Feb. 3 (UPI) -- Bitcoin in January had its best year-opening month in seven years and on Monday saw its highest value since last fall, highs experts say were at least somewhat fueled by the deadly coronavirus outbreak.
The digital currency quickly gave back the price gains, but the spike followed a stellar performance last month, which was its best January since 2013.
"The ongoing upward trajectory of the price of bitcoin correlates to the spread of the coronavirus," said analyst Nigel Green of the advisory DeVere Group. "The more individual cases that are identified, the more countries around the world that are affected, and the greater the impact on traditional financial markets, the higher the price of bitcoin has jumped."
Some analysts believe the figures show Bitcoin and other cryptocurrenices have attained the same status as gold and other reserve currencies as a safe-haven asset.
"As trust in global institutions and markets continues to deteriorate, we will see highly mobile digital assets like Bitcoin explode in value," said expert Jehan Chu of blockchain investment firm Kenetic Capital.
Some analysts say Bitcoin will further solidify its position in world markets when it surpasses the $10,000 mark.