Bitcoin Takes A Dive & Altcoins’ Drop Hard, But People Are Still ‘HODLing and Not Selling’

BTC price goes down to about $55,600 and Ether as low as $1,930 as 366,073 traders get liquidated for $2.02 billion. But the crypto market is already recovering the losses.

Historically, April is one of the best months for Bitcoin’s price, however, the beginning of the month is anything but so.

Today, the price of Bitcoin took a fall to $55,600 and is still not looking done with the correction. In tandem with BTC, the majority of the cryptocurrency market has gone down with it too, which has been enjoying an onslaught of bulls while the leading cryptocurrency consolidated.

Down 5% to 20%, Ether is back at $1,945, XRP near $0.880 with FIL, UNI, DOT, XLM, TRX, BTT, IOTA, BSV, AAVE, XTZ, ATOM, KSM, ENJ, STX, DENT, and UMA recording double-digit losses.

As a result, the total market cap, which surged past $2 trillion for the first time this week, is now near $1.90 trillion.

However, the market hasn’t topped as Ki-Young Ju, CEO of data provider CryptoQuant, points out people are holding and not selling their BTC.

“Are we in the market cycle high? No. When the market reaches its peak, everyone deposits BTC to exchanges to sell. The number of inflow addresses across all exchanges was at its highest in 2018 Jan, while it hit a three-year low a few days ago.”

And bitcoin shorts continue to be punished.

Overeager and overleveraged longs, however, aren’t unaffected. As a matter of fact, the degen traders are the reason Bitcoin sees pullbacks time and again.

In the past 24 hours, over $613 million Bitcoin positions have been liquidated, as per Bybt. In total, 366,073 traders have been liquidated for $2.02 billion.

Following this, funding rates on Bitcoin perpetual contracts have gone down some, with the highest on Huobi at 0.1051%.

Long Bitcoin, Short U.S. 5 Year Treasury

In other news, Bitcoin bull Mike Novogratz is shorting the five-year Treasury as a hedge against policymakers pulling back their monetary support, saying, “Everyone long bitcoin should be short the five year.”

“I’m short a lot of interest rates,” Novogratz, chief executive officer of Galaxy Digital, said in a Bloomberg Television interview.

“To me, being short the five-year part of the yield curve is a great hedge for any portfolio, crypto or non-crypto.”

U.S. 5 Year Treasury yield is currently at 0.866%, down from 0.97% last week. The yields on these bonds have been rising since last August when it was at 0.193% but still nowhere near the 9.52% in late 1988.

The billionaire investor, who is a former partner at Goldman Sachs, further said in the interview that the price of the assets is rising for the very same reason, central banks relentlessly printing money.

This week, the total cryptocurrency market capitalization hit a new all-time high above $2 trillion, and according to Novogratz, we can easily rise twice as much this year.

“We’re up to 0.5% of global wealth in crypto, and it will be 1% by the end of the year.”

While bullish on crypto and short on bonds, Novogratz is also betting on Facebook in anticipation of the social media giant introducing the Novi digital wallet this quarter. “All of a sudden, you’ll have 2.4 billion people connected to this crypto space,” he said.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Breaks into a New ATH Above $60,000

Funding surged at one point to 0.5% but now coming down some while just over $1 billion in the past 24 hours with Binance’s degen users yet again leading.

Bitcoin entered the weekend with a very strong move as the leading crypto asset made a new all-time high just as the $1,400 stimulus checks to Americans have also started coming in.

The digital asset broke the Feb. 21st ATH of $58,350 and climbed to nearly $60,266 on Bitfinex, $60,200 on Binance, and $60k on Coinbase. A “significant negative” price gap between Coinbase and Binance shows this surge came from stablecoin buying power, per CryptoQuant.

The market is unaffected by the reports of CFTC probing Binance. As Matt Blom, global head of sales trading at EQUOS, said,

“The bears’ last stand is the $57,800 level, and it looks like we might be seeing that battle play out before the week is over,” and we did. On the downside, around $55k, he sees levels “supported by dip-buying bulls and dip-buying bears alike.”

This momentum saw the funding rate on futures platforms also rising fiercely. Bitcoin’s perpetual funding rate reacted to the bulls, and at one point, longs paid 0.5% to shorts on Deribit, as per Viewbase.

Liquidations were relatively small today as in the past four hours only about $360 million got rekt while 195,975 traders were liquidated for just over $1 billion in the past 24 hours.

And of course, much like always, Binance users were leading the liquidations, which is no surprise given that in the first two months of the launch of Binance Futures, an average of more than 60% of platform traders were using 20x or higher leverage and 21% of traders an eye-popping 125x leverage.

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The new ATH came just a day after MicroStrategy purchased an additional 262 BTC for $15 billion that brought its total holdings to 91,326 BTC. Michael Saylor, CEO of MicroStrategy said,

“People still aren’t sure: Are we crazy or are we not crazy?”

“The only way to get economic security is to invest in scarce assets that are not going to be debased by currency expansion. That is the environment that led us to decide we should consider Bitcoin as a treasury reserve asset.”

While Bitcoin bull Saylor continues to move towards 100k BTC holdings, much like the price, the number of addresses with a balance of more than 1k BTC has seen a drop.

According to analyst Lex Moskovski of Moskovski Capital, it could be larger addresses splitting for custody purposes or whale selling.

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Amidst all this, Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, which also has invested in Bitcoin, made another tweet in support of the cryptocurrency.

“BTC (Bitcoin) is an anagram of TBC(The Boring Company) What a coincidence!” tweeted Musk. “Both do mining & use blocks & chains.”

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Having Almost No Correlation to Gold Since Late 2020

Compared to the $1 trillion crypto asset’s 85% YTD gains, the bullion is down -11.19% in 2021 so far. As for month-to-date, gold prices are again down 3%, while BTC is up nearly 20%.

It’s been nearly six months that the correlation between Bitcoin and gold has been on a downtrend. Currently, this correlation is near 0, which points to no correlation at all.

This made sense given that ever since hitting a new all-time high above $2,000, the prices of precious metal have been going down, hitting a nine-month low on Monday to $1,675 before making some recovery to $1,700 in tandem with all the other assets.

Based on BTC/GOLD 60d Spearman Correlation, “Bitcoin has had almost basically no correlation to Gold since late 2020,” noted Coin Metrics.

Compared to the $1 trillion crypto asset’s 85% YTD gains, the bullion is down -11.19% in 2021 so far. Even month-to-date, the spot gold prices are down 3%, while BTC is up nearly 20%.

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Source: CoinMetrics

Stock markets made a recovery on Monday on the back of a $1.9 trillion stimulus plan winning US senate approval on Saturday, only to end up lower. Tech-heavy Nasdaq is also selling off, now down 10.5% from Feb. 12 high of 14,095.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the package would fuel a “very strong” U.S. recovery, and as spending increases, she does not expect the economy to run too hot either.

However, investors are back to bracing themselves for another bout of sell-off in US Treasuries as a trio of large government debt auctions this week. “Investors will remain on pins and needles until the auctions are behind us,” said Gennadiy Goldberg, a rates strategist at TD Securities.

This could present a danger for all risky assets, including Bitcoin, as we have seen over the last couple of weeks.

Rising treasury yields are helping the US dollar strengthen, which fell to nearly 89 level earlier this year, a level not seen since April 2018. But since late February, the greenback has been climbing, going to 92.5 today before sliding to 92.

This is why the stock market and Bitcoin have been enjoying the gains finally, with BTC going above $54,000.

But in the near term, the macro presents a challenge in the form of rising yields and dollars. Additionally, March hasn’t been a bullish month for Bitcoin historically, which combined with 100k Bitcoin options outstanding for the March expiry points to continued volatility.

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Author: AnTy

CFTC Commissioner Heath Tarbert Announces Departure From Office

After a successful 18-month tenure in office, Heath Tarbert is set to step down from his role as commissioner of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on Friday.

Tarbert announced his departure in a tweet published on Wednesday, where he thanked his colleagues for the wonderful time spent. Tarbert stated,

“After almost 2 years at the @CFTC—including 18 incredible months as Chairman & Chief Executive—Friday will be my last day at the Commission. It’s been an honor to work with so many talented individuals who make the CFTC the global standard for sound derivatives regulation.”

Tarbert’s tenure as chairman included the classification of ether (ETH, +0.23%) as a commodity, the launch of ether futures contracts, and an expansion of regulated crypto derivative products.

Recall that in December, he had left his post as chairman of the CFTC, which was announced formally by the Commission on its website. He was then replaced by acting chairman Rostin Behnam. However, Tarbert had indicated that he would go on to stay at the commission as commissioner for an indefinite length of time.

Although his term was not set to expire until April 2024, he said he felt his leaving would help clear the way for President Biden’s selection of a permanent chair. This comes as no surprise as Tarbert had previously said his 18-month term would end once President Joe Biden took office.

Brummer To Head Federal Commodities Regulator

Meanwhile, following the announcement by Heath Tarbert, speculations have been made on who the next CFTC commissioner would be. Although President Biden has not yet nominated a permanent replacement, crypto-savvy academic and Georgetown law professor Chris Brummer is said to be in the lead for the position.

The Georgetown professor has been selected along with two Democratic commissioners, Rostin Behnam and Dan Berkovitz, by the Biden administration. Brummer has been quite vocal on the need for more minorities to be represented in the financial sector, saying this is the only way to quantify the impact policies have on minority groups.

Following his extensive research on digital technology and his role as a member of the sub-committee on virtual currencies, Brummer is seen by many crypto-enthusiasts as the person that will lead the agency to craft a dynamic regulatory framework for the crypto industry.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

European Central Bank (ECB) Demands Power to Shut Down Private Stablecoins, Like Diem, in the EU

European Central Bank (ECB) Demands Power to Shut Down Private Stablecoins, Like Diem, in the EU

The European Central Bank finally tables its official opinion regarding crypto regulations to the top decision-making again, European Commission.

In their official opinion, the ECB now wants the EU members of parliament to grant its veto powers regarding the legal status of stablecoins such as Facebook-supported-Diem.

The ECB raised its concerns regarding the use of stablecoins that get their value from being pegged on one or many global currencies. The central bank is worried that stablecoins could jeopardize its control on payments, banking, and cash supply. Part of the ECB’s statement reads,

“Where an asset-reference arrangement is tantamount to a payment system or scheme, the assessment of the potential threat to the conduct of monetary policy, and to the smooth operation of payment systems, should fall within the exclusive competence of the ECB.”

The ECB also urges the lawmakers to ensure its absolute powers on stablecoins are binding and applicable to the entire national authorities within the Euro Zone.

The ECB argues that various ‘rigorous liquidity requirements’ are crucial in ensuring redemption rights are protected and clients’ direct claims towards the reserved assets that the issuers of stablecoins hold.

Firms offering tokens which are pegged on different currencies should at a minimum grant end-users a direct claim on the issuer or the reserve assets and redemption rights”, the central bank added.

Facebook had in the past laid a plan to roll out its stablecoin dubbed Libra that was pegged on different global currencies. However, the tech giant slowed down on the Libra project following many regulatory hurdles in the world. At the moment, the firm is aiming at launching the dollar-pegged stablecoin dubbed Diem.

If the EU legislators grant ECB the veto powers, Facebook and other privately issued stablecoins will likely encounter another round of regulatory backlash irrespective of the project being licensed by Swiss authorities.

It is also important to note that Christine Lagarde, the current ECB president, has criticized cryptos and stablecoins. Lagarde has in the past said central banks should never be allowed to hold Bitcoin.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

DeFi Money Market DAO Shutting Down; DMG Token Falls off a Cliff

DeFi Money Market DAO Shutting Down; DMG Token Falls off a Cliff

DeFi Money Market DAO, DMM is ceasing its operations following the regulatory inquiries.

The team announced late on Friday that “DMM regrets the necessity of this action,” but mToken minting will no longer be available, effective immediately. The redemption of mToken, however, will be available for an indefinite time period. But the interest rate on mTokens will drop to 0% around Feb 10, 2021.

“Capital and interest are currently available to fund the redemption of all outstanding mTokens plus accrued interest,” noted the team. As such, mTokens holders are advised to redeem them as soon as possible.

The governance token of the project DMG also lost more than 84% of its value and is currently trading around $0.104 ever since the news of shut down broke out. For DMG tokens’ redemption as well, an additional fund of available assets is rolled out, details of which will be shared soon.

“Sad to see what happened with DMG today,” tweeted derivatives exchange FTX, which is keeping the DMG market open to let people trade if they want, though leverage will be reined in. Since its drop to $0.045, DMG has been up 28%.

“We don’t know of any nefarious things that happened but will investigate given the unusual price pattern,” added FTX.

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Author: AnTy

DoJ & Chainalysis Partner to Hunt Down NetWalker Ransomware that Targeted Hospitals

DoJ & Chainalysis Partner to Hunt Down NetWalker Ransomware that Targeted Hospitals

The U.S Department of Justice (DoJ) said on Wednesday that it has managed to disrupt notorious ransomware dubbed Netwalker. This operation was done in collaboration with Bulgarian authorities and intelligence firm Chainalysis which provided the resources for tracking the malicious operations and players.

A Canadian national by the name of Sebastien Vachon-Desjardins has since been arrested and charged for using the Netwalker ransomware to acquire $27.6 million worth of crypto assets. The Netwalker hardware was tracked down in Bulgaria and DoJ said that they managed to seize $454,530.19 in cryptocurrencies. Notably, ransomware attacks in crypto increased by 311% to hit $350 million in 2020 according to Chainalysis.

The new developments by the DoJ in collaboration with Bulgaria’s authorities’ further reveal a growing trend in ransomware attacks, especially those that target nascent industries like crypto. Per the Chainalysis Netwalker breakdown, this sophisticated ransomware operates as a ransomware-as-a-service (Raas). Attackers assume the role of affiliates where they pay a commission to administrators, after successful attacks.

“Attackers known as affiliates ‘rent’ usage of a particular ransomware strain from its creators or administrators, who in exchange get a cut of the money from each successful attack affiliates carry out. RaaS has led to more attacks, making it even more difficult to quantify the full financial impact.”

The FBI discovered this ransomware mid-last year; at the time, main targets included hospitals with the pandemic presenting an opportunity to strike. Other institutions like companies, universities, and municipalities have also fallen victim to the Netwalker ransomware attacks.

Well, it seems like authorities have finally caught up with the sophisticated attackers. Acting Assistant AG Nicholas L McQuaid said that they are on top of the matter from all angles;

“We are striking back against the growing threat of ransomware by not only bringing criminal charges against the responsible actors, but also disrupting criminal online infrastructure and, wherever possible, recovering ransom payments extorted from victims.”

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Bitmain’s Co-Founder Jihan Wu Steps Down In Bid To Settle Longstanding Power Struggles

Bitmain’s Co-Founder Jihan Wu Steps Down In Bid To Settle Longstanding Power Struggles

The leadership disputes within Bitmain, the world’s biggest mining firm, have finally been resolved. One of Bitmain’s co-founder, Jihan Wu, is set to resign as the company’s CEO as part of the settlement. The settlement means that Micree Zhan will now regain control of the mining giant. Bitmain co-founder Jihan Wu said in a statement on Tuesday,

“I have resigned from the CEO and Chairman [positions at] Bitmain as of today, the disagreement between Micree and myself, the two co-founders of Bitmain, has been finally settled in an amicable and, more importantly, a constructive manner.”

To operationalize the settlement agreement and the leadership changes, Bitmain’s subsidiaries have embarked on filing legal materials to effect changes in their boards and legal representatives.

Zhan bought approximately half of the firm’s shares for about $600 million from a holding company known as Bitsource. Bitsource is believed to be a code name made up of the founding shareholders consisting of Jihan. According to the press statement, Zhan finished the takeover by obtaining a loan of $400,000 from Bitmain as well as $200 million from different fundraising activities outside the Bitsource group.

Following his resignation, Jihan is expected to become the head of Bitdeer, an offshoot of Bitmain with several mining farms in Norway and the US. Jihan will become Bitdeer’s chair while the CEO will be Matt Kong. The settlement agreement also states that Antpool will become an independent company and be in the hands of Micree.

Jihan also explained that the settlement would allow the streamlining of Bitmain’s business model, paving the way for the company to seek an initial public offering. In the past, Bitmain has fruitlessly tried to go public.

The agreement also notes that Bitmain will have a new board consisting of five members. Zhan is expected to appoint three, while Jihan will appoint two. Already, Jihan has appointed Jianchun Liu, Bitmain’s chief financial officer, and Xiang Zhu, a top designer in the company.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Russian Crypto Exchange, Livecoin, Shuts Down After Alleged Christmas Eve Hack

Russian Crypto Exchange, Livecoin, Shuts Down After Alleged Christmas Eve Hack

After reporting an attack in December last year, Russian crypto exchange Livecoin has now announced the closure of its services. The exchange stated that it was taking the drastic step following a carefully executed hack in December 2020.

In an official statement, the exchange stated that it could not go on with its business as the hack had affected its technical and financial capacity. However, the exchange clarified that it would refund all its clients. A press release shared with Bitcoin Exchange Guide reads,

“Our service has been damaged hard in technical and financial ways. There is no way to continue operative business in these conditions, so we take a hard decision to close the business and pay the remaining funds to clients.”

Currently, the amount of funds left remains unclear. The exchange also did not reveal the dollar amount of funds that were lost in the alleged hack.

The alleged hack occurred at the end of last year, and at the time, Bitcoin was trading above $20,000. During Christmas eve, Livecoin announced that it had been attacked and was not in control of a number of its servers. The exchange warned its users to quit using its services forthwith.

It is believed that the hackers were able to steal about 106 BTC, 236 BCH, 380 ETH, 66.8 million DOGE, 567,012 XRP, and unreported amounts of ERC-20 and USDT.

It is also believed that a huge amount of Ethereum-based funds were changed to DAI on Uniswap, a decentralized exchange. Additionally, a huge amount of the remaining funds were transferred to cryptocurrency exchange KuCoin.

According to the press statement, customers have been given up to March 17 to make official claims for refunds. The firm is also asking its customers to be cautious of potential fraud in various messages and other channels with people representing themselves as team members of Livecoin. The press statement reads,

“Do not send money to anyone. You don’t have to pay to get back your funds from us, the only thing you need is to send a request and follow simple procedure.”

The firm is also asking its clients to get all official communications from Livecoin.news only. However, some clients have stated that the email address given on the new media channel is inactive.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

German Police Shut Down Dark Market that Facilitated $170M in Crypto Transactions

German Police Shut Down Dark Market that Facilitated $170 Million in Cryptocurrency Transactions

In the latest crackdown on the Darknet marketplace, German police arrested a 34-year-old Australian national near the Danish border who allegedly operated DarkMarket, a site used by half a million people.

According to the prosecutors in the western German city of Koblenz, DarkMarket facilitated at least 320,000 transactions that include 4,650 for Bitcoin (BTC), 12,800 for Monero (XMR), and another cryptocurrency, totaling more than 140 million euros ($170 million).

More than 20 servers were also confiscated in Moldova and Ukraine by the authorities.

The platform was used to sell drugs along with counterfeit money, stolen and fraudulent credit card information, anonymous SIM cards, and malware offerings.

Authorities from around the world contributed to this investigation — from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to the EU’s Europol and police from the U.K., Denmark, and Ukraine.

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Author: AnTy