Bitcoin falls past $6,000, leading a cryptocurrency rout as global markets slip on coronavirus concerns

A man walks past an electric board showing exchange rates of various cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin (top L) at a cryptocurrencies exchange in Seoul Reuters

Bitcoin tanked Thursday and fell below $US6,000 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 $US5,705.31, according to Bloomberg data. Later Thursday morning, the price had recovered some of its loses and traded around $US5,960 – 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%.

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.