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Picture: DADO RUVIC/REUTERS
Picture: DADO RUVIC/REUTERS

Bitcoin rose ahead of a highly anticipated interest-rate decision by the Federal Reserve on Wednesday, helping to push it towards the higher end of the range it’s been trading in for much of the year. 

The world’s largest cryptocurrency rose as much as 3.6% to $39,151 in early New York trading, a percentage move that passes for excitement for the token these days. The digital currency has swung within a 5% band for eight trading sessions in a prolonged calm not seen since the start of the year.

“Everything in crypto, I think, is more muted right now,” said Antonio Juliano, founder and CEO of dYdX, a decentralised trading platform that focuses on perpetual swaps.

Crypto-assets, just like other riskier areas of the market, have all been weighed down as the Fed and other global central banks raise interest rates to fight red-hot inflation. Market-watchers were bracing for the biggest Fed rate hike since 2000 on Wednesday and were awaiting more clues on how aggressively the central bank will try to tackle inflation.

Bitcoin rose ahead of a highly anticipated interest-rate decision by the Federal Reserve, helping to push the coin toward the higher end of the range it’s been trading in for much of the year. Picture: BLOOMBERG
Bitcoin rose ahead of a highly anticipated interest-rate decision by the Federal Reserve, helping to push the coin toward the higher end of the range it’s been trading in for much of the year. Picture: BLOOMBERG

In this environment, bitcoin hasn’t been able to break out in any meaningful way beyond the highs it came into the year with. 

“Right now, the market is basically stuck in a range for the most part,” said Dan Gunsberg, co-founder of Hxro Network. 

Money has been flowing out of the sector amid the malaise. Investors yanked roughly $120m from crypto products last week, bringing total outflows over the past four weeks to $339 million, according to data tracked by fund provider CoinShares. Bitcoin last week accounted for the majority of the flows in what was its largest single week of outflows since June 2021. 

Elsewhere, data from CoinGecko shows that the price of apecoin, the native crypto token of Yuga Labs’ APE ecosystem, rallied 17% intraday on Wednesday after Elon Musk changed his Twitter display picture to that of a collage of Bored Apes. 

Yuga Labs, creators of the Bored Ape Yacht Club collection of NFTs, had recently auctioned virtual land on Otherside, its metaverse project. The sale netted Yuga $320m but also led to huge congestion and high transaction fees on the ethereum network over the past weekend.

The token price of apecoin fell from its Sunday highs of $22 to $14.50 per token on Wednesday before jumping to $17.16 after the Tesla CEO changed his profile picture.

Bloomberg. More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com

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