, ethereum and other major cryptocurrencies have moved sharply lower along with stock markets this week amid warnings of a huge bitcoin price crash on the horizon.
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The bitcoin price has dropped under $19,000 per bitcoin, exacerbating fears it could fall under its 2022 lows if a September so-called black swan scenario plays out. The ethereum price has also crashed back following the successful first step in its long-awaited and much-hyped merge upgrade, dragging down the price of top ten coins BNBBNB
, solana, cardano and dogecoin and plunging the combined crypto market under $1 trillion.
Now, as the Federal Reserve’s hawkish stance boosts the U.S. dollar ahead of what some expect to be a “great pause,” traders are braced for the European Central Bank (ECB) to follow the Fed in hiking interest rates on Thursday as well as the latest U.S. inflation data next week.
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“These macro events, combined with [ethereum’s] merge, might be catalysts for going forward,” analysts at Arcane Research wrote in a note seen by Coindesk, warning of increased volatility in the coming days.
It’s thought the ECB could vote for a rate hike of 75 basis points when its governing council meets on Thursday as it battles to drive down eurozone inflation that hit almost 10% in August.
“As frontloaded hikes can have a bigger impact on inflation expectations than a more gradual approach, a 75 basis point move could make sense,” Berenberg chief economist Holger Schmieding wrote in a research note seen by CNBC.
Meanwhile, U.S. Federal Reserve officials and traders are closely watching next week’s consumer price inflation (CPI) data that will show whether the Fed’s earlier interest rate hikes have further slowed price rises. Markets are currently pricing in a 75% chance of a third consecutive Fed interest rate hike in September.
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Ahead of the next batch of U.S. inflation data, Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell will speak at the Cato Institute’s 40th Annual Monetary Conference on Thursday. Last month, Powell sent bitcoin, crypto and stocks sharply lower when he warned the Fed would continue to raise interest rates “until the job [of lowering inflation] is done.”
“The slipping bitcoin price is solely hinged on the uncertainties surrounding the expected speech from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on September 8 and the broader investor reaction to the forthcoming rate hike,” Fuad Fatullaev, the chief executive of blockchain-based web3 ecosystem WeWay, said in emailed comments, warning the bitcoin price could fall as low as $15,000.
“The deteriorating macroeconomic environment, despite the optimism about ethereum’s merge, seems to be pushing the quotes lower and lower,” Daniel Kostecki, a senior market analyst at currency trading platform Conotoxia, said via email.