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How has crypto been doing during COVID-19?

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[Last Updated: May 13th 2020]

During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we have not just been witnessing some of it’s many effects, but personally going through them too. With over 4 billion people experiencing a disruption to their daily lives due to some form of quarantine, more drastic effects from the virus have been surfacing along the way.

Many of these effects are coming in the form of economic decline, such as an inevitable recession. Others are less abstract and involve social distancing, isolation, and limited international travelling. As Financial News has been reporting, COVID-19 is effecting countless governments, businesses, and individuals worldwide.

Crypto is in uncharted waters 

Cryptocurrencies, namely Bitcoin, have yet to exist during such an event (both a global pandemic and an economic crisis). 

Since the creation of Bitcoin was a response to the 2008/2009 financial crisis, it may flourish as we find ourselves in similar waters now. On the flip-side, people may panic sell and convert all their investments into cash and gold, causing crypto to plummet. More realistically, crypto may prove to be a resilient asset class with a dedicated user base, taking hits here and there but nonetheless growing and surviving. Afterall, the world’s first cryptocurrency and torchbearer for blockchain technology is only 11 years old.

Therefore, this presents a unique opportunity to observe the role cryptocurrencies are playing when everyone — including central banks and governments — are panicking. 

Overview of the analysis 

Starting from day zero of the pandemic, we will examine the price changes per calendar month of two cryptocurrencies, a major stock index, and a major commodity. For every month each price will be displayed followed by the percent change from last month (with the exception of the starting month). 

The cryptocurrencies observed will be Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), as they have the two largest market caps. 

The major stock index will be the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), while the major commodity observed will be Gold. Due to the fact some markets do not operate 24/7, the most recent closing price will be taken on days where a certain market is not open (e.g. weekends, holidays).

We will also include the global cumulative number of COVID-19 cases along with deaths, to illustrate the ongoing progression of the pandemic. However, it is worth mentioning that these are reported cases and the actual number is certainly higher.

Day 0: November 17th 2019

According to a report by the South China Morning Post, the earliest case of COVID-19 has been traced back to a 55 year old Hubei resident. Although this does not confirm the patient was indeed patient zero, we will consider this as the starting point for the COVID-19 pandemic in this analysis. 

COVID-19 Cases: 1
COVID-19 Deaths: 0

ASSETPRICE (USD)
Bitcoin8,481
Ethereum182
Dow28,004
Gold1,468

December 1st 2019 (14 days)

COVID-19 Cases: No data
COVID-19 Deaths:
No data

ASSETPRICE (USD)CHANGE% CHANGE
Bitcoin7,556-925-10.91
Ethereum152-30-16.48
Dow28,051+47+0.17
Gold1,463-5-0.34

January 1st 2020 (45 days)

COVID-19 Cases: No data
COVID-19 Deaths:
No data

ASSETPRICE (USD)CHANGE% CHANGE
Bitcoin7,166-390-5.16
Ethereum129-23-15.13
Dow28,538+487+1.74
Gold1,517+54+3.56

February 1st 2020 (76 days)

COVID-19 Cases: 14,553
COVID-19 Deaths:
503

ASSETPRICE (USD)CHANGE% CHANGE
Bitcoin9,335+2169+23.24
Ethereum180+51+39.53
Dow28,256-282-0.99
Gold1,589+72+4.75

March 1st 2020 (105 days)

COVID-19 Cases: 88,585
COVID-19 Deaths:
3,050

ASSETPRICE (USD)CHANGE% CHANGE
Bitcoin8,523-812-8.70
Ethereum217+37+20.56
Dow25,409-2847-10.08
Gold1,586-3-0.19

April 1st 2020 (136 days)

COVID-19 Cases: 935,232
COVID-19 Deaths:
47,198

ASSETPRICE (USD)CHANGE% CHANGE
Bitcoin6,424-2099-24.63
Ethereum133-84-38.71
Dow21,2274182-16.46
Gold1,575-11-0.69

May 1st 2020 (167 days)

COVID-19 Cases: 3,394,153
COVID-19 Deaths:
935,232

ASSETPRICE (USD)CHANGE% CHANGE
Bitcoin8,620+2194+34.15
Ethereum206+73+54.89
Dow24,120+4182+13.63
Gold1686+111+7.05

Analysis of Data

TOTAL RECORDED COVID-19 CASES GLOBALLY

Financial News - total COVID-19 cases until April 3rd shown in a chart
Jan 22 – April 5, Source: Worldometer

TOTAL RECORDED COVID-19 DEATHS GLOBALLY

Financial News - total COVID-19 deaths until April 3rd shown in a chart
Jan 22 – April 5, Source: Worldometer

As seen in the diagrams illustrating the trend line for COVID-19 cases and deaths, both numbers are growing exponentially. This is a hint that the current pandemic is not over yet, and therefore this analysis will have to remain ongoing.

TOTAL CHANGE FROM NOVEMBER 17TH TO MAY 1ST

ASSETTOTAL CHANGETOTAL PERCENT CHANGE
Bitcoin+139+1.64
Ethereum+24+13.19%
Dow-3884-13.87%
Gold+218+14.85%

[Apr. 1] Surprisingly enough, since day zero of the COVID-19 outbreak (November 17th 2019), each and every asset with the exception of gold is down roughly 25 percent as of April 1st.

[May 1] Since day 0 of the COVID-19 outbreak, each and every asset listed is now in the green with the exception of the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index (-13.87%). Bitcoin is now +1.64% while Ethereum is +13.19% in the green. Gold remains the best performing asset at +14.85%.

Bitcoin and Ethereum as of May 1st are up a total of +1.64% and 13.19% respectively. The Dow remains down by -13.87%, and is the only one listed still in the red. Gold, the go-to asset in times of crisis and a reliable store of value for thousands of years, remains the best performing asset with a +14.85% increase since day 0.

As mentioned before, the pandemic is certainly not over. With North America and Europe being hit extremely hard rather recently, there is still plenty of data to collect regarding asset prices along with COVID-19 cases and deaths. As time goes on and we collect more of this data, only then will a more accurate conclusion be possible.

Therefore, this article will be updated each month with more data concerning asset prices along with COVID-19 statistics. As time goes on and we witness the end of the pandemic, we will analyze the price data to try and determine some patterns and ultimately try to determine crypto’s role in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stay tuned for more updates!

Orion
Orion is an entrepreneur and a part-time writer for Financial News. He is currently involved in distributed ledger technology (DLT) primarily focusing on FinTech. Orion has a great interest in finance, business, crypto, and trading. Some hobbies of his include skateboarding, music, graphic design, and continuously learning new things. His long-term goals revolve around education, agriculture, and renewable energy.

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