On a day when investors needed a place to hide, one alternative area of the market wasn’t providing any refuge: Bitcoin.

The world’s largest cryptocurrency had its worst day in more than two months, slumping almost 8% to about US$54,350 as of Friday afternoon amid a rout in world stock markets on the emergence of a potentially dangerous coronavirus variant. The drop undercut the argument of Bitcoin proponents who see potential in the token as a hedge against turmoil in more traditional risk markets despite its own history of big swings and speculative frenzy. 

“I never bought into Bitcoin as a haven,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda Corp. “You learn what’s a safe haven when markets turn sour, and today Bitcoin plummeted. What we saw today is it’s a risk asset and it behaves as such.” 

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