Bitcoin price corrected lower recently and tested the $4,920 support area against the US Dollar.The price recovered nicely recently and traded above the $5,040 and $5,100 resistance levels.There is a major breakout pattern in place with resistance at $5,130 on the hourly chart of the BTC/USD pair (data feed from Kraken).The pair is likely to accelerate higher and it could even surpass the $5,180 and $5,220 resistances.Bitcoin price likely completed a downside correction near $4,900 against the US Dollar. BTC is grinding higher and the current price action is indicating bullish continuation above the $5,200 level.Bitcoin Price AnalysisRecently, we saw a solid downside correction from the $5,460 swing high in bitcoin price against the US Dollar. The BTC/USD pair declined below the $5,300 and $5,200 support levels. There was even a close below the $5,200 level and the 100 hourly simple moving average. However, as discussed in one of the recent analysis, bitcoin did find a strong support near the $4.9K-5.0K zone. The price traded towards the $4,900 support and formed a low near the $4,922 level.Recently, there was a solid upward move and the price recovered above the $5,000 and $5,040 resistance levels. There was even a close above the $5,080 level and the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the last decline from the $5,462 high to $4,922 low. The price is now approaching a significant resistance near the $5,150 level. Besides, the 100 hourly SMA is also positioned near the $5,160 level to act as a resistance. More importantly, there is a major breakout pattern in place with resistance at $5,130 on the hourly chart of the BTC/USD pair.Above $5,160, the price could test the 50% Fib retracement level of the last decline from the $5,462 high to $4,922 low. If bitcoin gains pace above the $5,180 and $5,200 resistance levels, there could be a solid upward move towards the $5,300 and $5,350 levels. In the mentioned case, the crypto market could gain traction, with bullish moves in Ethereum, ripple, litecoin and others.Looking at the chart, bitcoin price is showing signs of a solid comeback above $5,100. Having said that, bulls need to surpass the $5,180 and $5,200 resistance levels. If they fail, the price may decline once again below the $5,100 and $5,040 support levels. On the upside, the main target for bulls could be $5,350.Technical indicators:Hourly MACD – The MACD is slowly gaining momentum in the bullish zone.Hourly RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI for BTC/USD is back above the 50 level, with a bullish angle.Major Support Levels – $5,040 followed by $5,000.Major Resistance Levels – $5,150, $5,180 and $5,200.
Archives for April 12, 2019
The crypto bear market hasn’t been kind to many blockchain or crypto-focused businesses and companies, who have been forced to revisit their strategies, lay off employees, or even close up shop due to lack of funding or interest.
Although the crypto markets have lost the upwards momentum that they incurred over the past few weeks that sent Ethereum (ETH) and other cryptocurrencies skyrocketing, the markets have been able to find some buying pressure at their current levels that has prevented them from dipping lower.Analysts now believe that Ethereum may be mustering up more buying pressure that will allow it to surge towards $200 in the near-future.Ethereum (ETH) Finds Stability Above $160At the time of writing, Ethereum is trading down marginally at its current price of $164.70, up slightly from its daily lows of $161.Over a one-week period, ETH has surrendered all of the gains it incurred, as it is currently trading just slightly above its weekly lows that were set last weekend. Despite this, the cryptocurrency is up significantly over a one-month period, as it is currently trading up from monthly lows of just over $130.Hsaka, a popular cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter, shared his thoughts on Ethereum’s current price action, explaining that its strong reaction to an incredibly brief drip below $160 is bullish, but further adding that ETH still faces resistance at approximately $169.“$ETH target hit. Strong reaction to the 158 level (previous resistance + low of rangebound zone.) 169 and 174 are intraday resistances I’m watching. Covered half of my 184 short, letting the rest run in case we sweep 155 and then continue up,” he explained in a recent Tweet.$ETH target hit 🎯• Strong reaction to the 158 level (previous resistance + low of rangebound zone)
• 169 and 174 are intraday resistances I’m watching.Covered half of my 184 short, letting the rest run in case we sweep 155 and then continue up. pic.twitter.com/Gn1inmgTLX— Hsaka (@HsakaTrades) April 12, 2019It is highly likely that Ethereum’s price action in the near-term remains dependent on which direction Bitcoin heads next, as it has been dictating the direction of the general crypto markets over the past several weeks.Analyst: ETH Likely to Retest $200 After Brief PullbackAlthough Ethereum is presently attempting to find stability and greater support at its current price levels, the recent pullback may have been just what it needs to surge higher and retest $200 in the near-future.The Crypto Monk, another popular cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter, spoke about this possibility in a recent tweet, explaining that Ethereum’s current pullback appears to be over, and that it may surge to $200 next.“$151 is the maximum I could see for this pullback. Next leg up, $ETH will retest $200,” he explained, further adding that the “pullback seems over.”$ETH pullback seems over. pic.twitter.com/Yh09NTTFgv— The Crypto Monk Hodlonaut ⛩ (@TheCryptoMonk) April 12, 2019It is important to note that the recent price surge only brought ETH as high as $183, which means that the low-$180 region will likely continue to be a strong level of resistance that will require a significant amount of buying pressure to be broken above.As the crypto markets head into the weekend trading session, it is highly probably that traders will gain a greater understanding of whether or not ETH will be able to maintain its upwards momentum regardless of how Bitcoin trades.Featured image from Shutterstock.
Silk Road 2 and Silk Road Reloaded launched shortly after Ross Ulbricht was arrested and the Silk Road, the first and largest darknet marketplace, was taken down. The drama that would unfold surrounding the case of Ulbricht would overshadow the existence of flourishing alternative markets, many of which did not have the same scruples as the Silk Road. For example, on the Silk Road, it was against the rules to traffic in child pornography. Silk Road 2 did not have such a law, and many later markets have allowed for the sale of anything – even people.
Thomas White Wanted to Run a Child Pornography Specific Market
Thomas White was sentenced to five years in prison in the UK today. He is said to have been Dread Pirate Roberts 2, the founder of the Silk Road 2, and moreover, one of his charges was “making indecent images of children” – child pornography. Police found records of White talking about founding a child porn-specific darknet website to facilitate the sale of such images.
Ross Ulbricht received two life sentences in a federal court, without the possibility of parole, for his creation of the Silk Road. No one else has received anything near that sentence in the various dark web stings. A growing chorus of influential people inside and outside of the Bitcoin space have called for Ross’s clemency.
DPR2 Receives Almost No Punishment Compared to DPR
According to Motherboard, Thomas White was arrested in 2014, but information about his case has been kept secret while investigations were ongoing. The investigation took a long time because investigators struggled to break through the encryption that White used on his various computing devices. They caught a break when they were able to compromise the password to one of his password managers, which subsequently gave them access to one of his laptops.
On that laptop, police discovered that White possessed the Dread Pirate Roberts 2 PGP private key. In cryptography, maintaining the private key to something is as good as owning it. From there they were able to build a case that White was, in fact, DPR2 and various charges stemmed from there.
Additionally, police had back-up evidence. They discovered at least a few of DPR2’s Bitcoin wallets in his possession and found packages addressed to him from busted Silk Road vendors. After a lengthy investigation, they were able to trace his activity as “StExo” on the Silk Road to his eventual role as Dread Pirate Roberts 2 in his new enterprise.
In total, White will do five years and four months in a UK prison on charges of making indecent images of children, drug trafficking, and money laundering. In the intervening years, he has been cited as an expert by outlets including Forbes, all while privately awaiting the conclusion of a severe case.
A Bitcoin scam that has been tried many times over the last few years appears to be having a lot of success in the Netherlands. It has so far, it is believed to have racked up at least $1.92 million since the start of 2018.The premise is simple. Create a legitimate looking crypto investment platform website, claim huge returns on investments, and advertise it will a celebrity’s image. Easy.Bitcoin and Celebrities Used to Line Scammers’ PocketsThere have been loads of examples of the “fraudulent celebrity” scam in the Bitcoin and crypto space over the years. There are fake accounts all over Twitter offering to send the most naive of the platform’s users digital currency if the follower first makes a small deposit with them.The problem got so rife last year that many prominent figures in the industry changed their handles to categorically state that there would never give away free crypto. In fact, two crypto reporters even penned an article for Bloomberg denouncing their fake accounts and stating that they were nothing to do with the dishonest use of their names.A not-all-too-dissimilar scam is currently plaguing the Netherlands. According to a report in domestic news publication NL Times, this version involves pop-up online advertising promising sensational returns on investments. Fake testimonials are provided by celebrities along with an image of them. For the unsuspecting victim, this gives legitimacy to the platform.The Dutch Fraud Desk states that it has received complaints relating to five Bitcoin investment schemes. Together, they have managed to defraud investors out of 1.7 million euros (about $1.92 million). It is not currently clear if the five are operated independently or not.Dutch celebrities featured in the fraudulent advertisements include internet entrepreneur Alexander Klöpping, media tycoon John de Mol Jr., pop star Waylon, and TV presenter Humberto Tan. The Bitcoin investment ads have been reported on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. The following is example of the kind of marketing tactics used:“The most recent investment of Alexander Klopping is terrifying big banks.”According to Fraud Desk representative Andre Vermeulen, reports involving crypto investment platform advertisements featuring celebrities without their permission occur on a daily basis. He went on to state:“If you realise fairly quickly, the damage is limited, but sometimes people are tempted to invest thousands of euros.”NewsBTC has previously reported on the same scheme being attempted in the UK and Ireland using the image of members of the panel of investors from the series Dragon’s Den. Likewise, The Apprentice’s resident tycoon Lord Alan Sugar was targeted. He responded:WARNING: Please ignore an advert from Bitcointrader suggesting I endorse their offerings. They are SCUM it is a total scam. Please pass this on to all your friends particularly the elderly who are falling for this terrible scam #BITCOINTRADERSCAM— Lord Sugar (@Lord_Sugar) May 15, 2018Given the hype that surrounds cryptocurrency as an investment opportunity, the “get-rich-quick” mentality that often accompanies it, and the incredibly low cost of running such a scam, it is hardly surprising that there have been so many versions of it attempted.The sum of money reported by the Dutch Fraud Desk highlights that it is extremely successful too. To our knowledge, this is the first time any figures have been associated with any such fake celebrity Bitcoin-focused scam. Related Reading: Analysts Convinced Bitcoin Bottom Is Finally In, New Highs InevitableFeatured Image from Shutterstock.
The age-old trader’s adage of selling when people are greedy and buying when people are fearful has proven to be empirically accurate, and the same credo applies to Bitcoin (BTC) and the general crypto markets, as upwards price surges typically come about when market participants grow increasingly weary of the market conditions.Now, Bitcoin’s fear index is signaling that traders are more afraid of an imminent pullback at BTC’s current price levels than during the asset’s previous pullback that sent it down to $3,900 after it sharply rose to $4,200 in late-February.Bitcoin Stable Above $5,000 as BTC Forms Fresh Support Levels At the time of writing Bitcoin is trading up nearly 1% at its current price of $5,090, just a hair below its daily highs of roughly $5,100.Earlier this week, the upwards momentum that Bitcoin and the entire crypto markets had incurred was put into jeopardy after BTC quickly surged to highs of just over $5,400, where it incurred a significant amount of selling pressure that sent it reeling down to lows of nearly $4,900.This drop instantly shifted the sentiment of the market participants from being highly bullish to overwhelmingly bearish, but some notable traders had predicted the drop and acted accordingly.Red, a popular cryptocurrency trader on Twitter, spoke about how he traded the recent price action, noting that he shorted the top and subsequently added to his BTC position after it reached the $4,900 region.“Comments as if I hadn’t planned for this since you were euphoric when I shorted the top. Excellent reaction exactly where I wanted it. Price visited my level, and I bought. Simple enough. Now comes flexibility; I will flip bear if need be,” he explained.Comments as if I hadn’t planned for this since you were euphoric when I shorted the top. Excellent reaction exactly where I wanted it. Price visited my level, and I bought. Simple enough.Now comes flexibility; I will flip bear if need be. $btc pic.twitter.com/gcth5UYDEO— red (@redxbt) April 12, 2019BTC Fear Index Signals Further Price Surge Could be Imminent Bitcoin’s fear index, which is an indicator of the general sentiment surrounding Bitcoin, currently signals that traders are fearful that it will drop lower, which likely means that further gains are imminent.Mr. Anderson, a popular cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter, spoke about this index and what it could mean, noting that traders are currently more fearful about a pullback than they were while BTC was resting in the low-$4,000 region, which means that the cryptocurrency will likely climb higher before dropping lower.“$BTC FEAR (BEAR CONTAGION DISEASE) There is more FEAR currently at the pullback to $4900 than there was at the previous pullback to $3900. Disbelief is a Bull’s friend. The sentiment is saying she’ll go higher before she goes lower,” he said in a recent tweet.$BTC FEAR (BEAR CONTAGION DISEASE)There is more FEAR currently at the pullback to $4900 than there was at the previous pullback to $3900Disbelief is a Bull’s friend. The sentiment is saying she’ll go higher before she goes lower pic.twitter.com/JglQoXIpCX— Mr. Anderson (@TrueCrypto28) April 12, 2019Because the markets have found stability at their current price levels, and because traders are expressing increasing fearfulness regarding a pullback, it is likely that BTC will surge higher in the coming days.Featured image from Shutterstock.
The Russian Duma approved a bill that would enable the country to have a “Great Firewall” or “Iron Curtain” similar to what China has. The result of the law is that, whenever the government wants to, it can censor all incoming and outgoing traffic traveling through state-owned channels.
‘Sovereign’ Internet Just an Excuse for Heavy-Handed Censorship
Privacy advocates have long warned about Russia’s alarming stance on internet regulation. The onerous intended purpose of this “sovereign internet” bill is to keep Russia online in the event of a crisis, but critics allege that it’s meant to give the government greater powers to censor and restrict internet access for Russian citizens.
Ameet Naik, who works for a network marketing service called ThousandEyes, told the Register:
“However, this would also force internet traffic through suboptimal paths, and through performance-limiting filtering gateways. This would most likely degrade the user experience for Russian users browsing sites and apps outside the country and provide an advantage to services hosted within the country, as we’ve seen happen in China.”
Will ‘Digital Iron Curtain’ Stifle Bitcoin Adoption?
According to proposed regulations, the government wants to restrict Russian traders to local crypto exchanges and also only allow “qualified” investors – e.g., those with a degree in economics and a certificate from the government – to trade Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
If the government is empowered with the ability to limit traffic beyond its borders, it would seem the ability to enforce such regulations would be significantly increased.
However, as demonstrated by China’s underground Bitcoin trading network, there’s only so much that government censors can do to stunt crypto adoption.
Thousands of Russians Protest ‘Sovereign Internet’ – Parliament Passes Bill Anyway
Russian citizens aren’t taking the proposed “Digital Iron Curtain” lying down. As many as 15,000 people recently took to the streets to protest the plan. While proponents of the bill argue that the country will benefit from having a “protected” country, many see the move as a power grab. The bill would force internet service providers to install hardware from Roskomnadzor, who are behind the nationwide bans on things like Wikipedia and Telegram.
The bill passed the Duma 320 to 15. There are still some procedural steps left before it becomes law. The Russian government would be left to decide when and if the “protection switch” would be flipped.
For crypto users, this would undoubtedly mean that all of their transactional traffic could become known to the government at any time. With strict regulations planned, the environment for not just internet usage but also Bitcoin adoption could go from unreliable to dangerous.
Notably, Russia-founded Telegram – which earned a ban in its native country for refusing to let law enforcement snoop on its users’ encrypted chats – reportedly launched the testnet of its cryptocurrency, dubbed Telegram Open Network (TON), this week. The company’s founders are among the many prominent Russian voices denouncing the plan to have a “sovereign” internet, and it’s fitting that their crypto project could be one tool that Russians use to fight back.
According to a study conducted by cryptocurrency market researchers at Hodlbot.io, individual digital currencies are less correlated with the wider market so far in 2019 than they were in 2018. This, according to the study’s authors, is good news for those investing in a wide selection of crypto assets.If it continues, the trend observed should be music to the ears of the likes of Vinny Lingham too, who has called for a decoupling of Bitcoin from the rest of the market before any serious bull run can start up again.Correlation Between Crypto Assets and Wider Market FallingOne of the interesting phenomenons of recent years in the crypto space is the correlation between digital assets. When one coin moves up, the rest almost universally follow. Obviously, there are some exceptions to this. Low market capitalisation coins can be subject to pump and dump schemes and news events, such as partnership announcements or security breaches, can make a specific crypto rise or fall out of tandem with the wider market.In an effort to assess whether the correlation between digital assets and the wider crypto market is increasing or decreasing, researchers from Binance-focused trading bot software developers Hodlbot.io have devised a study based on the Peason correlation coefficient of the the market capitalisation of a given project and that of the wider market over time.In 2019, correlations between individual coins and the market dropped when compared to the previous year.A one-tailed Welch’s t-test, confirms that in 2019 #cryptocurrencies have a lower mean correlation.You can find the full @hodl_bot blog here:https://t.co/qVvWlkKQYj pic.twitter.com/uyeEqGO8oi— anthony xie (@XieToni) April 6, 2019Anthony Xie, the founder of Hodlbot.io, writes that a correlation of +1 indicates that the market cap of the asset in question will always move in the same direction as the wider market. Meanwhile, a correlation of -1 will mean that an asset will always move in the opposite direction. Finally, a correlation coefficient of 0 indicates that there is no relationship between the variables.The study found that the correlation between the top 200 crypto assets and the wider market has dropped since 2018. The research is the second of its kind this year already. Crypto exchange giant Binance also published a similar study last month. It drew the same broad conclusion evidenced in the graph below:According to the study’s authors, the lowering correlation between crypto assets is a positive for the entire market. Although many investors think they are incredibly diversified because they hold 5, 10, or even 50 different digital currencies, if they always move up or down in price together then the overall portfolio is not really diversified at all.Reduced Correlation May Also Delight Some Long-Term Bitcoin BullsAs reported earlier this week, some of the biggest proponents of Bitcoin believe that the number one digital asset will not break out of the bear cycle it has been in since December 2017 until its price moves out of sync with the rest of the market.South African crypto entrepreneur and Civic (CVC) founder, Vinny Lingham, stated that the correlation between Bitcoin and the wider market signalled that investors were not able to judge a project on its own merits and instead were largely speculating mindlessly on the space as a whole. He even went as far as to joke that another spectacular crash might be in order to make market participants wise up.He summarised his own position as follows:“How can we have a situation where the market price of one asset dictates the value ascribed to other unrelated assets, irrespective of whether or not anything changes in their own separate networks.” Related Reading: Will A Future Decoupling See Alternative Crypto Dominate Bitcoin?Featured Images from Shutterstock and Hodlbot.io
CCN previously reported on a disturbing discovery by a security researcher who had a problem with Sistemkoin exchange. He found that he was able to spy on other people’s support tickets, and more to the point that most of the support tickets were related to withdrawal troubles. CCN didn’t hear back about that story at the time, but you can see Sistemkoin’s comments near the end of this article.
User Claims Funds Were Sent to Completely Wrong Address
Sistemkoin is a medium-sized Turkish crypto exchange. At the present time, they have a volume of more than $150 million. We received a report from a Sistemkoin user, who will remain anonymous, who had a severe problem when withdrawing funds from Sistemkoin: they went to the wrong address.
Our source says that he used two-factor authentication to make the withdrawal and even verified the withdrawal address via e-mail, as shown below:
However, when the withdrawal was processed, it went to a different address altogether: 0x18cbb649154917b94216c4059152506cb5712758. The transaction should have been sent to 0xa5b456cc24e03ada01403fcff9f7be048c074cdc. We can see by checking the blockchain that this address never received a transfer in the amount of 12.63~ Ether. However, around the same time, the other address did.
Exchange Has An Answer for Everything
The same address has received numerous transactions, amounting to about 75 Ether over the last four months. Many of the transfers have come from Sistemkoin – 0x5bcbf9f3ef9521a548e7e8b697ecfe29fc2933e1 being the address they apparently process withdrawals from. Some have come from Binance. But they invariably are immediately sent to CREX24, a little known exchange.
We tried to get a comment from CREX24 to no avail. Here is how our correspondence went:
“We are doing a story about someone whose Ethereum withdrawal from Sistemkoin was hijacked and wound up on your exchange. We would like to get a comment or other information about the user. Here are the transaction details.”
What is your account email?
Please specify the issue,thanks.”
“As I said in the original e-mail, this is a press inquiry. We are fielding a story from someone who believes their withdrawal from Sistemkoin was fraudulently sent to your exchange. The transaction ID was 0xc1bbd637a2f199837462b8bb039866e314700d1b575aa7d16410ef5d7f25cbe8 . We are looking for comment or possibly for you to reveal who received that deposit, especially if it was a proprietor of the Sistemkoin exchange. As you know, handling stolen funds can be considered money laundering in most jurisdictions, so we are doing you a favor by alerting you.”
Are you from the coin team?
If not we do not investigate the third party claims.
As you can see in the below image, the transfer shows in the user’s account as processed:
CCN was also tipped off to another user who’d experienced the same issue, only with about 17 Dash instead of 12+ Ether:
U sent my funds to this address 😡 😡 😡 pic.twitter.com/Y35FNGiT4L
— Naresh (@NareshNTrader) April 6, 2019
— Naresh (@NareshNTrader) April 6, 2019
Investigation Yields Doubt on User’s Story
In both cases, the amount of money lost may seem negligible to some, or significant to others. But we must insist that it doesn’t matter the amount: that this can happen at all is the story. We contacted Sistemkoin, who responded:
“He scam our exchange. He did two withdrawals and receive two mails. He’s confirming one of them and claiming that he did not withdraw to that address.”
We respond that we’ve noticed other withdrawals have gone to the same address since. They’ve continued to allow this address in their system, despite apparently believing it to belong to a scammer?
“I see that the same address received several deposits from Sistemkoin over the past four months. The user’s dashboard only shows one withdrawal. Can you produce evidence that he made two requests?”
“Yes it was normal, he was using his account as normal user. After 12 ETH withdraw, he claimed that we stole his coins.”
“Well, can you show us where you sent him a confirmation to send to the other address? And that he confirmed it with 2FA?”
Sistemkoin Records Tell a Different Story
We continue our conversation via Telegram, after the exchange administrator confirms my identity.
At this point, this reporter is quite intrigued. Both stories are actually believable. A user attempts to scam an exchange and fails; an exchange steals coins on the regular. This is crypto – the wild west.
The conversation bleeds into the next day for various reasons. Eventually, the administrator of the exchange provides some evidence that two withdrawal requests were posted, in the following conversation:
As you can see, it shows that two withdrawal requests were placed within a minute of each other. The administrator says the system allows for this. The only one that would go through would be the one that was approved from the user’s e-mail account.
Which, in this case, casts reasonable doubt on the story of our source. We’ll leave it up to the reader to decide who’s telling the truth. Both sides are confident in their stories. As a general note, we will say that experienced crypto users, like this reporter, do not use exchanges with low volume, small userbases, or unknown reputations. Many of them end up going the way of C-Cex.