Crypto prices: Bitcoin, Ethereum fall after Jerome Powell inflation comments

Cryptocurrency markets dropped following a highly anticipated speech from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell at Jackson Hole, Wyo., on Friday. 

Powell noted that the Fed would continue to “use our tools forcefully” in battling inflation, warning of “some pain” ahead.

“While higher interest rates, slower growth, and softer labor market conditions will bring down inflation,” he continued, “they will also bring some pain to households and businesses. These are the unfortunate costs of reducing inflation. But a failure to restore price stability would mean far greater pain.”

From the start of Powell’s speech at 10 a.m. EST, Bitcoin fell over 4%, from $21,743 to a 24-hour low of $20,774 on Friday, according to CoinGecko. The largest cryptocurrency by market value is currently trading at $20,797.

Ether, the second largest, fell over 5%, tumbling from $1,687 this morning to a 24-hour low of $1,595.

Altcoins are in the red as well, with Cardano, Solana, and Polkadot all down about 4% in the past hour.

Equities similarly fell on the news. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 507 points, or 1.52%. The S&P 500 fell 1.9%. And the Nasdaq Composite declined 2.43%. 

Analysts will continue to keep a close eye on comments out of the Fed, Bitwise CIO Matt Hougan told Fortune on Thursday, adding that Powell’s Jackson Hole speech could “set the tone for monetary policy for the remainder of the year.”

Looking ahead to September, “one thing is for sure: It’s not going to be a quiet month for crypto from a news flow perspective,” Hougan said.

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