The first ever cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, is set to close its third consecutive monthly candle as green, after a record-setting six candles closed in red, taking Bitcoin price to its current bear market low of $3,150.
The first ever cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, is set to close its third consecutive monthly candle as green, after a record-setting six candles closed in red, taking Bitcoin price to its current bear market low of $3,150.
Wasabi Wallet has released version 1.1.4 of its privacy-focused wallet and the latest upgrade comes with security-bolstering features, improved performance and a curiously named — but definitely useful — new “Lurking Wife Mode.”
Proudly advertised as the wallet that lets users “reclaim [their] privacy,” the Wasabi desktop wallet is indeed a favorite of bitcoiners who want to obscure their transactions and make their coins more fungible (i.e., indistinguishable from others on the network).
Wasabi’s use of CoinJoin has largely made the bid for anonymity possible. The feature allows users to bundle their wallet balances together, effectively shuffling the coins to obscure sender, receiver and the coins’ point of origin information. Since CoinJoin was enabled in August 2018, the wallet claims that over 28,000 BTC have been made fungible through the process.
With its latest release, the wallet is taking its privacy features further still. Alongside user experience improvements — such as reducing bandwidth requirements 20-fold and increasing loading speed by 12 times — the wallet now features “Lurking Wife Mode.” Whether it’s a wife, husband or some other person loitering behind your screen, the mode censors certain sensitive information so as to not expose it to bystanders.
It also includes added support for Tor. Before the upgrade, Wasabi used Tor only when members would communicate with a CoinJoin coordinator. Now, “everything goes through Tor,” the update’s patch notes state, achieving “the theoretical limit of network level privacy that is possible in cryptocurrencies today.”
This version even has your back if you blundered your password upon setting up your wallet. If you let a typo slip into the password you provided when creating your wallet, you now have the opportunity to brute-force the mistake and reclaim control of your wallet with a new password finder.
The detail and scope of the wallet’s new features, from privacy-strengthening additions to user experience and interface improvements, are some of the most comprehensive and noteworthy in contemporary desktop wallets, and it’s certainly the most expansive and feature-laden of Wasabi’s updates. And even with all of the previously mentioned upgrades in mind, there’s yet another impressive addition — the pièce de résistance: hardware wallet integration.
While notably qualified as an “EXPERIMENTAL” (emphasis: Wasabi’s) feature, the wallet now interoperates with the Coldcard Mark1, Ledger Nano S and Trezor Model T.
“Other hardware wallets are likely to also work,” the GitHub notes claim, but the team didn’t have access to the specifications to these so they couldn’t test them to confirm.
“Unfortunately coinjoins are not possible with hardware wallets, so that feature had to be turned off for these kind of wallets. We will work on smoother intra-wallet workflows, like send-to-wallet functionality and multiwallet monitoring,” per the notes.
This feature undoubtedly enhances security. Known for their robust protection and reliability, hardware wallets offer perhaps the safest method to store cryptocurrencies, as the private key for a wallet is kept offline in the device itself. With this addition, Wasabi is offering its users an enhanced security option which will serve to compliment the stellar privacy features that the wallet is currently known for.
By CCN: In a recent Twitter poll by previous Bitcoin developer Jimmy Song, blockchain advocates overwhelmingly voted (54%) in favor of suspending the @Bitcoin handle for fraud. Only 30% of voters think that the handle should be “left alone.” And less than 10% believe that Twitter should shadowban the account.
The @Bitcoin Twitter handle has been under fire due to its continuous brigade against bitcoin. While sporting the bitcoin logo and handle, the account churns out pro-Bitcoin Cash tweets and resources. Bitcoin proponents argue that these paradoxical actions confuse blockchain newbies which, in turn, damages the overall industry.
Although the person behind the handle is unknown, many speculate that Roger Ver, arguably the most outspoken Bitcoin Cash supporter, is operating the account. However, Ver’s company, Bitcoin.com, has publicly contradicted the claim:
“…no one at Bitcoin.com is in control of the account or exerting influence over it.”
While the identity of the handle operator remains unknown, the mystery continues to spark anger in the bitcoin community. And, it appears folks have had enough. WhalePanda, a member of the Magical Crypto Friends alongside Litecoin’s Charlie Lee and Monero’s Riccardo Spagni, is part of the group calling for account suspension.
The @Bitcoin twitter account should be suspended like the @internet account.
The account was sold which is against ToS.
The account is actively involved with defrauding people. It really is that simple.https://t.co/Innp81a2GW
— WhalePanda (@WhalePanda) April 21, 2019
The call for suspension comes at an interesting time for social media censorship. A few short months ago, crypto enthusiasts were up in arms about Patreon’s banning of several controversial figures. The content-sharing company removed notable alt-right creators James Allsup and Milo Yiannopoulos for violating the platform’s rules on hate speech. The banning inspired a flood of others including Jordan Peterson to leave in protest.
Dave Rubin, founder and host of the Rubin Report, is part of the crew that jumped ship. Instead of relying on Patreon, Rubin is currently accepting cryptocurrency payments for his content. He argues that cryptocurrency’s censorship-resistant properties are necessary as payment processors further their censorship reach.
The blockchain community at large tends to agree. In the wake of Twitter shadowbanning several crypto-related accounts in 2018, members flocked to Peepeth, a decentralized and censorship-free alternative. So, why the recent change of heart regarding Twitter censorship?
The bitcoin community appears to be split on its views of censorship. There’s an almost unanimous agreement that financial censorship-resistance is a human right. Yet, when it comes to free speech, there’s undoubtedly some dissonance.
Craig Wright has repeatedly declared that he is Satoshi Nakamoto. Even though these claims are more than likely false, advocating for his silence is contradictory to a fundamental pillar of bitcoin. You can’t promote the censorship of people you disagree with and then turnaround and chastise banks for doing the same thing.
Outside of Twitter, r/Bitcoin subreddit moderators are continuously accused of censoring any bitcoin-critical posts. Unfortunately, they’re not alone. Most cryptocurrency projects, at some time or another, have seen critics throw claims of censorship their way.
To evolve as a community, we need to take a firm stance against censorship, even on something as trivial as Twitter. It’s a black-and-white issue where a grey area involves some form of centralization.
If you believe in selective censorship, the question becomes, “Where do you draw the line?” Who gets to decide what constitutes fraudulent or misleading statements? In a decentralized world, the answer isn’t so clear.
Ethereum (ETH) prices drop 5.5 percent from $170The development of Ethereum 2.0 will reinforce ETHDespite competition and the threats of Binance Chain, Ethereum will leverage on their first mover advantage as a time-tested platform and recover. Besides, the promise of Ethereum 2.0 and implementation of EIP 1234 means scarcity and ETH holders would be the primary beneficiaries.Ethereum Price AnalysisFundamentalsThat Ethereum is enjoying a first-mover advantage in a field that is already crowding with competitors offering faster and cheaper alternatives is correct. Entrants like Tron, EOS and now Binance Chain may prove too “speedy or scalable” for a platform that is already grappling with scalability and dApps shifting camps thanks to VMs that are compatible with open source Ethereum.Although plans are there to increase the throughput of the network via Shasper for example, similar platforms as Tron and EOS are operating with irresistible offers as well as a scalable network though with a tinge of centralization thanks to consensus algorithm deployed.Even so, there is hope, and as Ethereum seek to migrate from a proof-of-work to a proof-of-stake system, the activation of Constantinople was at the back of consensus that mining rewards would fall from three to two in readiness of a freeze that will not only see rewards decrease but inflation drop to 0.5 percent during Serenity.In the short-term, this may disadvantage or even dis-incentivize miners, but in the long-term, odds are, Ethereum (ETH) prices could soar thanks to scarcity—both in rewards and inflation, better placing the second most valuable coin as a perfect store of value with smart contracting capabilities, better than Bitcoin.1/ Why ETH is positioned to be a Store of Value (SoV)💰It’s been said that ETH attracted temporary reservation demand and hoarding because investors needed a store of ETH to participate in the many ICO’s in 2017, but now that demand has dried up, dropping the price of ETH 90%.— James Spediacci ⟠ (@JamesSpediacci) March 17, 2019Candlestick ArrangementsChanging hands at $165 with a market cap of $17,372 million, Ethereum (ETH) is under pressure and cracking. It is down 5.5 percent in the last 24 hours. Even so, it is not as positive despite the coin trading within a bullish breakout pattern.First, it is clear that sellers of Apr-11 are in control. That is so because, from an effort versus result point of view, buyers didn’t fully reverse losses of Apr-11. Besides, although trending above $170 in a bullish breakout pattern, accompanying volumes were low and prices didn’t rally above $190 confirming buyers of Apr-2 setting in motion the next wave of higher high propelling prices towards $250 as laid out in our last ETH/USD trade plan.Even so, any drop below Apr-15 lows at $155 could see ETH collapse back to $135 or Apr-2 lows in a retest before trend resumption.Technical IndicatorsAverage volumes stand at 181k in a bullish breakout pattern. Ideally, ETH buyers would be back in control if prices edge past $190 with high volumes exceeding 575k of Apr-2 or even Feb-24 at 880k in a bullish breakout pattern that will trigger participation as prices rally to $250.Chart courtesy of Trading View
On April 24, 2019, Japanese crypto and blockchain company bitFlyer released the results of a study assessing public confidence in crypto assets of 10,000 people across 10 European nations.
bitFlyer shared the findings with Bitcoin Magazine, providing details around its methodology. The 10,000 respondents were selected from 10 pools of 1,000 people from each participating nation: Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain and the U.K. Questions were posed in each country’s native language, with French being the language used for multilingual Belgium.
Europeans displayed a higher level of confidence in crypto assets as a whole than they did specifically in bitcoin. Only 49 percent of all survey participants indicated a belief that bitcoin will exist in 10 years’ time, while 63 percent indicated that confidence in the crypto space overall. Only 7 percent of respondents indicated a belief that bitcoin will exist as an investment and security tool in 10 years.
The variance from nation to nation on these responses did not seem to easily correlate with larger economic factors such as GDP, the human development index or relationships to the European Union. Only Britain and France, for example, displayed less confidence than Belgium did that the crypto space will exist in 10 years, yet Belgium tied for the second-highest confidence that bitcoin will enjoy continued use as an investment tool.
There was a difference of 18 percent between the most and least confident nations about the crypto space as a whole, with Norway clocking in as the most optimistic and France as the most skeptical. Of surveyed Italians, 55 percent believed that bitcoin will still exist in 10 years, while only 40 percent of French citizens indicated the same. Confidence in bitcoin’s continued status was relatively dismal across the board, with only 4 percent of the British respondents indicating a belief in its long-term viability.
The methodology of this survey may leave something to be desired. Several charts were constructed to compile the various answers to the survey, but the survey itself only had one question: “Do you think bitcoin will still exist in 10 years’ time?”
There were seven different possible answers listed for this question, encompassing a variety of potential futures for the crypto space so, evidently, the answers to the same question were used to compile the result data, rather than distinctly separate questions.
Still, even the most pessimistic views of the crypto space’s continued existence show nearly half believing in bitcoin’s longevity and more than 60 percent believing in the space. As recent claim that bitcoin’s value is back on the rise, these attitudes may soon become even more favorable.
Supermarket kiosk chain Coinstar is expanding the footprint of its bitcoin-buying service to more than 2,000 locations in 19 different states.
The service, through a partnership with blockchain startup Coinme that offers individuals the ability to convert cash into bitcoin, has expanded from an initial 70 machines to some 2,100 different kiosks, Coinme announced Wednesday.
Further, while the partnership initially enabled kiosks in Albertsons and Safeway stores, customers can now access the buying option in Jewel, Shaw’s and Save Mart locations, according to a press release.
Coinstar CEO Jim Gaherity said in a statement that his company saw an “extremely positive” response to the initial announcement in January 2019. At the time, Coinstar announced that customers could purchase bitcoin using U.S. dollar bills, though coins would not be accepted for such transactions. The company imposed a $2,500 limit.
Wednesday’s press release explained that the partnership’s initial launch saw a 15 percent week-over-week growth in user acquisition, the release noted.
Moreover, the first quarter of 2019 “has been one of the most successful in Coinme’s five-year history,” with 92 percent growth in transaction volume and 109 percent growth in the number of transactions processed, compared to the first quarter of 2019.
“We are incredibly pleased with this collaboration with Coinme and are eager to continue expanding to new markets in the coming months,” Gaherity added.
Image via Ijon / Wikimedia Commons
Bitcoin prices stretched, down 2.1 percentJohn McAfee, a BTC supporter, in direct contact with SatoshiSatoshi has spoken to John McAfee, and he is unhappy that the talented technologist is after uncovering him, ten years after mining the first Bitcoins. With this revelation, Bitcoin (BTC) prices are stable but down 2.1 percent in the last day.Bitcoin Price AnalysisFundamentalsThe discussion around the true identity of Satoshi Nakamoto, the anonymous founder of the multi-billion platform in Bitcoin, is always an interesting debate. While it is good that the network is as decentralized as it is with no figureheads—unlike Tron or Ethereum for example, the quest for cracking open the seal and pinpointing the brains behind Bitcoin is on and promise to be another thriller for curious followers. After Craig Wright’s decision to slap critics with lawsuits and consequent de-listing from Binance and several other exchanges, there is a new lead from a Bitcoin supporter and perma-bull, John McAfee.John McAfee, the often outspoken and eccentric leader behind a successful McAfee Antivirus now claims to know, with confidence, who Satoshi Nakamoto is. Although facing extradition from the Bahamas and concurrently planning to run for the presidency, John told Bloomberg that he would “out “Satoshi in weeks before retracting his comments because he had “talked with Satoshi” and the elusive founder was apparently “unhappy with his efforts”:“I’ve spoken with him, and he is not a happy camper about my attempt to out him.”Adding that:“Releasing the identity of Satoshi at this time could influence the trial and risk my extradition. I cannot risk that. I’ll wait.”Candlestick ArrangementsExchanging hands at above $5,400, Bitcoin (BTC) is firm and up 4.7 percent in the last week. Even so, bears are back in a correction, heaping pressure on the coin which as a result is down 2.1 percent at the time of press.Nonetheless, prices are trending above critical resistance levels. Even if traders need prices to firm-up above $5,400 before the next wave of higher highs thrust prices to $5,800, $6,000 effectively reversing losses of Q4 2018, it is imperative that participants keen prices above $5,000.By doing so, buyers of early Apr will be in control. Besides, with BTC trading within a bullish breakout pattern evident in the weekly charge, the path of least resistance will be up as every dip is another buying opportunity.Technical IndicatorsThere is a slight over-extension in the daily chart since yesterday’s close is above the upper BB. Regardless, buyers are in control, and from an effort versus result point of view, confirmation of Apr-2 buyers must be with high volumes closing above Apr-23 highs with high volumes exceeding 19k of Apr-11.Chart courtesy of Trading View
In what the Manhattan District Attorney calls the first crypto money laundering conviction in New York, two defendants have pleaded guilty to running a drug trafficking business that laundered millions of dollars in Western Union and crypto payments.
According to an official announcement shared by the District Attorney’s office on April 24, 2019, Mark Sanchez and Callaway Crain have pleaded guilty to charges of money laundering through the sale of controlled substances on their website and on the dark web.
“These defendants raked in crypto and cash worth millions on their full-service website that sold prescription-free counterfeit steroids and other controlled substances to customers in all 50 states,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said, per the statement.
Callaway and Crain reportedly shipped 10,000 packages of illegal drugs across the United States between 2013 and 2018, generating millions in income using Western Union and Bitcoin as their preferred payment platforms.
The defendants laundered crypto payments through intermediary crypto wallets to conceal the source of funds before converting them to cash. Western Union payments, on the other hand, were laundered using “false identities, or through international wire transfers from foreign based receivers.”
Sanchez and Crain pleaded guilty to second-degree money laundering charges, as well as the criminal sale of illegal substances in the fifth degree. The defendants face a minimum jail term of two and a half years; the sentencing is expected to take place on July 12, 2019.
The case marks a new first among several recent crypto-related enforcements, as cryptocurrency-based crimes continue to receive formal definitions within America’s legal framework.
On April 23, 2019, a 21-year-old student at the University of Massachusetts was sentenced to a decade in prison after he was found guilty of stealing about $7.5 million in cryptocurrencies via a SIM-swapping scam. Official court documents detailed his exploits, which included a single operation where he transferred about $5 million in cryptocurrencies from an unnamed California-based crypto businessman.
On April 18, 2019, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network announced its first-ever penalty on a peer-to-peer crypto exchange.
Ripple (XRP) slide 7.3 percent, retesting primary supportStart-up innovating and funding firms building XRP use casesPrices and accompanying fundamentals are not in sync as Ripple (XRP) accumulate within a 4 cents range with support at 30 cents. All the same, we are bullish, and any trigger lifting prices above 34 cents or forcing liquidation below Jan 30 lows must be with high transaction volumes.Ripple Price AnalysisFundamentalsThere is a clear divergence. From a fundamental point of view, Ripple (XRP) should be rallying and even back to $1. However, that is not the case and to put it quite literally, XRP, the third most valuable coin with a market cap of $12,616 million, is struggling.Worse, it may drop below a critical support level, and that will precipitate losses as the coin drop to valuation last seen in Q4 2017. That’s some few days before the supper rally when XRP peaked at $3.3. Even if it may seem to be an uphill task, we cannot discount anything, especially now that fundamentals continue to flow as prices accumulate within a tight trade range.While IBM, with a firm foothold in banking and collaborating with a competitor in Jed McCaleb’s Stellar and launching World Wire with six banks willing to issue their coins on the platform, Ripple is steps ahead.First, they have a presence in SE Asia and the Middle East and are actively investing in projects, diversifying their portfolio and building infrastructure that makes us of XRP use cases. With Forte, they plan to dominate the multi-billion gaming scene and with a vibrant community pushing for integration, it’s only a matter of time before prices respond—hopefully in the right direction.Candlestick ArrangementsAt press time, Ripple (XRP) is deep in accumulation and trading above Jan 2019 lows within a four-month, 4 cents range capped by 30 cents on the lower side and 34 cents on the upper side.To reiterate our stand, we are net bullish on Ripple (XRP) with guidance from Sep 2018 bull bar. Therefore, as long as Jan 30 lows at 30 cents hold and bears find floors at this level, then there is always a slim chance that bulls will flow back and close above 34 cents in a trend resumption phase.As it is, we shall take a neutral stand until after our trade conditions are right, that is, until XRP prices edge past 34 cents or drop below 29 cents invalidating our overall stance.Technical IndicatorsDespite our positive outlook, today’s meltdown did reverse gains of Apr-2 albeit with low transaction volumes. Average volumes stand at 16 million meaning for trend confirmation or bull-trend cancellation, confirming bar must be wide-ranging, closing above 34 cents or below 29 cents with high volumes exceeding mean of 16 million and 79 million of Apr-2.Chart courtesy of Trading View
Mike McMahon, chief technology officer at crypto merchant bank Galaxy Digital, has left the firm, CoinDesk has learned.
“I have already left Galaxy Digital and looking for my next opportunity,” he told CoinDesk Wednesday, declining to provide further details.
Galaxy didn’t respond to CoinDesk’s request for comment by press time, but it’s actively looking for McMahon’s replacement, according to a new job posting on LinkedIn.
The CTO should, among other things, “build, coach and provide hands-on leadership to the technology team” an “build a strong partnership with the business to ensure technology is supporting revenue-generating, client-facing business initiatives.”
McMahon joined Galaxy a year ago following a career at traditional financial institutions and mainstream companies, including Bank of New York-Mellon, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, according to his LinkedIn profile.
He also spent more than two years at ENSO Financial Analytics, a fintech company owned by Chicago futures exchange operator CME Group.
Galaxy Digital, founded by former hedge fund manager Michael Novogratz, is one of the most active investors in crypto startups. In recent months, it backed staking startup Bison Trails and crypto analytics firm CipherTrace.
In January, Galaxy announced it had raised $250 million to “offer loans in U.S. dollars to struggling crypto firms.” Before that, Novogratz signaled his own confidence in the enterprise despite the bear market when he bought 2.7 percent of Galaxy’s shares, increasing his total stake to about 79.3 percent.
Although based in New York, Galaxy Digital is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange’s TSX Venture Exchange, where it went public via a reverse merger with a pharmaceutical company.
Image of Mike Novogratz via CoinDesk archives