent with the model that seems to be unfolding at the moment, given the lack of response from the BTC price to the exacerbation of the coronavirus outbreak. Even more - yesterday the asset fell in price by almost $1000 compared to the previous day.
The cryptovoltaic asset once benefited from hyperinflation and political upheaval caused by governments, but did not get the status of a protection against uncertainty caused by the growing threat of a pandemic.
The Black and White Swan Theory?
The famous cryptographic skeptic Nouriel Roubini argued that there were several crises that could derail the global economy.
Among them: the growing tension between the U.S., Iran and China, the real costs of climate change and the impact of the new coronavirus on the Chinese and therefore the world economy. The economics professor expressed his fears about the forthcoming White Swan event.
The "black swan" event, a term that has become popular with Nassim Nicholas Taleb, is a completely unknown and unpredictable event with potentially serious consequences. Roubini is more concerned with white swan events, which are also important but completely predictable.
So is Bitcoin an asset sanctuary or not?
Based on price history, the story that the BTC is a gold-like asset sanctuary has no nuances to predict. Bitcoin has responded to certain events, but not others, according to gold and other "safe havens".
Analysts such as Greenspan have determined that Bitcoin is attractive as a hedge asset when risk is created by governments and bad economic policies.
The economic impact of the coronavirus may be serious, but it does not involve a direct threat of government misconduct or incompetence. This suggests that Bitcoin may still be adversely affected by growing health problems.
Bitcoin eclipsed the gold? Not yet.