KEY POINTS

  • Bitcoin is once again asserting itself as an asset that investors can rely on during an economic crisis
  • BTC spiked to $9,600 after the Chinese stocks resumed trading on Monday
  • Virus fears have led stocks lower and the price of Bitcoin higher

With the coronavirus infecting about 14,500 people and posing a severe threat of becoming a pandemic, the rest of the world seems to be shutting China out.

The stock market of China is suffering as a result of this. The Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index from a 52-week high of 4,223.51 in early January has seen a drop of 9.1 percent when the market reopened for trading on Monday. American markets' reaction last Thursday was no different, dragging the Dow 500 points lower in late afternoon trading.

Fears caused by the virus have led companies to close down shop temporarily. Apple, whose stores and corporate offices employ over 10,000 people in China, is notably halting operations through Feb. 9 in the virus stricken country, reported The Wall Street Journal.

But one asset class that has been observed to be buoyant in times of stressful situations is cryptocurrencies, particularly Bitcoin (BTC). The primary crypto rose to $9,608 just after the markets opened in Hong Kong, according to Bloomberg. This price is BTC's highest point since November last year.

The first month of the year was a breather for the most popular crypto, which has been on a downturn since June last year, boosting the price to 30 percent. Plenty of those in the crypto world sees a negative correlation between Bitcoin and the stock market. The threats of war between the U.S. and Iran, for example, have only been positive for Bitcoin's price.

And now, with Chinese health risks at hand, BTC also made another momentary spike. With moves like this, analysts can't help but make a case for Bitcoin as a safe haven asset, which boosts its status to that of gold and other reserve currencies.

However, it's not just BTC that performed well last month. The number one altcoin Ethereum was higher at 39 percent and already 5 percent in the green in the first three days of February. The CCI30, an index that tracks the 30 largest cryptocurrencies by market cap, was up at 3,847.89 at one point and then gave up gains close to its daily low of 3.558.78, as of press time.

BItcoin A picture taken on Feb. 6, 2018 shows a visual representation of the digital crypto-currency Bitcoin, at the 'Bitcoin Change' shop in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv. Photo: JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images