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Bitcoin Falls to Below $40,000 as Wall Street in ‘Full De-Risking Mode’

He said the outlook for Bitcoin remains “mostly bullish” but added that if “long-term growth prospects start taking a bigger hit from aggressive [Federal Reserve] tightening, institutional investors might scale down their bets.”

Analysts at Fundstrat agreed that tensions between Russia and Ukraine were “driving increased selling pressure” across crypto markets, and Yuya Hasegawa, an analyst at Bitbank, said the situation at the Ukraine border “can make or break Bitcoin’s price.” Hasegawa also pointed to the possibility of a rate hike of 50 basis points at the Fed’s next meeting in March.

The minutes from the Federal Reserve’s meeting in January, released Wednesday, showed that officials are open to the possibility of faster interest-rate increases later this year, as well as other policy-tightening measures, if inflation continues to run high.

During the central bank’s Jan. 25-26 meeting, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell reinforced expectations the Fed would begin raising interest rates in March. While Fed officials expect inflation to moderate throughout 2022, more aggressive action might be needed if prices don’t move lower.

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