Bitcoin plunged on Thursday in a sell-off that saw other digital assets fall more than 20%, a slide likely to stoke speculation about the durability of the latest boom in cryptocurrencies.

The largest token fell as much as 14% in Thursday trading, heading for one of its worst days since the pandemic-spurred liquidation in March.

The rout began just hours after Bitcoin rose to within US$7 ($9.37) of its record high of US$19,511, the culmination of a more than 250% surge in past nine months. Fears over tighter crypto regulation and profit-taking after a frenetic rally were among the reasons cited for the sudden drop.

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