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DeFi Protocol Omicron’s Token Jumps 10-Fold After Namesake COVID Variant Emerges

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The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday named the newly detected SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.529 as Omicron and deemed it as a variant of concern, sending bitcoin and the broader crypto market into a tailspin along with equities.

However, one little-known cryptocurrency stayed resilient and chalked up a tenfold rally over the weekend.

OMIC, the native coin of decentralized reserve currency protocol with the same name as the newly detected COVID-19 variant Omicron, picked up a bid near $70 late Friday and rose as high as $711 on Sunday, according to data from Crypto.com.

The token’s surge perhaps represents peak irrationality – a case of cryptocurrency rallying just because its parent blockchain coincidentally shares the name with the new COVID-19 variant.

The bond-based yield farming project Omicron is built on Ethereum scaling technology Arbitrum but has no connection to the coronavirus, and OMIC is far from being a safe haven asset.

While the token’s maximum supply is capped at 1,000,000 OMIC, data providers like Messari, Crypto.com and CoinGecko do not provide details about the cryptocurrency’s market capitalization. Some observers are looking at OMIC’s spike as evidence of bubble-like conditions in the crypto market.

OMIC is backed by a basket of assets, including stablecoin USDC, and is listed solely on decentralized exchange SushiSwap.

OMIC Holders can stake their coins in return for more tokens. “The main benefit for stakers comes from supply growth. The protocol mints new OMIC tokens from the treasury, the majority of which are distributed to the stakers,” an official explainer says. “Thus, the gain for stakers will come from their auto-compounding balances, though price exposure remains an important consideration.”

The OMIC token is currently changing hands at $625. The broader crypto market has also regained some poise, with bitcoin recovering to $57,500, having slipped nearly 9% to $53,800 on Friday.

The futures tied to the S&P 500 are also pointing to risk reset with a 0.5% gain.

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