Federal Reserve holds interest rates, expects three cuts by end of year 

Interest rates hold steady for fifth-consecutive FOMC meeting as Fed calls for three cuts later this year


Maxx-Studio/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks


In a largely anticipated move, the Federal Reserve chose to hold interest rates at their existing level on Wednesday following the Federal Open Market Committee two-day policy meeting. 

Central bankers are calling for three rounds of rate cuts by the end of 2024, projection materials released Wednesday show. 

The rate hike pause marks the central bank’s fifth since consecutively raising interest rates from March 2022 to July 2023. Persistent inflation and improving employment data contributed to central bankers’ decision to hold rates, they said. 

“The Committee judges that the risks to achieving its employment and inflation goals are moving into better balance,” Wednesday’s statement read. “The economic outlook is uncertain, and the Committee remains highly attentive to inflation risks.”

Read more: RWAs shouldn’t be for everyone

Longer-term inflation expectations appear to remain “well anchored,” Chair Jerome Powell said Wednesday during a press conference. 

“We believe that our policy rate is likely at its peak for this tightening cycle, and that if the economy evolves broadly as expected, it will likely be appropriate to begin dialing back policy restraint, at some point this year,” Powell said. 

Stocks inched higher and cryptocurrencies were mixed on the news. Bitcoin (BTC) was relatively flat in the moments after the Fed released its statement at 2 pm ET. The largest cryptocurrency is down about 1% over the past 24 hours. 

Ether (ETH) similarly traded sideways, hovering around $3,300 at time of publication – about 0.3% higher over 24 hours. 

The Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 indexes rallied on the news, gaining as much as 0.4% and 0.3%, respectively, on the release. 

Analysts will be looking for signs from Powell and other central bankers about when rate cuts may begin. Markets on Wednesday expected about a 70% chance a rate cut will come in June, according to data from CME Group.

Start your day with top crypto insights from David Canellis and Katherine Ross. Subscribe to the Empire newsletter.

Explore the growing intersection between crypto, macroeconomics, policy and finance with Ben Strack, Casey Wagner and Felix Jauvin. Subscribe to the On the Margin newsletter.

The Lightspeed newsletter is all things Solana, in your inbox, every day. Subscribe to daily Solana news from Jack Kubinec and Jeff Albus.


Upcoming Events

Salt Lake City, UT

MON - TUES, OCT. 7 - 8, 2024

Blockworks and Bankless in collaboration with buidlbox are excited to announce the second installment of the Permissionless Hackathon – taking place October 7-8 in Salt Lake City, Utah. We’ve partnered with buidlbox to bring together the brightest minds in crypto for […]

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Research Report Templates.png


ZKPs enable efficient offchain transaction processing and validation, resulting in increased throughput and reduced fees. Solana's ZK Compression leverages ZKPs to minimize onchain storage costs, while Sui's zkLogin streamlines user onboarding by replacing complex key management with familiar OAuth credentials.


The crypto asset manager lowered its planned fee from 0.25% to 0.15%, undercutting its competitors


Plus, a look at planned ETH ETF fees and how they differ from their BTC counterparts


North Korea suspected in breach of Indian exchange’s multisig wallet


Plus, Sanctum’s CLOUD token has officially launched — but not without problems


It’s not yet clear whether Donald Trump is pumping bitcoin. But an unofficial memecoin is still seeing benefit.