Crypto Prices Plunge: Bitcoin and Ethereum Fall Below Key Levels

• Bitcoin fell below $23,000 on Jan. 31, following a recent move to a five-month high over the weekend.
• Ethereum also moved lower today.
• The conference board will release its consumer confidence report later today, with the Federal Reserve holding its policy meeting on Wednesday.

Cryptocurrency markets experienced a significant drop on Tuesday, with Bitcoin and Ethereum both falling below key levels in the day’s trading session.

The price of Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, had surged over the weekend to a five-month high of $23,296.53 before retreating sharply on Tuesday to below $23,000. It hit a low of $22,657.58 during the day and is currently trading around the $22,800 mark. The decline appears to have been triggered by traders taking profits from the recent surge, as well as anticipation of the upcoming Federal Reserve policy decision.

Ethereum, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency, also experienced a decline. The price dropped from a high of $1,595.86 to an intraday bottom of $1,546.66, representing a decline of nearly 4%. It has since recovered slightly and is currently trading around the $1,560 mark.

The decline in the prices of Bitcoin and Ethereum follows a period of relative calm that had seen both coins consolidate after hitting four-month highs earlier in January. Investors will now be looking ahead to the release of the Conference Board’s consumer confidence report later today and the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting on Wednesday for clues on the state of the US economy.

The cryptocurrency market has been buoyed in recent months by the increasing acceptance of digital assets by mainstream institutions and investors, as well as the prospect of greater regulation. However, the volatility of the market means that any significant economic news could have a significant effect on prices. As such, investors will be watching closely to see how the market responds to these upcoming events.

Nigerian Banks Accuse CBN of Failing to Provide New Banknotes Before Deadline

• Banks in Nigeria are accusing the Central Bank of Nigeria of not supplying enough new banknotes ahead of the Jan. 31 deadline to return old naira banknotes.
• Less than 40% of ATMs are said to be dispensing new banknotes, and some bank insiders have attributed the shortages to the CBN not distributing enough.
• Despite growing pressure, the CBN insists the Jan. 31 deadline still stands.

As the deadline for returning old Nigerian naira banknotes rapidly approaches, banks in several Nigerian states are still distributing the soon-to-be demonetized banknotes. This has caused an uproar among banks and the general public, with many accusing the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) of failing to take the necessary steps to ensure that the transition to the new banknotes is smooth and efficient.

Reports from an investigation by the Guardian indicated that only less than 40% of automated teller machines (ATMs) were reportedly dispensing new banknotes. Bank insiders have attributed the shortages to the CBN not distributing enough new banknotes, with one unnamed banker from Lagos claiming that their branch only received “just N1.5m new notes” in the previous week. As such, they are suspecting that the CBN plan to do a massive rollout of the new banknotes in the last week of January.

The situation has been further exacerbated by the fact that despite growing pressure, the CBN has refused to extend the current deadline. This has led to increased anxiety amongst banks and the general public, who are now awaiting the “massive rollout of the money” that many feel should have been done by now.

The CBN has been adamant that the Jan. 31 deadline still stands, and has urged Nigerians to return their old banknotes to banks as soon as possible. It has also asked banks to ensure that customers are not inconvenienced due to the demonetization and to ensure that the transition to the new banknotes is successful. As such, it remains to be seen how the CBN will ensure that the transition is successful and that Nigerians are not left without banknotes in the final days leading up to the deadline.

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