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HomeMarketBitcoin Hovers Below $22,000 as Regulatory Scrutiny Weighs and CPI Data Loom

Bitcoin Hovers Below $22,000 as Regulatory Scrutiny Weighs and CPI Data Loom

Bitcoin prices have slipped over the past week after a 40% rally to start the year.

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and other cryptocurrencies moved higher Tuesday but remained below recent levels as regulatory uncertainty and looming economic data weighed on prices. Cryptos likely will make their next move after the latest release on consumer-level inflation.

The price of Bitcoin has risen 1% over the past 24 hours to near $21,850, still below the zone around $23,000 that had marked the largest digital asset’s trading range for weeks until a selloff last week. Bitcoin is now at its lowest level since mid-January after paring gains from a rally that had seen prices jump 40% from the start of the year.

New regulatory uncertainties have arisen as the latest threat to cryptos, with the Securities and Exchange Commission turning its attention to multiple crypto exchanges and companies across the industry. Products and services in the digital asset ecosystem—including staking, which is critical to the Ethereum blockchain, and stablecoins pegged to the dollar—have come under scrutiny and look vulnerable.

“Cryptos are weakening as every trader worries about how crippling this SEC wave will be with the cracking down on staking products and stablecoins,” said Edward Moya, an analyst at broker Oanda. “The news flow has been rather bearish for crypto and you can’t forget about [Tuesday’s] inflation report that could be hot and spell trouble for risky assets.”

Traders are contending with the ongoing regulatory developments as a key macroeconomic catalyst looms, with the consumer-price index for January due at 8:30 a.m. Eastern. A tough macro backdrop of high inflation and rising interest rates has made cryptos and stocks closely correlated, with Bitcoin poised to move alongside the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
S&P 500
after the inflation print. 

Investors want to see inflation continuing to trend downward, easing pressure off the Federal Reserve as the central bank fights against the hottest price increases in decades. The Fed aggressively tightened financial conditions over the past year in a bid to tame inflation, which was the driving force behind the 2022 market selloff.

“Bitcoin is still above the $20,000 level. It might be hard for buyers to emerge until we see how Wall Street reacts with [Tuesday’s] inflation data,” said Oanda’s Moya. “If inflation comes in scorching hot, Bitcoin could breach the key $20,000 level and target the $18,500 region.”

Beyond Bitcoin,
—the second-largest crypto—gained 2% to above $1,500. Smaller cryptos or altcoins were also stronger, with
both up 3%. Memecoins were a bit more muted, with
Shiba Inu
each up 1%. Binance Coin, the token issued by crypto exchange Binance—which has come under pressure from regulatory headwinds—was up less than 1% after falling as much as 9% Monday.

Write to Jack Denton at


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