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Cryptocurrency Omicron surges 900 percent due to name likeness with new COVID variant

This development comes days after Bitcoin tumbled over 9 percent on Friday, dragging smaller tokens down, after the discovery of a new, potentially vaccine-resistant coronavirus variant Omicron

Cryptocurrency — digital money not backed by any nation — is famous for its wild and frequent gyrations. (Reuters)

In the crypto world, new coins keep on appearing. A relatively unknown cryptocurrency called Omicron (OMIC), which shares its name with the new COVID-19 variant, has spiked more than 900 percent over the last 48 hours.

This development comes days after Bitcoin tumbled over 9 percent on Friday, dragging smaller tokens down, after the discovery of a new, potentially vaccine-resistant coronavirus variant saw investors dump riskier assets for the perceived safety of bonds, the yen and the dollar.

OMIC token was selling at just over $50 on Saturday but after the news of World Health organisation (WHO) surfaced, the token hit an all-time high of $689 on Monday morning. At the time of writing this article, the value of the token is $634.38, as per CoinGecko.

Omicron operates on the Ethereum layer two network Arbitrum. The token is backed by several other cryptocurrencies including the USD Coin (USDC) stablecoin and liquidity provider tokens.

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According to CoinGecko, OMIC can only be traded on the SushiSwap decentralized exchange, which runs on peer-to-peer network. The exchange has seen $554,222 in volume for the OMIC/USDC pair in the last 24 hours. Further, the token analytics website has no other details on the token supply or its market capitalization.

Investors need to be cautious before trading in Omicron, as little is known about the cryptocurrency and there is not much data available about the existence of the token.

We don’t know whether the project has any malicious intent such as the ‘SQUID’ token case —when millions of dollars vanished in a matter of minutes, after investors piled into a new cryptocurrency inspired by “Squid Game,” the popular Netflix survival series, only to watch its value plunge to nearly zero in a few short hours. It was a potential “rug pull” case.

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A rug pull is a malicious maneuver in the cryptocurrency industry where crypto developers abandon a project and run away with investors’ funds. In the case of Squid crypto, it is estimated that the creators have vanished with $3.3 million (roughly Rs 22 crore).

First published on: 29-11-2021 at 18:01 IST
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