Bitcoin (BTC) began to show fresh volatility as Wall Street trading began on March 15, ahead of a crucial interest rate announcement from the United States Federal Reserve.
BTC/USD 1-hour candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: TradingView
Crunch time for the Fed on inflation
An overnight push towards $40,000 had ended in disappointment for bulls, setting the scene for lackluster performance into the Fed decision.
With inflation running wild, analysts believed that more than a 0.25% rate hike was unlikely due to the need to maintain equilibrium in a market already bloated from liquidity injections and uncertain, thanks to the Russia-Ukraine war.
“The bottom line is we will proceed but we will proceed carefully as we learn more about the implications of the Ukraine war,” Fed Chair Jerome Powell told U.S. lawmakers earlier in March.
Bitcoin was characteristically volatile on the shortest timeframes but rangebound on longer ones at the time of writing, this behavior having characterized the largest cryptocurrency on many occasions throughout 2022.
Even March 14’s news that the European Union had rejected a legal amendment prohibiting offering services involving proof-of-work cryptocurrencies failed to change the status quo.
For popular analyst Matthew Hyland, a decisive break of the 2022 range high or low was now needed in order to entertain a new perspective.
The only real move will be when #Bitcoin breaks $46k or falls below $33k
Everything else is just noise!!! pic.twitter.com/ujmVzYQq1v
– Matthew Hyland (@MatthewHyland_) March 15, 2022
“It interesting that we have spent more time closer to $46K than $33K,” he noted as part of further comments.
“Could make the argument, demand is rising, selling pressure decreasing? Either way though, it wont sit in this range forever.”
The Fed announcement was due at 2 pm Eastern Time March 16, followed by a press conference by Powell a half-hour later.
Sentiment “compares” to 2018 bear market
On the topic of Bitcoin and its ranges, a longer-term view sought to convince timid market participants that all was not so bad on March 15.
Analyzing poor sentiment across crypto, popular Twitter account “Cryptobirb” reasoned that since the start of 2021, BTC/USD had still managed to post a series of higher highs and higher lows.
It’s intriguing how flat $BTC performance has been for over a year already, while the traders’ sentiment compares to the hopeless depths of the 2018 bear market. The longer #Bitcoin has moved sideways, the more depressed the traders got. Yet, the market’s made higher high and low pic.twitter.com/0sHLu8nTuB
– CRYPTO₿IRB (@crypto_birb) March 15, 2022
As Cointelegraph further reported, two years ago this week, Bitcoin traded at just $3,600 – more than ten times lower than at present.