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Bitcoin tumbles to new 18-month low

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Bitcoin fell on Wednesday to a new 18-month low, dragging down smaller tokens with it, as the recent tumble in crypto markets showed no sign of letting up.

The world's largest cryptocurrency fell as much as 6.3pc to $20,715.69, its lowest since December 2020.

Bitcoin has lost around 28pc since Friday and more than half of its value this year. Since its record high of $69,000 in November, it has slumped around 70pc.

The token has tumbled after U.S. crypto lender Celsius this week froze withdrawals and transfers between accounts, stoking fears of wider fall-out in digital asset market.

Expectations of sharper U.S. Federal Reserve interest rate hikes to combat soaring inflation in the world's biggest economy have also heaped pressure on risky assets from cryptocurrencies to stocks.

Smaller cryptocurrencies, which tend to move in tandem with bitcoin, also fell. Ether, the second largest token, fell as much as 9.4pc to $1,090.

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