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How Bitcoin is Faring So Far

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Bitcoin

Bitcoin

The coronavirus crisis has seen Bitcoin price nosedive in one of the greatest Bitcoin price crashes since its inception. With a 52% drop in price in a single week, the coronavirus has left many Bitcoin enthusiasts scratching their heads. Even the legendary crypto trader, Peter Brandt, who predicted Bitcoin’s peak way back in 2017, tweeted that he wouldn’t be shocked if it crashed to $1,000 and below.

Will Bitcoin recover from such a huge crash? And can it still be trusted to store value over time? These are just some of the questions that people are seeking to answer, and the uncertainly over the answers is part of the reason behind the huge sell-off. But before judging Bitcoin too harshly, it is worth noting that even fiat markets have crashed thanks to the coronavirus mayhem. In fact, equity markets have seen their worst crash since 2008.

Here are some logical reasons why Bitcoin is crashing:

People Prefer Holding Cash When in Crisis

The huge sell-off in both equities and cryptocurrency can be explained by the notion that cash is king. When people panic, they quickly resort to hoarding cash due to fear that the prices of their investments will nosedive. Investors are taking back their money with the intention of buying back into the market at the bottom, while the rest of us are just responding to fear and uncertainty. Additionally, Bitcoin is yet to be fully accepted as a mode of payment, and people want to have enough paper money to buy food and medicine just in case the crisis worsens by the day.

Non-Hodlers

Late adopters of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies may not appreciate the value of hodling their Bitcoin amidst the swings in the market. Analysts believe the huge sell-off is from investors that got into Bitcoin in the last 1-2 years. In their fear of losing more than they have already lost, they are cutting their losses and cashing out. Serious hodlers have been into Bitcoin for years and have already seen huge dives before, so the current crash shouldn’t make them quite as nervous. The early adopters understand from experience that every time Bitcoin goes down, it inevitably bounces back.

Speculation

Cryptocurrency is a highly speculative market. This, compounded with the fact that it is relatively new when compared to other markets, makes it very volatile. Additionally, there is no central body that regulates prices. When trading on the stock market, regulating authorities can suspend trading sessions when there is an unprecedented sell-off. In fact, trading was put to a stand-still quite a number of times on the NYSE this past week to safeguard investors from losing too much due to traders that are responding to fear. Since Bitcoin doesn’t have any such body regulating it, sellers can dump their shares of Bitcoin anytime. Bitcoin is also one of the easiest markets to enter. Traders and investors do not need to have a brokerage account in order to participate in the market. This also attracts investors of all kinds of experience levels, and that contributes to the huge speculative nature of Bitcoin.

>> Bitcoin (BTC) Soars 10% on Strong Momentum: A Change Coming?

Bitcoin price has dropped significantly as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. However, price surges are anything but new in cryptocurrency. Once this crisis is over, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will most likely recover as they have always done after a sharp decline. It is not clear how far Bitcoin price will drop, but, however far it drops, it will most likely bounce back. This could be a great time to buy Bitcoin and just wait for the bounce back.

This article was curated through CryptoCurrencyNews’ Contributor Program. If you would like to write for us, send us your submission!

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Ripple (XRP) Popularity Remains Despite the Price Slump in 2019

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Ripple

Ripple

Over the past years, Ripple (XRP) has grown into one of the world’s top cryptocurrencies and has firmly established itself as the third biggest crypto in the world in terms of market capitalization. That being said, XRP has been one of the worst-performing cryptos this year, despite the fact that almost the entire market has been in the middle of a major bull run for most of the year. Among the top 10 tokens in circulation at the moment, eight have been able to post highly impressive gains so far this year. However, in the case of Ripple, it has been a year to forget so far as the token has lost as much as 20% in its value year-to-date.

Among Worst Performing

It is objectively clear that XRP is currently one of the worst-performing cryptocurrencies among the large-cap ones this year and experts believe that the reason behind this has to do with Ripple, the company that holds around 75% of the tokens. According to data collected by Coin Metrics, Ripple has been selling XRP tokens at a much quicker rate than before, and that has possibly beaten down the price of the token considerably. That being said, Ripple clarified on Friday that it does not believe its actions have had an effect on the price of the token.

>> Ethereum Classic (ETC) Suddenly Rockets 30% in a Week But Why?

On the other hand, the co-founder of Ripple, who is no longer with the company anymore, Jed McCaleb is apparently dumping half a million tokens on a daily basis. Such intense selling pressure is sure to have an effect on the price of the token, and that is what seems to be happening with XRP right now.

A co-founder of Multicoin Capital, a cryptocurrency hedge fund, stated that the company has raised its rate of selling considerably over the course of the past three quarters and investors are only now realizing what Ripple has been up to.

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Binance Drops Out of CryptoCompare’s Top 10 Exchanges

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Binance

Binance

Binance has sunk to 12th in the top ten cryptocurrency exchanges, according to the latest list published by London-based crypto data provider CryptoCompare.

In what is the second edition of the list of top ten exchanges from CryptoCompare, with the first being published in June of this year, Binance has fallen from 8th to 12th, despite being the second-largest exchange in the world in terms of volume. CryptoCompare’s list takes far more aspects into account than just volume, including legal aspects, data transparency, security, the presence of negative reviews about the platform, and the effectiveness of monitoring trading activity, among others.

The top ten now includes the likes of Gemini, itBit, Coinbase, Kraken, Bitstamp, Liquid, OKEx, Poloniex, bitFlyer, and Bitfinex. CryptoCompare co-founder and CEO Charles Hayter attributed Binance’s hack in May as the main factor in its falling position. “Our new benchmark includes a category that takes into account recent hacker attacks. Since Binance was recently hacked, this affected the security component.”

Gemini has taken the top spot on the list, as it places security as a top priority on its platform. “Security has been a key Gemini pillar since inception and protecting our customers’ cryptocurrency is a priority as we build the future of money,” said Jeanine Hightower-Sellitto, managing director of operations at Gemini. The new data also found that only 8% of exchanges use a custody provider to store user assets, and only 4% of exchanges offer third-party insurance in the event of a hack, with Binance offering neither.

>> Grayscale Files to Become First SEC Reporting Crypto Fund

Binance was hacked for the second time back in May, with hackers making off with approximately  7,000 Bitcoin, which was valued at around $40 million USD at the time. The breach was isolated to just one wallet, which contained 2% of the exchange’s entire Bitcoin holdings. The source of the hack remains unknown, and the funds were not relocated.

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Crypto Criminals Take in $4.3 Billion in 2019, CipherTrace Reports

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cryptocurrency

cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency criminals have taken in an estimated $4.3 billion USD in 2019, according to CipherTrace.

CipherTrace, a cryptosecurity company based in Silicon Valley, has released its Q2 2019 Cryptocurrency Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Report, which is a detailed overview of major cryptocurrency thefts, scams, and fraud around the world. The firm’s Q1 report estimated that cybercriminals illicitly obtained more than $1.2 billion USD in cryptocurrency during the first three months of the year alone. To put the severity of these figure in context, last year’s total figure for crypto theft was $1.1 billion USD.

“These thefts only represent the losses that are visible. CipherTrace estimates the true number of crypto asset losses was much higher,” the company’s report notes. Included in the total figure is $850 million USD that iFinex—the company that operates the Bitfinex exchange and the stablecoin Tether—allegedly defrauded from its customers by handing over the funds to a Panama-based “bank” called Crypto Capital.

Exit Scams

One of the most worrying threats to investors in cryptocurrency is the prevalence of “exit scams,” whereby scammers launch a new cryptocurrency based on a promising concept, then they raise the money from investors through an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) before mysteriously disappearing with investors’ funds. One of the most well-known involves QuadrigaCX, the cryptocurrency exchange in Canada that saw its founderthe only person with access to customer fundsmysteriously pass away in India, leaving investors unable to access their invested funds.

Pyramid Schemes

The world of cryptocurrency is also rife with pyramid schemes, with CipherTrace reporting that the biggest single loss of 2019 was the PlusToken scheme, which claimed to have developed a high-tech trading bot that yields 10% interest per month for investors. According to CipherTrace’s report, the PlusToken platform reportedly recruited over 100,000 users and raised over $189 million through membership fees between May 2018 and March 2019. The amount of money held by PlusToken is rumored to be over $2.9 billion.

>> Coinbase UK Drops Support for Zcash: Why? We Don’t Know!

How are the Authorities Responding?

Due to the intangible nature of cryptocurrency, cyber frauds are incredibly difficult for authorities to crack down on. However, in one significant example, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) announced a new “travel rule”—which the G20 gave its full support for in June—that requires transactions between exchanges to include personal information about the sender and receiver of funds, much like international bank transfers.

Cryptocurrency regulation has now become a priority, particularly given Facebook’s announcement that it will launch its own currency Libra, and with political figures becoming increasingly concerned with blockchain’s potential for global financial disruption.

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Bitcoin (BTC) Soars 10% on Strong Momentum

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Bitcoin

Bitcoin

The coronavirus pandemic has had a highly damaging effect on the capital markets, and eventually, the effect was felt in other asset classes like cryptocurrencies as well. While this did affect the world’s biggest cryptocurrency, Bitcoin has made a remarkable recovery over the past 24 hours.

BTC gained 10% in the last 24 hours, and the total value of the entire crypto market soared by $14 billion. Bitcoin was trading at $6,580 this morning in Singapore, and it seems likely that the cryptocurrency is going to be in focus among traders today.

Rally Across the Board

It should be noted that Bitcoin was not the only major gainer in the crypto market in the past 24 hours. Other than BTC, Ethereum (ETH) soared by 7%, while Ripple (XRP) gained 5%. Ethereum is the world’s second-biggest cryptocurrency by market cap, while XRP is the third-biggest, and this sort of a move suggests that the tide might be turning for the crypto space as a whole.

Earlier in March, the crypto space took a massive beating as it suffered from a damaging sell-off due to the oil price crisis. Back on March 12, the entire cryptocurrency market lost $93.5 billion in value due to the aforementioned sell-off.

>> Is Bitcoin (BTC) a Buy After the Recent Market Sell-Off?

The surprising thing for many crypto analysts has been the fact that Bitcoin, which ultimately is the bell weather of the crypto market, suffered in conjunction with the stock markets. In the past, BTC had been regarded as ‘digital gold’ and as a ‘hedge’ against the equity markets by many experts, a safe-haven stock if you will. However, BTC has not behaved in this manner over the past weeks, and even after the recent rally, it is still trading at a lower level than it was at the start of this year.

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Coinbase Earned About $2 Billion in Trading Fees Since 2012

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Coinbase

Coinbase

Over the years, crypto exchanges have become the most important part of the entire ecosystem, and among the many exchanges, Coinbase is definitely one of the most influential. It has grown into one of the biggest exchanges in the world and the exchange of choice for millions in the United States, the most important market for any business.

Solid Numbers

The company’s Chief Executive Officer Brian Armstrong recently spoke at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit and stated that the company has notched up $2 billion fees since its inception. The company was established in 2012, and over the years, it has become an integral part of the crypto space.

The event took place on Wednesday, October 23, and Armstrong spoke at length about the way the company goes about its business. While it is true that Coinbase has been a profitable business for a long time, the company remains focused on innovative technology. In addition to the transaction fees it has generated since its inception, the exchange has also managed to remain profitable since as far back as 2017.

Armstrong stated that the company invests the profits in the business. He said, “Most of these profits we’re plowing back into the business to create new products. I sort of think of us as the anti-unicorn unicorn. I want Coinbase to be a company of repeatable innovation.”

>> Bitcoin Sinks to Five-Month Low Following Zuckerberg Testimony

It is particularly important to note that the company remained profitable during a period that coincided with the crypto slump of 2018 and perhaps goes to show that it is a highly resilient business. That was not all that Armstrong. He also spoke about Facebook’s troubled crypto project Libra and stated that the United States should embrace innovations of all kinds. However, the main headline from the discussion was the eye-popping figure in transaction fees that Coinbase has managed to earn since 2012, and it is almost certain that it is going to earn much more in the future.

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Ethereum Dev Arrested After Speaking at North Korea Crypto Conference

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Ethereum

Ethereum

Virgil Griffith, a developer who currently works with the Ethereum Foundation, has been arrested upon arrival in the US after speaking at the Pyongyang Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference in North Korea in April.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced on Friday that Griffith had been arrested at Los Angeles International Airport on Thanksgiving Day. The complaint against the Ethereum developer, which was made by FBI Special Agent Brandon M. Cavanaugh, alleges that he was in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act for traveling to North Korea without authorization and providing knowledge on how the country can utilize blockchain technology to launder money and evade sanctions.

“Despite receiving warnings not to go, Griffith allegedly traveled to one of the United States’ foremost adversaries, North Korea, where he taught his audience how to use blockchain technology to evade sanctions,” John Demers, an assistant attorney general for national security, said in a statement.

Cavanaugh’s complaint alleges, “At the DPRK Cryptocurrency Conference, GRIFFITH and other attendees discussed how blockchain and cryptocurrency technology could be used by the DPRK to launder money and evade sanctions, and how the DPRK could use these technologies to achieve independence from the global banking system.” The Ethereum Association has said that it was not represented in any capacity at the events cited in the complaint against Griffith.

Taking to Twitter, Ethereum cofounder Vitalik Buterin defended his colleague, saying it was “admirable” that he traveled to a country that has been demonized in the US and added that he didn’t believe that Griffith had provided North Korea with “any kind of real help in doing anything bad.”

>> Ripple Releases XRP Worth $225 Million From Escrow

According to Griffith’s LinkedIn page, he has been employed by the Ethereum Foundation since October 2016 as a research scientist. Currently, in residence in Singapore, his most recent work has been focused on assessing whether Etehreum is compliant with Islamic Law.

Meanwhile, Ethereum’s own digital coin has seen its value drop significantly with altcoins in a sea of red in recent weeks.

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Is Coinbase Launching an Initial Exchange Offering (IEO) Platform?

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Coinbase

Coinbase

The cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has shown interest in the launch of an initial exchange offering (IEO) platform.

The huge surge in popularity that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have enjoyed over the course of the past few years is due to a lot of factors. One of the most important ones is the various crypto exchanges which made it possible for millions of people to easily buy and sell these tokens.

Key Details

Among the hundreds of crypto exchanges that have been established over the years, Coinbase has proven to be one of the most influential. In a new development, Coinbase has announced that it is exploring the possibility of establishing its own initial exchange offering platform.

Over the years, the exchange has gone on to become one of the most popular exchanges in the United States and in other places. Moreover, it has been known for being at the forefront of innovation. During a conference in Asia, the company’s chief of institutional sales in Asia, Kayvon Pirestani, spoke about Coinbase’s plans. During the discussion, Pirestani stated that IEOs have proven to be an exciting new opportunity in the crypto space, and the company is considering getting in on the action at some point.

>> Facebook Libra Must Follow US Rules, Says Treasury Official

As everyone knows, the initial coin offering (ICO) has become a problematic way of raising money for crypto projects since, over the years, plenty of unscrupulous characters have indulged in scams. Hence, IEOs have now emerged as the preferred means of raising money for a project. When it comes to an IEO, the exchange reviews the projects and then gives the go-ahead for a listing.

The whole process takes place in such a way that investors are protected from any scam. In such a situation, it is only natural for an exchange like Coinbase to get into it. The company has the reputation, the infrastructural advantage, and the leverage of a large user base to make it into a success. It remains to be seen when the company announces the launch.

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Facebook’s Libra May Cause Banks to Cut Financing to the Company

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Libra

Libra

Ever since the potential launch of Facebook’s Libra was announced by the social media behemoth, the company’s cryptocurrency project has lurched from one problem to the next. Regulators from different parts of the world had voiced their concerns about the Libra cryptocurrency, and even the President of the United States slammed Facebook in one of his famous tweets.

New Trouble?

In a new development, it has now emerged that if Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) does not take care of the regulatory issues with regards to Libra, then banks might refuse to provide services to the company.

There have been fears from central banks that Libra might try to become a replacement of fiat currency, and today, the CEO of a major bank spoke about the possibility of not providing banking services to Mark Zuckerberg’s company. Ralph Hamers, the Chief Executive Officer of ING, has stated that banks might consider that step if Facebook does not comply with all the regulatory issues. He stated that if the company does not comply with regulatory frameworks, then there is the risk of criminal activity. In such a situation, banks will probably have no other option but to pull the plug.

>> Bitfinex Wants to Subpoena Former Bank Exec Over Missing $880 Million

Hamers said, “Then we can take measures and exit the client, or not accept the client, so those are discussions you would have to have.” As everyone knows, banks are bound by stringent regulatory frameworks, and it is highly unlikely that they are going to be able to do business with a company that enters the financial system without the proper checks.

It is an understandable degree of caution from ING, and it remains to be seen if more banks come up with such statements with regards to Libra. However, it should be reiterated that Facebook had earlier stated that it is going to launch the crypto token only after meeting all the regulatory requirements.

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Binance Hack | Hackers Make Off With $40 Million in BTC

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Binance Hack

Binance Hack

According to Bloomberg, major cryptocurrency exchange Binance has suffered another hack. This time the hackers withdrew 7,000 Bitcoin, which values approximately $40 million USD. This is the second major breach the exchange has faced, the first being an incident in March 2018.

A notorious issue in the crypto-space, hacks have claimed $1.7 billion USD in 2018 alone.

Binance Hack

Via a post on its website, the exchange said that the hack occurred through a single transaction in a “large scale security breach.”

It furthered that the hackers used a “variety of techniques” including phishing and viruses to gather large quantities of user data. The exchange also warned that there may be additional accounts that are yet unaccounted for but have been affected.

Detailing the hack, Binance said:

“The transaction is structured in a way that passed our existing security checks. It was unfortunate that we were not able to block this withdrawal before it was executed. Once executed, the withdrawal triggered various alarms in our system. We stopped all withdrawals immediately after that.”

The hack was isolated to one wallet—Binance’s BTC hot wallet—which holds 2% of the company’s entire Bitcoin holding. It furthered that all other wallets are secure and unharmed.

The post went on to say the following:

“The hackers had the patience to wait, and execute well-orchestrated actions through multiple seemingly independent accounts at the most opportune time […] We must conduct a thorough security review. The security review will include all parts of our systems and data.”

Binance Hack Security Review

This security review will take about a week, during which all deposits and withdrawals are suspended. Trading remains active, however, to allow investors to change their positions.

>> Ethereum Price Jumps 8%: CTFC Approving Futures Trading Soon?

As the news is fresh, the company is still unsure whether or not the hackers still control some accounts and could “use those to influence prices in the meantime.” Traders will be fully covered and no user funds affected, as Binance will use its emergency insurance fund called the Secure Asset Fund for Users.

Bitcoin dropped 3% in early morning trade upon the news. It has since pared those losses, however, and is currently up 0.17%, selling for $5,937 USD.

Does the Binance hack affect you? Are you concerned?

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