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Bitcoin Is On Fire

Bitcoin is once again climbing, making gains alongside broader markets—with the bitcoin price up 12% over the last week and powering into the second quarter.

The bitcoin price is up almost 6% over the last 24-hour trading period, outperforming almost all major indexes despite stocks across Europe following Asia slightly higher.

Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, and equity markets have all climbed as investors around the world cheered early signs lockdowns in counties around the world are beginning to slow the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19.

Ahead of the coronavirus crisis, bitcoin investors were upbeat at the beginning of the year, a survey of high-level bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange users showed last month, with most expecting the bitcoin price to soar to over $20,000 per bitcoin in 2020.

Across Europe markets added between 2% and 4% by midday after major Asian markets finished the day up by around 3%. Bitcoin and cryptocurrency purchases follow the signs of improving sentiment in the stock markets,” said Alex Kuptsikevich, senior financial analyst at the FxPro. “As soon as risk assets start to attract demand actively, institutional investors may also increase their positions in the cryptocurrency.” “Investors are shrugging off the pessimism,” AvaTrade’s chief market analyst Naeem Aslam wrote in a note to clients, adding if lockdowns are removed prematurely a second coronavirus wave could hit “with more intensity [and] we could be in a for a longer period of recession.”

Gold, a so-called safe-haven asset in times of economic uncertainty, has also jumped by over 1% to a more than one-week high—suggesting fears over a coronavirus-induced global recession continue to worry investors.

Last week, reports of an increase in bitcoin demand led some to recall a bitcoin’s epic 2017 rally that saw the bitcoin price rise from under $1,000 at the beginning of the year to around $20,000 in under 12 months.

“I haven’t seen this much organic new interest in bitcoin since early 2017 in my non-crypto circles,” said well-known crypto investor Ari Paul, the co-founder and chief investment officer of BlockTower Capital, via Twitter.

U.S. president Donald Trump has said he is seeing signs that the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. may be levelling off, while at the same time warning the country needs to prepare for a “very deadly period” over the coming two weeks.

Trump had previously said he had hoped the U.S. could be back at work by Easter Sunday, April 12. It’s thought around one in every four Americans are currently home from work.

New York governor Andrew Cuomo has, however, said it’s too early to call a plateau of the epidemic in the hard-hit coronavirus hotspot, with the number of daily fatalities in New York dropping slightly to 594 yesterday.

Elsewhere, there have been indications that the coronavirus pandemic is being brought under control in Italy, Germany, France and Spain with fewer new cases reported.

Amid the green shoots of a recovery, others are less upbeat.

“I think the balance of probabilities are that this is a much longer event—in terms of economic impacts—than anybody is pricing in,” former Goldman Sachs fund manager Raoul Pal, who is the chief executive of research outfit Global Macro Investor and founder of business and finance media platform Real Vision, told the Lindzanitypodcast last week.

Pal, a well-known bitcoin bull, has warned the coronavirus crisis will cause history’s worst insolvency event, while moving 25% of his portfolio to bitcoin.