There is a high likelihood that many stock markets around the world may close due to the pandemic in the coming weeks. Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency market may be among the last ones standing.
The cryptocurrency market never sleeps. If you’re a cryptocurrency trader, this has been the defining feature that sets it apart from any other financial market. This also means that it may survive any shutdowns caused by the coronavirus—and may even be among the few financial markets still trading in the coming weeks.
Could Traditional Financial Markets Shut Down?
News media around the world has been reporting that a shutdown of stock markets may be on the table. The New York Stock Exchange is already planning to move to all-electronic trading next week. [NPR] Other countries have been mulling over the proposal. However, it is risky—in the Philippines, for example, a shutdown of the national stock exchange led to a 24% plunge this past Thursday. [The Straits Times]
The situation could further spiral if stocks continue to drop globally and trading floors become too risky.
However, the situation would also be remarkable. Never before has there been a massive shutdown of stock exchanges globally. That would effectively leave only the cryptocurrency market standing, which never sleeps.
In a few weeks, Bitcoin may be one of the last assets still trading.
— Dan Held (@danheld) March 21, 2020
The 24-7 Cryptocurrency Market
The cryptocurrency market can’t ever be shut down, which means it might find itself in the strange position of being one of the few active markets in a few weeks. Such an idea seemed unthinkable just a month ago.
However, with extreme measures now on the table, it does not seem so far-fetched. Only a few sectors have been showing strength amid this global market rout. With cascading losses and the coronavirus pandemic worsening, it seems plausible that calls to stop financial markets will grow louder.
Such an event would also put the cryptocurrency market’s strengths on full display. It remains to be seen whether exchanges could handle being in the spotlight, however. For now, it’s mere conjecture—and we will have to see how the coronavirus pandemic situation develops in the coming weeks.