Fed money printer goes into reverse: What does it mean for crypto?
The Federal Reserve of the United States is beginning the process of reducing its $9 trillion balance sheet, which has expanded in recent years, in a step known as quantitative tightening (QT).
Analysts from a crypto exchange and a financial investing business disagree on whether QT, which begins on Wednesday, would bring a stop to a decade of unparalleled expansion in the crypto markets.
QT can be thought of as the polar opposite of quantitative easing (QE), or money printing, which the Fed has been doing since the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020. More money is generated and distributed under QE conditions, while the Fed adds bonds and other treasury assets to its balance sheet.
For the next three months, the Fed intends to reduce its balance sheet by $47.5 billion per month. It intends to cut $95 billion from its budget in September of this year. By the end of 2023, it hopes to have shrunk its balance sheet by $7.6 trillion.
QT, according to Pav Hundal, manager of the Australian crypto exchange Swyftx, might have a negative impact on markets. “It’s very feasible that you might only see growth in market cap cut little,” he told Cointelegraph on Wednesday.
“The Fed is culling assets at a faster and more aggressive pace than many experts predicted, and it’s impossible to conceive that this won’t have an impact on investor sentiment across markets.”
Since its inception in March 2020, QE has had a significant impact on the crypto market. According to CoinGecko data, the crypto market cap fell in 2019 and early 2020, but a strong bull market began in late March 2020 when the money printer came online. Last November, the overall crypto market cap soared from $162 billion on March 23, 2020, to slightly over $3 trillion.
Market reactions to QT, according to deVere Group CEO Nigel Green, will be minor because “it’s already priced in.” Because of the unexpected pace with which QT is being implemented, Green expects a “knee-jerk reaction” from the markets, but he sees it as more than a wobble:
“Furthermore, we foresee a market bounce in the near future, which means investors should position their portfolios to profit from it.”