Bitcoin price declined 2.5% on moderate volume compared to its 20-day moving average for volume. BTC’s hourly chart shows a steady decline that began overnight trading. The spike in volume during the downturn coincided with the opening of U.S. equity markets and could signal a risk-off approach ahead of the Federal Reserve committee’s announcement at the end of its two-day meeting Wednesday. At the time of writing, BTC is changing hands at $19,032.
BTC/USD 4-hour chart | Source: TradingView
Bitcoin price is down ahead of Wednesday’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) interest rate decision
On Tuesday, investors didn’t need a crystal ball to know that the U.S. central bank would likely announce a 75 basis point interest rate increase in less than a day. They mostly shrugged as the weeks-long, telegraphed move neared, sending bitcoin and most other major cryptos lower. The largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization was recently trading just below $19,000, down more than 3% over the last 24 hours. BTC alternated fluttering above and below $19,000 for much of the U.S. trading day. Bitcoin is lower as risk aversion runs wild as rates continue to surge.
Ether was recently changing hands under $1,350, a more than 4% drop from the previous day. The second-largest crypto by market value, which traded in a narrow range, has fallen about 18% over the past four days and more than 32% since reaching a pre-Merge, euphoric high of over $2,000 in August.
XRP was the sole gainer in CoinMarketCap’s top 10, gaining 7.4% to $0.41. The token reached its highest price since late May overnight at $0.4215 on reports Ripple and the SEC are seeking a summary judgment to end a lawsuit that began in December 2020 without going to trial. In the lawsuit, the SEC alleged the sale of XRP constituted an offering of unregistered securities worth over $1.38 billion.
Most other altcoins stood unsteadily in a red swamp, with ATOM and LUNA recently down about 11% and 7%, respectively, over the previous 24 hours.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell has repeatedly said despite the risk of higher unemployment and weaker economic growth, he will continue to raise interest rates until inflation falls back to a target level of 2% from the current rate of more than 8%. “These are the unfortunate costs of reducing inflation,” he said at the Fed’s annual symposium last month. “But a failure to restore price stability would mean far greater pain.”