Bitcoin price crash: BTC plunges 8.5 percent – just days after hitting record high

The huge fall came shortly after experts mused whether the cryptocurrency would rise to £50,800 ($70,000) before the year is over. They spoke as a single Bitcoin crossed the £46,600 ($64,000) threshold for the first time in 13 years last week.

But the surge was short-lived – and its value receded the most in more than seven weeks when it fell as much as 15.1 percent to £37,378 ($51,707.51).

Investors may have been reacting to a rumoured US Treasury crackdown on the token – whose image has been tarnished by its association with organised crime.

Last March the agency sanctioned two Chinese nationals after accusing them of laundering stolen cryptocurrency.

It accused them of acting on behalf of Lazarus – a group the FBI has labelled as a North Korean state-sponsored hacking organisation.

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The token’s value tumbled within minutes of influential Twitter account FXHedge posting a warning about the crackdown to its 122,000 followers.

It wrote: “The US Treasury to charge several financial institutions for money laundering using cryptocurrencies – sources.”

As crypto markets instantly plunged into deep red territory, the news triggered at least £5.78 billion ($7.9 bn) in liquidations, according to the analytics tracker Bybt.

Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency, fell almost 8 percent from £1,633 ($2,260) to a low of £1,424 ($1,970).

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Another cryptocurrency, Binance Coin fell from about £362 ($501) to a low of £318 ($440), according to CoinGecko.

Bitcoin’s value may also have been affected by Turkey’s decision to ban cryptocurrencies.

On Friday the Central bank of the Republic of Turkey issued a cryptocurrency regulation prohibiting the use of cryptocurrencies for payments of goods and services from the end of the month.

This means that crypto cannot be used directly or indirectly as a means of payment in the country and no service can be provided for this purpose.

The bank said: “Recently, some initiatives have emerged regarding the use of these assets in payments. It is considered that their use in payments may cause non-recoverable losses for the parties to the transactions.”

The bank described that “crypto assets entail significant risks to the relevant parties,” citing factors such as excessive volatility, lack of regulation, and irrevocable transactions.

It also warned that crypto assets “may be used in illegal actions due to their anonymous structures” and “wallets can be stolen or used unlawfully without the authorisation of their holders.”

In addition, the central bank claims that there are also “elements that may undermine the confidence in methods and instruments used currently in payments.”

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