First Mover Americas: Bitcoin Hovers Around $27K Ahead of Fed Decision

The latest price moves in crypto markets in context for Sept. 20, 2023.

AccessTimeIconSep 20, 2023 at 12:01 p.m. UTC

This article originally appeared in First Mover, CoinDesk’s daily newsletter putting the latest moves in crypto markets in context. Subscribe to get it in your inbox every day.

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Volatility, or the degree of price turbulence, in bitcoin (BTC) remains suppressed, consistent with the calm in U.S. stock and bond markets. The low volatility will likely continue after Wednesday's Federal Reserve rate decision, according to some crypto traders. The Fed will announce the rate decision at 14:00 ET accompanied by a statement, the Summary of Economic Projections and a new "dot plot" of interest-rate estimates. Fed Chair Jerome Powell will follow with a press conference 30 minutes later. To tame inflation, the central bank has raised rates by 525 basis points since March 2022, with the early phase of the so-called tightening cycle injecting volatility into the liquidity-addicted crypto and traditional markets.

Sam Bankman-Fried’s dad, Joe Bankman, was paid a $200,000 salary by FTX’s U.S. division, according to the filing from FTX’s bankruptcy estate, which just sued the parents. But that wasn’t enough, he said, telling an FTX executive in a Jan. 12, 2022, message that he was supposed to get $1 million annually starting the previous month, according to the filing. Then he emailed his son. “Gee, Sam I don’t know what to say here,” he wrote, according to the filing. “This is the first [I] have heard of the 200K a year salary! Putting Barbara on this.” Barbara is former FTX CEO Bankman-Fried’s mom, Barbara Fried.

Bitcoin trading volumes on Binance have tumbled this month as lawsuits and regulatory scrutiny mount on the world’s largest crypto exchange. According to K33 Research, Binance’s seven-day average spot BTC volume is down 57% since the beginning of September versus roughly flat readings at a number of other exchanges. Volumes at U.S.-based competitor Coinbase are 9% higher. The dramatic decline comes as Binance is in the crosshairs of regulators around the world following a string of lawsuits, license rejections and voluntary withdrawals. Prosecutors at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) are reportedly weighing charges against the company, while the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) three months ago sued Binance, the exchange’s U.S. entity Binance.US and founder Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, alleging breaches of multiple federal securities laws.

Chart of the Day

  • The chart shows top 10 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization.
  • Toncoin (TON), the native token of the decentralized layer one blockchain The Open Network, formerly known as Telegram Open Network, has replaced programmable blockchain solana's SOL token as the 10th largest cryptocurrency.
  • At press time, TON had a market value of $8.618 billion.
  • Telegram and the TON Foundation jointly announced Ton Space, a new self-custodial wallet, at last week's Token 2049 conference in Singapore.
  • Source: Coingecko


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Lyllah Ledesma

Lyllah Ledesma is a CoinDesk Markets reporter currently based in Europe. She holds bitcoin, ether and small amounts of other crypto assets.