The Bitcoin and crypto markets are experiencing a slight upswing today, with BTC and other major altcoins making gains. The main catalyst behind this uptrend appears to be yesterday’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting.
At the time of writing, Bitcoin’s price is up by 0.8% in the last 24 hours, currently trading at $29,486. Despite facing resistance around the critical resistance area of $29,750, BTC has shown resilience and is attempting to reclaim its upward trajectory. Moreover, other major cryptocurrencies are also in the green, with Ethereum (+1.0%), XRP (+1.4%), Cardano (+3%), and Solana (+7%) all enjoying gains.
Bitcoin Follows TradFi’s Reaction
The FOMC meeting has been a focal point for the crypto market’s movements. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reiterated that the central bank remains data-dependent, indicating that further interest rate hikes are not ruled out. However, no decision on the matter has been reached yet.
Powell emphasized that core inflation (both PCE, CPI) remains the primary focus. He also stated that FED will stop raising rates way before the inflation target of 2% is reached. However, the big bummer was his statement that he does not expect inflation to fall below 2% before 2025!
Bitcoin experienced a quick dip in response to this Powell statement, but quickly rebounded, seemingly following the trajectory of traditional financial markets. Notably, the Dow Jones rose for a 13th consecutive day after the FOMC meeting yesterday, signaling investors’ confidence in a bullish market sentiment.
Experts and analysts in the cryptocurrency space have offered diverse opinions on the implications of the FOMC meeting and Powell’s remarks. Jim Bianco, an influential figure in the financial industry and founder of Bianco Research LLC, highlighted the lack of clarity in the Fed’s communication, stating:
It is provided the LEAST amount of information of any meeting since they started hiking in March 2022. Powell is going out of his way to say nothing and not commit to anything. So, this meeting has become a Rorschach test. Everyone sees into it what they want.
And this is seemingly what the traditional finance as well as crypto markets are doing. The big question is: how long will the Fed hold rates up, how long before it pivots. As this is data dependent, no one knows, but market expectations and the Fed’s projections still seem far apart.
While the CME’s FedWatch tool currently predicts a slight majority in favor of a first rate cut already in March 2024, Powell made it clear yesterday in a hawkish tone that the key rate must remain high for a long time because the effects need time to have an impact on the economy.
After the #FOMC meeting, the market expects the first rate cut in March 2024 (54.6%).
Powell could keep the key rate higher for longer due to the strong economy. Who will cave in first? pic.twitter.com/4C9KPAuTmv
— Jake Simmons (@realJakeSimmons) July 27, 2023
Charles Edwards, founder of Capriole Investments noted the unprecedented tightness in current economic conditions due to the combination of money supply growth and negative interest rates. He suggested that historical trends indicate a strong possibility of a one-way bull market emerging under these conditions:
Powell has overtaken Volcker as the tightest Fed chair ever. Economic conditions have never been tighter than today, […]. In all prior instances, inflation was well under control, the stock market was higher 12 months later and a major one way bull market trend emerged.
Crypto analyst Michael van de Poppe, expressed concern about the Fed’s projection that a recession is not on the horizon. He speculated, “Most likely no more rate hikes. […] Have a terrible GDP today and sweep the lows on Bitcoin before we continue the party up. Buy the dip season.”
At press time, the Bitcoin price still slowly grinds towards the red resistance area below $29,800.
Featured image from iStock, chart from TradingView.com