Cryptocurrencies are falling while the coronavirus variant is shaking markets

A representation of the virtual cryptocurrency Bitcoin is seen in this image illustration taken October 19, 2021. REUTERS / Edgar Su / File Photo / File Photo

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LONDON, Nov. 26 (Reuters) – Bitcoin fell above 9% on Friday, pulling down smaller tokens, following the discovery of a new, potentially vaccine-resistant coronavirus variant so investors dump more risky assets for perceived bond, yen and dollar safety.

Bitcoin, the largest digital currency, fell as much as 9.2% to $ 53,551, the lowest since October 10. The second-largest cryptocurrency eater fell over 13% to its lowest point in a month as investors dropped cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin, whose 13-year lifespan has been marked by bouts of extreme volatility, was on track for its biggest fall in one day since September 20. It has fallen by more than a fifth since reaching a record high of almost $ 70,000 earlier this month.

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Researchers said the coronavirus variant, discovered in South Africa, Botswana and Hong Kong, has an unusual combination of mutations and may be able to avoid immune responses or make it more transmissible. read more

“The spread of (the variant), especially to other countries, may further weaken investor appetite,” said Yuya Hasegawa of the Tokyo-based stock exchange Bitbank. “BTC’s upside is likely to be limited and the market should prepare for further losses.”

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Bitcoin reached an all-time high of $ 69,000 earlier this month as several large investors embraced cryptocurrencies, with many attracted to its alleged inflation-resistant characteristics.

Others have embraced the digital symbol of the promise of quick wins, a draw that has been reinforced by record lows or negative interest rates. Nevertheless, the volatility of bitcoin has persisted, which has raised questions about its suitability as a stable value stock.

Ether was last at $ 3,924. It is down almost 20% from a record high here on November 10.

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Reporting by Tom Wilson; editing by Carolyn Cohn, Kim Coghill, William Maclean

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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