Bitcoin price trading in a tight range above the $3,375 support area against the US Dollar.There is a key connecting bullish trend line formed with support at $3,400 on the hourly chart of the BTC/USD pair (data feed from Kraken).The price might correct higher in the short term towards the $3,430 and $3,350 resistances.Bitcoin price is struggling to gain bullish momentum above $3,450 against the US Dollar. BTC price might continue to trade in a range until trading volumes and volatility picks up.Bitcoin Price AnalysisIn the past three sessions, there were mostly range moves in bitcoin price above the $3,375 support against the US Dollar. The BTC/USD pair stayed above the $3,400 support level and trading in a $25 range. It moved above the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the last drop from the $3,494 swing high to $3,390 low. However, the price struggled to gain momentum above $3,430 and the 100 hourly simple moving average. The current price action is neutral-to-bearish, with resistances near $3,430 and $3,450.An intermediate resistance is near the $3,440 level. It represents the 50% Fib retracement level of the last drop from the $3,494 swing high to $3,390 low. If there is a successful break above the $3,440 and $3,450 resistance levels, the price might trade towards the $3,480 resistance. On the downside, an initial support is near the $3,400 level. There is also a key connecting bullish trend line formed with support at $3,400 on the hourly chart of the BTC/USD pair. Below the trend line support, the pair could trade towards the $3,375 support level. The next key support is at $3,350 and $3,345.Looking at the chart, bitcoin price might continue to trade in a range, with bullish moves toward $3,440. Having said that, a solid upward move requires an increase in volatility and volume. If not, there is a risk of a bearish break towards $3,320.Technical indicatorsHourly MACD – The MACD is currently flat in the bearish zone.Hourly RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI for BTC/USD is currently above the 50 level, with a bullish angle.Major Support Level – $3,400Major Resistance Level – $3,440
Archives for February 4, 2019
Crypto payments processor AtomicPay.io’s front-end services were unavailable for a period of almost 8 hours this weekend due to a trademark claim by a company called Vertbase.
Vertbase is a money services provider that sells cryptocurrency, while AtomicPay is a non-custodial crypto payments solution for merchants. CEO Benz Rif recently gave an interview to CCN, and informed us that he’d experienced problems with cloud infrastructure provider Digital Ocean. He also made a statement on the episode.
Hostage-Taking Sales Tactics? Vertbase Tried to Sell AtomicPay.com to AtomicPay.io
Digital Ocean said that AtomicPay.io was violating the trademark owned by Vertbase. The problem? Vertbase never had such a trademark, nor did they tell Digital Ocean it did. Instead, they notified Digital Ocean last November that they were filing for a similar trademark. They own AtomicPay.com and were aware that AtomicPay.io was hosted by Digital Ocean.
According to screenshots made available to CCN, Vertbase CEO Justin Seidl offered to sell the domain AtomicPay.com to AtomicPay.io in early January.
AtomicPay.io recently did file for a trademark of AtomicPay, and if they get the trademark, Vertbase will not have a legal right to ownership of AtomicPay.com.
In this reporter’s experience with a trademarked term owned by Lockheed Martin, that means the most Vertbase can get for the domain is what it cost them to register it.
In the complaint, Stuart Menzies calls AtomicPay.io “a scam” and claims it’s violating trademark on several fronts.
Menzies apparently did not know that DigitalOcean would show the complaint to Benz Rif. The COO did eventually “help” by informing DigitalOcean that they should immediately re-enable services to AtomicPay.io.
How to Easily Get a Crypto Payments Provider Like AtomicPay.io Offline
A few weeks after Justin Seidl e-mailed AtomicPay about a possible collaboration and the offer to sell AtomicPay.com, Digital Ocean took down the AtomicPay.io website due to a “valid DMCA complaint.” The problem? The complaint was anything but valid.
Benz Rif says that the first he heard of the complaint was coupled by threats to freeze its services. His company didn’t have time to back-up databases, so the move by Digital Ocean actually made AtomicPay.io unusable to merchants for a time. Apparently there was a mix-up in the address that the original notice from Digital Ocean was sent to.
Both Digital Ocean and Vertbase may be the subject of legal action by AtomicPay.
Benz Rif says he has referred all information to his lawyers now that both Stuart Menzies and Justin Seidl have stopped responding to his messages. Until this episode, the two companies had been developing a rapport, with Rif even recently congratulating Seidl on the recent birth of his child.
The real story here is how easy it is to get a major hosting company like DigitalOcean to disable the services of a vital provider. At no point did DigitalOcean follow-up with Vertbase, requesting verification of their claim.
Once the issue made it to the top of their queue, they took action based on an internal company process. One interesting aspect of the episode is how quickly things were put right once Vertbase admitted it had no real claim. It’s as if AtomicPay’s business operations are by the grace of another company.
For their part, AtomicPay.io has a long-tail plan to deal with such issues. IPFS and local-backup solutions are on the cards for them. Rif says they are definitely switching service providers and creating a local back-up solution for their front-end.
The total crypto market cap is showing signs of a recovery above the $108.50B support level.Litecoin (LTC) price is gaining momentum and it could trade above the $35.00 resistance.Bitcoin cash price is currently consolidating below the $120 resistance level.Tron (TRX) is up more than 8% and it broke the $0.0275 resistance zone.Cardano (ADA) price is trading flat just above the $0.0375 support level.The crypto market could rebound in the short term. Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), ripple, litecoin, bitcoin cash and ADA might correct higher in the coming sessions.Bitcoin Cash Price AnalysisBitcoin cash price declined below the $120 support recently against the US Dollar. BCH/USD tested the $118 support level and it is currently consolidating in a tight range. The next move could be either above the $120 resistance or below the support level.If sellers push the price below the $118 support, there could be a downside extension towards the $115 or $112 support level.Litecoin (LTC), Tron (TRX) and Cardano (ADA) Price AnalysisLitecoin price remained in a positive zone above the $30.00 and $32.00 support levels. LTC recently climbed above the $34.00 resistance and it seems like it could continue to move higher. The next resistance is at $35.00, above which the price may perhaps rally towards the $38.00 level in the near term.Tron price once again performed really well and traded above the $0.0265 and $0.0270 resistance levels. TRX is up more than 8% and it seems like buyers are looking for a test of the $0.0285 resistance. On the downside, the previous resistances at $0.0270 and $0.0265 are likely to act as supports.Cardano price settled below the $0.0392 and $0.0385 resistance levels. ADA tested the $0.0370 support level and it is currently trading flat near the $0.0275 level.Looking at the total cryptocurrency market cap hourly chart, there is a strong support formed near the $108.00B level and a bullish trend line. If the market moves above the $110.00B resistance and a bearish trend line, there could be a decent recovery in the near term. Therefore, bitcoin, Ethereum, XLM, litecoin, ripple, TRX, BCH, ADA, EOS and other altcoins could correct higher.
Ripple price is under pressure and it recently broke the $0.2980 support level against the US dollar.There is a major bearish trend line formed with resistance near $0.2980 on the hourly chart of the XRP/USD pair (data source from Kraken).The pair could accelerate losses if there is a downside break below the $0.2940 support in the near term.Ripple price declined further and broke key supports against the US Dollar and Bitcoin. XRP/USD is currently at a risk of a downside break below the $0.2940 and $0.2920 supports.Ripple Price AnalysisYesterday, we saw a downside reaction in ripple price below the $0.3110 support level against the US Dollar. The XRP/USD pair declined below the $0.3050 and $0.3000 support levels to enter a bearish zone. Later, the price even broke the $0.2980 support and the 100 hourly simple moving average. It tested the $0.2940 support area and later started a short term upside correction. It recovered above the $0.2980 resistance and the $0.3000 level. There was a break above the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the recent decline from the $0.3110 high to $0.2940 low.However, the price failed to gain momentum above the $0.3000 and $0.3020 levels. There was no test of the 50% Fib retracement level of the recent decline from the $0.3110 high to $0.2940 low. The price remained well below the $0.3025 resistance and the 100 hourly simple moving average. Besides, there is a major bearish trend line formed with resistance near $0.2980 on the hourly chart of the XRP/USD pair. To start a decent recovery, the price must break the trend line, $0.3000, and the 100 hourly SMA. The next key resistances are positioned near $0.3025 and $0.3045.Looking at the chart, ripple price is currently trading near a crucial support at $0.2940. If there is a downside break, the price might accelerate losses below the $0.2920 and $0.2900 levels in the near term.Technical IndicatorsHourly MACD – The MACD for XRP/USD is currently gaining momentum in the bearish zone.Hourly RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI for XRP/USD is struggling to recover above the 40 level.Major Support Level – $0.2940Major Resistance Level – $0.3025
ETH price is still trading below the $108 and $110 resistance levels against the US Dollar.There is a new connecting bearish trend line formed with resistance near $107 on the hourly chart of ETH/USD (data feed via Kraken).The pair remains supported on the downside above the $105 and $103 levels in the near term.Ethereum price is confined in a tiny range against the US Dollar and bitcoin. ETH/USD could continue to consolidate until trading volumes pick up and price action improves.Ethereum Price AnalysisThere was a downside move from the $110 swing high in ETH price against the US Dollar. The ETH/USD pair traded below the $108 and $106 support levels, plus settled below the 100 hourly simple moving average. It tested the $105 support level, where buyers emerged and protected further losses. Later, there was an upside correction above the $106 and $107 levels. The price even broke the 50% Fib retracement level of the recent decline from the $110 high to $105 swing low. However, the upside move was capped by the $108 resistance area.Moreover, the price was rejected near the 61.8% Fib retracement level of the recent decline from the $110 high to $105 swing low. There is also a new connecting bearish trend line formed with resistance near $107 on the hourly chart of ETH/USD. The pair is currently trading well below the $108 resistance and the 100 hourly simple moving average. A successful break above the trend line, 100 hourly simple moving average, and the $108 resistance is needed for more gains. The next major resistance is near the $110 level, above which the price could rally towards $115.Looking at the chart, ETH price is clearly trading in a range below the $108 and $110 resistance levels. On the downside, an initial support is at $105, below which the price may test the $103 support level.ETH Technical IndicatorsHourly MACD – The MACD for ETH/USD is slowly moving back in the bearish zone.Hourly RSI – The RSI for ETH/USD is now well below the 50 level, with a few bearish signs.Major Support Level – $103Major Resistance Level – $108
Taylor Monahan, the founder and CEO of MyCrypto, one of the most widely utilized non-custodial wallets in crypto, has said that QuadrigaCX may never have had an Ethereum cold wallet.
Crypto Wallet CEO Raises Questions about QuadrigaCX’s Claims
After evaluating three main Ethereum addresses used by QuadrigaCX, Monahan said that all of the addresses were likely owned by customers, not by the exchange.
2016: 0x0ee4e2d (blue)
Biggest outgoing TXs go to:
– A Bitfinex Deposit Address #1 (red)
– 0x027beef (green)
– 0xb6aac (purple) pic.twitter.com/jsPOnIADGI
— Taylor Monahan (@tayvano_) February 4, 2019
“Based o[n] the actions via ShapeShift, I can only assume they were trading the ETH for BTC on Bitfinex/Poloniex as well. Regardless, these were customer funds. All 3 main addresses ultimately receive ALL customer deposits, which were then sent to a variety of exchanges,” she said.
Earlier this month, as CCN extensively reported, Canada’s largest crypto exchange QuadrigaCX lost its access to customer funds worth $190 million in crypto and fiat.
The exchange stated that its CEO, who had sole control of the exchange’s cold wallet private keys, passed away and the firm is no longer able to access the funds as a result.
Experts Skeptical Toward QuadrigaCX Case, Can $150 Million in Crypto be Recovered?
Throughout the past several days, several reports claimed that QuadrigaCX’s cold wallet addresses have been moving funds.
But, most of the addresses turned out to be hot wallets given the size of the transactions initiated by the wallets.
Large exchanges often store the majority of user funds in cold wallets that are stored offline and cannot be targeted by hackers.
Exchanges like Binance and Coinbase are known to have implemented sophisticated systems to safeguard and protect holdings stored in cold wallets.
Before initiating transactions from cold wallets, major exchanges go through weeks to even months of planning to ensure no technical mishap occurs.
Is the Missing Crypto From QuadrigaCX’s $150 Million Disaster On the Move? Experts Weigh-in https://t.co/8qUm0238xa
— CCN.com (@CryptoCoinsNews) February 3, 2019
The three main addresses of QuadrigaCX evaluated by MyCrypto CEO Taylor Monahan sent many transactions to different wallets including the addresses of Bitfinex and Poloniex.
Considering that cold wallets of exchanges usually deal with millions of dollars in customer funds, the several thousand ETH sent out by the three wallets show they are unlikely to be the cold wallets of QuadrigaCX.
Speaking to CCN, Monahan said she has yet to evaluate the main ETH address of QuadrigaCX that contains more than 500,000 transactions.
But, based on the pattern of the three addresses, it is entirely possible that QuadrigaCX never had an Ethereum cold wallet.
“I’m seeing NO indication of Quadriga ever having cold / reserve wallets for ETH,” Monahan said.
The MyCrypto CEO added:
“Oh, and just in case you weren’t shaking your head enough, don’t forget that Quadriga ran an exchange with KYC. They have a pile of user’s KYC data. They could turn around and open an exchange account with any of that KYC data to move money.”
In previous interviews, as revealed by Cornell Professor Emin Gün Sirer, former QuadrigaCX CEO Gerry Cotten claimed that the exchange employed a multi-signature system to protect user funds.
A multi-signature system allows individuals or businesses to hold private keys to a certain address. Only when the majority of the keys are combined can the individuals or businesses obtain access to the funds stored in the address.
However, the exchange evidently had not employed a multi-signature system in all of its cold wallets because it was reported that the CEO had full control over the funds.
Quadriga previously claimed to have multisig wallets.https://t.co/3hsrLZw4ZY
— Emin Gün Sirer (@el33th4xor) February 3, 2019
Jesse Powell, the CEO of Kraken, also raised suspicion on the case involving QuadrigaCX given the absurdity of the situation.
“We have thousands of wallet addresses known to belong to QuadrigaCX and are investigating the bizarre and, frankly, unbelievable story of the founder’s death and lost keys. I’m not normally calling for subpoenas but if the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are looking into this, contact Kraken,” he said.
Featured Image from Shutterstock
After exiting an involatile weekend, the overall crypto markets are experiencing a mixed trading session, with most cryptocurrencies trading up or down marginally. Despite the markets not looking overwhelmingly positive from a technical standpoint, many analysts are expressing an increasingly bullish sentiment regarding Litecoin.This bullish sentiment towards LTC may stem from a combination of technical strength and its recently announced Confidential Transaction feature that may be implemented sometime later this year.Crypto Markets Trade Mixed as Bitcoin Trades FlatAt the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading sideways at its current price of $3,470. Over the past week, BTC has ranged between $3,400 and $3,500, and has failed to break through either of these levels.This bout of sideways trading has led most cryptocurrencies to only move slightly, with most major cryptos trading up or down under 1%.Ripple (XRP) is trading down nominally today at its current price of $0.302. XRP appears to have found some support at the $0.30 level, but its historical level of strong support remains around $0.28.Ethereum has climbed slightly today and is currently trading at $108. Because ETH has been able to hold steady above $100 despite the recent market volatility, some analysts see it as being potentially bullish in the short-term.In a recent tweet from The Crypto Dog, a popular cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter, he concisely said that he sees ETH incurring some gains in the coming weeks.I want in $ETH pic.twitter.com/CzRtfLVhoB— The Crypto Dog📈 (@TheCryptoDog) February 3, 2019Analysts Concur that Litecoin is Looking BullishAlthough the overall crypto markets are currently showing few signs of technical or fundamental bullishness, analysts seem to agree that Litecoin (LTC) could see a price surge in the near-future.At the time of writing, Litecoin is trading up 2% at its current price of $34. LTC is currently up over 10% from its seven-day lows of $30, and is only down slightly from its weekly highs of just under $35.DonAlt, a popular cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter, recently noted that Litecoin’s chart looks bullish despite the cryptocurrency currently pushing up against a resistance level.“$LTC There she goes… One more resistance to break and then the sky will be clear… I’m rarely ultra bullish at resistance but when the chart looks that nice it’s the way to go,” he said.$LTCThere she goes.
One more resistance to break and then the sky will be clear.
I’m rarely ultra bullish at resistance but when the chart looks that nice it’s the way to go. pic.twitter.com/ZaulAblvdT— DonAlt (@CryptoDonAlt) February 2, 2019This same sentiment is echoed by Moon Overlord, another popular cryptocurrency trader on Twitter, who noted that LTC could surge as high as $50 over a higher time frame, which would mark a 47% increase from its current price levels.“Targeting around $50 for $LTC | $LTCUSD on high TFs,” he bullishly stated.Targeting around $50 for $LTC | $LTCUSD on high TFs pic.twitter.com/ZMJDe1PAc0— Moon Overlord (@MoonOverlord) February 3, 2019One factor that could contribute to a surge in Litecoin’s price could be the Confidential Transactions feature that the LTC team is currently working to add to the cryptocurrency, which would increase the its privacy and fungibility.Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin, discussed this is in a recent tweet, saying:“Fungibility is the only property of sound money that is missing from Bitcoin & Litecoin. Now that the scaling debate is behind us, the next battleground will be on fungibility and privacy… I am now focused on making Litecoin more fungible by adding Confidential Transactions.”Fungibility is the only property of sound money that is missing from Bitcoin & Litecoin. Now that the scaling debate is behind us, the next battleground will be on fungibility and privacy.I am now focused on making Litecoin more fungible by adding Confidential Transactions. 🚀— Charlie Lee [LTC⚡] (@SatoshiLite) January 28, 2019Although the overall crypto markets have been offering very few opportunities to traders in recent times, the bullish potential of LTC signals that there still exists a plethora of lucrative trading opportunities for cryptocurrency investors.Featured image from Shutterstock.
Hamas just received two donations to its bitcoin wallet on Coinbase according to a report Sunday by Globes, Israel’s oldest Hebrew-language daily evening financial newspaper. The donations, totalling $2,500 USD worth of BTC originated from an unknown source in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Yunis.
Hamas is a Palestinian Sunni Islamic fundamentalist organization which has acted as the de facto governing authority of the embattled Gaza Strip since assuming power in the area in 2007. It is widely regarded as a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States, and the European Union. Consequently, the Globes report says the donations to Hamas are a breach of Coinbase’s terms of service.
Coinbase had not responded to CCN’s request for comment prior to publication.
A Financial and Humanitarian Crisis in The Gaza Strip
The Palestinian organization started soliciting bitcoin donations last month out of desperation in response crippling economic sanctions against the Gaza Strip by Israel and the United States. Although Hamas has received financial backing from Iran in the past, Iran is currently facing financial trouble of its own due to U.S. sanctions.
— Ahmad Matar 🇵🇸✌ (@AhmadMatar21) January 29, 2019
A representative for the military wing of Hamas, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, said:
“Support the resistance financially through the Bitcoin currency.”
Nearly 2 million Palestinians live in the Gaza Strip, and whatever opinion one may have of their government and the Israel-Palestine conflict, most of those nearly 2 million people are not considered terrorists, and the embargo against the Gaza Strip, enforced by the military blockade, is leaving the people who live there destitute.
Two Bitcoin Donations to Hamas Totaling $2,500
The blockchain activity was noticed late last week by Israeli blockchain intelligence startup Whitestream. Its founders, Itsik Levy and Uri Bornstein, told Globes:
“In exposing illegal activity, you could say that blockchain itself does most of the work. All activity on the network is registered and documented, so it can be read at a later stage.”
Levy later said:
“We have been decoding blockchain transactions for a long time. According to our figures, only 2% of total bitcoin turnover involves the darknet or is related to terrorist or criminal activity.”
Two percent of transactions related to terrorist or criminal activity sounds high.
But it’s irresponsible for Levy and/or Globes to report a figure that conflates terrorist or criminal activity with “the darknet” without defining what is meant by “darknet” activity and without further breaking down how much of the two percent is “darknet” activity, and how much is terrorist or criminal activity.
Biased Headlines and Misleading Reporting
This kind of reporting falls in line with a sustained campaign of anti-bitcoin and anti-cryptocurrency propaganda by mainstream media reporting and punditry, meant to smear and discredit bitcoin by associating the open source, peer-to-peer, decentralized Internet currency with criminality in the public imagination.
So far this article is the only major news report on this story that includes the paltry sum of $2,500 in the headline. Readers without discernment may be prejudiced by reports with headlines like “Bitcoin in the service of Hamas,” to believe that the decentralized payment network is being used to substantially bankroll the Palestinian organization.
It’s not unlike mainstream news headlines that blow out of all proportion the impact of the Russian government on the 2016 U.S. elections via social media.
Like this CNN article that reports this story in alarmist tones as if it were a matter of great national import. Readers have to plow through 821 words before CNN discloses how much the Russian government spent on search and display ads to influence the election: $4,700. As if that could even put a dent in a U.S. presidential election.
More U.S. Dollars Have Supported Terrorism Than Their Equivalent in BTC
Foremost among many fears and worries related to Bitcoin is that its anonymous, decentralized nature, with no governing authority, makes it suitable to nefarious purposes. But who oversees the overseers?
The United States Dollar and the institutional banking system that administrates its use is the most tightly regulated, controlled, and watched currency in history.
Those who use the U.S. Dollar constantly find their purchasing power evaporating as the Federal Reserve siphons off their wealth to buy U.S. Treasury debts that paid for (to give one example) the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians in Iraq since 2003.
The U.S. government itself openly sends hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to Saudi Arabia, while approving billion dollar arms deals with the Gulf Kingdom, even though it is the most prolific state sponsor of terrorism in the world.
Saudi Arabia has been waging a war in Yemen for years now, leading to one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises, according to the UN.
Last August Saudi Arabia targeted a school bus in a marketplace in Yemen, murdering dozens of children with a 500-pound, laser-guided MK 82 bomb manufactured by Lockheed Martin. American tax dollars paid for the USAF’s ongoing midair refueling missions and logistical support for Saudi atrocities in Yemen.
At least people who bank with the Bitcoin network can choose not to send money to Hamas if they’d rather not support terrorism.
Featured Image from Shutterstock
Here’s something you don’t say every day about Bitcoin and the wider cryptocurrency markets: where did the volatility go? We’ve spent the past few weeks looking at nearly the same charts every day.
Crypto Market Disturbingly Quiet
Bitcoin goes up a little, goes down a little more, gets back to where it was by the end of the week. Predictability is nice for adoption and acquisition, but it’s not what traders are looking for.
Thus, if we rank the top cryptocurrencies by volume traded, things change around a little. As you may have noticed, Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV fall straight out of the top 5.
Litecoin stands out as a highly traded cryptocurrency. It has almost 50% of its overall market capitalization traded on a daily basis. It still maintains a price somewhere above $30 and below $40, which means the trading must be across small candles.
A period of relative “stability” is often followed by a breakout in one direction or the other. All bets are off when you approach crypto markets. Bitcoin has resisted the temptation to go into discount price mode. Litecoin seems able to gain even on days when Bitcoin loses, which could lead to an actual secondary standard in the long run. Is there a future where Litecoin is a secondary crypto reserve?
Bitcoin Price Holds Below $3,5000
Bitfinex held a higher price for Bitcoin all day long than competing markets, most of which were pretty close to each other.
The very interesting thing about the above markets is the straightness of those horizontal lines. This is not something we see frequently in Bitcoin, and the pessimist in this reporter believes it to be a very short-lived experience.
Yet, what if Bitcoin’s price discovery is in? (Just kidding.)
Bitcoin saw a slight dip in earlier-day trading by about $45 on Coinbase. It bottomed out around 7AM at roughly $3,395. From there, things picked up.
As the chart shows, an influx of volume brought the price back up to $3,411 by press time. If you’re waiting to buy Bitcoin, the wait might go forever if you’re looking for a better press range. Or it might get even cheaper in the coming weeks and months.
Ethereum Crawls above $105
The weekend was relatively kind to Ether, showing a 5-day low of $103 to be mostly a thing of the past. The price did dip back there on Friday but jumped back out of there on Saturday by $2. Since then it’s stayed up above $105.
Today, the price seems to be working toward $108, which is the global price. However, on Coinbase, we’re looking at $106-107. It spiked almost to $108 by midday.
The value of Ether is predicated on the value of its platform. As we noted on Super Bowl Sunday, even the NFL championship game wasn’t enough to stimulate high demand for Ethereum-based gambling dApp Augur.
Litecoin Prices Presses North
As noted earlier, Litecoin is one of the most heavily traded coins if you consider its volume compared to its market capitalization. Bitcoin averages around $5 billion in volume to its $60 billion market cap, while Litecoin averages over $700 million to its $2 billion market cap. This is a vast difference and indicates that Litecoin’s price is certainly realistic.
By press time, Litecoin was on another climb, nearing $34 after a midday volume spike.
Ripple Price (XRP) Slips Below $0.30
Ripple’s XRP was working on getting beneath $0.30 after a day of trading. The global price on XRP is currently on the low side of $0.30.
Don’t be surprised if XRP is trading at a quarter over the coming weeks. Barring any significant pick-up in the wider crypto-market, Ripple historically follows the leader. Great demand for Ripple would only have a per-token effect at a minuscule level due to its giant supply.
Perhaps most interesting is that XRP overall volume slipped beneath that of #4 EOS, the Ethereum-alternative smart contract platform.
Featured Image from Shutterstock. Price Charts from TradingView.
The troubled crypto exchange QuadrigCX has appealed for creditor protection, setting the stage for a significant court hearing on Feb. 5 in Canada.
Last Thursday, the exchange’s appeal was made before the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, with QuadrigaCX claiming that doesn’t have access to wallets containing some $137 million (U.S. dollars) in cryptocurrency. As such, it has claimed to be unable to repay more than 115,000 customers who are owed funds – and creditor protection is being sought to forestall any lawsuits while it attempts to find a solution.
To that end, QuadrigaCX is seeking to have professional services firm EY oversee its proceedings. Tuesday’s hearing, at 830 a.m. EST, will see the companies go before the court.
Christine Duhaime, a financial crimes attorney and managing partner with Duhaime Law, told CoinDesk that the most likely outcome during the hearing will be that a monitor – in this case, likely Ernst and Young – will be appointed.
Quadriga’s filing was not just for a monitor, however. Applying for creditor protection means it is trying to prevent customers from suing to recover lost funds, she noted.
“There are many unanswered questions though, for example, why have the wallet addresses not been disclosed? As you know in Bitcoin world, people know the pooled wallet addresses of exchanges – its not confidential or business information so that’s an unanswered question that a Court eventually will have to address. Someone is eventually going to bring an application for disclosure of all the wallet addresses.”
“Transparency is going to be critical for Quadriga and providing the wallets addresses is the first step to transparency,” she added.
The professional services firm EY has already submitted an initial report after discussing the situation with QuadrigaCX, according to a filing obtained by CoinDesk.
“The Proposed Monitor understands that Quadriga is experiencing a liquidity crisis and has been unable to satisfy withdrawal requests from users. Additionally, Quadriga has been unable to locate a significant amount of cryptocurrency following the death of the Applicants’ founder and Chief Executive Officer, Gerald Cotten,” the filing states.
The filing notes that the company has not yet been able to verify the details included in Quadriga’s initial filing, though it “has assumed the integrity and truthfulness of the information and explanations provided to it.”
In its report, EY explains that a number of factors resulted in Quadriga’s current issues, including its lack of a corporate bank account and Cotten’s death.
Most notably, EY has recommended that Quadriga maintain the suspension of its website. The exchange first took down its trading platform last week, after voting in new directors to run the company.
The firm has also recommended that Quadriga receive creditor protection under the Canadian Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.
Doing so, it explains, will allow for a full investigation of the exchange and its business, which will determine what assets are available for distribution and what is actually owed to users (in its report, EY claims that Quadriga only owes funds to 92,000 users – far fewer than the exchange’s claim of 115,000 users).
If granted, Quadriga has a rough plan to operate through the next 13 weeks, or until April 28, the EY report says.
Duhaime noted that unless customers or shareholders have an opportunity to file affidavits or other submissions prior to the hearing opposing this protection, it is likely that Quadriga will receive the court’s approval.
Customers can appeal this decision, “and they can take action to protect their interests and seek the return of their funds” – but that would be dependent on the order issued Tuesday, she explained.
Duhaime did question why Quadriga filed for creditor protection in Nova Scotia, rather than British Columbia, where the companies affiliated with the exchange are registered.
“One of Quadriga’s new directors is resident in British Columbia. Quadriga’s only known former accountant and auditing firm is in British Columbia. One of the [companies] is cease traded in British Columbia which means that the British Columbia Securities Commission has jurisdiction over that company. Its corporate records are in British Columbia. Most of its shareholders are in British Columbia and a sophisticated transfer agent in British Columbia, is in charge of shareholder matters for that company,” she noted, adding:
“In my opinion, I cannot see a Nova Scotia judge, if he or she is apprised of all of the actual matrix regarding the connections to BC, concluding that a Nova Scotia Court has jurisdiction. It may happen that a Nova Scotia Court accepts jurisdiction but usually a Judge would ask the party to prove the jurisdiction issue, especially in this case where the applicant is seeking an order to prevent litigation so the rights of parties across the country are affected.”
The most important issue in the case revolves around the wallet addresses, Duhaime said. As far as Quadriga is concerned, the most important priority should be “making [customers] whole.”
EY’s report says there are two initial sources of funds that can be recovered quickly: the cash held by Quadriga’s payment processor in the form of bank drafts, and any cryptos or fiat held by third-parties.
The company may also look into selling the QCX trading platform, as it is potentially “a saleable asset of considerable value.”
As these sources of funds are liquidated, the company added, it will hire “cryptocurrency forensic advisors” to try and locate or access the missing coins.
Duhaime noted that in other cases, an exchange might track wallet addresses and have other exchanges it is working with freeze any activity to preserve funds. But that has not happened with Quadriga.
Quadriga has also not yet asked for a court order to freeze its assets as a form of protection for customers.
“People may query why a freezing order makes sense but if you are an exchange and your wallets with all your funds are suddenly not accessible, wouldn’t you rush to get a court order to stop anyone else from possibly spending those funds or transferring them to other parties?” she told CoinDesk.
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