Bitcoin tumbled to its lowest price in a month as minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last meeting in December showed officials discussed whether to start shrinking the U.S. central bank’s swollen $8.3 trillion balance sheet.
Prices for the cryptocurrency rallied in recent years as a growing number of investors bet that more than $4 trillion of money printing by the Fed to support the coronavirus-racked economy and markets would spur faster inflation – and that bitcoin could serve as a hedge against rising prices.
So a move to shrink the balance sheet might put downward pressure on bitcoin.
“Some participants judged that a significant amount of balance sheet shrinkage could be appropriate over the normalization process, especially in light of abundant liquidity in money markets,” according to the minutes from the Fed’s Dec. 14-15 meeting, published Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET (19:00 UTC).
The price of bitcoin (BTC) slid 3.3% on Wednesday, at one point dropping to $43,678, the lowest since Dec. 4.
The original cryptocurrency gained about 60% in 2021 but is down almost 5% so far this year.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.