Bitcoin slides again as crypto sell-off ramps up

STORY: The cryptocurrency selloff looks to be picking up speed.

Bitcoin tumbled again on Wednesday (June 15), hitting fresh 18-month lows.

In European morning trade it was down as much as 8% to around $20,000 - that's less than a third of its November peak.

Rival crypto ether was hit even harder Wednesday, falling as much as 13%.

The selloff began after U.S. crypto lender Celsius said Sunday (June 12) it was freezing withdrawals.

That stoked fears of contagion to other digital assets, with the market already rocked by the collapse of some tokens.

Rising U.S. interest rates are also heaping pressure on risky assets.

CAPTRUST chief investment officer Michael Vogelzang says the writing was on the wall for crypto as soon as the Federal Reserve started tightening.

“The Federal Reserve controls the price of money, which is interest rates. When the Fed came out last fall and said we have to shrink the balance sheet of the Federal Reserve, and we’re going to tighten interest rates to fight inflation, the game changed. Crypto began to sell off.”

Data from CoinMarketCap shows the total value of the crypto market has now fallen below $900 billion.

That’s down from a peak of close to $3 trillion in November.

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