Reaching a new all-time high after Coinbase shares listing on the Nasdaq, bitcoin's price plunged, nosediving 15% in 24 hours on 18 April. Rumors are spreading on the crypto market about tougher regulation of cryptocurrencies in the United States.
On April 18, the cryptocurrency market crashed sharply after a multi-week rally. The bitcoin rate fell by 15% to $54,000. Ethereum lost more than 11%, altcoins traditionally reacted with a more significant drop, losing more than 20% in price. As reported by Bloomberg, this is the largest bitcoin drop in more than seven weeks.
A few days ago bulls ruled the crypto market. Against the background of the release of the Coinbase crypto exchange for public trading, the bitcoin rate exceeded $64,000.
There are several reasons for the fall of the crypto market. One of them is rumors that the US Treasury is ready to take measures to combat money laundering carried out with the help of digital assets. The Finance Ministry declined to comment. "U.S. Treasury to charge several financial institutions for money laundering using cryptocurrencies -sources," Fxhedge twitted on 17 April. The news quickly went viral, and by Monday, April 19, retweets for this message exceeded 5,000. FUD on possible tough measures against the cryptoindustry flooded social networks and cryptocurrency forums.
The rumors are allegedly connected with the US sanctions imposed last week against the Russian government and a number of international organizations. On April 15, the US Treasury released a press release on the inclusion of 16 companies and 16 individuals associated with Russia on the OFAC sanctions list for meddling in the 2020 US presidential election, as well as several companies and individuals for carrying out cyberattacks commissioned by Russian intelligence. More than 20 crypto addresses (BTC, ETH, LTC, BCH) are mentioned in the report of the US Treasury Department, which were used to finance illegal activities.
Finance Minister Janet Yellen also added fuel to the fire, expressing concerns about the growing popularity of digital assets on April 13.
“Cryptocurrencies are a particular concern. I think many are used— at least in a transactions sense— mainly for illicit financing,” Yellen remarked. “[The U.S. government should] examine ways in which we can curtail their use and make sure that [money laundering] doesn’t occur through those channels,” Yellen said.