Bitcoin drops below $60K as halving just 300 blocks away

Bitcoin fell below the $60,000 mark on April 17, just days before a scheduled reduction in mining rewards, known as the “halving,” which is set to occur on April 20.

Earlier on Wednesday, Bitcoin climbed back above $64,000, but later dipped to as low as $59,900, marking a decline of more than 3% over the past 24 hours. This was its lowest price since early March. At the time of reporting, Bitcoin was trading at around $61,200.

The spot market order book for the BTC-USDT pair on Binance, which is the most liquid trading pair, shows that bids are clustered below $60,000, outnumbering the sell orders. This suggests there’s strong demand at prices below $60,000, which could prevent further price declines, at least in the short term.

Ether (ETH), the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, dropped below $3,000, down 2.5% over the same period.

In the derivatives market, there were notable liquidations, with $15.54 million liquidated between noon and 1:00 p.m. ET on the same day. Of these, long position liquidations amounted to about $8.4 million and short positions accounted for $6.02 million. Overall, 24-hour liquidations impacted 67,301 traders, totaling $214.28 million, according to cryptocurrency data provider CoinGlass.

The decline in Bitcoin’s price occurred amid comments from Jerome Powell, Chair of the Federal Reserve, suggesting that interest rates are unlikely to decrease in the near future. Speaking at a forum in Washington, Powell indicated that the Federal Reserve would continue its restrictive monetary policy due to the strong labor market and the ongoing inflation trends.

The upcoming bitcoin halving will reduce the reward for mining a block from 6.25 BTC to 3.125 BTC, marking the fourth such event since Bitcoin’s inception in 2009. Halvings are designed to limit the supply of new bitcoins to preserve the cryptocurrency’s value. As of 1:34 p.m. ET on April 17, the countdown showed the halving was just 302 blocks away, with the previous halving occurring on May 11, 2020.