Omicron token surged in price by over 900% on Monday after a new coronavirus variant of the same name has been discovered. The DeFi cryptocurrency, which was launched weeks before the new variant first emerged, went from $70 to over $700 after the World Health Organization chose to name the B.1.1.529 variant “Omicron.”
The OMIC token went live the first week of November on November 2. OMIC was valued at $65 as recently as November 27, shortly before the variant was given the name “Omicron.” Just two days later, OMIC reached $711.
OMIC’s price has since corrected to $606– which is still a significant value for the project. Omicron is a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) project that runs on the Arbitrum One level 2 protocol.
Many have already speculated that the boom in OMIC is correlated with the name of the new coronavirus variant, which is functionally unrelated to the technology involved in the token. This seemingly coincidental namesake has led many to call the token a “meme” like that of Shiba or Dogecoin.
“I bought OMIC for 9 ETH. I don’t think this is a good choice, but I want to try my luck with a meme token for money that will not affect my life” wrote one investor on social media.
President Biden addresses Omicron variant
President Joe Biden addressed the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus on Monday. Biden reassured the nation without downplaying the variant’s seriousness, saying that Omicron is “a cause for concern, not a cause for panic.”
The President also said that his administration hopes to continue their fight against Covid-19 into the winter without relying on “shutdowns or lockdowns,” and instead focusing on vaccination.
Biden also remarked on his decision to restrict travel from South Africa and seven other countries in Southern Africa, saying that “it gives us time,” and that Americans have to “understand that you have to get your vaccine, you have to get the shot, have to get the booster.”
“We have the best vaccine in the world, the best medicines, the best scientist and we’re learning more every single day,” he added, saying that America “will fight this variant with scientific and knowledgeable action and speed– not chaos and confusion.”
Biden also addressed speculation as to whether Omicron will be vaccine-resistant, and if pharmaceutical companies will need to develop boosters tailored to the variant:
“In the event, hopefully unlikely, that updated vaccinations or boosters are needed to respond to this new variant, we will accelerate their development and deployment with every available tool. We do not yet believe that additional measures will be needed.”
The existence of the new variant, later to be dubbed “Omicron,” was announced by South Africa’s National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) on Nov. 25.