On Friday, CNBC announced that Bitcoin, and several other major cryptocurrencies, are officially entering a bear market state.
"The world's biggest cryptocurrency sank 8% in the last 24 hours to $54,177, according to Coin Metrics data, its lowest level since early October. Bitcoin is down 20% from an all-time high of nearly $69,000 which it hit earlier this month," reported Ryan Browne. "Other cryptocurrencies also plunged Friday. Ether, the second-biggest crypto, fell nearly 11% to $4,027, while XRP slumped 11% to around 94 cents."
The driving force behind this is the announcement of a new, heavily mutated COVID variant in South Africa, which has prompted investors to move to bonds as they fear a potential new global wave of the pandemic — although little is currently known about the new variant's infectiousness, virulence, or resistance to vaccines.
"The World Health Organization on Thursday gave a briefing on the new variant, which is known as B.1.1.529 and is thought to contain more than 30 mutations. The U.K. and other nations have temporarily suspended flights from six African countries in response," said the report. "Global stock markets were sinking Friday, with European stocks set for their worst session in more than a year and U.S. stock futures down sharply."