Omicron cryptocurrency hitches a ride in new variant

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As global markets tumbled last week on news of the new coronavirus variant, omicron, a cryptocurrency of the same name soared after the Greek letter entered investor vocabulary.

The price of the hitherto obscure digital token, whose Twitter profile has just over a thousand followers, increased almost tenfold from Friday (26) to this Monday (29), when it reached US$ 688 (R$ 3, 8,000), before dropping 75% later, cryptocurrency market data company CoinGecko said.

The omicron token, which its website describes as “a decentralized monetary protocol supported by Treasuries”, was traded at around US$371 (R$2,000) at 11:35 am EDT. On Thursday (25), it was worth around US$65 (R$364).

Bitcoin had its worst day in two months on Friday, falling more than 8% as investors shed stocks and other riskier assets in favor of safe havens like the dollar. It has since recovered almost all its losses, with global markets gaining a semblance of lull this Monday (29).

From “squid game” to dogecoin, smaller cryptocurrencies have benefited this year from links to memes or web culture, registering rapid booms and busts as more traditional names like bitcoin grow in popularity.

It wasn’t clear when the omicron token was released. Data on its price on CoinGecko was only available as of November 8th, while a Telegram channel under the name OmicDAO was released the day before.

Reuters was unable to contact anyone representing omicron for comment.

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