The World Health Organization, or WHO, just officially classified coronavirus as a pandemic. At present, it is unclear whether Blockchain markets will be negatively impacted by this news, or provide safety from the storm.

Officially known as COVID-19, the WHO said coronavirus has spread enough globally to warrant classification as a pandemic, CNBC reported on March 11.

“In the past two weeks the number of cases outside China has increased thirteenfold and the number of affected countries has tripled,” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO’s director general, said at a press event, CNBC noted. 

“In the days and weeks ahead, we expect to see the number of cases, the number of deaths and the number of affected countries to climb even higher,” Ghebreyesus added. 

Crypto may have helped avoid virus spreading

There may be reason to believe that Bitcoin and other digital currencies could help to stem the spread of COVID-19 amongst users.

Cryptocurrencies, made famous for their digital method of value transfer, do not necessitate the handling of fiat cash — paper government debt notes that often carry germs from one person to the next. The digital and decentralized nature of the industry means that the blockchain space is not an inherent breeding ground for viruses. 

Additionally, many projects within the industry function remotely — or, at least, with remote potential — allowing workers to avoid the spread of germs. This allows many Blockchain companies to continue contributing to the economy in a way that workers in other sectors cannot

Assets might not escape value decline 

On the other hand, crypto assets could fall in value as a result of the newly-termed pandemic. Bitcoin and other decentralized assets have seen a sizable decline in the face of falling mainstream financial markets. A connection arguably exists between declining traditional market prices and the coronavirus. 

Falling traditional markets also may have affected crypto prices as investors flock to more stable assets, according to experts

If Bitcoin can decouple from the situation at hand, however, it may help the asset become a global hedge option for people facing financial crisis around the world.