Bitcoin, Crypto Prices Little Changed as Federal Reserve Holds Interest Rates Steady

In a widely anticipated move, the U.S. Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) on Wednesday held monetary policy steady, leaving the range for its benchmark fed funds rate at 5.25%-5.50%.

Fed members projected to keep interest rates higher for next year between 4.9%-5.6%, compared to the 4.3% in the June prediction. They also see stronger economic growth for this year, expecting a 2.1% real GDP increase this year versus a 1% forecast in June.

"In determining the extent of additional policy firming that may be appropriate to return inflation to 2 percent over time, the Committee will take into account the cumulative tightening of monetary policy, the lags with which monetary policy affects economic activity and inflation, and economic and financial developments," the Fed statement reads.

The bitcoin (BTC) price remained flat at around $27,200 in the minutes following the central bank’s announcement.

"The big news is the 2024 rates projection, [which is] higher than I expected. This is a very big signal," crypto and macro analyst Noelle Acheson said in an email. "It's the message sent by effectively taking two rate cuts off the table, which also suggests that any rate cuts will come later than the market had been hoping."

Fed Chair Jerome Powell will provide more detail on today’s decision and the future outlook at a press conference scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. ET.

The FOMC’s next policy meeting is set for the start of November. Before today’s events, market participants had priced in about a 70% chance there would be no rate change at that November meeting, according to the CME’s FedWatch tool.