Market Overview

Crypto Markets: Cryptocurrencies Surge As Coronavirus Spreads, Singapore Brings New Regulation

Crypto Markets: Cryptocurrencies Surge As Coronavirus Spreads,  Singapore Brings New Regulation

A majority of the top cryptocurrencies surged in early trade on Tuesday as stock markets retreated in the wake of the rising casualties from the novel Coronavirus in China.

What Happened

The surge in cryptocurrency's price at a time when the traditional markets are holding back also brings focus to a long-standing debate on whether they act as a safe haven during times of increased geopolitical adversities or other global risks like posed by the latest virus outbreak.

Bitcoin (BTC) surged more than 5% earlier this month after Iran's airstrikes at the United States military airbases in Iraq, quite in tandem with established safe havens like gold and Japanese yen. Nevertheless, cryptocurrencies have proved to be too unpredictable and not adhere to specific trends over time. Kostya Etus, a portfolio manager at CLS Investments, told CoinDesk that BTC can't yet be labeled as either a risk-on asset or a safe haven. "Bitcoin isn't really viewed as a safe-haven asset like gold or cash, and it doesn't have much in common with risk-on assets like stocks either," Etus said. "While most assets are specific to risk-on and risk-off environments, in which you could predict price reactions to certain events, bitcoin is not one of those assets." Meanwhile, the Monetary Authority of Singapore on Tuesday announced that its Payment Services Act has come into force. The law gives the provisions for cryptocurrency businesses to register and get licensed to operate legally in the country.

Price Action

Here's how some of the cryptocurrencies traded at press time, according to CoinMarketCap data: Bitcoin was up 4.01% at $8,990.16. Ethereum (ETH), the cryptocurrency backing the namesake blockchain platform, traded 2.41% higher at $171.82. XRP (XRP), the cryptocurrency enabling the Ripple payment network, added 1.87% at 23 cents. Among Bitcoin hard forks, Bitcoin SV (BSV) added 5.5% at $297.33, while Bitcoin Cash (BCH) was up 1.04% at $363.97. The stablecoin Tether (USDT) traded at its intended price of $1. Cardano (ADA) made a notable gain of nearly 15% and traded at 5 cents. The cryptocurrency market overall added about 3.64% to its valuation at $247.69 billion. Bitcoin made up for about 66% of the overall market.


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