Bitcoin Ends Q1 Down 10%, Outperforming Equities in Coronavirus Crisis

Bitcoin ended the first quarter of 2020 down from the start of the year, but not as badly as the record-setting losses suffered by global equities.

On a 24-hour basis, bitcoin (BTC) was in the green less than a percent Tuesday afternoon Eastern time and ether (ETH) was up slightly as well. The performance of other cryptocurrencies was mixed.

Notable assets on CoinDesk’s big board include decred (DCR) up 3 percent, XRP (XRP) in the green 2 percent and cardano (ADA) gaining 1 percent. Assets in the red included dash (DASH) slipping 1 percent and bitcoin SV (BSV) in the red 1 percent. All price changes are in the past 24 hours as of 20:30 UTC (4:30 p.m. ET) on March 31.

In the traditional markets, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index closed down slightly, less than a percent. Europe’s FTSE 100 ended the day up 1.3 percent. In the U.S., the S&P 500 closed New York’s trading day down 1.6 percent.

But for the full quarter, the Nikkei 225 was down 20 percent, the worst three-month showing for the Tokyo-based index since 2008. The FTSE lost 14 percent for the period, its second-worst quarterly performance ever, beating only the fourth quarter of 1987. The S&P 500 was in the red 18 percent to close out Q1 2020, its worst quarter since 1938.

Cryptocurrencies operate 24/7 and don’t have quarters for closing the books. However, bitcoin, the market bellwether, was down just 10 percent for 2020’s first three months.

Semi-correlated?

Despite its relative resilience, bitcoin still has been trending downward over the course of the first quarter along with traditional markets, undermining the narrative that it is a “non-correlated” asset.

“I think correlation across assets is still quite high, a telltale sign of when macro matters more than micro,” said Vishal Shah, founder of Alpha5, a new derivatives exchange backed by large crypto funds.

See also: Bitcoin’s Recent Recovery Won’t Salvage a Terrible Month for Prices

Indeed, the current period of turbulence isn’t…

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