Bitcoin tumbled to an 18-month low under $23,000 in a broad cryptocurrency crash, as investors shunned risky assets in the face of a vicious global markets selloff, just seven months after the virtual unit surged to a record high.
The world’s most popular crypto asset also took a heavy knock from news that crypto lending platform Celsius Network paused withdrawals, citing volatile conditions.
Losses accelerated as major exchange Binance temporarily suspended bitcoin withdrawals but advised customers to use other networks.
World stock markets have plunged since Friday when data showed US inflation at a fresh four-decade high.
That heightened global recession fears and sent investors fleeing risky cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether — and embracing traditional safe assets such as the dollar.
The digital currency dived more than 16 percent to hit $22,603 in afternoon London deals, striking a level last seen in December 2020.
Bitcoin has now tanked by 66 percent since striking a record peak $68,991.85 last November.
Meanwhile, the global crypto market is now worth less than $1.0 trillion, data aggregator CoinGecko revealed Monday.
That is down from a level of more than $3 trillion at its peak seven months ago, when the market rode a wave of massive investor demand amid growing acceptance from large financial institutions.