The price of bitcoin has plummeted dramatically, losing 20 per cent of its value in less than an hour.
The cryptocurrency crash takes bitcoin below $6,000 – its lowest value since 2019.
Several other major cryptocurrencies also experienced significant losses, with bitcoin cash losing around a third of its value.
Some cryptocurrency analysts have blamed the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak, which has had a heavy impact on the global economy.
“Bitcoin has fallen as cryptocurrencies become caught up in the turmoil we’re seeing in traditional markets,” Simon Peters, a market analyst at online trading platform eToro, told The Independent.
“Previously seen as a possible safe haven in difficult times, investors now seem to be selling out to take back liquidity in case the coronavirus spreads even further. In a time of uncertainty, many investors might feel it is better to own cash or gold rather than more speculative cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.”
The deadly virus, which was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation on Wednesday, has seen stocks endure near-continuous losses in recent weeks.