Cryptocurrencies stay mostly steady despite global stock market sell-off

  • Cryptocurrencies appeared to deviate from past behavior during Thursday's stock market sell-off.
  • In the afternoon of Asian trade, bitcoin, XRP and ethereum were all moderately lower, but experienced nothing like the massive declines they experienced during the last stock wipeout.
  • Back in mid-October, digital currencies bled out $18 billion of their market value.

Cryptocurrencies held up by and large on Thursday, despite a rout in global stock markets.

In the afternoon of Asia hours, bitcoin had fallen by 0.23 percent to around $6,484, while XRP saw losses of 2.09 percent and ethereum shed 1.38 percent, according to data from Coinmarketcap.com. It's not unusual to see bitcoin lead other digital tokens lower.

The steady performance among cryptocurrencies contrasted sharply with the last time there was a major market stock sell-off.

On October 11, bitcoin fell more than 4 percent, while both XRP and ethereum plunged more than 11 percent during Asia trading hours alone, according to data from Coinmarketcap.com.

Back then, over the course of three days, cryptocurrencies as an asset class saw $18 billion of their value wiped out as global markets tumbled.

Joe DiPasquale, CEO of cryptocurrency fund of hedge funds BitBull Capital, said then that the uncertainty around stocks bled into cryptocurrency markets.

"When we saw equity markets crumble, there was some fear in the cryptocurrency market as well," he said. "I think there was an initial jolt due to larger market activity and the sell off."

That move on October 11 also coincided with the release of a report by the International Monetary Fund, where it said "continued rapid growth of crypto assets could create new vulnerabilities in the international financial system."

— CNBC's Kate Rooney contributed to this report.

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