Bitcoin Scammers Have Stolen $24 Million in First Half of 2020: Whale Alert Report

In the first six months of 2020, scammers made off with about $24 million in bitcoin, as per the Twitter bot Whale Alert’s latest report.

These scams involved giveaways, sextortion, fake exchanges, fake ICO’s, bitcoin recovery, video scams, Ponzi schemes, fake tumblers, malware, and so on.

Over the past four years, $38 million worth of Bitcoin has been stolen by scammers (excluding Ponzi schemes), out of which $24 million belongs to the first half of this year alone.

The scam market, which is characterized by high profits, no taxes, minimal effort, and zero risks, will be “grown over twenty-fold since 2017 to annual revenue of at least 50 million US dollars” by the end of 2020, predicts Whale Alert.

Whale Alert noted that the “most successful scams” made more than $130,000 in a single day with just one-page website, a BTC address, and YouTube advertising. One scam managed to rake in over $1.5 million over six months, promoting a fake exchange with an amateurish website riddled with spelling errors.

The “Giveaway” is another successful one that features celebrities like Elon Musk, netting around $300,000.

According to the crypto tracker, it’s only a matter of time that a professional team of scammers will start using systems like deep-fakes. The latter being a technique where a person’s face is superimposed over another person in an image or video, which it says “will surely revolutionize the scam market.”

The origins and destination of these scam proceeds have been traced to some of the top exchanges, payment providers, and gambling sites who willingly or unknowingly participate in these crimes.

It is high time that we act as a community, or “the reputation of blockchain might not be able to recover in the long run,” said Whale Alert.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin’s The ‘Logical Choice’ In 2nd Half Of 2020; DeFi To ‘Stay Hot’ But Returns Cool: Arca

Bitcoin will ultimately be a “great investment in 2H2020 as a flood of new investors flock into the space, and there just won’t be enough BTC offered to satisfy this new demand,” predicts Jeff Dorman, CIO at Arca.

In 2020, crypto investment management Arca predicted that thematic investing will drive crypto performance in rewards, structured tokens, staking, and DeFi which did happen in the first half of the turbulent year.

They predict that DeFi will “stay hot” in the remainder of the year but this also means the return will “cool down.”

While doing a post mortem of their 2020 predictions, Dorman shared that growth in Fan Engagement tokens is just getting started. Also, as we saw “no-coiners” getting pushed into the digital asset realm for various reasons viz. generational theft, data privacy, digitizing everything, nowhere else to turn, and distrust of financial institutions by millennials, they will continue to do so.

What’s Coming

Bitcoin, an alternative to fiat, offers a hedge against the potential financial system collapse as such it will be a “logical choice” as people continue to see a return on capital, which is one of the latest predictions by Arca for the remainder of 2020.

“Bitcoin will remain the best insurance policy against currency collapse, even if many other coins enter the market or central banks launched their very own.”

This is because a recession is coming if it isn’t already here. But for equities, there are a lot more reasons to suffer.

As we saw in 2020, corporations don’t really have saved for rainy days and now they are also forced to consider “‘increasing societal value’ over ‘increasing shareholder value.’” Forced by societal pressures to enhance their communities and constituents, this will lead to “greater digital asset adoption,” Dorman said.

The coronavirus pandemic has already moved people further away from cash to contactless payment solutions. This was what has also been propelling central banks to accelerate their plans for state-backed digital currencies with China now much closer to the release as it uses the ride-hailing company, Didi, for the trial.

Even in the crypt space, Arca sees the rise of non-fungible tokens which are individually unique. By offering a way to create digitally verifiable ownership of assets like art, property, and collectibles, NFTs open up the ability to utilize these assets across platforms, he said.

“Creating a circular economy for legacy assets, as well as new assets, will be the next step towards the exchange of scarce assets.”

Already happening in the gaming industry, the sector is expected to “heat up” in the remainder of 2020 “as decentralized finance continues to gain steam and scarcity is becoming more attractive to the individual,” he said.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Fork Successfully Prevents a 51% Attack that Could Have Resulted in a $75k Loss

On July 10, the Bitcoin Gold team saw an extremely long attack chain of over 1300 blocks, which have been mined since July 1, 2020, against the BTG network.

As per the announcement, the team has prevented the attack after detecting it early on and alerting the exchanges and mining pools about the potential attack.

The team released a new updated version of the Bitcoin Gold network at block 640,650, the most “honest” block mined by MiningPoolHub before the attack. This update, which wasn’t public knowledge, rejected the attacker’s chain when it was released on Friday.

For the attack, the perpetrator rented hash power on July 1 from NiceHash, a mining service provider, to secretly mine an alternative chain. The chain was mined for ten days and was 1,300 blocks long. On July 10, the secret chain was released by the attacker in an attempt to steal 8,000 BTG worth over $75k.

Now, everyone is required to upgrade their nodes to make sure they are on the honest chain.

“51% attack on BTG defeated by a user-activated soft fork providing a checkpoint and hence explicitly banning the attack chain. Excellent news,” commented Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin. “In PoS, in such cases, the attacker would lose many millions of dollars to slashings/inactivity leak,” he added.

Bitcoin Gold might have successfully stopped a block reorganization attack, but it’s not the first time such a thing happened. The network has a history of reorg attacks, it faced a $70k attack earlier this year and then back in May 2018 lost $18.6 million in a double spent attack.

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Author: AnTy

Market Wrap: Bitcoin Never Going to Zero, Philanthropist Giving Away Money to Buy BTC

This week, the price of bitcoin moved, although it continues to trade in a tight range and is still hovering around $9,200 on low volume.

However, a report by Stack Funds says the digital asset’s extended bull flag continues with long-term narrative intact. Moreover, a shift in its investors’ demographics would propel the BTC price.

“As the millennial generation enters into the peak age of investment maturity, we believe this tech-savvy group would propel the significant shift in investors demographics, in turn, increases the propensity of bitcoin investments,” reads the report.

As per the report, half of the bitcoin investors are millennials, and the wealth transfer from boomers to millennials would put a buy pressure on the digital asset.

“In our conservations with investors, we noted that part of this buying pressure reflects parents from gen X and baby boomers who are looking to invest long term for their children’s future,” states the report.

Moreover, an increased interest has been seen in baby boomers and generation X, a finding also supported by another recent report.

Philanthropist Bill Pulte also believes “Bitcoin will be higher in the future” and, as such, has been giving away money to only buy bitcoin in CashApp (just like he did last year).

This week, bitcoin’s one-month correlation with SPX hit a new all-time high. The correlation has been turning more and more positive since late-June, a month which has been dull in terms of the trading volume.

On Kraken, volume dropped to a four-month low of $36.6 billion, while BTC price fell by 4.4%, the lowest since August 2019.

Bitcoin’s correlation with gold meanwhile dropped, which, according to Kraken’s report, means the digital asset is behaving more like a traditional financial asset and less like a safe-haven asset.

Back in March, following the global markets, bitcoin crashed to $3,800 and $3,600 on BitMEX. Many pointed out that time, how if the derivatives exchange hadn’t shut down, Bitcoin could very well have gone to 0.

This week, Alistaire Milne made a buy order of $18.63 million to buy all bitcoin at $0.01 to ensure BTC doesn’t go to zero.

Then yesterday, Adam Back, co-founder and CEO of Blockstream bid for 21 million BTC at 2 cents on Bitfinex exchange.

Bitcoin price might not be reaching an all-time high yet, but the network hashrate hit an all-time high this week. Meanwhile, altcoins are surely giving ‘new peaks’ a try.

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Author: AnTy

Bearish Catalysts for Bitcoin Price

This week, Bitcoin is ranging between $9,050 and $9,500. Currently, we are trading just above $9,200 after yesterday, Bitcoin’s price dropped $150 in seconds on Bitstamp, trading well below the rest of the market.

On the weekend, the bitcoin market has gone quiet, with just about $700 million in ‘real’ trading volume.

This ranging is not good for bitcoin but is bullish for altcoins that are already feeling the greens.

According to trader Crypto Michael, until BTC breaks out of the range, “anything between $8,500 and $10,500 is playground time for altcoins, and that could last a few months longer.”

Currently, the digital asset is holding support above the $9,000 barrier, and a breakthrough of $9,300 could push it towards $9,600.

However, Bitcoin futures aren’t looking good, and their position on CME is identical to the time when BTC crashed in March.

However, analyst FilbFilb doesn’t think “there will be a dump anything like last time.”

In March, bitcoin crashed in line with the rest of the global markets during the spreading coronavirus pandemic. Currently, the markets are flying with tech stocks in the lead.

Tail Risks

Some people are still tracking the S&P 500’s movement during the 1929 crash with the ongoing one, which is still in sync.

Although markets are surging, the risk of inflation and spike in coronavirus cases remains a tail risk.

There have been many days that some states in the US continue to see a record number of new infections. This further puts a smooth reopening at risk.

With the Fed using extraordinary measures to stimulate the economy, inflation is also on the radar of experts. Although a sudden spike is not called, UBS strategist Bhanu Bajwa feels it could be a potentially damaging long-shot scenario.

“We think the economy is currently far from unleashing these inflationary forces, but with COVID-19 cases globally and in the US still rising, we cannot yet completely rule out this tail risk,” he said. “Further, the inflation surge could happen quickly and with little warning.”

The additional round of stimulus checks, tax reductions, PPP loans, and enhanced unemployment insurance benefits may aid the inflation outlook. And an inflation spike is not good for stocks. Rather could be disastrous. In the 1970s, inflation doubled to about 11% that resulted in a 40% decline for the equities market.

However, it would be interesting to see how such a scenario, if it happens, would affect bitcoin, which has been called an inflation hedge by the likes of billionaire investor Paul Tudor Jones but remains in high correlation with SPX.

Tether Debacle

Another bearish catalyst for bitcoin is Tether, whose sister company Bitfinex must face NY suit in an $800 million stolen funds, as ordered by an appeals court this week.

Tether co-founder Brock Pierce, who recently announced that he is running for US President, said he is unsure whether the stablecoin will be able to weather the latest assault from regulators and government officials.

“Tether is, I think, one of the most important innovations in currency, but it also seemed like one of the higher risk businesses,” Pierce told Bloomberg. He hasn’t been involved with Tether since 2015.

Just this week, international regulators also recommended that stablecoins have to take greater steps to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing.

“We will work with and listen to the FATF (Financial Action Task Force) in order to continually improve our compliance function as these markets develop,” said Stu Hoegner, general counsel for the Bitfinex crypto exchange.

He also said the existing compliance practices are already the best in the industry. About the lawsuit, he just said Bitfinex “respects” the court’s order.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin is in a ‘Consolidation Zone,’ We’ll Move to $14k Once BTC Gets Above $10k: Novogratz

Bitcoin is about system change, said Mike Novogratz, CEO of Galaxy Digital, in his latest interview with Barron’s Carleton English.

While talking about the catalysts that could propel the price of Bitcoin higher, he shared how a revolution is going on between black lives matter and people looking for economic injustice, and COVID-19 pandemic has exposed it. So, in this macro backdrop, “that gives us a tailwind.”

Price-wise, bitcoin is doing fine, said Novogratz. After the March sell-off that saw everything crashing, BTC recovered more than 160% in the next two months. But since then, Bitcoin has been ranging sideways — “we are in a consolidation zone.”

The $10,000, however, remains a critical psychological level, and “once we get above it, we move to $14,000,” he said.

Bitcoin is Hard to Buy

Novogratz shared that it is hard to buy bitcoin.

He explained how, when billionaire investor Paul Tudor Jones bought it, there was much excitement. But the next hedge funds can’t just buy it the next day. They have to go through the same process of operation due diligence, checking their docs, and talking to their investors.

It is a slow process to get people on board, into institutionalizing this, he said although he believes in the next “two to five years every major bank is gonna have a crypto desk because they’re gonna need to.” According to him, the bitcoin market is still dominated by retail investors.

“Bitcoin is still hard to buy. If it was easier to buy, it would be a lot higher. And there are more and more people making it easier to buy: funds being set up, custodies being done, at one point we’ll get an ETF,” Novogratz echoes these thoughts in an interview with CNBC’s Fast Money that was published earlier this week.

During the interview, Novogratz also told the public to hold more gold than bitcoin even though he believes “bitcoin way outperforms gold.” This is just because of the volatility of the digital asset.

Bitcoin volatility has taken a dive recently because of the weak price movement, falling to the level of the S&P 500.

Gold also has been on a tear lately, in the past month, while bitcoin was stuck in a rut, the precious metal rallied. Recently, it broke above $1,800 to a nine-year high.

Stock Market Bubble

While bitcoin has been boring, stocks are rallying hard, which reminds Novogratz of bitcoin in 2017 when the leading digital currency climbed to a new ATH.

“We’re at really dangerous valuations on the growth side, on the tech side,” he said. “If it’s Zoom or Tesla or Beyond Meat, whatever stock has a story, everyone’s rushing in. That gets me worried.”

The stock market, according to him, is “unhinged from reality,” and he advised small investors to get out before it crashes.

“We are in irrational exuberance — this is a bubble,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg. “The economy is grinding, slowing down, we’re lurching in and out of COVID-19, yet the tech market makes new highs every day. That’s a classic speculative bubble.”

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Author: AnTy

SPX Strikes Again & Takes Down Bitcoin with it

The price of Bitcoin fell to $9,050 after rising to nearly $9,500 this week. Currently, the leading digital asset is trading around $9,175, down 2.54%, with about $1.16 billion in ‘real’ trading volume.

According to IntoTheBlock’s In/Out of the Money Around Price (IOMAP) indicator, more than 2.2 million addresses previously purchased 1.43 million BTC in the $9,172 and $9,442 range, as such it is “a critical resistance level as several of these addresses will attempt to break-even on their positions.”

The losses came after the S&P 500 fell on Thursday as investors fear a smooth reopening from the coronavirus shutdowns may not be happening.

One month correlation of SPX and bitcoin is currently at 68.5%, slightly down from the all-time high of 78.8% on July 8th, 2020.

Tech Stocks Still Leading the Rally

Data showed that initial unemployment claims in the US remain elevated while the number of confirmed new Covid-19 cases in the country hit a new single-day high the day before.

Eric Rosengren, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, fears that the community spread in many areas of the US will continue to be the problem for the economy.

In light of this, the broad US stock index pulled back, S&P 500 dropped 0.56%, and the Dow Jones Average 1.39%. The tech sector, however, is still roaring ahead with Amazon in the lead.

“Much stems from tech’s new role as a utility — something consumers and businesses simply can’t live without,” wrote Lei Qiu, a fund manager overseeing tech stocks at AllianceBernstein. “These necessities have become even greater as the pandemic increased the need for remote shopping, learning, and working.”

But even gold moved in the same direction as of stocks and pulled back from the new nine-year peak but is still above $1,800.

Meanwhile, the US dollar, which struggled with China’s yuan climbing to a four-month peak as investors poured into Chinese stocks which had been rallying for eight straight days, rebounded.

More Free Money Coming!

On Thursday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin supported the second round of stimulus checks, which could come as soon as by the end of this month.

“We do support another round of economic impact payments,” said Mnuchin in an interview with CNBC.

This second round of checks would come after $1,200 were given to most of the Americans as part of the $2 trillion rescue package in March.

US House of Representative Speaker Nancy Pelosi also said the same day that the coronavirus relief legislation needs another $1 trillion to aid state and local government and $1 trillion for unemployment payments and direct payments.

The White House also back an extension of the Paycheck Protect Program (PPP) loans for small business but wants them to be “much, much more targeted” than the previous one, Mnuchin said.

In the same line, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic feels the US economy warrants more action by the central bank.

Meanwhile, the Fed has wound down its unprecedented 10-month intervention in short-term borrowing markets. Some say it is “important” because it signals a return to normality in the repo market.

With so much support for the new stimulus, the chances are it is coming, and with that, the Fed’s army of Robinhood traders will pump up the stock market. This may even bring some action in bitcoin as well, given its correlation with the equities market that remains high.

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Author: AnTy

Canaan Stock Continues to Tumble As Rumored Internal Struggles Sees 3 Directors Removed

Canaan Creative, a Nasdaq listed Bitcoin miner manufacturer, has dropped some of its directors from the company’s registry according to reports from Chinese media. The firm appears to be experiencing an internal dispute going by the unfolding events, although no official announcement has been made. Following the changes, Canaan’s Chinese registry now lists Nangeng Zhang as the only director, dropping four other officials.

Zhang, who runs the company’s Beijing office, had obtained Canaan’s official seal and business license from the Hangzhou subsidiary in late June. This move was meant to acquire majority control in what now appears to be an end to its means.

Officials that were dropped from Canaan’s registry include public affairs director Songhua Tu, on-executive director Qifeng Sun, CFO Jiaxuan Li, and Co-chairman Jianping Kong. Notably, all had been listed as directors apart from Songhua Tu.

The update, which was registered on July 6, now recognizes Zhang as Canaan’s executive director and general manager. It goes on to add Meng Lu as a supervisor while retaining Li and Kong as part of Canaan’s core team. At the moment, the implications of this move are still unclear, but Kong, who previously acted as Co-chairman, has said that he did not withdraw from this position.

According to a statement shared with The Daily Economic News, Kong noted that as far as Canaan’s registration goes, no changes have been made to its leadership:

“I’m not familiar with this,” he said when asked about his removal from the company registry. “I am currently on vacation due to a foot injury. I didn’t withdraw from my management position.”

He went to say that Canaan’s entire company structure is listed in the Cayman Islands and not China. Consequently, its holding subsidiaries in Beijing and Hangzhou can only be affected by changes made to the Cayman registered entity, Jianan Technology. This feud has since been compared to Bitmain’s struggles, which saw the company in limbo after Micree Zhan and Jihan Wu differed on control.

Source: TradingView $CAN

As far as financials go, Canaan reported a net loss of $150 million in 2019 and another $5.6 million within the first quarter of 2020. Its share price on Nasdaq has also been on a downtrend since the May bitcoin halving that is yet to favor bullish stakeholders like crypto mining rig manufacturers.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Ethereum Longs Pushing Strong with Many Factors Backing Them But Shorts are also Strong

While altcoins are surging, the second-largest cryptocurrency has been relatively silent, not as much as bitcoin but pretty subdued still.

But things might change for Ether as well as the traders bet on an uptrend.

ETHUSD longs on Bitfinex have reached yet another all-time high. These longs have been surging for more than two years, since March 2018. Earlier this year, they went parabolic. In the past five months, they spiked more than 200%.

The notional value of ETH longs was $308 million in mid-March, which has now risen to $444 million.

In 2020, ETHUSD shorts also jumped but at a higher percentage than the longs at 393% in the past six months. But unlike longs, they are still far away from its all-time high in December 2018, as per TradingView.

For now, Ether is in the green barely while trading at $241. In the past seven days, it has spiked 7% and 89% YTD. Experts are expecting Ether to outperform Bitcoin in the near future.

Also, Ether’s implied volatility is moving up, and total open interest on futures is now near its peak.

Analyst Pentoshi also notes, “We are seeing the largest bullish divergence ever in regards to daily active addresses and price in Eths history. With DeFi, + 2.0, I can’t help but think the next year is going to be wild.”

Potential Ether Drivers

The seven-day moving average of the number of active Ether addresses has peaked to 405,014 — the highest level in two years, May 2018.

Active addresses are the unique addresses that are active as a sender or receiver on the network. While this week, this number is slightly down from last week, it is still up 115% from Jan. 30 low of 180,750.

This increased activity could be the result of Ethereum-based Decentralized Finance (DeFi) platforms and stablecoins, especially the daily USDT transaction on the network, which has increased by more than 400% this year.

Already, close to a record, 3.1 million ETH are locked in various DeFi projects. Moreover, $60 million worth of BTC moved to Ethereum last month, and Wrapped Bitcoin is responsible for about 75% of this growth.

Amidst this, the Dapp report shows Ethereum users doubled compared to the first quarter, and DeFi application Compound was the one responsible for this, which pushed the volume over $10 million in Q2 2020.

This heightened demand is expected by many to fuel Ethereum’s bull run.

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Author: AnTy

Is it that Time Again? Yes it is! The Market is giving All the Signs that it is an Alt Season

Everything is popping!

Is anyone getting 2017 vibes?

Tis’ the time when gains floweth over.

Today, even bitcoin jumped to $9,480 with $1.2 billion in ‘real’ trading volume.

Now, when it comes to altcoins, even XRP spiked more than 7% to nearly $0.20. And yes, Chainlink (LINK) continues to make new highs every day, the latest one being $6.38.

Cardano (ADA) has started to simmer down after days of pumping while Dogecoin (DOGE) is still going strong after Tik Tok users took it upon themselves to push it to $1, but it is still almost 27,000% off from the target. So, that’s to be seen.

VeChain (VET) is also popping today with 24.3% greens; in the past week, it has been up 125%.

So, why are Altcoins’ Surging?

In 2020 after the March sell-off, cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, recovered handsomely, but while the world’s leading digital asset entered into a tight range, altcoins took this time to fire off.

For the past couple of months, bitcoin’s dominance has also been chipping off, which has been working in favor of altcoins.

Moreover, as we saw in the second quarter of 2020, the stock market has been growing off the charts as well. This growth was propelled by young investors who were at home during the lockdown with free time, internet, and of course, stimulus money in their hands and apps like Robinhood that charges zero commission at their disposal.

The young generation put their money in the stocks that have the least value, even if they were of bankrupt companies. And now, their attention seems to be on crypto.

Robinhood, however, only has seven cryptos listed viz. Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin SV (BSV), Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Litecoin (LTC), and Dogecoin (DOGE), and the last one is already being pumped.

This time zoomers had Tik Tok with them to advertise it among their peers and sent the prices mooning.

“Think TikTok will actually become the biggest distribution channel for crypto products,” said Qiao Wang, an independent trader, and startup investor. And if the US bans it, “Then a TikTok copycat will be built and *it* will become the biggest distribution channel.”

This also means, ‘one-man marketing army,’ Tron founder Justin Sun has also found a way to pump his coin.

Does this mean the alt season has officially kicked off?

It looks like it!

But according to analyst Mati Greenspan, “This is more like Alt-Wednesday with a hope of turning into Alt-July,” because “a season implies that it lasts a while.”

But given that “It’s officially “refresh blockfolio every 30 seconds” season,” we are getting signs that say it is an altcoin season.

According to analyst Rekt Capital, over the years, Dogecoin has played an important role in crypto, it either predicts altcoin season or confirms them.

“This time Dogecoin has confirmed Altseason,” he said.

And who doesn’t believe it’s all season, technical analyst Pentoshi has all the checkpoints including soaring Doge price, BTC dominance which has broken a 3-year trend, and the retail on Robinhood and Tik Tok.

Some believe this wildness in the market means Chainlink won’t stop here either; it will only go on to make even new highs.

Amidst this frenzy, trader Crypto Yoda warns about staying vigilant. “Remain cautious about the possibility of BTC suddenly ending this momentum with an impulsive move.”

Meanwhile, Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao feels, “Not all alts will pump during the next #altszn,” which is “more like 95%.”

“If a project has been around for 3 years but not much to show for, then…A few that have consistently pushed development will thrive,” he said.

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Author: AnTy