Omicron cryptocurrency soars with new coronavirus variant
Sylvie Claire / November 30, 2021
While previously unknown and stable in recent weeks, the digital currency Omicron hit a high of nearly $700 on Monday morning, about ten times higher than two days earlier, according to specialist site CoinMarketCap.
The name given on Friday by the World Health Organization (WHO) to the new variant detected in South Africa likely sent the value of this virtual currency, which was created in early November by a player already present in the cryptoasset world, soaring.
To facilitate public debate on the variants, WHO names them using the letters of the Greek alphabet (alpha, beta, gamma, delta...), which is more accessible to a non-scientific audience and avoids stigmatizing the country where the variant is initially discovered.
On their website, the founders of the Omicron cryptocurrency make no reference to Covid-19. They explain that they hope their asset will be able to function as a currency capable of maintaining its purchasing power regardless of market volatility.
On Monday, Omicron's value fell back to $152 before recovering and stabilizing at $350 around 4 p.m. GMT, according to CoinMarketCap, still five times higher than late last week.
In early November, another cryptocurrency had experienced a dizzying success, before collapsing: the Squid coin was created on the theme of the hit series Squid Game by anonymous people.
From about $0.7 when it was launched on 21 October, the unit rose to $2,856 on 1 November, before dropping to $0.003 the next day. Buyers also discovered that they could not sell it and collect their profits, and the creators disappeared from social networks.