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Bitcoin and crypto markets crash on US crackdown reports

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Bitcoin (BTC-USD) is experiencing a massive sell-off, shedding as much as 15% in the last 24 hours — the biggest intraday drop since February — days after hitting record highs. 

In late February, bitcoin saw a retreat to as low as $43,000 amid uncertainty in the traditional markets over stimulus expectations and their positive effects on US bond yields.

The drop appears to coincide with reports that the US Treasury is planning to tackle financial institutions for money laundering carried out through digital assets.

On Sunday, bitcoin shed nearly $8,000 and is currently trading 12% lower at $54,900 down from a day high of $61,293. 

Other cryptocurrencies have also plummeted. 

Ethereum (ETH-USD) the second biggest cryptocurrency in circulation, fell 17% before paring losses. It is currently down 13% to $2,132. 

Litecoin (LTC-USD) also declined, down 24% to $252. 

It comes after bitcoin approached $65,000 last week ahead of the historic debut listing of cryptocurrency trading platform Coinbase on Wednesday. Coinbase is the first crypto firm to list on the Nasdaq (^IXIC).

Chart: Yahoo Finance
Chart: Yahoo Finance

Bitcoin prices have been up and down over the last few weeks as governments and regulators hone in on the sector amid rising demand. 

On Friday, bitcoin plunged 4% after the Central Bank of Turkey banned the use of cryptocurrencies and other digital assets for payments.

Turkey’s central bank said the ban was motivated by a lack of “central authority regulation” and “supervision mechanisms” for cryptocurrencies and other similar digital assets.

It added that, among other risks, cryptocurrencies “may cause non-recoverable losses for the parties to the transactions” due to the lack of regulation. The ban will come into force from 30 April this year.

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