In the global stock market sell-off, the price of Bitcoin fell sharply.
Luke McGregor | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Bitcoin fell sharply along with other assets on Friday, hitting a six-week low and officially entering the bear market zone.
According to Coin Metrics data, Bitcoin has fallen 7% in the past 24 hours to $54,561, which is the lowest level since October 8. The cryptocurrency is down 20% from the all-time high of nearly $69,000 touched earlier this month.
A bear market is usually defined as a decline of 20% or more from recent highs.
Other cryptocurrencies also plummeted on Friday. Ether, the second largest cryptocurrency, fell more than 10% to US$4,007, while XRP fell 10% to around 95 cents.
Due to panic about the severely mutated new variant of the new coronavirus that was first discovered in South Africa, the digital currency fell along with other risky assets.
The World Health Organization briefed on the new variant on Thursday, which is called B.1.1.529 and is believed to contain more than 30 mutations. In response, the United Kingdom and other countries temporarily suspended flights from six African countries.
Proponents of Bitcoin often describe it as “digital gold”, referring to the status of this yellow metal as a so-called safe-haven asset.
Cryptocurrency investors say that virtual currencies provide a store of value and a hedge against inflation.
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