Bitcoin has suddenly begun moving counter to broader markets, jumping by 20% in the last 24-hour trading period and climbing over $6,000 per bitcoin.
[Updated at 1.14pm EDT]: Bitcoin hit a high of $6,350 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange before falling back somewhat to around $6,200.
The bitcoin price, which had fallen under $4,000 last week amid “extreme” market volatility, has been treading water for most of this week—trading around $5,000.
The precise reason for bitcoin’s move higher today was not immediately clear, though some bitcoin and crypto watchers have suggested bitcoin is currently “oversold” after its heavy sell-off over the last week.
“Bitcoin has been going through a consolidation process at around $5,000 over the last six days,” said Alex Kuptsikevich, FxPro senior financial analyst.
“Technical indicators, including the Crypto Fear & Greed Index and RSI, show that bitcoin is still in the deep oversold territory.”
Meanwhile, U.S. stock futures were down ahead of the market open in New York, with investors concerned the latest efforts by the Federal Reserve and central banks around the world haven’t gone far enough to cushion the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has shot up overnight, jumping 40% to over 9,400.
European stocks opened higher earlier today but have given up their gains, following Asian markets lower.
Yesterday, the Fed said it will create a backstop for prime money market funds and the European Union’s central bank announced a Pandemic Emergency Purchase Program that will buy up $800 billion worth of securities.
Some in the bitcoin and cryptocurrency community have suggested bitcoin could outperform the broader market due the economic turmoil wrought by the spreading coronavirus.
“Bitcoin was made for this moment,” said George McDonaugh, co-founder and managing director at blockchain investment firm KR1.
“We’ve seen the institutions leave the market for now, the holders can pick up cheap bitcoin in the interim. Soon cash will need to find a home, and depending on how bad things get, bitcoin will have a different shine to it.”
Cities around the U.S. and Europe are increasingly shutting down with the New York Stock Exchange announcing it will temporarily close its trading floor and London’s subway system partial closing.
Elsewhere, bitcoin rivals including ethereum, Ripple’s XRP, litecoin, and bitcoin cash have also rebounded, adding between 8% and 12%.