Bitcoin sheds 7.8% to $54,377 as new Covid variant detected

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Bitcoin, the widely-popular digital currency, shed 7.8 percent to $54,377 as the cryptocurrency market witnessed a bearish trend on Friday.

The latest fall comes after scientists discovered a new variant of Covid-19 in South Africa and other countries, causing concerns among investors.

Bitcoin dropped to the lowest level since October 12. The digital currency was recouping from its biggest one-day drop since September 20, and has fallen by more than a fifth since touching all-time high of almost $70,000 earlier this month.

The new variant, detected in South Africa, Botswana and Hong Kong, could be more transmissible due to having an unusual combination of mutations.

“The spread of [the variant], especially to other countries, could wither investor appetite further,” said Yuya Hasegawa at Tokyo-based exchange Bitbank.

“BTC’s upside will likely be limited and the market should brace for further loss.”

On November 9, the cryptocurrency market witnessed the bullish trend, with two largest cryptocurrencies bitcoin and ether setting all-time new highs and the market capitalisation gaining 2 percent to reach $3.06 trillion.

Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency, reached a new record high, soaring past the $68,000 mark for the first time ever. Bitcoin hit an all-time high of $68,382 during early trading hours on Tuesday.

As of the filing of this report, the rally slowed, but the cryptocurrency gained 2.60 percent to reach $67,647. With this increase in price, the market capitalisation of the biggest cryptocurrency has reached 1.274 trillion.

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