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Bitcoin dumps $2,000 within minutes as new COVID strain detected Bitcoin dumps $2,000 within minutes as new COVID strain detected

Bitcoin dumps $2,000 within minutes as new COVID strain detected

Global markets reacted shortly after news broke out of a new COVID strain found in South Africa.

Bitcoin dumps $2,000 within minutes as new COVID strain detected

Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

Bitcoin, the worldโ€™s largest cryptocurrency by market cap, plunged nearly $2,200 within minutes in mid-European hours. Other large-cap cryptocurrencies followed the plunge, falling as much as 10%.

Image: BTC/USD via TradingView.

Bitcoin traded at $58,000 in early-Asian hours. It earlier failed to break the $59,000 resistance levelโ€”a move thatโ€™s part of a broader downtrend since the $68,000 level from earlier this month.

Data from Coinglass shows nearly $106 million worth of Bitcoin futures were liquidated today until press time. Futures are financial products allowing traders to gain exposure to a particular asset without holding that physical asset. Crypto futures are a lucrative market and clock billions of dollars in trading volumes daily.

Following Bitcoinโ€™s plunge were other large-cap cryptos like Ethereum (-7%), XRP (-9%), Solana (-6%), and Polkadot (-7%). Ethereum futures saw even higher liquidations than Bitcoinโ€”at over $114 millionโ€”data from Coinglass shows.

The fall followed news of a new COVID variant found in South Africa. Bloomberg reported risk assets like emerging market currencies, bonds, and stock slid this morning, while treasuries and โ€˜saferโ€™ European bonds surged.

โ€œThere is some risk off happening from Japan to Africa due to concerns around a new virus variant being found in South Africa but the good thing is countries such as U.K. are acting fast to curtail its spread,โ€ said Justin Tang, head of Asian Research at United First Partners. โ€œGiven that the world has gone through this before with Delta, there is already a playbook for such situations – even if the new variant overstays.

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