Bitcoin price slips to lowest in 18 months

Bitcoin’s price has plunged amid US inflation fears. Photo: Dado Ruvic/Reuters

Bitcoin (BTC-USD) fell to the lowest in about 18 months amid a broad selloff following a sharp rise in US inflation.

The world’s largest digital token tumbled over 8% in under 24 hours to around $25,000 (£20,375) and is down more than 43% this year.

The global crypto market cap is down to $1.03tn, a 20% drop for the week, according to CoinMarketCap.

Peter Schiff, chief economist at Euro Pacific Capital, warned against buying the dip.

In November last year Bitcoin hit a high of $69,000 but the digital asset is not alone in the red.

Read more: UK economy shrinks in April as households struggle against cost of living

Ethereum (ETH-USD) fell more than 9% to around $1,317, while sharper losses were seen for meme coins such as Dogecoin (DOGE-USD), off about 11%.

“Crypto spent much of the weekend in the reds, following Friday’s CPI report that showed inflation rising. Crypto investors were largely expecting the US central bank to boost rates a half percentage point later this week in a bid to quell inflation, leading to a major ‘risk-off’ sentiment in the markets,” said the CoinDCX research team.

Crypto lending platform Celsius announced it was pausing all withdrawals and transfers amid “extreme market conditions,” as its CEL digital token plunged nearly 50% late Sunday.

Read more: Live crypto prices

Traders are boosting bets for a more aggressive pace of Federal Reserve tightening after data Friday showed US inflation jumped to a fresh 40-year high in May.

“Going into 2023, we expect major central banks to continue their trajectory of quantitative tightening and policy rate hikes — effectively limiting any significant upside unless we see more convincing trends in economic recovery,” added the CoinDCX research team.

Watch: What are the risks of investing in cryptocurrency?