Kraken’s Bitcoin Volatility Report: March 2020

Each month, Kraken publishes a report analyzing the volatility of Bitcoin. These reports are first shared with the exchange’s VIP clients before being shared publicly.

A swift drop and steady recovery over March send Bitcoin’s volatility to the moon.

This volatility report covers the massive market moves in March, including a historic 39% drop in a single day and a slow but steady recovery. The report walks through key events alongside Bitcoin’s price action, analysis of macro trends, and key events coming up. Key takeaways:

  • Bitcoin’s annualized volatility broke a 9-month downtrend in March and surged to 178%, its highest level since Jan. 14, 2014.
  • Bitcoin exhibited a strong positive correlation with the S&P 500 (0.84) and gold (0.75) in March and climbed to a multi-month high; however, history suggests this correlation is far from abnormal. For example, since 2012, Bitcoin’s 30-day rolling correlation with the S&P 500 and gold has been greater than 0.70 about 18% and 11% of the time, respectively.
  • On March 12, Bitcoin had its second worst day ever and fell -39%. The sell-off coincided with the World Health Organization declaring the coronavirus a pandemic, the Federal Reserve announcing an injection of $1.5T into the repo market, and a historic dive in U.S. and European stocks.
  • When looking as far back as 2011, April is on average the second best performing month for Bitcoin and it has the largest median return (+27%). It is also, on average, the most volatile (102%).

Look out for:

  • Bitcoin HODLers – So far, they haven’t been phased by the market drop, with data showing 58.4% of the BTC supply hasn’t moved in more than a year.
  • Continued pressure on miners – Many were squeezed out of the market in March, resulting in a 20% drop in hashrate.
  • Continued volatility – Bitcoin is 48% more volatile in April than March on average.
  • COVID-19 – The uncertainty surrounding the spread of the coronavirus and its impact on the global economy will likely keep traditional financial markets on edge, and this fear of the unknown may also trickle into Bitcoin.

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