Bitcoin Drops Down $550 to $9,716 BTC/USD as Major Altcoins Price Plunge Suddenly

As soon as investors were starting to believe that $10,000 USD would be Bitcoin’s next bottom, prices dropped a lot. All the major cryptos’ prices, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Ripple’s XRP all went down today. In only a few hours, Bitcoin lost 5% of its price and other cryptos lost 10%.

Bitcoin was up almost 200% until now, so the plunge comes as a surprise for most investors and marks a bad day. Bitcoin went down 5.6% today, but it stopped to fall as quickly as it started and now prices are around $9,750 USD again.

The reasons for the drop in prices remain unclear at the moment.  Dave Balter, the CEO of Flipside Crypto, told Bloomberg that it looked like a planned sell-off. To him, investors were planning to cash settle futures, which are coming up this Friday. Another investor, Jeff Dorman affirmed that, as volumes are pretty low this week, it is easy to move prices up and down.

Another sign of what may have happened can be seen at BitMEX. Around $144 million USD worth of BTC was liquidated at the exchange, which helps to strengthen the theory that this was a planned move.

The Crypto Monk, a prominent internet figure, affirmed that the weekend was very bullish but the week was calmer, so investors decided to cash on the euphoria of the market.

Will the prices go up again or is the bull run over? Too early to say, that much is sure. The crypto analyst Murad Mahmudov from Adaptive Capital affirmed that BTC will now test the $9,750 mark. If it remains above it, there are good chances that it may reach $20,000 by the end of 2019.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Saudi Arabia’s Finance Ministry Warns Investors Against Scammers Posing as Government

There is a new crypto-related scam in Saudi Arabia and the local authorities are already warning the investors against them. The Finance Ministry of the country has recently warned the local investors against a group of scammers that are using the official symbol of the government to promote their own tokens.

This group is affirming that they are related to government projects when the truth is that they are not linked to them at all. The two projects, named SmartRiyal and CryptoRiyal, are fraudulent cryptos, the ministry affirmed.

According to the government, the promoters of the scam are claiming that the goal of the project is to finance NEOM, known as a smart city that is being constructed. This is a lie and the government has affirmed that it will pursue legal action against the company for using its symbols and name.

Assad Rizq, a local crypto expert, has told the Arabian media that the assets do not really exist. They are fake and even their white papers are copied from other companies. The idea is to hype the projects to pump the prices and sell tokens. The uncautious investors are afraid to miss out on this opportunity and end up falling into the trap.

He affirmed that the scam is so successful because it targets people that do not understand the market very well and that don’t do enough research. Without understanding the rules of the country and its regulations, it is harder to spot the scams.

In related news, the local government is creating its crypto, which is a partnership with the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The asset will be used to diminish the costs of cross-border transactions.

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Author: Nirmala Velupillai

Over 200 Cryptocurrency Exchanges in South Korea at Risk of Bankruptcy

South Korean cryptocurrency investors are facing a huge challenge as 97% of the exchanges in the country face bankruptcy. The exchanges claim low transaction volume and inability to open real-name virtual accounts as major causes for the challenge.

According to a report by Business Korea, the cryptocurrency exchanges in the country are on the verge of bankruptcy. South Korea has over 200 exchanges but only “five or six South Korean exchanges rank among the top 100 in the world in terms of reported transaction volume.” While the report provides no further facts on the statistic, the broader cryptocurrency market in the country is facing regulation challenges – which affects the exchanges business.

“It is no exaggeration to say that 97 percent of domestic exchanges are in danger of going bankrupt due to their low volume of transactions.”

Regulation Gives Foreign Crypto Exchanges Advantage

In July, BEG reported financial regulators in South Korea are continuing to tighten the regulations around the cryptocurrency industry – especially on exchanges. This is stifling the domestic exchanges from developing products for its market and pushing some of them to foreign markets.

Furthermore, investors are looking towards foreign cryptocurrency exchanges to trade their digital assets as it gets harder to make deposits and withdraw using the Korean Won in domestic exchanges. One of the crypto exchanges looking to provide Won deposits and withdrawals is Binance, in a bid to increase their market share in the country.

BW.com, a China-based exchange, is looking forward to opening Korean Won deposits in the coming weeks. The exchange already has a presence in the Korean domestic market having attracted domestic blockchain projects such as Ziktalk, Storichain, Payexpress and Sigma Chain.

South Korea’s Cryptocurrency Market Looks Stable

Despite the scare of over 97% of the cryptocurrency exchanges going bankrupt, the cryptocurrency industry in the country is growing. On August 2, the government announced the launch of a regulation-free zone to boost cryptocurrency and blockchain development in the country. Furthermore, Coinone, a South Korean digital asset exchange, provided a checklist last week announcing the onboarding of more trading pairs on its platform.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Taking A Look At The Biggest Crypto Hedge Funds and How They are Boosting Bitcoin Adoption

Hedge funds are one of the most popular choices for risk-averse investors and rely on the fund’s visionary founder and teams of analysts to guide their money in the right direction. Bitcoin remains a small percentage of the hedge fund industry, but even the oldest and most established funds can see what’s coming.

PWC estimates that there are 150 active crypto hedge funds collectively managing US$1bn AuM (excluding crypto index funds and crypto venture capital funds). More than 60% of these funds have less than US$10m in AuM with fewer than 10% managing over US$50m. 36% of funds surveyed use or can use leverage and 74% can take short positions. Of the funds surveyed, 44% pursue discretionary strategies, 37% quant and 19% fundamental. Crypto hedge funds tend to be domiciled in the same jurisdictions as traditional hedge funds.

At present, there are two kinds of cryptocurrency hedge funds. Those that manage portfolios containing exclusively cryptocurrency, and those that have added some cryptocurrency to a mix of other asset types.

The Largest Crypto Hedge Funds:

Let us take a look at the biggest crypto hedge funds in the ecosystem.

Grayscale Investments:

Digital Currency Group was launched in 2015 by Barry Silbert. He began investing in bitcoin companies in 2013. First, as an angel investor; providing funding for many of the earliest companies including Coinbase, BitPay, and Ripple. Established in 2013, Grayscale is a digital currency investing firm. Grayscale also manages the Grayscale Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC), which was the first publicly quoted securities solely invested in, and deriving value from, the price of bitcoin when it launched.

Polychain Capital:

Polychain Capital manages the world’s premier blockchain asset hedge fund. They are committed to exceptional returns for investors through actively managed portfolios of these blockchain assets. It is one of the biggest in the sector, gaining almost 150 per cent between launch in November 2017 and the end of that year. They believe society will restructure around blockchain-based incentive systems, and accelerate this future by allocating funds toward breakthrough technologies and technical teams building these ecosystems.

Galaxy Digital:

Galaxy Digital as a full service, digital assets merchant bank, with distinct trading, asset management, and principal investment. The company saw its assets under management (AUM) shrink from an erstwhile $1 billion high to $591.5 million in Q4 2018. Galaxy Digital Ventures manages a diverse portfolio of early-stage investments primarily centered around blockchain infrastructure, custody, exchanges, ecosystems, and business to business (B2B) software solutions.

Andreesson Horowitz:

They are a private American venture capital firm, founded in 2009 by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz. The firm has made 27 publicly-disclosed crypto investments through its main fund and its dedicated crypto fund. They launched a $300 million venture fund dedicated to investing in “crypto companies and protocols” in June 2018. They are optimistic in Bitcoin software because we are deep believers in the power of software. Software is simply the encoding of human thought, and as such has an almost unbounded design space.

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Author: Sritanshu Sinha

CipherTrace: Crypto Scammers Have Netted $4.26 Billion, $3.1 Billion From Exit Scams Alone

Crypto scams are profitable. There is a lot of hype around cryptos and many incautious investors around, so it is not uncommon that crypto crime attracts so many people. CipherTrace’s latest reports have shown that crypto scammers were able to swindle $4.26 billion USD this year.

While less money was stolen in the second quarter than in the first one, the numbers are still very worrisome. Exchanges lost $356 million in the first quarter and $125 million in the second one.

Exit scams, however, are the biggest winner when it comes to taking a lot of money. These scams alone were able to steal $3.1 billion USD from investors, more than half of all the money stolen.

What is actually considered an exit scam, however, is debatable. Quadriga CX, the exchange whose CEO took its money to the grave, is considered in contributing $195 million to the exit scam list, for instance.

The major winner, however, is certainly Plus Token. The scam was able to steal $2.9 million USD from investors using a pyramid scheme. Alone, this scam was responsible for two-thirds of the stolen funds.

CipherTrace’s research also indicated that Bitcoin is still the token most used by criminals, despite the popularity of Monero. In most scams involving ransomware and the dark web are mostly related to BTC. This correlates with the high dominance that BTC has in the market right now, of over 70%. Monero is still widely used in cryptojacking activities, though.

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Author: Lillian Peter

XTRD and CEX.IO Exchange To Start Partnership Offering Trading Services for Institutions

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The crypto market is booming in 2019 and institutional investors are appearing because of this. For this reason, there are several companies uniting now to catch the institutional investors. XTRD, a tech company, has decided to start a new partnership with the international CEX.IO in order to reach out for them.

XTRD is a fairly new company. It was created in 2017 by people who were experienced in forex trading, derivatives and equities. The focus of the company is in providing the technology for financial companies which are focused on the financial market.

The company has specialists who are focused on brokerage services, clearing, settlement, automated trading, market data and now it is going to focus more on the blockchain.

CEX.IO, on the other hand, is an international company that has got nine money transmitter licenses so far and it acts in 28 of the U. S. states. The company is somewhat older, being created in 2013 and was one of the first crypto exchanges to allow its clients to buy crypto with debit and credit cards. The company has 2.7 million registered users.

Now, the two firms will work together. XTRD will integrate its services with the crypto exchange, which will bring out the most from both companies this way. According to the press release, the new partnership will see all XTRD products being integrated into CEX.IO and the CEO of XTRD, Alexander Kravets, to assume as the U. S.-based CEO of CEX.IO.

According to him, the collaboration between them will help them to service institutional clients better and to create new exciting products. All the products of the XTRD ecosystem will continue to exist and new products will be created, but now also offered on the other platform.

One of the advantages is that CEX.IO is already compliant in several countries and states, so the company will widen its reach when offering solutions to investors.

The press release states that the two companies will jointly offer products for the institutional clients of CEX.IO and that the XTRD market data will be used with a unified DIX API. All XTRD clients will also be able to open accounts on CEX.IO easily. Basically, the main goal of this integration was to take the best of both worlds and offer to the clients that both companies already had.

By combining one company’s liquidity with the technology of the other, the heads of the companies hope to allow professional traders to access several liquidity pools and to free them from all the common headaches of using a single platform that provides no access to the greater market.

Clients will also be able to use the XTRD token in order to pay for services and purchase things using the network.

According to Oleksandr Lutskevych, the CEO of CEX.IO Global, this partnership is set to be the foundation of a whole new line of institutional services. Institutional clients require only the best, so by uniting their talent, the two companies are ready to take on this new challenge and give the clients the quality that they need and deserve.

The first product to be launched by the company will be the Single Point Access, which is expected to be ready for launch in around a year from now.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Enraged South African Bitcoin Scam Victims Burn Down The House Of Alleged Scammer

Enraged South African Bitcoin Scam Victims Burn Down The House Of Alleged Scammer

You don’t mess with Bitcoin investors from Ladysmith or, maybe, well, you do, but your house gets torched. After several South Africans lost their money to a Bitcoin Ponzi scheme in the rural town of Ladysmith, they decided to torch the house of the alleged mastermind of the crime, Sphelele “Sgumza” Mbatha.

According to reports, a group of angry investors decided to loot and set on fire the house of the man who operated the alleged Ponzi scheme. Some people took electronics from the house, but it was unclear whether they were investors or not. The local firefighters were called to the house and ended the fire, but most of what was there was lost. Other items that were damaged included a luxury car.

According to a local community leader, Mbatha was “unreachable” so they decided to take matters into their own hands.

The crowd of angry protesters included around 1,500 people. Most of them, however, were not directly involved in the fire. The same community leader quoted before also affirmed that these people gathered in front of the Bitcoin Wallet (the alleged scam) office before they decided to torch the house.

These people decided to go to the police because it was falsely reported that the alleged scammer was arrested, but they didn’t find him there, so they decided to leave.

He affirmed that most of these people were very angry because they believed that the scam would make them rich. In fact, the truth could not be more different. The scam promised them a return on investment of 100% in only two weeks but it delivered nothing instead.

As soon as Mbatha ran out of money to pay the investors, he simply decided to shut down the company and they were left without any kind of support. He affirmed that this happened because hackers infiltrated his site and stolen his money, however, this is not very likely.

He was clearly operating a Ponzi scheme with returns that were simply too big to be true. The “hack” was probably just an excuse to run away with the money. Mbatha also lied that he was only an employee in the company when there was proof that he was actually the director of Bitcoin Wallets Achievers, the official name of the company.

The community leader also affirmed that the whole situation was very sad. A lot of people who invested were very poor and lost the little that they had in the shady business. Some people are claiming that Mbatha has decided to run away, but no one has either denied or confirmed that so far.

While Mbatha was still not being chased, he got known as the “Lord of Ladysmith”. People called him that because he was often seen in the streets with an expensive car and living an ostentatious life in the small town.

At the moment, Mbatha is not only being hunted by the mob, as the police are also after him in order to determine if he really robbed the money or not.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Binance Labs-Backed Marlin Protocol Hoping to Supercharge Blockchain Speeds With $3M Funding

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Thanks to several seed investors, who included Binance Labs, Electric Capital, Arrington XRP and NGC among others, Marlin Protocol has managed to amass a whopping $3 million. But while achieving such a massive amount in seed round is no mean feat, it also explains the amount of confidence the investors have in Marlin Protocol.

Marlin Protocol is a promising startup based in San Francisco and Bangalore in India. The purpose of this company mainly is to create ways and means through which network speeds across various Blockchain is increased. The motivation behind this is because throughput constraints are largely perceived as the largest hurdles impeding fast Blockchain adoption.

Ideally, the startup hopes to overcome the impediments and enhance speeds according to what the company’s CEO, Siddhartha Dutta, terms “bandwidth-sharing marketplace.” According to him, the best way to improve the bandwidth is to use “relayers,” especially because projects such as Algorand are already using them.

Arrington XRP Capital partner, Michael Arrington, also spoke highly of the Marlin. He said that the protocol leads the way among the most recent Blockchain-agnostic infrastructure startups, adding that it will greatly enhance the network’s effectiveness.

However, Dutta’s decision to use relayers seems to make sense. Algorand uses them, even though as Dutta says, the total relayers it uses is in “single digits.” But he believes that if the same ‘single-digit relayers’ were to be “bribed,” the whole network would instantly be more effective. Relayers, according to him, are the real conduits of communication.

Marlin Protocol, therefore, aims to use this idea and introduce a web of relayers, which will collectively secure nearly every Blockchain. This would happen together with ordinary node activities like staking and mining.

A majority of ETH, BTC or pretty much any professional group of miners and staking companies know the importance of maintaining strong, stable bandwidth connections, according to Dutta. He expects nodes to be interested in jointly working with Marlin; after all they’ll be paid for the bandwidth they spend.

Marlin Protocol has reportedly partnered with a couple of projects already, all of them interested to run their services on its ‘private test networks.’ It has WandX, Blockcloud, Murmur and Holochain, even as the list is likely to grow.

Meanwhile, Dutta is optimistic about the planned launch of a public Marlin testnet. The launch date hasn’t been revealed and it could happen in two or three months. The mega launch of the targeted mainnet, according to him, is, however, expected to take place later in 2020.

While speaking to CoinDesk, Electric Capital Managing Partner, Curtis Spencer, was upbeat that the protocol will help enhance the efficiency of the network. He said that Marlin’s long-term vision that’s pegged on privacy-preserving packet delivery is exciting.

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Author: Lillian Peter

Investors Cannot Sell Their Digital Assets Due To Minimum Limits

  • Crypto investors are not being able to sell their virtual currencies due to high minimum limits
  • Blockchain.com says they have increased their limits to remain updated with network fees

It seems that there are several users that cannot sell their digital assets to the market because they are having trouble with the limit imposed by crypto wallets. Many wallets have imposed minimums that are currently close to $100 and small investors would not be able to leave the market if they want to sell.

Should Minimums Be Lowered?

Users that have less than $100 in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies might find it difficult to sell or transact their funds due to the minimums imposed by crypto wallets and platforms. According to a recent article released by Telegraph Money, many of those that purchased small amounts of Bitcoin (BTC) in 2017 and are trying to sell they are not able to do it.

Some of these platforms include the popular Blockchain.com wallet that has established very high limits for users to sell their funds. For example, Telegraph Money explains that there is a user that purchased 0.0062 of a cryptocurrency and found out that the minimum amount he could sell was 0.008. After some time, the user checked and the minimum amount moved to 0.01.

According to what Blockchain.com says, these minimums are established taking into account network fees. A spokesperson for Blockchain.com explained that they have evolved minimums to ensure users don’t pay uneconomical fees to move small amounts of money.

A recent analysis released by Interactive Investor shows that the minimums established by Blockchain.com seem very high compared to other companies. There are almost 18 million wallets that hold less than the necessary Bitcoin to reach the limit imposed by Blockchain.com.

In general, cryptocurrency exchanges have larger minimums for users to deal with virtual currencies. Trade and withdrawal limits also have very high limits. That shows that there are many things that companies in the space have to change, improve and enhance if they want to attract more investors to the market.

There are alternatives such as decentralized exchanges (DEX) and open-source wallets that would give users a different alternative to deal with digital assets and cryptocurrencies. However, newcomers tend to go to the most popular and recognized crypto wallets and services rather than using open source and decentralized platforms, which yet need to become mainstream.

[Author Alert] The author’s opinions above are solely based on their own self-conducted research. Assume any and all authors are using, holding, trading and/or buying cryptoassets mentioned as a portion of his or her financial portfolio. Use information at your own risk, do you own research, never invest more than you are willing to lose.

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Author: Carl T

Bitcoin Price of $100K is Within Reach in 2019, Likely to See $20,000 Within Next Two Weeks: Senior Analyst

Bitcoin Price of $100K is Within Reach in 2019, Likely to See $20,000 Within Next Two Weeks: Senior Analyst

For investors in major cryptocurrencies, this month has seen some of the most febrile activity and best performance from the likes of Ethereum and Bitcoin for a long time. Just where will this ongoing bullish trend take Bitcoin in the near future?

For Simon Peters – who works as an analyst for the online trading platform eToro – it could easily match and break past its all-time high valuation of $20,000 within as short a window as two weeks.

After this, he is very much of the opinion that it could hit $50,000 and even $100,000 by the end of this year. This is according to a claim made by Peters this week.

According to him, having seen that BTC managed to reach the current stellar performance at $11,800 this week, it is very possible that Bitcoin could reach and even break its peak figure of $20,000.

While he was hawkish on the prospects ahead of Bitcoin, he did provide caution regarding the fact that his predictions are based more on the current assumption that Bitcoin will be able to continue on this current trajectory.

While some investors and crypto enthusiasts remain hesitant at the prospects of this rally going forward; having seen past surges rise and deflate. But Peters is very much of the opinion that this ongoing rally is wholly different when looking at it side by side with previous surges in the market.

One of the examples he provides is the fact that it hasn’t been accompanied by previous increases in consumer-base investment, as was the case with the bullish year of 2017. We can attest to this on account of the side-ways trending of google searches for ‘Buy Bitcoin’ – which gives the indication that investment isn’t coming from grassroots consumers, but far more from over the counter investment as well as institutional investors that have pulled their capital out of Stablecoins and right into BTC.

Going even further, when questioned on whether or not the ongoing surge is sustainable, Peters gave the following statement.

“With the number of sell positions building in the market it’s possible we could see a correction very soon. Even if that was the case though, bitcoin continues to remain on track to close out the first half of the year on a highly positive note. We could see bitcoin reaching $50,000 or even $100,000 this year.”

Going on from this, Peters went on to highlight that the current gains that BTC was experiencing were at the expense of Altcoins; the latter of which serves most commonly as a hedge during times of bad performance from major coins. These same altcoins are currently being “pummeled” as they continue to languish at respective low points.

In stark contrast, Bitcoin has been demonstrating an inspiring parabolic advance, pushing it past $12,000 as of June 26th – the first time that it has managed to do so over the course of a year.

Going even further, the most recent data taken from CoinMarketCap has shown that Bitcoin has successfully managed to pass beyond the 60 percent range in market dominance for the first time in over two years – featuring a total market capitalization of more than $226 billion.

All of Today’s Bitcoin Price Analysis, Chart Forecasts and Industry News

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Author: James Fox