Bitcoin has tumbled by over $3000 to trade below $55,000, the lowest in six weeks, in a crypto rout that caused liquidations of up to $300 million in an hour.
The bearish sentiment is attributed to reports of the emergence of a new mutated Covid-19 variant. Ethereum had dropped about 5% in the past 24 hours to trade around $4,100.
Altcoins have also suffered losses following the plunge. Polkadot, Dogecoin, Litecoin, and Avalanche are some of the tokens that have shed between 9-15% in the past day.
The daily crypto sell-off tops $600 million, with the biggest single liquidation of $12 million reported at Bybit exchange for an ETH position. Bitcoin had reached a high of $59,000, targeting above the $60,000 level previously.