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Bitcoin price drops 8% amidst ongoing cryptocurrency decline

Bitcoin's price fell by nearly 8% in an hour of frenzied trading, erasing most of its gains since June. The sell-off coincided with news that Elon Musk's SpaceX had written down the value of its bitcoin holdings by $373mn and sold the cryptocurrency. The volatility comes as US regulators crack down on the sector and as expectations of interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve are reassessed.

Bitcoin experienced a significant drop of nearly 8 percent in just one hour of intense trading in the US on Thursday. This decline adds to a series of losses that have essentially erased the gains the cryptocurrency made since June. At its lowest point, the price of a token reached $25,409 before making a partial recovery.

This sudden and volatile price action reflects the recent downward trend seen in stocks, bonds, and other financial assets. Interestingly, this sell-off occurred at the same time as a report in The Wall Street Journal revealed that Elon Musk's SpaceX had written down the value of its bitcoin holdings by $373 million over the past two years and had also sold some of the cryptocurrency.

Since 2021, digital asset traders have closely followed Musk's involvement in the cryptocurrency market. When Tesla, his electric-car company, announced plans to accept bitcoin as payment in February of that year, the price of bitcoin surged by 15 percent in a single day. Tesla even invested $1.5 billion of its own funds into bitcoin. However, just three months later, Musk abandoned these plans, leading to a sharp reversal in the cryptocurrency's value. Tesla has since experienced fluctuations in the value of its own bitcoin holdings and recorded $204 million in impairment losses related to these holdings last year.

The recent gyrations in bitcoin's price come after a challenging period for digital currency enthusiasts. US regulators have been cracking down on the sector, with Securities and Exchange Commission chair Gary Gensler stating that it is "rife with fraud, scams, and abuse." In June, the SEC filed lawsuits against major cryptocurrency exchanges Binance and Coinbase, accusing them of selling digital tokens to the public without the necessary registrations. These enforcement actions have introduced volatility into the digital asset market, even though the companies involved have denied the allegations and pledged to defend themselves in court.

Simultaneously, the strong US economy has prompted traders to reassess their expectations regarding the Federal Reserve's interest rate policies. Following the Fed's decision to raise its benchmark interest rate to the highest level in 22 years last month, stocks and bonds have experienced declines. The possibility of further rate increases this year has added to the uncertainty in the market.

Overall, the recent drop in bitcoin's price, along with the regulatory crackdown on the cryptocurrency sector and the economic factors influencing the market, have created a turbulent environment for digital assets. Investors and traders will need to closely monitor these developments to navigate the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

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