The price of the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization Ethereum ($ETH) is down by more than 6.7% over the last 24-hour period amid a wider cryptocurrency market downturn that has the space’s total market capitalization drop by round $100 billion.

The price decline has seen ETH dip below the $3,000 mark shortly after the highly-anticipated launch of spot Bitcoin and Ether exchange-traded funds in Hong Kong, which came with modest trading volumes of around $12.4 million, well below the $100 million that had been expected.

According to Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas, the figure is significant if localized. The figure, however, stands in start contrast to the successful launch of spot Bitcoin ETFs in the United States.

Cryptocurrency prices are also dropping at a time in which consumer confidence has fallen sharply to its lowest level since July 2022, with the Conference Board’s consumer index dropping far below economists’ expectations of 104 to 97, after standing at 103.1 in March.

Further complicating matters are growing concerns about the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy stance. With the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting scheduled for May 1, investors are bracing for the Fed to maintain its hawkish approach to combat inflation.

Data from the CME suggests that expectations for interest rate cuts have been pushed back, with forecasts now indicating no more than two reductions by the year’s end.  The cryptocurrency market has historically seen volatility leading up to FOMC meetings, with investors adopting a more cautious stance.

As CryptoGlobe reported, investment bank Standard Chartered remains bullish on the cryptocurrency market even as it expects a delay in the launch of spot Ether exchange-traded funds in the United States. The bank recently revised its previous timeline for U.S. approval of spot Ether ETFs, originally expected in May.

Prediction markets like Polymarket currently assign only a 12% chance of such approval by the end of next month, despite the approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in January of this year.

Featured image via Unsplash.