Bitcoin tanks on coronavirus fears

March 12, 2020, 1:37 PM UTC

It took 19 days for the stock market to move from a record high to a bear market due to COVID-19 coronavirus fears. It took cryptocurrencies less than a day.

Bitcoin and other virtual currencies were in free fall in early trading Thursday, hitting their lowest points since May. As of 9 a.m. ET, Bitcoin was off 23%, according to CoinMarketCap. Other cryptocurrencies mirrored those drops, with Ethereum falling more than 30% and XRP dropping 24%.

The plunge started around 6:30 a.m. ET on Thursday, with Bitcoin prices falling 12% over the course of just 30 minutes. In the past 24 hours, the market cap of Bitcoin has fallen by $33 billion.

The wild fluctuations come as stock tumble globally on fears of the growing coronavirus pandemic. They also run counter to the argument of Bitcoin enthusiasts that the digital currency is a safe haven when traditional markets are in crisis.

More must-read stories from Fortune:

—Is this your first stock market crash? Some advice for young investors
—Here are two of the biggest losers from the Saudi Arabia oil price war
Why investors suddenly turned on pot stocks
—Here are some of the most extreme ways companies are combating coronavirus
—Why it’s so hard to find the next Warby Parker

Subscribe to Fortune’s Bull Sheet for no-nonsense finance news and analysis daily.