The Federal Reserve’s December meeting minutes revealed the central bank’s plans to continue raising the federal funds rate to control rising inflation. This could potentially impact the crypto market as economic activity is further tightened, signalling consumers and investors to save money and mitigate risk. Shortly after the news, the price of Bitcoin and Ethereum had dropped momentarily before bouncing back to the $16800 and $1250 range respectively.
- Feds opted to raise interest rates by 50 basis points, putting the target range for federal funds rate to 4.25%-4.5%.
- The new restrictive policy in place will fight inflation, but it also tightens economic activity including investments in the crypto market.
- The price of Bitcoin and Ethereum dropped 1% after the Federal Reserve’s December meeting minutes were released.
- The Fed’s minutes noted the collapse of digital asset exchange FTX, but said it didn’t have a serious effect on the wider financial system.
Fed Signals Hawkish Interest Hikes in 2023
The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) and Federal Reserve officials concluded its December 13-14 meeting, publishing new projections for expected inflation in 2023 which is higher than previously anticipated. Against the macro backdrop, Fed officials agreed to raise interest rates by 50 basis points, putting the target range for the federal funds rate to 4.25%-4.5%.
Higher interest rates mean higher borrowing costs, which in turn affects consumer spending and investments in speculative markets including the stock market and crypto market. The news of the Fed’s plans to continue raising interest rates has caused investors to be cautious, as they are wary of its potential impact on the crypto market. Occasions such as this would prompt traders and investors to sell U.S. equities as well as Bitcoin and other digital assets to mitigate risk.
This caused the price of Bitcoin to dip nearly 1%. Ethereum, the second largest digital asset by market cap, also dropped by 1%. According to Cryptowatch, the correlation between Bitcoin and Ethereum sits strong at 0.82. Therefore, it is expected that Ethereum will mirror Bitcoin’s price movement.
Despite the dip, Bitcoin is still up 0.4% in the past 24 hours and 1.2% in the past week. Ethereum is down 0.1% at the time of writing but has seen 5.1% gains in the past week.
Fed officials also noted the collapse of FTX, acknowledging its impact on the crypto ecosystem. However, they claimed that the situation did not have a serious effect on the wider financial system. The meeting summary stated, “while the spillovers from this situation had been significant among other crypto lenders and exchanges, the collapse was not seen as posing broader market risks to the financial system.”