Bitcoin falls to new 18-month low

Bitcoin has fallen to a new 18-month low. Bitcoin dragged down smaller tokens with it, worsening the recent tumble in crypto markets.

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

Bitcoin has lost around 28% since Friday and more than half of its value this year.

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 9.4% to $1,090.