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Bitcoin tumbles to new 18-month low

Bitcoin has fallen 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 on Wednesday as much as 6.3 per cent to $US20,715.69 ($A29,978.59), its lowest since December 2020.

Bitcoin has lost around 28 per cent since Friday and more than half its value this year. Since its record high of $US69,000 ($A99,853) in November, it has slumped around 70 per cent.

The token has tumbled after US crypto lender Celsius this week froze withdrawals and transfers between accounts, stoking fears of wider fallout in the digital asset market.

Expectations of sharper US 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 9.4 per cent to $US1090 ($A1577).

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