Market Wrap: Bitcoin Slumps to Lowest Level in Over a Month After Powell Affirms Hawkish Monetary Policy

The first cryptocurrency dipped 4.3% to around $20,549, its lowest point since July 16, after the head of the U.S. central bank said the Fed would maintain its restrictive monetary course.

AccessTimeIconAug 26, 2022 at 8:35 p.m. UTC
Updated Aug 26, 2022 at 8:42 p.m. UTC

Jimmy is a CoinDesk markets reporter.

Helene is a U.S. markets reporter at CoinDesk, covering the US economy, the Fed, and bitcoin. She is a recent graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program.

Price Action

Bitcoin Slumps After Fed Chair Affirms Hawkish Monetary Policy

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Bitcoin slumped to a low of $20,549 following Powell’s speech. (CoinDesk and Highcharts.com)

This article originally appeared in Market Wrap, CoinDesk’s daily newsletter diving into what happened in today's crypto markets. Subscribe to get it in your inbox every day.

Bitcoin (BTC) dipped to its lowest price in over a month after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell doubled down on restrictive monetary policy early Friday at the central bank’s Economic Symposium.

The largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization hit a low of $20,549 but is now trading around $20,666, down 4.3% over the past 24 hours and below the $21,000 perch BTC had occupied as investors waited for Powell’s much-anticipated speech in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

The Federal Open Market Committee’s decision whether to raise rates by 50 or 75 basis points at its next meeting in September will “depend on the totality of the incoming data and the evolving outlook,” Powell said, referring to the Fed's rate-setting committee.

Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda, wrote in an email that traders will have to anticipate whether risk aversion will push bitcoin’s price down to the $20,000 level.

“Risky assets are struggling as Powell’s fight against inflation will remain aggressive, even as it will trigger an economic slowdown,” Moya wrote.

Most altcoins also fell following Powell’s speech, with FLOW the biggest loser, dropping 11% over the past 24 hours. Ether (ETH), the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap after bitcoin, was down 8.5%.

The S&P 500 fell 3.25%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 3.8% as equity investors responded negatively to Powell’s remarks.

Latest Prices

Bitcoin (BTC): $20,671 −4.2%

Ether (ETH): $1,563 −8.5%

S&P 500 daily close: 4,057.68 −3.4%

Gold: $1,750 per troy ounce −0.5%

Ten-year Treasury yield daily close: 3.04% +0.009


Bitcoin, ether and gold prices are taken at approximately 4pm New York time. Bitcoin is the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index (XBX); Ether is the CoinDesk Ether Price Index (ETX); Gold is the COMEX spot price. Information about CoinDesk Indices can be found at coindesk.com/indices.

Featured Story

Federal Reserve’s Powell: Inflation Battle Not Yet Close to Finished

By Helene Braun

Restrictive monetary policy will likely be required for some time, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said in a long-awaited speech at the central bank’s annual economic symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

“Restoring price stability will take some time and requires using our tools forcefully to bring demand and supply into better balance,” Powell said.

Bitcoin (BTC) was little changed after the Fed chair's speech, suggesting that Powell’s rather hawkish comments were largely already priced into markets. However, that later changed drastically.

"We expect a 75 basis point rate hike in September, and do not expect there to be a drastic effect on the markets should that come to pass, followed by successive rate hikes until inflation is reined in and the unemployment rate returns to a healthier number," Josh Olszewicz, head of research at digital asset fund manager Valkyrie Investments, wrote in an email immediately after the speech.

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Jimmy is a CoinDesk markets reporter.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Helene is a U.S. markets reporter at CoinDesk, covering the US economy, the Fed, and bitcoin. She is a recent graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Jimmy is a CoinDesk markets reporter.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Helene is a U.S. markets reporter at CoinDesk, covering the US economy, the Fed, and bitcoin. She is a recent graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program.

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