Stocks closely associated with cryptocurrencies have also taken a hit as the market overall has downturned.
Among the hardest hit is Marathon Digital Holdings, which has fallen nearly 30% since December 1 to just over $40. Over that same period of time, Riot Blockchain similarly fell 30%, from just over $40 itself to just below $28. Meanwhile, MicroStrategy has fallen 20% since the beginning of the month. Other stocks affected by the recent selloff in digital assets include Bakkt Holdings and Coinbase Global, which fell 9% and 4% respectively.
“Crypto coins and tokens have been propelled higher in this era of ultra cheap money and as speculation swirls about just when central banks will start further tightening mass bond buying programs and start raising interest rates, they are likely to continue to be highly volatile,” said Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Susannah Streeter.
Crypto markets curtailed
Concerns over the Omicron variant of the coronavirus and inflation news from the Federal Reserve spilled over into the cryptocurrency markets. Uncertainty over these issues has caused investors in traditional markets to withdraw from riskier positions, which carried over to more volatile digital assets. At one point over the weekend, Bitcoin plummeted over 20%, falling below the $50,000 threshold to $42,000, but has since recovered to roughly $49,000.
This broad move away from riskier assets was largely triggered by growing concerns over the new Omicron variant of coronavirus pandemic. Fears over the spread of the new variant have renewed travel restrictions worldwide, as scientists try to determine whether current vaccines will be effective against it.
Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank could begin tapering much faster than previously expected last week. He even suggested potentially raising interest rates in the first half of next year, which has shown to diminish the appeal of speculative assets like Bitcoin.
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