bitcoin
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  • Bitcoin fell below $6,000 on Thursday for the first time since May amid a market-wide sell-off over novel coronavirus concerns.
  • The rand price dropped by nearly 20% on the day, by 16:00.
  • The largest digital currency led other coins lower - Ethereum, Litecoin, and Ripple also plummeted Thursday.
  • "Investors are clearly not looking at Bitcoin as a safe haven asset," Matthew Dibb, co-founder of the institutional-grade platform Stack, told Business Insider in an email.
  • The JSE and global markets are also recording big falls.
  • For more stories go to the Business Insider SA homepage.


Bitcoin tanked Thursday and fell below $6,000 for the first time since May amid a larger global market sell-off as investors panic about the spread of coronavirus.

The cryptocurrency briefly fell to as low as $5,705.31, according to Bloomberg data. Later Thursday morning, the price had recovered some of its loses and traded around $5,960 - down about 25% from Wednesday's close. The Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index fell as much as 29%, while the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust lost as much as 7%.

By 16:00 South African cryptocurrency platform Luno was selling bitcoin for a little under R107,000 a piece, down from closer to R131,426 per full coin at the start of the day.

See also: The JSE is plunging amid panic selling, and global markets tanking on coronavirus fears

The largest digital currency led a rout of other coins - Ethereum, Litecoin, and Ripple also plummeted Thursday.

"The short-term outlook for Bitcoin remains bearish, as investors are clearly not looking at Bitcoin as a safe haven asset," Matthew Dibb, co-founder of the institutional-grade platform Stack, told Business Insider in an email.

Other safe-haven assets have also slipped, reflecting that investors are not snapping them up at the same rate amid market panic. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury bond gained Thursday, showing that investors were selling the long-term bonds instead of buying. Gold, another safe-haven asset, was down more than 1% Thursday.

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