Bitcoin price traded to a new monthly low towards $3,340 and later recovered against the US Dollar.Yesterday’s highlighted key bearish trend line is intact with resistance at $3,450 on the hourly chart of the BTC/USD pair (data feed from Kraken).The price may start a short term rebound if there is a proper break above $3,450 and $3,480.Bitcoin price dipped to a new yearly low and later recovered against the US Dollar. BTC could decline once again if it fails to break the $3,450-3,480 resistance area in the short term.Bitcoin Price AnalysisYesterday, we saw a major decline in bitcoin price below the $3,400 support against the US Dollar. The BTC/USD pair traded below the $3,360 support and formed a new yearly low at $3,344. Later, there was a fresh upside correction above the $3,380 and $3,400 levels. The price moved above the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the last drop from the $3,560 swing high to $3,344 low. Buyers were able to push the price above the $3,420 level, but there is a strong resistance formed near the $3,450 level.Besides, yesterday’s highlighted key bearish trend line is intact with resistance at $3,450 on the hourly chart of the BTC/USD pair. The trend line resistance coincides with the 50% Fib retracement level of the last drop from the $3,560 swing high to $3,344 low. Therefore, a proper break above the trend line and $3,452 is must for further gains. The next major resistance is near the $3,500 level. An intermediate resistance is $3,480 and the 100 hourly simple moving average. On the other hand, if buyers fail to gain strength above $3,450 and $3,480, there could be a fresh bearish wave.Looking at the chart, bitcoin price is approaching the key $3,450 resistance. On the downside, an initial support is at $3,375, below which the price may revisit the $3,340 level, followed by $3,300.Technical indicatorsHourly MACD – The MACD for BTC/USD is slowly gaining momentum in the bullish zone.Hourly RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI for BTC/USD is now placed above the 50 level.Major Support Level – $3,340Major Resistance Level – $3,450
Archives for January 29, 2019
Elementus, the blockchain data science firm which initially figured out that the Cryptopia hackers had gotten away with about eight times the amount reported, has another bombshell report regarding Cryptopia.
The hackers who originally made off with some $16 million worth of crypto tokens have struck again after a 15-day hiatus. Elementus previously noted that many Cryptopia wallets were still vulnerable to attack.
Elementus CEO Max Galka writes:
Among the wallets affected are the 1,948 at-risk wallets https://github.com/elementus-io/cryptopia-hack we identified previously, some of which have continued to accrue funds as recently as today. The list also includes over 5,000 wallets that had already been drained in the original hack, but have since been topped up, presumably by unknowing Cryptopia users. […] The funds began moving at 6:59 AM this morning (Monday, 28-Jan) […]
Galka reports that the Cryptopia hacker used Ethereum address 0x3b46c790ff408e987928169bd1904b6d71c00305.
At the end of the day’s haul, the funds moved to address 0xaa923cd02364bb8a4c3d6f894178d2e12231655c, which had a balance of nearly 30,790 Ether by time of writing. That amount of Ether is currently worth roughly over $3.2 million, even with a serious recent downward pressure in the price of Ether.
This address is confirmed as having been used in the previous Cryptopia hack. Galka confirms that they initially considered the idea that the exchange was sweeping funds to secure them, but then the last move happened.
As he writes:
Initially, it looked like [Cryptopia securing their funds] could be the case, but by 9:50 PM this evening, it became obvious this was the same hacker. At that time, the incoming transfers stopped and the funds were moved into the address below, one of the wallets used in the prior series of breaches.
Notable in all this is that funds continued to arrive from the free world. People willingly continued to make deposits on Cryptopia following the massive breach of the New Zealand exchange. Any Cryptopia user who has done so, we would appreciate you writing CCN and letting us know your rationale. Remember: not your keys, not your coin. Not really. Cryptocurrency works by a different set of laws.
Elementus’ Galka makes an interesting observation, that could explain the situation:
Most of the funds are coming from mining pools. Presumably, these payments are being sent on behalf of miners who opted to receive their rewards automatically via “direct deposit,” and have since forgotten about it.
The Ethereum community has been rocked by dozens of hacks and ICO scams over the past year, as CCN reported on Tuesday.
The total crypto market cap is slowly recovering towards the key $110.00B resistance level.Stellar (XLM) price settled below the $0.1000 support level, with a bearish angle.Bitcoin cash price recovered around 3% and moved above the $112 resistance.Tron (TRX) tested the $0.0270 support and recovered a few points.Cardano (ADA) price found support and it seems like it could test the $0.0395 resistance level.The crypto market is currently correcting higher. Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum, ripple, BCH, Stellar (XLM), Tron (TRX), EOS and Cardano (ADA) may recover in the short term.Bitcoin Cash Price AnalysisAfter trading below the $110 support, bitcoin cash found support against the US Dollar. BCH/USD started a short term upside correction and moved above the $110 and $112 levels. However, there are many hurdles on the upside near the $115 and $116 resistance levels.On the downside, the most important support is near the $110 level, below which there is a risk of more losses towards the $105 support level.Stellar (XLM), Tron (TRX) and ADA Price AnalysisStellar price was under a lot of pressure recently as it broke the key $0.1000 support level. XLM even traded below the $0.0900 support and traded close to the $0.0800 level. It is currently consolidating losses with bearish moves below $0.0900.Tron price found support near the $0.0270 level and later recovered. TRX price is up more than 3% and it seems like it may rise towards the $0.0285 and $0.0290 resistance levels in the near term.Cardano price traded towards the $0.0365 support level and later corrected higher. ADA price is currently trading above the $0.0385 level and it could continue to move higher towards the $0.0395 and $0.0400 levels.Looking at the total cryptocurrency market cap hourly chart, the $106.5B level acted as a strong support. The market started a decent recovery and moved above the $107.00B and $108.00B levels. However, there is a strong resistance formed near $110.00B and a bearish trend line on the same chart. A proper break above $110.00B is needed for more gains towards $115.00B. If not, bitcoin, Ethereum, EOS, stellar, LTC, EOS, ripple, TRX and other altcoins could resume the decline.
Ripple price remained below the $0.2900 and $0.2950 resistance levels against the US dollar.There are two bearish trend lines in place with resistance near $0.2900 on the hourly chart of the XRP/USD pair (data source from Kraken).The pair remains at a risk of more losses as long as it is trading below the$0.2900 and $0.2950 resistance levels.Ripple price is facing a lot of hurdles on the upside against the US Dollar and Bitcoin. XRP/USD is likely to extend the current decline below $0.2800 unless buyers push it above $0.2950.Ripple Price AnalysisYesterday, there was a minor upside correction from the $0.2776 low in ripple price against the US Dollar. The XRP/USD pair traded above the $0.2800 and $0.2850 levels. It also moved above the 38.2% Fib retracement level of the last decline from the $0.3070 high to $0.2776 low. However, the price failed to gain strength above the $0.2950 resistance and remained below the 100 hourly simple moving average. Later, there was a fresh decline and the price traded below $0.2900.Sellers pushed the price below the 61.8% Fib retracement level of the recent wave from the $0.2776 low to $0.2946 high. The current price is slightly bearish, with many hurdles on the upside near $0.2900 and $0.2950. There are also two bearish trend lines in place with resistance near $0.2900 on the hourly chart of the XRP/USD pair. A clear break and close above these trend lines is needed for a recovery above $0.3000. If not, there is a risk of a downside break below the $0.2820 support level. It may even break the 76.4% Fib retracement level of the recent wave from the $0.2776 low to $0.2946 high.Looking at the chart, ripple price is likely to break the $0.2800 support or even $0.2776 swing low. To start a rebound, the price must surpass the $0.2900 and $0.2950 resistance levels.Technical IndicatorsHourly MACD – The MACD for XRP/USD is back in the bearish zone, with negative signs.Hourly RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI for XRP/USD is currently placed above the 40 level, with a positive angle.Major Support Level – $0.2800Major Resistance Level – $0.2950
ETH price stayed below the $107 resistance level, with bearish signs against the US Dollar.There is a major bearish pennant formed with resistance near $106 on the hourly chart of ETH/USD (data feed via Kraken).The pair could accelerate losses below the $100 level if there is a bearish break below $103.Ethereum price is forming a bearish continuation pattern against the US Dollar and bitcoin. ETH/USD remains at a risk of more losses as long as it is trading below $107.Ethereum Price AnalysisYesterday, we saw a tiny recovery above the $104 level in ETH price against the US Dollar. The ETH/USD pair even traded above the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the last decline from the $114 high to $101 swing low. However, the price failed to break the $107 resistance level. As a result, there was a fresh drop below the $106 level. The price moved below the 50% Fib retracement level of the recent wave from the $101 swing low to $107 high. However, the decline was protected by the $103 level.More importantly, there is a major bearish pennant formed with resistance near $106 on the hourly chart of ETH/USD. The triangle resistance could play a major role near $106-107. If there is a break above $107, the price may trade towards the $110 and $112 levels. On the other hand, if there is a downside break below $103, the price is likely to accelerate losses in the near term. It seems like the 61.8% Fib retracement level of the recent wave from the $101 swing low to $107 high is currently protecting losses. However, it may soon give up if there is no break above $106 and $107.Looking at the chart, ETH price is clearly under a lot of pressure below $107. If there is an increase in selling, the price is likely to decline below $103 and $101.ETH Technical IndicatorsHourly MACD – The MACD for ETH/USD is about to move back in the bearish zone.Hourly RSI – The RSI for ETH/USD is currently above the 40 level, with a minor bullish angle.Major Support Level – $101Major Resistance Level – $107
Blockchain analytics firm CipherTrace released a report this morning showing that roughly $1.7 billion in cryptocurrency was stolen or scammed over the course of 2018. The amount stolen by hackers alone is staggering: over $950 million. The figure represents an increase of more than 300% from 2017.
The scams noted in the report don’t even include individual user scams. Instead, they focus on exchange exit scams, phony exchange hacks, and ICO scams. They account for an additional $725 million.
The Dark Downside of the Crypto Boom
If you adjust for the lower prices of cryptocurrencies in 2018, as much as 500% of actual crypto-tokens is more like it. The majority of coins stolen in 2018 were done through hacking exchanges and other services. CipherTrace believes the losses were probably much higher:
These numbers only represent the loot from crypto crimes that CipherTrace can validate; we have little doubt that the true number of crypto asset losses is much larger.
Millions of “noobs” entered the cryptocurrency space over the bull run of 2017. Many had dreams of striking it rich. Plenty did strike it rich. Plenty more missed the all-time-high due to greed or misunderstanding of the underlying market mechanics inflating the bubble.
As 2018 continually depressed the price of all cryptocurrencies, inexperienced users were charged – perhaps for the first time – with being their own bank. In many cases, remaining secure involves numerous security practices. There are those who disavow the use of MacOS or Windows, for instance, or even storing cryptocurrency on computers connected to the internet.
Rationality dictates new users have poor security practices. Additionally, newer users couldn’t be expected correctly delineate between trustworthy and non-trustworthy exchanges or even ICOs. Every aspect of crypto was new to them, and scammers go to great lengths to appear legitimate.
Inside Jobs Dominated Crypto Thefts in Q4 2018
According to the report, the amount stolen in the last quarter of 2018 was lower than the amount stolen in the third quarter. Cyber-criminals have reportedly turned to conducting inside jobs and victimizing noobs over “attacking hardened IT systems.”
The total dollar value of Q4 2018 thefts was lower than the number for Q3. This is partially due to the falling price of all cryptocurrency. In addition, rather than hacks on exchanges and wallets, inside jobs began to dominate the crypto crime landscape. It appears that a new breed of cybercriminals steeped in computer science and FinTech found it easier to commit fraud against unwitting investors and exchange users as opposed to attacking hardened IT systems.
SIM-Swapping On The Rise
SIM-swapping, a technique used to steal many different kinds of accounts, including exchange accounts, is on the rise. The method involves effectively reassigning the phone number associated with an account to an attacker’s phone. The attacker then uses SMS verification to reset the password on the account and drains the account. Many exchanges no longer allow for SMS verification. SIM-cloning is a similar technique.
According to CipherTrace, SIM-swapping was on the rise in 2018:
“SIM Swapping” represents a new and insidious threat to crypto businesses, users, and investors that became widespread in 2018. Once SIM Swapping attackers receive the compromised phone numbers, they use them to reset passwords and break into the victims’ accounts, including accounts on cryptocurrency exchanges.
The report also notes a new technique employed by a firm called BestMixer. BestMixer sent fractional amounts of BTC to as many addresses as possible in order to “taint” them all and confuse analytics companies like CipherTrace and Chainalysis.
But it wasn’t simply spam advertising: by sending Bitcoin to the top BTC addresses, BestMixer was effectively tainting these users by forcing them to transact with a mixer via these tiny transactions. By dusting every address with funds from a mixer, the campaign had the effect of soiling users’ reputations. The reason to dust so many addresses was an attempt to confuse blockchain analytics tools in order to circumvent AML, which was their stated objective.
Featured Image from Shutterstock
Following yesterday’s widespread crypto market plunge, most major cryptocurrencies have bounced slightly today, but they are still down significantly from where they were a week ago. The market’s recent volatility has led Tether, the largest stable coin by market cap, to briefly overtake EOS to be the fourth most valuable cryptocurrency by market capitalization.Today’s bounce in the markets was not unexpected, and many analysts had previously speculated that they were oversold.Analyst Expected Crypto Market to Bounce, Tether Climbs by Market Cap Yesterday, most cryptocurrencies dropped at least 5%, with many plunging over 10%. This drop was the direct result of Bitcoin’s inability to maintain above its support region that previously existed around $3,550, which led the cryptocurrency to drop to $3,400 before finding support at this price and climbing slightly.Today, Bitcoin was able to hold steady above $3,400, which has allowed most cryptos to surge and recover a portion of their recent losses.Although today’s market surge is certainly positive, it wasn’t all that unexpected, as Mayne, a popular cryptocurrency trader on Twitter, noted yesterday that he expected most major cryptocurrencies to bounce today, but bearishly adding that he would be shorting them on their way back down.“Expecting a bounce across the board to catch some late shorters. Opening some margin longs on $btc $xrp $eth and will look to short all 3 back down,” Mayne explained.Expecting a bounce across the board to catch some late shorters. Opening some margin longs on $btc $xrp $eth and will look to short all 3 back down— Mayne (@Tradermayne) January 28, 2019Other analysts have shared a similarly bearish sentiment in the near-term, with Alex Krüger, a popular economist on Twitter, noting yesterday that Bitcoin’s break of its support level is decidedly bearish.There’s absolutely nothing bullish neither technically nor fundamentally for bitcoin and the main crypto assets. Bitcoin broke support overnight and has shown no signs of exhaustion. Charts are decidedly bearish. Longs = scalping against the trend.— Alex Krüger (@Crypto_Macro) January 28, 2019The recent market drop has led many traders to seek safety from the volatility by moving funds into Tether (USDT), which briefly overtook EOS to be the fourth most valuable cryptocurrency by market cap. In the time since, Tether has fallen behind EOS and is currently behind its market cap by under $30 million.Mati Greenspan, the senior market analyst at eToro, discussed Tether’s climb by market cap in an email today, noting that it is neither bullish nor bearish, but rather an indicator of trader’s fear.“Generally speaking, if traders are fearful of volatility in the crypto market and want to reduce exposure, the default option at many exchanges is to hold the money in USDT… To be clear, this is neither a bullish nor a bearish signal, it just means that traders are taking their foot off the gas for a bit,” he explained.Crypto Markets Climb SlightlyAt the time of writing, Ethereum is trading up just under 1% at its current price of $105.72. ETH has not yet dropped below $100, which appears to be a level of support for the cryptocurrency.Ethereum (ETH) has found support around $100.XRP has dropped marginally today and is currently trading at just under $0.29. XRP previously had some support around $0.31, but it is likely that it won’t see significant support until it reaches its 2018 lows that are set around $0.25.EOS is one of today’s best performing major cryptocurrencies, as it is currently trading up 2.5% at $2.28.Featured images from Shutterstock.
Apple’s fiscal Q1 revenue and profits fell, marking the first time the company had to report such dismal numbers for this particular quarter in more than 10 years.
The culprits behind the declines were slowing iPhone sales and China’s economic downturn.
Apple CEO Tim Cook talking about China on the company earnings call moments ago. Here’s what he said: pic.twitter.com/Vt5GSABwB4
— CNBC’s Fast Money (@CNBCFastMoney) January 29, 2019
The tech giant’s earnings per share and revenue did beat analyst estimates. This was despite iPhone sales coming in lower than estimates.
Breaking Down Apple’s Fails And Beats
The tech giant reported earnings per share of $4.18, and revenues of $84.31 billion for the quarter that ended Dec. 29. Analysts’ estimates were $4.17, and $83.97 billion, respectively.
Its flagship iPhone saw its revenue fall 15% from the prior year. iPhones brought in $51.98 billion in sales, but analysts were looking for $52.67 billion.
Apple’s profits fell to $19.97 billion.
While iPhone sales were lower than expected, total revenue from all other products and services grew 19% to $10.9 billion. Apple had warned at the beginning of the month that emerging markets and the economic slowdown in China were presenting challenges to iPhone sales.
Mac revenues also missed estimates, but just slightly. Analysts estimated revenues from the machines would be $7.42 billion, but they were $7.416 billion instead.
Revenues from iPad sales, however, handily beat estimates. The street was looking for $5.9 billion, and Apple reported $6.729 billion.
Apple Continues To Guide Lower
The street expects the number of iPhones sold over the next three months through the end of March will continue to decline at the steepest level in the company’s history.
Apple set Q2 2019 guidance lower than the street’s estimates. It set it at between $55 billion and $59 billion, while analysts were looking for $59.98 billion.
Here’s a breakdown of its guidance for its fiscal 2019 second quarter:
- gross margin between 37 % and 38%
- operating expenses between $8.5 billion and $8.6 billion
- other income/(expense) of $300 million
- tax rate of approximately 17%
About the guidance, Cook told CNBC:
Well, we don’t attach our guidance to what the street is looking for, we attach it to what we can do. And so we think we can do $55 to $59 [billion]. Considering the currency situation, etc. it’s a strong guidance.
He went on to say that revenue was down five percent during Q1, but only down three percent at constant currency. The effect will be more this quarter on currency than it was in the last quarter, Cook added.
As we got into January, things have improved from where they ended in December, and that gives us some optimism. Of course that you don’t know what will continue, but I would also point out that seems to map to trade tension as well, that there is a bit more optimism in the air in January, or certainly I feel that anyways. I’m encouraged by the comments coming out of both countries.
Optimistic In The Face Of It All
Cook said that while it was disappointing to miss its revenue guidance, he was confident about Apple’s outlook. He said the quarter’s results demonstrate that the “underlying strength of our business runs deep and wide.”
In the earnings release statement, he said:
Our active installed base of devices reached an all-time high of 1.4 billion in the first quarter, growing in each of our geographic segments. That’s a great testament to the satisfaction and loyalty of our customers, and it’s driving our Services business to new records thanks to our large and fast-growing ecosystem.
Despite the revenue and profit slips, Apple’s stock rose in after-market trading. At the time of writing, after the conference call, the stock was up 5.6% to $163.30.
Featured Image from Drew Angerer / Getty Images / AFP
Since our last crypto market round-up report on Friday, the climate has changed significantly for at least one major cryptocurrency: Ethereum. All eyes are on Ether as it pushes closer and closer to the $100 mark. Bitcoin, meanwhile, briefly crossed the threshold of $3,400. By most accounts, the Bitcoin price is working on a test of the $3,000 mark, which is both a psychological and market indicator.
Bitcoin Price Likely to Test $3,000
The Bitcoin price‘s 3-day chart looks a bit hellish if you’re a bull in this cold weather.
Bitcoin has lost $200 over the past three days. Average users and merchants will feel a difference such as this. Momentum seems to be dying on any form of bull run. There seems a strong likelihood that resurgences like we’ve seen the past day and a half are merely bots “buying the dip,” without the foresight to see that even cheaper prices may be on the horizon.
Then again, this is crypto, and they may not.
Ethereum Price Eyes Fall to Double-Digits
No one’s having a worse week than Ethereum, however. When we last did a market round-up Friday, Ether was trying to maintain $120 and $118, and a couple dollars lower, across markets.
Over the weekend things got nasty. The 24-hour period by press time was even worse. Ether opened on Coinbase 24 hours ago around $111, but now it’s around $105.
Sub-$100 Ether may be a reality this coming week. A lack of new ICOs to generate demand for Ethereum is part of the problem here. Lack of decentralized application usage, which creates demand for “gas” (Ethereum used to pay for the processing of token transactions) also figures into it. An increase in either of these would create new demand for Ethereum.
If you’re a long-term holder like this reporter, however, you’re appreciating the discounted Ether. Perhaps the only long-tail concern for true Ether believes is value dilution that will be created by a Proof-of-Stake system in the near future. Tokenized systems are bound to find their true market.
EOS Re-Takes Fourth Place
Yesterday, CCN reported that EOS had been displaced by Tether. This was more attributable to the damage done to the EOS price than it was to a growth in market capitalization on the part of Tether. In fact, as the report says, Tether is relatively stagnant by comparison to newer stablecoins that are growing at a regular pace.
EOS saw a 10-cent rebound over the past several hours of trading, with a volume of over $800 million.
Litecoin Fights to Hold the $30 Mark
Comparatively, Litecoin seems to be in a holding pattern across a trading volume more than twice the amount of Tron traded ($716 million versus $287 million).
Litecoin rounded the day out at an average around $31.20. Coinbase had it a bit cheaper, at $30.90.
Litecoin has historically followed Bitcoin, either up the mountain or into the valley. What might be interesting is if Litecoin maintains its $30 target as Bitcoin potentially regresses beneath $3,000.
Featured Image from Shutterstock. Price Charts from TradingView.
In the ten years of Bitcoin’s existence much has been made about its supposed utility for criminals by the mainstream media. The latest example comes from the UK’s Daily Mail, which has made a big deal about the digital currency’s use in the case of a nurse using the dark web to deal pills out of California.However, given that criminal acts are estimated to account for less than 1% of all transactions occurring on the Bitcoin network, such headlines seem entirely unjustified. Yes, Bitcoin has been used for criminal activities but so has just about every technological advancement ever – cash included.Bitcoin is Efficient, Criminals Like EfficiencyIn its 10 year existence, Bitcoin has had a fair amount of dirt thrown at it from the mainstream media. This is reasonably understandable since its first major use case was the buying and selling of drugs on early dark web marketplaces such as Silk Road.However, since then a lot has happened. Bitcoin has moved out of the shadows and towards the mainstream in a way only a few thought possible. As huge names such as the Intercontinental Exchange and Fidelity have made clear over the past couple of years, Bitcoin is on the verge of becoming a serious financial asset. Is it not time the mainstream media stopped mentioning it in criminal cases where it was used only to facilitate the transfer of value?The latest example of a mainstream media publication unnecessarily naming Bitcoin in connection to a crime comes from the UK’s Daily Mail. Earlier today, the newspaper reported on the case of a nurse from California who had used the dark web to sell controlled substances in exchange for Bitcoin.The only thing that could be considered interesting about the story is the volume of narcotics the woman had sold and the fact that she worked in the medical profession herself. The method of payment is entirely irrelevant to what went on. If anything Bitcoin’s use in the crimes committed shows how useful it is for cross border payments – criminal or not – and little more.Other tools used for non-nefarious acts by innocent members of the public and occasionally to commit crimes are not subject to the same sort of coverage. We are not bombarded with headlines such as: “Armed Robber Used Motor Car to Escape Scene of Crime”, “Drink Driver Spends Dollars in Liquor Store”, or “Fraudster Uses iPhone to Plan Scam”.Bitcoin receives a lot of negative press for its association with criminals.Just like phones, cars, and even cash, the purpose of Bitcoin is not to aid criminals. It is to transfer value quickly and efficiently across borders without an intermediary. Other items when used criminally only get mentioned explicitly when they are being used in a way they were not intended. If a man killed someone using a hammer, that will get brought up. Likewise, if someone ploughs a car into a sea of people, that’s worthy of a mention.Many mainstream media publications seem hell bent on loading as much sensationalism into a headline as possible. This may account for Bitcoin’s explicit mentions. Those working at the Daily Mail probably realise how hard phrases relating to Bitcoin are trending these days and want to scoop as much traffic as possible in light of ever-dwindling readerships. Hopefully, as Bitcoin continues to evolve and become more accepted we can leave such stories in the past as the digital asset becomes a more common part of daily life. Related Reading: Crypto Isn’t Criminal Money: Binance Blocks Funds From Hacked ExchangeFeatured Images from Shutterstock.