Bitcoin is yet to establish itself as the safe haven asset many see it as eventually becoming, falling sharply this week even as global stocks continue to slide—but in some places, people seem to be turning to bitcoin in times of crisis.
The bitcoin price, which has dropped over the last week by almost 10%, has been trading at a premium in Hong Kong, where massive anti-government protests have crippled the city’s major international airports for two straight days.
Bitcoin was recently trading at a 4% premium in Hong Kong on the LocalBitcoins peer-to-peer bitcoin exchange which matches buyers to sellers, it was first reported by Bloomberg, a financial newswire.
Hong Kong airport has now resumed operations five days after protesters first arrived with violent clashes erupting late last night and two men believed to be Chinese agents assaulted.
Bitcoin advocates have been keen to encourage bitcoin’s positive response to the unrest in Hong Kong.
“We learn Hong Kong will be put under martial law. Bitcoin goes up in price,” bitcoin and crypto investor and co-founder of Morgan Creek Digital Assets Anthony Pompliano said earlier this month via Twitter. “The insurance policy against global chaos and instability is working.”
Meanwhile, in Argentina, where the country’s incumbent president Mauricio Macri lost by a far greater margin than expected in primary elections last weekend sending shockwaves through the region’s financial markets, bitcoin has also been trading at a premium.
Some have played down bitcoin’s use in the country however, suggesting the U.S. dollar remains the alternative currency of choice.
“Before bitcoiners start using Argentina as excuse to yell ‘buy bitcoin’ … Argentines want to protect themselves against the peso losing value versus the dollar. And for that, they buy dollars,” Alex Kruger, an Argentina-born crypto trader, said via Twitter.