Bitcoin Erases Entire FTX-Related Decline in Latest Surge

Wednesday morning gains for the crypto came after soft U.S. economic numbers suggested the possibility for easier monetary policy.

AccessTimeIconJan 18, 2023 at 2:39 p.m. UTC
Updated Jan 18, 2023 at 3:56 p.m. UTC

Bitcoin (BTC) has risen to $21,550 early Wednesday, surpassing the level at which it stood on Nov. 5 just prior to the collapse of crypto exchange FTX. According to CoinDesk data, the price of bitcoin is now at its highest since mid-September.

Behind today's advance were this morning's larger than expected decline in the producer price index (PPI) for December combined with a bigger than forecast drop in December retail sales.

The PPI fell 0.5% in December, bringing the year-over-year rate down to 6.2% versus 7.3% previously. Market expectations had been for just 0.1% dip in December and a year-over-pace of 6.8%. The core PPI for December fell 0.1%, in line with forecasts, but the year-over-year rate fell to 5.5% versus expectations for 5.7%.

December retail sales fell 1.1% versus forecasts for just a 0.8% decline. Combined with a drop of 1% in November, this marks the first back-to-back 1%+ declines in monthly retail sales since the pandemic panic.

A check of traditional markets finds the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield down a whopping 16 basis points to 3.39%, its lowest since mid-September, and well below the current Fed Funds rate target of 4.25%-4.5%. This sort of "inversion" has typically been an excellent forecaster of a recession, or at least a sizable economic slowdown. Should that come to pass, it would surely mean easier monetary policy than currently forecast, a possible boon to risk assets, including bitcoin.

Trading in the low-$21,000 area in early November 2022, bitcoin had plunged nearly all the way down to $15,000 later that month in wake of the FTX bankruptcy. The crypto then remained stuck close to $16,500 for several weeks before embarking on this current rally in early 2023.


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Stephen  Alpher

Stephen Alpher is CoinDesk's managing editor for Markets. He holds BTC above CoinDesk’s disclosure threshold of $1,000.

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