- Bitcoin lost 8% Friday to touch its lowest level in two months, as cryptos fell across the board.
- The discovery of a new, potentially vaccine-resistant COVID-19 variant drove investors to dump riskier assets.
- Metaverse-linked coins plunged, reversing a recent rally, as sand dropped 4.2% and mana lost 10.8%.
Metaverse-linked coins, Bitcoin, ether, mana and sand were all knocked down in a broad-based crypto sell-off Friday. As worries about the impact of a new COVID-19 variant prompted investors to sell riskier assets.
According to CoinMarketCap data, the leading cryptocurrency bitcoin slid 7.5 percent in 24 hours to $54,079 at 08:50 a.m. ET. However, it was recouping losses from earlier this month, when it fell to $53,625 – its lowest level since October 10. The token is about to experience its greatest one-day loss in two months.
Scientists in South Africa detected a new COVID-19 variant
South African scientists announced on Thursday that they had discovered a novel COVID-19 variation, B.1.1.529. That could be more transmissible and resistant to current vaccinations. As a result, the United Kingdom has suspended flights from six southern African countries. Additionally the European Union has indicated that it is considering a similar flying restriction.
The World Health Organization is to host a special conference on the situation on Friday. After warning earlier in the week of an increase in global coronavirus cases.
Fears of increased anti-pandemic regulations and their impact on economic development arose as a result of the steps. Sending global stock markets tumbling as investors sought safety in less risky assets. Crypto markets reflected this tone, according to observers.
In an emailed message to Insider, Freddie Evans, sales trader at digital asset broker GlobalBlock, said, “Today’s move illustrates that digital assets are sensitive to risk aversion affecting traditional markets.”
“We’ve seen key global indexes and other risk assets take a hit as a result of concerns over the appearance of a new Covid version in South Africa,” he added. “This has damaged bitcoin, leading $300 million to be sold in under an hour.”
Meanwhile, the native token of ethereum, ether, fell 9.5 percent in 24 hours to $4,027.06, although was recovering from a larger loss. It had already fallen to $3,933, its lowest point since October 24.
On the last 24 hours, solana’s sol was down 10.8 percent, polkadot was down 12.5 percent, and cardano’s ada was down 9.6 percent. According to CoinMarketCap data, dogecoin is down 8.2 percent, while shiba inu is down 1.6 percent.
Metaverse-linked tokens also took a hit
Metaverse-related tokens have also taken a knock, reversing gains made earlier this week on the strength of encouraging news such as the sale of digital property for millions of dollars.
According to CoinMarketCap, the sand token of gaming platform Sandbox has declined 2%, while the mana token of virtual real estate company Decentraland has dropped 6.3 percent. Despite the widespread falls in cryptocurrency prices, not all market experts were pessimistic about the future.
“The fundamentals of the crypto sector have not altered for us at 21Shares. We can see that the rate of innovation is continuing to pick up speed “According to Eliézer Ndinga, the digital asset manager’s research lead.