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Bitcoin, Ethereum near multi-month lows following hawkish Fed minutes

Published Jan 6, 2022

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HONG KONG (Reuters) - Bitcoin fell below US$43 000 on Thursday, testing multi-month lows after minutes from the US Federal Reserve's last meeting showed it leaning toward more aggressive policy action, which sapped investor appetite for riskier assets.

The world's largest cryptocurrency hit a record high of $69 000 in November.

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The fall "correlated with the 'risk-off' move across most traditional asset classes," said Matt Dibb, COO of Singapore-based crypto fund distributor, Stack Funds, pointing to the declines in the Nasdaq in particular.

Moves in cryptocurrency markets are becoming more aligned with those in traditional markets as the number of institutions trading both crypto and other assets grows.

The Nasdaq plunged more than 3% overnight in its biggest one-day percentage drop since February, after Fed minutes showed US policymakers had discussed reducing the bank's balance sheet at their December meeting, when they also decided to accelerate finishing their bond buying programme.

Ethereum, the world's second-largest cryptocurrency, lost 5.2% on Wednesday, and touched its lowest level since October, before bouncing back slightly to $3 460.

Crypto analysts were also watching to see whether anti-government protests in Kazakhstan, which were initially sparked by rising fuel prices, would affect the Bitcoin network.

The central Asian nation was the world's second-largest centre for Bitcoin mining, Britain's Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance said last year.

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The Kazakh government late last year began cracking down on some miners, fearing the energy-intensive process was using too much power.

(Reporting by Alun John; editing by Sam Holmes)

REUTERS

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