, ethereum and other major cryptocurrencies have stormed into 2023 with a $200 billion price earthquake.

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The bitcoin price has rocketed 30% since the turn of the year, climbing over $23,000 per bitcoin after falling under $16,000 in late 2022. The ethereum price has seen a similar rally while some top ten cryptocurrencies—BNB, XRPXRP
, cardano, dogecoin, polygon and solana—have made outsized gains.

Now, former chief executive of bitcoin and crypto exchange BitMex Arthur Hayes has warned a “disastrous global financial meltdown” could be about to crash the bitcoin price and crypto market.

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“Bitcoin is simply experiencing a natural bounce off the local lows of sub $16,000,” Hayes wrote in a blog post, adding he believes “bitcoin is rallying because the market is frontrunning a resumption” of Federal Reserve money printing.

“Market anticipation of a rate hike pause and even a Fed pivot have been building, in spite of repeated Fed official comments to the contrary,” crypto market analyst Noelle Acheson wrote in an emailed note.

Fed chair Jerome Powell, who last year pushed interest rates to a 15-year high as part of a concerted effort to drive down inflation, has said rates will need to go higher in 2023, echoed by other Fed officials who have endorsed raising the benchmark federal funds rate above 5%.

“If the Fed does not follow through with a pivot, or multiple Fed governors talk down any expectation of a pivot even after ‘good’ consumer price index (CPI) prints, bitcoin will likely crash back down towards previous lows,” Hayes wrote, predicting this scenario would cause “risky asset prices crater. Bonds, equities, and every crypto under the sun all get smoked as the glue that holds together the global USD-based financial system dissolves.”

If that “disastrous global financial meltdown” scenario occurs, then Hayes expects he’ll “get another bite at the apple” and “will know that the market has probably bottomed, because the crash that happens when the system temporarily breaks will either hold the previous $15,800 lows or it won’t.”

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The bitcoin price dropped to under $16,000 following the shock FTX collapse last year that piled pressure on the combined crypto market, which had already lost around $2 trillion.

However, despite warning of a looming market meltdown, Hayes expects the Fed to eventually step in to backstop markets.

“It doesn’t really matter what level is ultimately reached on the down draft because I know the Fed will subsequently move to print money and avert another financial collapse, which will in turn mark the local bottom of all risky assets,” Hayes added.

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