Bitcoin briefly loses USD10,000 in nervous market

NEW YORK (AFP) – The bitcoin dropped sharply overnight, losing USD10,000 in value in a nervous market before recouping some of its losses on Saturday morning.

At one point, the often volatile cryptocurrency took a sudden sharp drop to USD42,296, losing nearly 20 per cent of its value.

But by 1600 GMT on Saturday, the virtual currency had regained some ground, trading at USD48,210, down 10 per cent from Friday. The leading Wall Street indicators all ended in the red on Friday amid weakness in tech shares and fears about the new Omicron variant of COVID-19.

“Digital assets got pushed around by the broader risk of conditions related to Omicron and expectations of a more aggressive Fed, but didn’t properly sell off until Friday, on contagion from equities,” said Martha Reyes, research director at the Bequant digital asset brokerage and exchange.

A Bitcoin advertisement displayed on a tram in Hong Kong. PHOTO: AP