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Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies prices have experienced sharp fall as the discount shopping event Black Friday begins, dropping along with stock markets around the world .

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The bitcoin price fell to its lowest price since mid-October, down 6% on the last 24 hours and dropping under $54,000 per bitcoin. Meanwhile, ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency after bitcoin, dropped towards the closely-watched $4,000 per ether level.

The broad bitcoin and crypto sell-off—also hitting Binance’s BNB, solana, cardano, Ripple’s XRP and dogecoin—has wiped around $200 billion from the combined crypto market capitalization since Monday.

“With increased equity market volatility, crypto investors should be on guard,” Alex Kuptsikevich, FxPro senior market analyst, said in emailed comments. He warned the bitcoin price is vulnerable to broad market movements partly due to recent institutional investment that can have a knock-on effect on smaller cryptocurrencies including ethereum, Binance’s BNB, solana, cardano, Ripple’s XRP and dogecoin

“Because of the institutional love affair, bitcoin is substantially vulnerable to moments of exit from risky assets when it sells off everything, regardless of the outlook. And its severe sell-off risks dragging the entire cryptocurrency market down with it.”

However, Kuptsikevich a financial analyst also thinks bitcoin has begun acting as something of a so-called safe-haven asset, with retail investors buying bitcoin in times of increased uncertainty.

“From a different perspective, retail investors have developed a reflex to buy crypto on coronavirus fears, with the WHO discussing new virus variants and restrictions on air travel,” he added.

Other bitcoin and crypto investors are confident the latest crash is only a temporary blip, exacerbated by Black Friday and the Thanksgiving Day holiday.

“The crypto market has been hit by a temporary sell-off that mirrors that of the global stock market amid concerns about a new Covid-19 variant that’s been discovered in southern Africa,” crypto investor and deVere Group chief executive Nigel Green said in emailed comments.

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