Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies experienced a decline ahead of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's highly anticipated speech at the Jackson Hole Economic Symposium. This speech is expected to have a significant impact on risk-sensitive assets.
The price of Bitcoin has fallen by 1.5% in the past 24 hours, dropping below $26,100. Following a recent selloff, Bitcoin has been trading around $26,000, which is a significant deviation from the historically low volatility seen earlier. The selloff brought Bitcoin down to a trough below $25,500, marking its lowest levels since mid-June.
Analyst Yuya Hasegawa from crypto exchange Bitbank stated, "After plummeting from $29,000, Bitcoin's consolidation at around $26,000 continues as the market quietly awaits Fed Chair Powell's speech at the Jackson Hole Economic Symposium."
Similar to stock indexes like the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500, cryptocurrencies are likely to react to Powell's words at Jackson Hole as the outlook for interest rates remains a crucial catalyst for risk-sensitive assets.
The Federal Reserve has been increasing rates to generational highs since last March in an effort to control inflation, which has been a significant factor in the selloff of stocks and cryptocurrencies in 2022. Elevated interest rates have a substantial impact on Bitcoin and similar assets since investors have less incentive to invest in riskier assets when they can earn higher rates on cash or risk-free Treasuries.
Traders Assess Fed's Rate Outlook Amid Economic Data and Inflation Concerns
Traders are adjusting their expectations for the future of interest rates, causing volatility in digital asset prices. The Federal Reserve's commitment to combatting inflation and positive signs of a robust economy suggest that interest rates will remain higher for a longer period than initially anticipated. However, concerns have emerged regarding a potential "hard landing," where the Fed would struggle to control inflation without triggering an economic downturn. These fears have tempered rate expectations due to recent downbeat economic data.
Investors eagerly await Powell's speech at the Jackson Hole conference, hoping for insights into the Fed's upcoming decisions.
Regarding Bitcoin's price, Hasegawa states that no additional hawkish surprises would likely result in a mild rebound. The prevailing tension and cautious sentiment, however, will likely prevent any clear direction emerging towards the next Fed policy meeting in September.
While Bitcoin experiences turbulence, other cryptocurrencies are also affected. Ether, the second-largest crypto, declined by 1% to $1,650. Altcoins, such as Cardano (2% decrease) and Polygon (3% decrease), were also in the red. Memecoins followed this trend, with Dogecoin down 2% and Shiba Inu declining by 3%.