Bitcoin and ether are the two most prominent cryptocurrencies.
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Bitcoin prices dropped sharply in the early morning hours ET Saturday, plunging more than 10% to a low near $43,000.
The world’s most prominent cryptocurrency pared losses subsequently, changing hands at around $47,133. Still, bitcoin has dropped more than 16% in the past 24 hours, according to Coindesk.
The price of ether also dived, dropping more than 10% to a low near $3,500. It came back somewhat afterward, trading near $3,870.
Ether, the world’s second-largest digital coin by market value, has lost more than 14% over the past 24 hours, according to Coindesk.
Both cryptocurrencies have experienced turbulent trade since the omicron Covid variant emerged, tracking global stock markets which have been also volatile. On Nov. 26, bitcoin hit a seven-week low close to $54,000, officially entering bear market territory.
Bitcoin is now down about 30% from an all-time high close to $69,000, which it hit in early November. Bear markets are typically defined as a decline of 20% or more from recent highs.
Major averages on Wall Street also posted a losing week as as the market wrapped up a roller-coaster week driven by Covid omicron variant concerns.
The World Health Organization on Friday said the Covid omicron variant has been detected in 38 countries, up from 23 two days ago, with early data suggesting the strain is more contagious than delta.
— CNBC’s Ryan Browne contributed to this report.
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