Rather than simply an expedient way for porn performers and other sex workers to get paid, crypto has become a part of their retirement savings plan.
Dapps have not achieved anything like the userbases of centralized applications, but a few have made a promising start.
U.S. government officials have ordered multiple cryptocurrency exchanges to fork over comprehensive trading data in order to aid in their investigation of whether or not cryptocurrency markets are being manipulated.
‘Required to Share Information’
Four major bitcoin exchanges have been ordered to turn over comprehensive trading information to U.S. government investigators, following fears of bitcoin futures-driven market manipulation. The report comes from The Wall Street Journal, which spoke to individuals close to the matter.
The government’s investigation has been spurred on by fears that bitcoin futures on CME Group Inc.’s CME exchange have caused the price of the first and foremost cryptocurrency’s futures to be manipulated — something which falls underneath the government’s regulatory umbrella.
The final price for bitcoin futures is derived from Bitstamp, Coinbase, itBit, and Kraken — four of the biggest exchanges in the bitcoin-trading space.
A spokeswoman from CME told The Wall Street Journal that its index provider has an information-sharing agreement with all of the aforementioned exchanges, stating:
All participating exchanges are required to share information, including cooperation with inquiries and investigations.
‘Very Little Possible Upside’
Kraken Chief Executive Jesse Powell is not particularly happy with the investigation, stating late last week that “newly declared oversight” from the CFTC “has the spot exchanges questioning the value and cost of their index participation.” Powell also believes the conversation about market manipulation is overblown, stating:
If there is any kind of attempted manipulation, whoever is doing it is taking a huge amount of risk for very little possible upside.
Others might argue, however, that market manipulation in the cryptocurrency space is obvious — and has been throughout the long-unregulated space’s history.
As noted by The Wall Street Journal, one particularly common form of market manipulation is called “spoofing,” which is the practice of entering “large trade orders with the intention of tricking others into thinking there had been a fundamental change in the supply and demand of bitcoin.” If and when such spoofing occurs, other investors are usually duped into jumping on board at a higher price, before the manipulators in question dump the price once it’s hit an artificially high level.
Neither Bitstamp nor Coinbase commented on the matter.
Bitcoin is currently trading at $7,321.95 USD, down 4.53 percent over the last 24 hours. The market leader previously hit highs upwards of $20,000 late last year, before plummeting to nearly $6,000 in February.
Do you think the Bitcoin market is manipulated? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bitcoinist archives, CoinMarketCap.com.
The post 4 Bitcoin Exchanges Must Turn Over Comprehensive Information in Manipulation Investigation appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.
Coinbase, Kraken, itBit and Bitstamp have received requests for trading data.
Scalability is a term that we see increasingly being used in the community, especially in times of considerable demand.
Scalability, Decentralization, and Security
When the average transaction fee for Bitcoin steadily rose, questions were raised concerning Bitcoin’s ability to scale. Similarly, Ethereum’s scalability issues were made very clear when the viral success of CryptoKitties slowed down the entire Ethereum network. Scalability, in the context of blockchain architecture, can be looked at alongside ideas of decentralization and security, to form what Vitalik Buterin described as the ‘scalability trilemma’.
The scalability trilemma indicates that blockchain systems can only possess two of the following properties:
Decentralization is a core tenant upon which the majority of this community is built. Decentralization enables censorship-resistance and permits anyone to partake in a decentralized ecosystem without prejudice.
Scalability concerns the ability to process transactions on any given network. If public blockchains are to be usable by the masses, then they must be able to handle a scenario in which there are millions of users on the network.
Security pertains to the immutability of the ledger and its general resistance to attacks such as 51% attacks, Sybil attacks, DDoS attacks etc.
Currently, blockchains such as Bitcoin and Ethereum were designed with a focus on decentralization and security. However, this has come at the expense of scalability, as both blockchains have incredibly slow transaction processing times. The reason for this is that all full nodes on these respective blockchains must reach consensus before transactions can be processed.
Ethereum can process around 15 transactions per second, whereas Bitcoin can process only about 7 transactions per second. But, both these numbers are dwarfed by payment service VISA, who can handle up to 24,000 transactions per second. Even proposals made to tackle blockchain scalability again fall prey to the issues raised by the scalability trilemma.
Block Size Increase
This solution posits that an increase in block size will increase scalability. The reasoning is that, by increasing the block size, more transactions can fit into a single block, and thus a larger batch of transactions can be processed, therefore increasing the number of transactions that could be processed per second. However, the limitation of this solution is that it ultimately results in the centralization of nodes on the network.
Increasing the block size would require nodes to possess better computing capabilities in order to process transactions. This may ultimately lead to a scenario in which a network is effectively maintained by a handful of supercomputers that have the processing power required to handle an increase in transactions per block.
Another solution is to completely abandon the idea that there can only exist one blockchain upon which all transactions must occur. Instead, this solution accepts the possibility that there will be numerous cryptocurrencies, all possessing their own blockchain that can just as easily allow for transactions to take place. Reduced user activity on varying blockchains should allow for a more scalable ecosystem. However, with fewer nodes operating on any given blockchain due to a wider distribution, this may result in blockchains actually becoming more insecure, as they would be more susceptible to attacks from bad actors.
Scaling Solutions and The Future
Despite the roadblocks that achieving scalability brings, the flow of potential solutions shows no signs of abating. For example, the Ethereum project is looking toward second layer scaling solutions such as sharding and plasma as possible fixes for Ethereum’s scaling problem. Successfully implementing one of these scaling proposals would allow the Ethereum Virtual Machine, and other technologies comprising Ethereum to function much more efficiently.
And of course, Bitcoin’s lightning network is another highly anticipated scaling solution that promises to improve the transactional ability of the Bitcoin network. In sum, addressing scalability is a challenging task that will take a lot of time to get right, which is why it will be all the more exciting to see just how the community decides to resolve such a mammoth issue in the future.
Where do you think the future of blockchain scalability lies? Let us know in the comments below.
Images courtesy of Pexels, Flickr/TechCrunch, Shutterstock
- Bitcoin price is placed nicely above the $7,200 level with positive signs against the US Dollar.
- There is a key bearish trend line in place with resistance at $7,750 on the 4-hours chart of the BTC/USD pair (data feed from Kraken).
- The pair must accelerate gains above the $7,750 and $7,800 barriers for more upsides in the near term.
Bitcoin price is moving in a bullish zone above $7,200 against the US Dollar. BTC/USD may perhaps clear the $7,800 resistance to jump above $8,000 in the near term.
Bitcoin Price Resistance
This past week, bitcoin price mostly traded in a range above the $7,000 handle against the US Dollar. The best part was the fact that the price stayed above the $7,200 and $7,400 support levels. There was also a break and close above the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the last drop from the $8,613 high to $7,050 swing low. There are positive signs, but there is a crucial barrier around the $7,800 level.
However, the upside move is capped by the $7,780 and $7,800 levels. More importantly, there is a key bearish trend line in place with resistance at $7,750 on the 4-hours chart of the BTC/USD pair. The 50% Fib retracement level of the last drop from the $8,613 high to $7,050 swing low is also around the trend line. Therefore, there is a major hurdle forming for buyers just around $7,800. A break and close above $7,800 may perhaps clear the path for a push above the $8,000 level.
Looking at the chart, the price is mostly trading in a range with a bearish angle below $7,500. If sellers gain control and push the price below $7,200, there could be a bearish reaction in the short term.
Looking at the technical indicators:
4-hours MACD – The MACD for BTC/USD is mostly flat in the bullish zone.
4-hours RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI is just below the 50 level.
Major Support Level – $7,200
Major Resistance Level – $7,800
The post Bitcoin Price Weekly Analysis: Can BTC/USD Break Higher? appeared first on NewsBTC.
In San Francisco, Daniel Levinson received a letter that threatened to reveal Levison’s secrets to his wife and her friends if he did not pay $8,150 in bitcoin.
According to ABC News, the letter was addressed to Levinson with his home address. It stated the following:
“My name is BlackDoor-82 and I know about the secret you are keeping from your wife and everyone else. More importantly, I have evidence of what you have been hiding. I won’t go into specifics here in case your wife intercepts this, but you know what I am talking about.”
The threatening letter had even included a two-page “how-to” instruction guide to help Levinson purchase cryptocurrencies and send them to the blackmailer’s cryptocurrency account.
“The implication was that I was having an affair, but the way it was worded it could cover anything, maybe a gambling problem or drugs or alcohol,” said Levinson. “It made me glad that I’ve led a good life and that I’ve always been true to Nora. But I stopped to think, did I ever do anything that could come back and haunt me? No! I’m OK, I’m OK. You know, I had to reassure myself.”
Levinson has been married for almost 25 years and thus had little to hide from his wife and their happy marriage, however. The letter was naturally alarming, and he informed his wife Nora about the message on the same day. She initially laughed at the situation and stated that if someone told her that her husband was having an affair or committed a horrible deed, she wouldn’t believe it.
“We have a great relationship,” said Nora. “We’re very close. We talk about everything. I don’t think there’s anything he does that I don’t already know about.”
Blackmail in Crypto
The threatening letter was however not an isolated incident. In fact, similar reports indicate a growing scam initially reported in November 2017 from people across America. A few people have compared the threats to the Ashley Madison scandal where married men were threatened with the reveal and exposure of their infidelity.
As reported by ABC, the letter mentioned, “you don’t know me personally and nobody hired me to look into you. It is just your bad luck that I stumbled across your misadventures while working a job around San Francisco. I then put in more time than I probably should have looking into your life.”
It went on to state that “at this point you may be thinking “I’ll just go to the cops,” which is why I have taken steps to ensure this letter cannot be traced back to me. So that won’t help, and it won’t stop the evidence from destroying your life.” The letter then moves on to discussing the payment required.
Nora mentioned that “it’s disturbing but also funny. The way he calls himself Blackdoor and says I will be humiliated if I find these things out. That’s what made me realize they didn’t know anything about him and didn’t have anything negative about him.”
The $8,150 payment in cryptocurrency was considered a “confidentiality fee” to be paid in bitcoin. The letter contained 19 clear instructions to purchase and transfer the funds. Ironically, it also provided advice to find a reliable Bitcoin vendor “to avoid getting scammed.”
Markets are falling, altcoins getting hit hardest are EOS, Iota, Ontology, OmiseGo and Icon.
That ongoing sideways ranging market has finally ended a few hours ago when a flash crash wiped $15 billion out of crypto in a couple of hours. The markets have slid over 6% over the past day and the bears are selling with a fury. Currently at a total capitalization of $324 billion markets have fallen fast from yesterday’s level of $345 billion.
Bitcoin led the downward charge when it shed $300 in just over an hour starting at 06.45 UTC. It has lost 4.5% on the day and is currently trading at $7,330. Volume has remained a steady $4.2 billion and market cap for BTC is currently $125 billion, down $6 billion from the same time yesterday.
In an opposite correlation to last year, all cryptos are tied together so when the big one falls they all do, but harder. Ethereum mirrored the movements of BTC and slid 5%, dropping $25 in a couple of hours. ETH price has been floating between $580 and $620 for over a week now but that has broken down as it dropped to a new weekly low of $575 at the time of writing.
Ripple in third spot fell 5.2% in the same short period falling from $0.67 to $0.61 as almost $1.5 billion was removed from Ripple’s market cap. Its satoshi levels did the opposite for a while and jumped as Bitcoin commanded the selloff but these have now fallen back in line and XRP is trading at around 8750 satoshis.
The biggest fall in the top ten cryptocurrencies has been Iota which has lost almost 12% on the day sliding from $1.74 to $1.53. $600 million was wiped out from Iota’s market cap as it fell from $4.8 billion to $4.2 billion in a few hours. Also taking big hits at the moment is Bitcoin Cash down 7.8%, EOS down almost 9%, Cardano down almost 8%, Ontology losing over 10%, OmiseGO with 9% lost, and Icon Zilliqa and Aeternity all falling over 9% on the day.
What has caused the Flash Crash?
There is some speculation as to what caused this flash crash. Some are fingering the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission which has subpoenaed several large exchanges including Coinbase, Kraken, and Bitstamp in an ongoing price manipulation investigation.
News is also emerging that South Korean crypto exchange CoinRail has just been hacked though this exchange is currently ranked 90th in the world with just $2.6 million in daily trade volume according to Coinmarketcap.
해킹공격시도로 인한 시스템 점검중입니다. 일부코인(펀디엑스,NPXS)이 확인되었으며 추가적인 코인피해가 있는지 여부를 확인중입니다. 추후 자세한 사항은 재공지하겠습니다 / There has been an cyber intrusion in our system. We’re confirming it and some coins(Pundi X, NPXS) are confirmed.
— coinrail (@Coinrail_Korea) June 10, 2018
What we have seen time and time again is that when key support levels are broken markets fall fast. Whether these two developments have directly caused this selloff remains to be seen, the news has generally been positive over the past week or so.
Today is just another example of this volatility that crypto traders have now become accustomed to. Happy ‘Red Sunday’.
The post What Caused a Flash Crypto Crash to Wipe $15 Billion Out in Just Two Hours appeared first on NewsBTC.
- ETH price is trading in a positive zone above the $570 level against the US Dollar.
- There is a major bearish trend line in place with resistance near $650 on the 4-hours chart of ETH/USD (data feed via Kraken).
- The pair may perhaps move higher in the short term, but it could struggle to break the $650 resistance.
Ethereum price is moving in a broad range versus the US Dollar and Bitcoin. ETH/USD might gain traction to test a major hurdle near the $650 level.
Ethereum Price Resistance
This past week, ETH price traded once towards the $630 level against the US Dollar. However, the upside move was capped and the price remained in a range around the $600 level. Starting from the $505 swing low, the price managed to move above the 38.2% fib retracement level of the last decline from the $724 high to $505 low. However, the price always struggled to gain momentum above the $610, $615 and $630 levels.
There was also no close above the 50% fib retracement level of the last decline from the $724 high to $505 low. After a rejection from the $620-630 levels, the price started trading in a range. It dipped once towards the $580 level, where buyers emerged. It seems like the price is well supported on the downside above the $570 level. On the upside, there is a major bearish trend line in place with resistance near $650 on the 4-hours chart of ETH/USD. Therefore, if the price corrects higher in the short term, it may face major hurdles near the $630 and $650 levels.
The above chart indicates that the price mostly traded in a range around the $600 level. It might trade a few points higher, but an upside break above $650 won’t be easy.
4-hours MACD – The MACD is slightly in the bullish zone.
4-hours RSI – The RSI is holding well above the 50 level.
Major Support Level – $570
Major Resistance Level – $630/50
The post Ethereum Price Weekly Analysis: ETH/USD’s Uphill Task appeared first on NewsBTC.