By Mark DeCambre1

Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images
  • Email icon
  • Facebook icon
  • Twitter icon
  • Linkedin icon
  • Flipboard icon
  • Print icon
  • Resize icon

Referenced Symbols

Listen to articleLength3 minutes

Bitcoin prices and the broader complex of virtual currencies were on the rise and the U.S. dollar was lower Friday, after a speech from the Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell was interpreted as dovish, or less inclined to promote an aggressive tightening of financial conditions.

Bitcoin prices at last check were changing hands at $48,224, up 2.7%, while Ether on the Ethereum blockchain was trading over 4% higher at $3,239 Friday afternoon.Ether and BitcoinEther and bitcoin 3-month returnsSources: CoinDesk (BTCUSD); Kraken (ETHUSD)As of Aug. 27, 5:02 p.m. ETBitcoin USDEthereum USDJune 2021Aug.-40-30-20-1001020304050 %

The moves for bitcoin come after Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said that he advocates beginning tapering the central bank’s bond purchases implemented during the worst of the financial market disruptions in 2020, but said he doesn’t foresee the central bank raising benchmark interest rates, which currently stand at a range between 0% and 0.25%, soon.

Powell’s comments may also offer the central bank some wiggle room to see at least one more nonfarm-payrolls report before committing to unwinding easy-money policies as the coronavirus delta variant spreads.

Check out: Need to Know: Here’s what the Fed will do—if it follows what Powell said at last year’s Jackson Hole address

“I was of the view, as were most participants, that if the economy evolved broadly as anticipated, it could be appropriate to start reducing the pace,” Powell said.NOW PLAYING: The Road to Regulating Crypto our Video Center

Equity markets have rallied, with the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.88% and the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, 1.23% scaling new heights and the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.69% not far from its own record highs.

Meanwhile, the Fed chair’s comments also have fueled buying in government debt, with the benchmark 10-year Treasury note TMUBMUSD10Y, 1.313% yielding 1.32%, down from 1.34% a day ago.

Investors still believe that historically low borrowing costs will support risk taking on Wall Street. That dynamic may hold true for stocks and digital assets such as bitcoin, Ether and even meme assets such as dogecoin DOGEUSD, -0.26%.

“The overall crypto market is 3.0% higher over the prior 24 hours, as the market appears to be responding positively to dovish comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell this morning,” wrote crypto researchers at Fundstrat Global Advisors, in a daily update.

Mastering Your Money | September 28 & 29 | 1PM ET

Examine money and finance in the new normal. Join MarketWatch and experts to explore the market, social and economic forces affecting your investments, career and family finances.REGISTER NOW

MarketWatch on Multiple devices

The total crypto market value is at around $2.1 trillion, holding to its highest levels since around May, according to data compiled by

Bitcoin, however, is still struggling after starting the week off around $50,000, its highest level since mid May, a level which is starting to form resistance for the crypto.

Read Next

Read full story

Here’s what the Fed will do — if it follows what Powell said at last year’s Jackson Hole address

Get out your popcorn, and get your trading apps open — after months in the waiting, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is set to deliver remarks on the economic outlook at the Kansas City Fed’s Jackson Hole economic symposium.

More On MarketWatch