Obscure token rises by 900% due to similarity with new COVID variant

A relatively obscure cryptocurrency called Omicron (OMIC) rose to an all-time high as of Monday when a new rapidly spreading COVID-19 variant of the same name was christened.

The bond-based yield farming project began in early November as a split of the OlympusDAO DeFi protocol, but has no other connection to the virus other than the name.

Omicron’s OMIC token hit an all-time high of $689 during Monday morning’s Asian trading session. The move added another 200% gains for the token on the day and a whopping 945% since Saturday when it traded around $65.

OMIC/USD 7 days. Source: CoinGecko

The token shares its name with a new COVID-19 variant that was first discovered in South Africa on Tuesday. The World Health Organization named the rapidly spreading strain B.1.1.529 after the 15th letter of the Greek alphabet.

Crypto critic Mr. Whale noted that the massive price spike was a sign that things are in a “giant bubble.”

Omicron is a recently introduced decentralized reserve currency protocol that runs on the Ethereum layer-two network Arbitrum. The native OMIC token is backed by several other crypto assets, including the USD Coin (USDC) stablecoin and liquidity provider tokens.

It can only be traded on the decentralized SushiSwap exchange, which has seen $454,000 in volume for the OMIC/USDC pair in the past 24 hours, according to CoinGecko. The token analysis website has no further details regarding OMIC offerings or market cap.

Related: Bitcoin Drops Below $54K, Shares Sell Out After New COVID-19 Variant Pops Up

Late last week, stock markets collapsed as news of the new COVID-19 variant spread and Black Friday saw a massive sell-off that wiped out November’s gains for the S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq Composite.

However, the new week kicked off with crypto markets back in the green at the time of writing, having fallen to their lowest level since mid-October on Saturday. Its total market cap is up 5.6% in the past 24 hours and currently stands at $2.71 trillion, according to CoinGecko.

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