Obscure token spikes 900% due to name likeness with new COVID variant

A relatively obscure cryptocurrency called Omicron (OMIC) has surged to an all-time high as of Monday as a new fast-spreading COVID-19 variant got christened with the same name.

The bond-based yield farming project began life in early November as a fork of the OlympusDAO DeFi protocol, but it shares no other connection to the virus aside from the name.

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

OMIC/USD 7days. 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 fast-spreading B.1.1.529 strain after the 15th letter of the Greek alphabet.

Crypto critic Mr. Whale commented 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. Its 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 SushiSwap decentralized exchange, which has seen $454,000 in volume for the OMIC/USDC pair over the past 24 hours according to CoinGecko. The token analytics website has no further details on OMIC supply or market capitalization.

Related: Bitcoin drops below $54K, stocks sell-off after new COVID-19 variant emerges

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

However, the new week began with crypto markets back in the green at the time of writing after falling to their lowest levels since mid-October on Saturday. Total market capitalization is up 5.6% over the past 24 hours and is currently at $2.71 trillion, according to CoinGecko.

Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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