Market Wrap: Bitcoin Briefly Pops Past $10K as Fed Says Rates May Stay Near 0% Until 2022

Cryptocurrency traders slapped the buy button on bitcoin during the Federal Reserve’s non-announcement announcement, but the run-up didn’t last.

AccessTimeIconJun 10, 2020 at 8:36 p.m. UTC
Updated Apr 10, 2024 at 3:06 a.m. UTC

Bitcoin saw a quick, short-lived run past $10,000 after the head of the U.S. Federal Reserve said Wednesday that interest rates will remain near 0% until the end of 2022 and its bond buying program would continue.

Bitcoin (BTC) was trading around $9,894 as of 20:00 UTC (4 p.m. ET), gaining 1.6% over the previous 24 hours. 

At 00:00 UTC on Wednesday (8:00 p.m. Monday ET), bitcoin was changing hands around $9,783 on exchanges like Coinbase. Its price dipped to as low as $9,709 at 09:00 UTC (5 a.m. ET) before buying volume picked up, pushing the price above its 50-day and 10-day moving averages, a bullish technical indicator. 

Bitcoin trading on Coinbase since June 8
Bitcoin trading on Coinbase since June 8


Speaking after the Federal Open Market Committee’s two-day June meeting, Chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank will likely keep interest rates near 0% until 2022. That sent bitcoin briefly to $10,000 before it dropped back. 

“There is great uncertainty about the future,” Powell said. “At the Federal Reserve, we are strongly committed to use our tools to do whatever we can for as long as it takes to provide some relief and stability to ensure that the recovery will be as strong as possible.”

Cryptocurrency stakeholders see the Fed's announcement of no changes as reason to buy bitcoin. “Liquidity can’t paper over insolvency,” said Scott Bambacigno, a vice prescient at crypto exchange software provider AlphaPoint, “When you are deep in debt, more debt isn’t going to help. The Fed can ‘print money’ but they cannot ‘print jobs’. Assets like gold and bitcoin should do well if the economy continues in this direction.”

While the price did briefly pop, bitcoin’s brief run to $10,000 quickly lost steam. ”A lot of analysts may be looking for the Fed decision to move BTC, but It's important to bear in mind that over a long time horizon bitcoin remains uncorrelated to traditional markets,” said Aaron Suduiko, a research analyst for crypto liquidity provider SFOX. 

Indeed, the upward trajectories of bitcoin seem totally unhinged from stock indexes like the S&P 500.

Bitcoin vs. the S&P 500 in 2020
Bitcoin vs. the S&P 500 in 2020

As a result of the Fed news, or perhaps the lack of much new information, the S&P 500 index was flat, slipping less than a percent. U.S. Treasury bonds all slipped. Yields, which move in the opposite direction as price, were down most on the two-year bond, in the red 14%.

It’s back to the future for the S&P 500
It’s back to the future for the S&P 500

Stocks in the U.S. are basically back to where they started the year. Meanwhile, many in the cryptocurrency world are pondering if investors will pour more money into blockchain-based digital assets. “Eventually the $3 trillion freshly printed dollars are going to find their way into places other than stocks and urban real estate,” said George Clayton, managing partner of New York-based fund Cryptanalysis Capital. “I'm wondering what the Fed will do when inflation starts accelerating.”

Other markets

Digital assets on CoinDesk’s big board are mixed, though mostly higher Wednesday. The second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, ether (ETH), is trading around $247 and climbed 1.9% in 24 hours as of 20:00 UTC (4:00 p.m. ET). Ether’s 2020 price performance is trouncing bitcoin, led by the surge in interest of decentralized finance applications like stablecoins.

Ethereum-based stablecoin growth since 1/1/20
Ethereum-based stablecoin growth since 1/1/20

The biggest cryptocurrency winners on the day include zcash (ZEC) up 4.9%, nem (XEM) climbing 3.3% and neo (NEO) in the green 2.5%. One lone loser Wednesday is cardano (ADA) in the red 2.4%. All price changes were as of 20:00 UTC (4:00 p.m. ET).

In commodities, oil is in the green, up 1.4% as a barrel of crude was priced at $38 at press time. 

Contracts-for-difference on oil since June 8.
Contracts-for-difference on oil since June 8.

The rest of the global equities market was flat on the day, a less-than-exciting week after huge run-ups the past week erased most of the losses incurred during the coronavirus-induced crash. “The market is going sideways. It’s not a good time to invest in anything right now stock-wise,” said Alessandro Andreotti, an Italy-based over-the-counter crypto broker.

The FTSE 100 index of top companies in Europe fell 2.1% Tuesday on forecasts the global economy will contract in 2020

Japan’s Nikkei 225 of large market capitalization companies ended the day flat, up less than a percent, in the green due to rising stocks in paper, transportation and real estate.


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