Fed to Raise Rates Further: Here’s What It Means for Crypto

Overview of Fed Meeting Minutes

• The recently released minutes of the 1st of February meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) suggest more interest rate hikes are coming from the US Federal Reserve.
• This month’s string of stronger/hotter-than-expected US data releases has triggered a big shift in market expectations, as markets now imply a 27% probability that the Fed might raise interest rates by 50 bps (to 5.25-5.50%) next month.
• Money markets imply around a 30% chance that rates peak in the 5.50-5.75% range by July, which could be a major medium-term headwind for crypto.

Interest Rate Increase

At their February meeting, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), comprised of an assortment of Federal Reserve Governors and regional Fed Presidents, raised interest rates 25 bps to a 4.50-4.75% target range. This was a slowdown following a 50 bps rate hike at the last meeting of 2022, which was proceeded by four consecutive 75 bps rate hikes.

Risks to Inflation Outlook

The FOMC meeting minutes stated that „upside risks to the inflation outlook remained a key factor shaping the policy outlook,“ while some officials warned that „insufficiently restrictive“ stance could hamper progress on bringing down inflation. Therefore, FOMC members expect further increases to interest rates will be necessary to ensure that inflation comes sustainably back to its 2.0% target.

Hot Data Forces Markets to Up Tightening Bets

Financial markets have spent recent weeks increasing their bets on further Fed tightening due to hot US data releases, including January jobs report results, CPI report and ISM PMI survey results.. At one point in late January most analysts were forecasting just two more 25 bps interest hikes – one at the February meeting and then one at March; however this is no longer seen as likely with money markets implying around 27% probability that 50 bps increase may happen next month instead and peaking in June/July with 5.25-5.75%.

Impact on Crypto

This potential rise in US interests will be a major medium-term headwind for crypto as it will make other investment options more attractive compared to digital assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum etc due to higher returns from traditional investments like stocks or bonds etc .

Lazarus Hacking Group Uses New Crypto Mixer to Launder Funds

• North Korean hacking group Lazarus has been using a new crypto mixer called Sinbad to launder crypto.
• Security providers and government agencies believe that Pyongyang-linked groups are using coin mixers to anonymize transactions and fund their missile programs.
• Elliptic claims that Sinbad is likely the same service as Blender, which was sanctioned by the US State Department for laundering funds stolen by North Korea.

North Korean Group Using Coin Mixer for Crypto Laundering

North Korea’s Lazarus hacking group is reportedly using a new crypto mixer named Sinbad in order to launder its cryptocurrency activities. According to blockchain analytics firm Elliptic, this group is affiliated with North Korea’s Reconnaissance General Administration and has used coin mixers in order to anonymize the transactions they make, allowing them to build up a vast fortune in crypto which can be used to fund Pyongyang’s costly missile programs.

US Sanctions Blender for Laundering Funds Stolen by North Korea

The US State Department took action against Blender last year, claiming it was being used „to launder funds stolen by North Korea.“ Because of this, Blender shut down in April 2022, taking with it around $22 million worth of Bitcoin (BTC). However, Elliptic believes that this service may have re-emerged under the guise of Sinbad.

Chainalysis Claims Millions Sent Through Sinbad

According to security provider Chainalysis, millions of dollars have been sent through Sinbad since its launch in early October last year. This suggests that Lazarus may have re-launched the service as Sinbad after it was forced out of business due to sanctions from the US State Department.

What Is a Coin Mixer?

Coin mixers are services which are used to obscure blockchain transactions and make it difficult for people to trace where coins originally came from or where they were sent afterwards. By repeatedly sending coins through mixers, instigators can hide their tracks and make it hard for authorities or other investigators to see if coins obtained illegally have been transferred elsewhere or exchanged for cash.


It appears that North Korean hackers are once again taking advantage of coin mixers in order to launder their activities with cryptocurrencies. Although Blender was hit with sanctions from the US State Department last year, it looks like something similar may have re-emerged under a different name – something which both Elliptic and Chainalysis agree on – making it even more difficult for authorities to monitor these illegal activities online.

Bitcoin Prices Soar as Trading Volume Reaches $40B: Where’s BTC Headed Next?

• Bitcoin trading volume has surged to $40 billion in the past 24 hours, a significant increase from its previous record of $34 billion.
• Blockchain.com announced layoffs of 25% of its staff due to struggles in the cryptocurrency market.
• Bitcoin derivatives markets have shown signs of recovery after 2022 downturn.

Increased Trading Volume for Bitcoin

The bitcoin market is currently experiencing a surge in trading volume, reaching $40 billion in the past 24 hours. This is a significant increase from the previous record of $34 billion set in May of this year. With this increased activity, it is important to consider the future of Bitcoin prices and where they may be headed next.

Blockchain.com Cuts Staff

Blockchain.com, one of the leading crypto companies, has recently announced that it will be cutting its staff due to the current struggles in the cryptocurrency market. The company has been facing a difficult time with its operations as many investors have been pulling out of the market and prices have dropped significantly. Blockchain.com, a digital currency company, has announced the layoff of around 150 employees which accounts for 25% of its staff. The current bear market in digital currencies, which started in 2022, has taken its toll on many companies. It doesn’t appear this trend will end soon and the company is just one of the victims.

Bitcoin Derivatives Market Recovery

Within recent weeks, Blockchain.com has joined a list of other cryptocurrency-centric companies that had to resort to laying off staff due to the financial effects of the pandemic Recently, Coinbase, one of the most well-known digital currency exchanges, announced cutting down its workforce by about 1,000 people to reduce its operational expenditure by 25% in the coming months.. In 2022, Bitcoin experienced a prolonged bear market resulting in a 60% drop in its price and a rapid decreasein bitcoin futures and options volumesLast November however ,the sudden shutdownof FTX caused investor sentimentto plummet further but since then there have been encouraging signs that these markets are beginning torecover with increased tradingvolumes being seen on some platforms such as BitMEXand Bakkt .

Future Price Prediction

The surge in bitcoin trading volume suggests that more investors are becoming increasingly bullish on Bitcoin’s prospects over time although it remains unclear what direction prices might take going forward given allthe volatilityin themarketplace . While some analysts are predicting an eventual bull run based on historical trends , others warn that we could still see further drops before any sustained rally takes place . Investors would do wellto pay close attentionto themarket dynamicsand use technical analysis tools suchas moving averages or relative strength indicators when making their decisions . Ultimately , only time will tell if this surge inspendingis indicativeof a larger movementtowards widespread adoptionorifit’s simply abrief spikebeforeanother plungein prices .


The recent surge in bitcoin trading volume shows promising signs for future price movements but there remain many uncertainties about where prices could go next over thenear term . Investors should keep an eyeon themarket dynamics andremember that no investment decisionshould everbe made purelyon speculationalone – taking into accountfundamental factors suchasregulationandadoptionlevels canhelp guideinvestors towardsmore informeddecisionsregardingtheir investments .