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Bitcoin, Ether and Cryptos Across the Board Slump Amid New Covid-19 Variant Fears

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Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are falling Friday amid a wider market slump.

Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Cryptocurrencies were behaving much like other assets Friday as

Bitcoin,

Ether
and a wide range of cryptos plunged amid widespread fears over a new, heavily mutated variant of Covid-19.

Bitcoin, the leading crypto with a market capitalization of more than $1 trillion, fell more than 6% to below $55,000, a monthly low, according to price data from CoinDesk.

Ether, the second-biggest digital asset, was down almost 7% to just above $4,000.

Popular “meme” crypto Dogecoin was not spared, dropping 8%.

Markets have been being rocked amid concerns surrounding a new variant of Covid-19, known as B.1.1.529, first identified in Botswana and described by South Africa’s  health minister as “of serious concern.”

The possible impact of this new variant has led to renewed travel restrictions and a broad slump across stocks, oil prices, bond yields—and even cryptos.

“Bitcoin not providing much of a hedge,” noted Neil Wilson, an analyst at broker Markets.com, in a note. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have been favored as investments in part because they are supposed to be mostly divorced from mainstream financial market pressure.

Write to editors@barrons.com

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