The European Central Bank (ECB) raised interest rates by 0.75 percentage points Thursday, the biggest single hike since it began setting monetary policy in 1999.
Bitcoin (BTC) prices were stable on the announcement, which follows a 0.5 percentage point rise announced in July as Europe faces up to significant inflation and energy shortages in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.
The decision takes the interest rate on the main refinancing operations, which provide the bulk of liquidity to the banking system, to 1.25%.
In general, crypto markets are less affected by decisions taken by the ECB and its U.K. counterpart, the Bank of England, because it’s the Federal Reserve’s decisions on the U.S. dollar that have a greater impact, analysts have previously told CoinDesk.
The announcement may also have been priced-in by markets after ECB executive board member Isabel Schnabel said in an August speech that she favored “robust” action that could head off greater economic damage later on.
As such, the ECB's latest move demonstrates that global liquidity tightening is in full swing, which weakens the case for bullish revival in risk assets, including cryptocurrencies. Later this month, the Fed is expected to deliver its third 75 basis point hike – with the U.S. agency’s previous hikes contributing to a slide across the crypto market this year.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, institutional digital assets exchange. Bullish group is majority owned by Block.one; both groups have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary, and an editorial committee, chaired by a former editor-in-chief of The Wall Street Journal, is being formed to support journalistic integrity.