The stock markets have also not coped well with COVID-19 fears with the American Dow Jones forced to halt trading for 15 minutes to arrest the slide. Shares worldwide have faced their worst day since the 2008 financial crash, some for the second time in a weeks.
Why is Bitcoin falling today?
The value of cryptocurrencies was down by £20.16bn at lunchtime on Monday compared to the previous day’s trading.
Their prices have plunged because of the sell-off of stocks but also because of a row between Russia and Saudi Arabia, which sent the price of oil plummeting.
Bitcoin, the biggest cryptocurrency by value, fell more than 10 percent in 24 hours.
Cryptocurrencies ethereum, XRP and bitcoin cash, saw double-digit percentage point losses.
The reason behind Bitcoin’s price drop has been linked to the difficulties the world’s stock markets are facing.
Fears sparked by the COVID-19 epidemic has seen a major sell-off of shares on the FTSE, the Dow Jones as well as European and Asian markets.
Oil prices crashed by 30 percent after Opec members, led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, couldn’t reach an agreement on production costs.
A price war started when Saudi Arabia refused to drop the costs despite lower demand for oil as a result of the coronavirus epidemic.
Coronavirus fears saw British stocks suffer their biggest intraday fall since 2008 and benchmark bond yields turn negative for the first time on Monday but the government said it was not yet time to close mass events and insisted food supplies would continue.
The FTSE 100 plunged to a three-year low after Saudi Arabia crashed the oil prices by slashing its own selling prices and raising output.
“We are confident that food supply will continue even in our reasonable worst-case scenario,” Health Minister Matt Hancock told parliament.
“We have been talking to the supermarkets for some time about this scenario.”
Ayush Ansal, chief investment officer at Crimson Black Capital, told the Mirror: “The markets have passed from panic mode into pure hysteria.
“Any positive news around the coronavirus is being ignored outright, while negative developments are being catastrophised.”
Russ Mould, AJ Bell investment director, explained just how bad the sell-off in shares became.
“By 9am the FTSE was trading 7.1 percent lower at 6,004 which put the index back to the levels seen before the EU referendum vote in early 2016,” he told the Mirror.