The value of Bitcoin (BTC) exceeded $ 66,895 for the first time in its history.
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Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies rose on Monday after a heavy sell-off late last week.
Bitcoin’s price has soared nearly 6% to $ 57,373 in the past 24 hours, according to Coin Metrics data. Other digital assets also rose, with Ether climbing 7% to $ 4,331 and XRP climbing 6% to around 98 cents.
Vijay Ayyar, head of Asia Pacific at the Luno cryptocurrency exchange, said early reports that the new, heavily mutated Omicron-Covid variant with milder symptoms boosted the market.
“We are seeing news in the early analysis that the variant may be weaker in terms of symptoms, which has helped the market make a comeback,” Ayyar said via email. “That’s why smart investors probably bought this dip.”
Bitcoin fell to $ 53,549 last week, its lowest level since early October, amid a wider sell-off of stocks and other riskier assets amid fears over the new variant of the coronavirus.
The world’s largest digital currency briefly lost more than 20% from its recent all-time high of nearly $ 69,000 and officially entered bear market territory. Bear markets are typically defined by a 20% decline from recent highs.
The new variant of Covid, which was first identified in South Africa, has spread to several countries, including the UK, Germany and Italy.
The US, UK and other nations have restricted travel with some African countries in response. The UK has also put in place new measures to combat the new mutation of the virus, including making masks mandatory in shops and public transport in England.
On Sunday, Dr. Angelique Coetzee, the South African doctor who first discovered the Omicron variant, described her symptoms as “extremely mild” and allayed fears of a possible return of lockdown restrictions during the holidays.
“The global environment, as we saw last week, has increased uncertainty in all risk asset classes, but the recovery always shows us how strong the uptrend is in what we are seeing here,” said Ayyar.
If Bitcoin were to lose between $ 48,000 and $ 50,000 on a daily or weekly basis, “it would definitely mean a downtrend,” he added. But right now Ayyar is saying “We are still in bull market territory”.