Bitcoin Slides Back Below $10K Amid Quick Bearish Sell-Off

Bitcoin Slides Back Below $10K Amid Quick Bearish Sell-Off

Bitcoin has dipped back below the psychological area of support near the $10,000 level amid a 20-minute bearish sell-off that took the markets by surprise. At around 21:30 UTC on Feb. 19, the price of bitcoin (BTC) fell more than 4.5 percent from $10,086 to $9,610, according to CoinDesk’s BPI data, despite the technical signs appearing to favor the bulls. On exchanges like Bitstamp and Coinbase, prices dropped to as low as $9,280 before quickly being snatched up by opportunistic buyers looking to capitalize on the fall. BTC is now changing hands for around $9,719. “I’m a long holder and even I’m shook,” said BTC investor and podcast host Brad Mills in a recent tweet. “That usually means too much exposure,” he added. Indeed, the sell-off caught many traders unawares as the price of BTC shed much of the gains achieved over the last few days with BTC’s price rising out of a prior area of resistance near $9,483 on Feb. 17 to above $10,000 a day later. So far sellers are intent on keeping prices below hourly resistances near $9,793 and will be a telling sign should prices remain below that level in the coming days, towards the end of the weekly closing session on Feb. 24. Yassine Elmandjra, a crypto analyst at Ark Invest, said in a recent tweet that today marks BTC’s fifth-largest hourly price drop in history. “The only other time we’ve seen a greater dollar price drop is at the Dec. 2017 peak,” Elmandjra said. Other notable cryptocurrencies are also down, with the likes of XRP (XRP), ether (ETH) and bitcoin cash (BCH) down between 5.5 and 8.1 percent over a 24-hour period. Tezos, on the other hand, is still trending up 5.46 percent on a 24-hour basis and one of the only crypto in the top 20 to still be in the green, Messari data shows. UPDATE (Feb. 20, 00:25 UTC): [DESCRIPTOR] Jehan Chu told CoinDesk that “today’s sell-off was nothing more than short term profit-taking in a market gaining steam. Pullbacks like this are common and we can expect oscillations, but this year’s upward and dominant trajectory for bitcoin is clear.” Disclosure Read More The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the…

Gemcoin Founder Agrees to Plead Guilty to Fraud, Tax Evasion for $147M Scheme

Gemcoin Founder Agrees to Plead Guilty to Fraud, Tax Evasion for $147M Scheme

Steve Chen, the ringleader behind the $100 million-plus Gemcoin fraud of 2013-2015, agreed to plead guilty Wednesday to tax evasion and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The 62-year-old resident of Southern California will face a minimum of 10 years in prison, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ). As part of his plea agreement, Chen admitted to running and promoting U.S. Fine Investment Arts (USFIA), an Arcadia, Calif., company that peddled investors its “Gemcoin” digital currency, backed by gemstones that did not actually exist. The multi-level-marketing scheme attracted 70,000 victims worldwide in its two years of operation for a total haul of $147 million, according to the DOJ. According to the DOJ, part of Chen’s plea acknowledges he reported income of $138,000 in 2014, far less than the $4.8 million he actually took in that year. “Mr. Chen lured victim investors around the globe by creating a mirage made of fashionable cryptocurrency features and dynamic marketing tactics,” said Paul Delacourt, the assistant director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Los Angeles Field Office, in the DOJ statement. USFIA also triggered a whirlwind of chaos in local California politics. An Arcadia councilor loosely associated with the project resigned under pressure less than a week after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission raided USFIA’s headquarters in 2015. The SEC’s subsequent case resulted in a $74 million judgment against USFIA in 2017. Read the full plea agreement below: Disclosure Read More The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Bitcoin Bulls Back in the Driver’s Seat as Price Crosses $10K

Bitcoin Bulls Back in the Driver’s Seat as Price Crosses $10K

View Bitcoin jumped above back $10,000 on Tuesday, reinstating the bullish trend and opening the doors for further gains toward $10,500. The bull case would strengthen with a descending channel breakout on the four-hour chart. A strong rejection at the channel hurdle could yield a re-test of the former resistance-turned-support at $9,825. Bitcoin (BTC) returned into the five-figure zone on Wednesday, reviving the bullish case and putting recent highs near $10,500 back on the radar. At press time, bitcoin is trading at $10,139, representing a 4.48 percent gain on a 24-hour basis, as per CoinDesk’s Bitcoin Price Index.  However, the top cryptocurrency by market value was looking weak 24 hours ago, having breached the 2020 rising trendline support at $9,700. The subsequent sell-off, however, ran into bids near $9,600, following which prices charted a near 90-degree rise to $10,290 during the U.S. trading session.  Tuesday’s spike marked an end of the pullback from recent highs near $10,500 and validated the positive shift in the long-term sentiment highlighted by the golden crossover – the bull cross of the 50- and 200-day averages.  As a result, bigger gains could be in the offing in the short term, more so as the price of gold, a classic safe haven asset, is again rising.  The yellow metal jumped 1.32 percent on Tuesday – its biggest single-day gain since Jan. 3 – on haven demand amid losses in the U.S. stock markets. Investors shunned risk after Apple warned it does not expect to meet its March quarter revenue guidance due to the coronavirus outbreak’s effect on suppliers in China.  Bitcoin has increasingly moved in tandem with gold so far this year. Its one-month correlation with gold strengthened to 0.70 in January from December’s -0.12, according to cryptocurrency exchange Kraken’s January volatility report.  Gold is currently trading above $1,600 per ounce and appears on track to test the six-year high of $1,611 reached on Jan. 8.  Daily chart Bitcoin jumped 5 percent on Tuesday, keeping the 2020 rising trendline support intact and confirming another bullish higher low at $9,467 (Feb. 17 low) – a sign of continuation of the rally from January lows near $6,850.  Additionally, prices closed well above $10,050 – the high of Sunday’s “doji” candle – confirming a…

Kyber Network (KNC) is launching on Coinbase Pro

Kyber Network (KNC) is launching on Coinbase Pro

On Monday, February 24, transfer KNC into your Coinbase Pro account ahead of trading. Support for KNC will be available in Coinbase’s supported jurisdictions, with the exception of New York State and the United Kingdom. Per previous launches, transfers will open during business hours, Pacific time. On Monday, February 24, we will begin accepting inbound transfers of KNC to Coinbase Pro. We will accept deposits for at least 12 hours prior to enabling full trading. Trading will begin on or after 9AM Pacific Standard Time the following day if liquidity conditions are met. Once sufficient supply of KNC is established on the platform, trading on the KNC/USD, and KNC/BTC order books will start in phases, beginning with post-only mode and proceeding to full trading should our metrics for a healthy market be met. Support for KNC will be immediately available in Coinbase’s supported jurisdictions, with the exception of New York State and the United Kingdom. KNC is an Ethereum token used for paying fees on the Kyber Network, a protocol that aims to make swapping digital assets and cryptocurrencies simple and efficient. The Kyber protocol aggregates liquidity from a wide range of reserves, powering instant and secure token exchange in any decentralized application. Please note that KNC is not yet available on Coinbase.com or via our consumer mobile apps. We will make a separate announcement if and when this support is added. The Stages of the KNC Launch There will be four stages to the launch as outlined below. We will follow each of these stages independently for each new order book. If at any point one of the new order books does not meet our assessment for a healthy and orderly market, we may keep the book in one state for a longer period of time or suspend trading as per our Trading Rules. We will send tweets from our Coinbase Pro Twitter account as each order book moves through the following phases: Transfer-only. Starting on Monday, February 24, customers will be able to transfer KNC into their Coinbase Pro account. Customers will not yet be able to place orders and no orders will be filled on these order books. Order books will be in transfer-only mode for approximately 24 hours. We will communicate…

OpenNode Finds Way for Retailers to Turn Fiat Payments Into Bitcoin (Using Apple Pay)

OpenNode Finds Way for Retailers to Turn Fiat Payments Into Bitcoin (Using Apple Pay)

The bitcoin payments startup OpenNode just gained access to Apple Pay, according to the startup’s head of marketing, Ryan Flowers. This could be a boon for the small subset of merchants who want to hold bitcoin, because it allows people to spend dollars through their regular fintech accounts yet still have those dollars exchanged to bitcoin for the merchant to receive. The customer’s fiat payment goes through OpenNode’s partner, Wyre, converting to bitcoin (BTC) and depositing in the merchant’s wallet. Merchants can sign up to be part of the private feature release, currently in beta, before it goes live across the platform in a few months. “They [shoppers] put the card information into the widget that OpenNode is using, in some cases the card information may already be stored, for example with your Apple Pay,” said Jack Jia, Wyre’s director of institutional sales. “So all the user does is click the ‘Buy with Apple Pay’ button” to make a purchase with fiat that the merchant receives as bitcoin. The same back-end rails that offer indirect access to Apple Pay accounts, which both OpenNode and Wyre declined to name, also work for most debit cards. Now shoppers can spend fiat at online stores and choose for the merchant to receive bitcoin. This assumes shoppers are willing to take a few extra seconds to benefit the merchant, rather than checking out without the bitcoin button. So this might only suit merchants with a devoted customer base. “Our merchants keep some, or most, of their payments in bitcoin. Merchants want exposure to bitcoin,” OpenNode CEO Afnan Rahman said of the 5,000 merchants registered with the startup so far. “This year a lot of luxury goods businesses are signing up.” OpenNode’s Flowers said shoppers are reluctant to spend bitcoin because of the volatility, but demand among merchants for receiving the cryptocurrency hasn’t dwindled. In particular, Rahman said the company has seen the most uptick in 2020 from merchants in India, South Korea, Japan and China. He said OpenNode processes “a couple million” dollars worth of bitcoin a month for such diehard merchants. The startup will initially deploy the Apple Pay feature with less than a dozen merchant testers. “We’re rolling it out slowly to make sure the rate of…

US Court Tells Telegram and SEC to Focus on ‘Economic Realities’ of Gram Token Sale

US Court Tells Telegram and SEC to Focus on ‘Economic Realities’ of Gram Token Sale

A U.S. federal judge says the SEC shouldn’t get hung up on “labels” in determining whether messaging platform Telegram conducted an illegal securities offering. In his first public remarks on the case, Judge P. Kevin Castel of the U.S District Court for the Southern District of New York began Wednesday’s hearing with an opening statement that urged both parties to consider the “economic realities” of the $1.7 billion token sale while recognizing that “disclaimers don’t control” how the court views the asset. Castel also asked about Telegram’s economic justification for locking up the first round of purchase agreements, whether the gram tokens sold in the first round had utility, if the TON blockchain would be able to operate at launch and what would happen if Telegram’s executives disappeared to the British Virgin Islands – where Telegram is currently domiciled – at launch.  Telegram’s attorney assured the judge the 36 validators on Telegram’s testnet blockchain showed there was sufficient interest in the blockchain from the “decentralized community.” The Securities and Exchange Commission, by contrast, focused on Telegram’s alleged legal violations, pointing to how the company’s sales to accredited investors were not done according to Reg D standards. The SEC is alleging Telegram violated federal securities laws with its token sale. An attorney with the agency argued Wednesday the two token sales to private investors should be viewed as a public offering, saying the company did not sufficiently restrict initial gram purchasers from reselling grams on a secondary market.  “We submit that this is the next step in a public offering in violation of Section 5 of the Securities Act,” said SEC senior trial attorney Jorge Tenreiro. At the beginning of the status conference hearing, Telegram submitted additional documents from the deposition of former Telegram chief investment advisor John Hyman and materials from foreign countries, and Judge Castel closed the evidentiary record. Tenreiro argued grams were sold with no utility to investors who had no interest in crypto outside of speculation. The SEC attorney pointed to investor memos that claimed returns in the double and triple digits, calling the transaction a “straightforward capital raise.” Judge Castel likened Telegram’s gram sale to gold, saying a seller would not ask individuals if they were interested in gold before selling…

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the DeFi ‘Flash Loan’ Attack

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the DeFi ‘Flash Loan’ Attack

There’s now a case study for how DeFi can go awry. bZx, the eighth-largest decentralized finance project according to DeFi Pulse, suffered two attacks last weekend following the introduction of “flash loans,” a new DeFi feature that limits a trader’s risk while improving the upside.  Led by CEO Tom Bean, the bZx team was attending ETHDenver, a major ethereum conference in Colorado’s capital, on Friday when an unknown attacker drained about $350,000 worth of ether from Fulcrum, the startup’s lending platform. As a post-mortem from the firm describes, the attacker took advantage of pricing data and a bug within the bZx protocol’s code to secure the payout.  bZx quickly shut down Fulcrum using a decidedly non-decentralized master key. Users and analysts saw an update hit GitHub, the code repository, that supposedly locked down endangered funds.  Trading resumed over the weekend with the firm announcing its intention to contain the damage in a variety of ways, including liquidating collateral to pay a now-uncovered loan, building an insurance fund and spreading losses across platform users. Despite the shocking incident, traders who had deposited money on bZx will barely feel the effects of the attack. bZx’s code patch for the first attack, according to blockchain security firm Peckshield But that wasn’t the end of it. On Tuesday, Feb. 18, attackers hit bZx again, netting $633,000.  While the amounts of money lost are still relatively small for the world of cryptocurrency, the attacks demonstrate DeFi’s move into the big leagues and the attention it will now receive from manipulators and thieves. If all this has been making your head spin, you’re in good company. Blockchain technology was complicated and abstract enough before people started building lending and trading services on top of it.  For the perplexed, CoinDesk offers the following explainer of the bZx hack and its broader lessons. Too much information? For a simpler explanation, listen to our Markets Daily podcast. The new frontier As the name implies, DeFi, or decentralized finance, aspires to one day offer a democratized alternative to the legacy financial system, where individuals can obtain credit on a peer-to-peer basis without relying on banks or other middlemen. For now, though, it’s a playground for traders – and a rough one at that. Since the…

Ethereum Price Aims for $300 But M-Top Could Reverse the Trend

Ethereum Price Aims for $300 But M-Top Could Reverse the Trend

The recent Bitcoin (BTC) price correction inflicted double-digit losses on many altcoins and while Ether (ETH) also took a knock, it recovered quickly compared to the price action of other top-ten altcoins. Since dropping 17.67% to $237.62 on Feb. 16,  Ether has rallied 20.78% to $285.99, less than $5 away from its 2020 high at $289.26.  Currently, two of the three price targets discussed in previous analysis have been hit and now that the altcoin prepares to overtake it’s 2020 high, traders have likely set their sights on targets above $300.  Crypto market daily price chart. Source: Coin360 To date, Ether is up more than 120% since the start of 2020 and the current market sentiment suggests the digital asset could continue to rise. Similar to Bitcoin, the recent convergence of the 50-day and 200-day moving average formed a golden cross and with the exception of last weekend’s sharp correction, trading volume has been noticeably increasing in the past 9 weeks.  ETH USD daily chart. Source: TradingView As traders push the price towards $300, $305 could provide slight resistance but above this, a move to $312, $323, and $337 are the next targets for investors. Above $337, the 2019 high at $367 comes into sight and after this $408, a lofty price not seen since August 7, 2018.  In the event that Ether loses its current momentum or experiences a sharp rejection at $305, there is support at $272. Below this, there is also support at $225 near the 38.2% Fibonacci Retracement level. The daily and 6-hour timeframe shows $285 working as resistance and the price has been unable to sustain above this level on the previous 9 attempts since Feb. 14.  Some traders will also notice what could possibly be the formation of an M-top. If this were the case, then Ether would need to descend to $237.15 to break the neckline and confirm the pattern.  ETH USD 6-hour chart. Source: TradingView If the M-top narrative were to play out, traders would look for a bounce at the 38.2% Fibonacci Retracement level ($225) which would retest the neckline at $237.15.  If bulls failed to buy into the dip with strong volume, one would expect this level of support to collapse, leading Ether price lower…

Bitcoin Gold Is Held Captive by Whale With Almost Half the Supply

Bitcoin Gold Is Held Captive by Whale With Almost Half the Supply

Bitcoin Gold (BTG)’s price is being manipulated by a whale controlling close to half of the circulating supply. These are the findings of an analysis conducted by an independent trader and analyst, who preferred to remain anonymous. He published his findings in a blog post, where he explained why he believes a single group of people accumulated their way into a huge Bitcoin Gold position, and are now using that supply to control the market. Accumulation through Bitfinex The events started in August 2018, when Bitfinex margin long positions began its sharp ascent to include almost two million BTG. The exchange makes its margin data publicly available, which can help gauge the general trader sentiment in a particular coin — for example by comparing the ratio of short and long positions. BTG/USD Longs on Bitfinex. Source: TradingView. In Bitcoin Gold’s case, the strong increase in margin positions was accompanied by lackluster price action. While the coin generally followed the broader crypto market, the price eventually spiraled downward. BTG/USD on Bitfinex. Source: TradingView. The analyst estimated that the 1.9 million BTG held at some point in Bitfinex represents between 38% and 48% of its total circulating supply. Bitcoin Gold was born in 2017 after a network fork from Bitcoin (BTC), thus maintaining its original history up until that point. This means that Bitcoin Gold contains at least as many inactive coins as its parent, including Satoshi’s cache. He further elaborated how he reached that figure: “Over 11 million Bitcoins (BTC) haven’t moved in the last year. Considering big wallets’ unwillingness to claim their coins due to fear of private key leak for a minimal return, it can be argued that a number even larger than 11 million BTGs are inactive or lost forever.” He then estimated a figure of 4 to 5 million active BTG. When asked by Cointelegraph why he is so certain that this is the work of one whale, he explained: “The accumulation was very consistent and systematic over the course of almost a year, it would be almost impossible for it to be a coincidence that multiple entities were using the exact same system to accumulate.” The analyst also conducted a manual analysis of the average entry price for the whale. By…

Bitcoin-Only Exchange Coinfloor Now Focuses on Consumer BTC Services

Bitcoin-Only Exchange Coinfloor Now Focuses on Consumer BTC Services

While the crypto community is talking about “altcoin season,” one of the world’s oldest crypto exchanges is calling BS on everything that is not BTC. After turning into a Bitcoin (BTC)-only exchange, the United Kingdom’s oldest cryptocurrency exchange Coinfloor is now expanding its consumer BTC services. Focused on Bitcoin, the world’s first ever cryptocurrency, Coinfloor is launching a range of new consumer-oriented investing and trading services in order to make Bitcoin easy for everyone, the firm said in an announcement shared with Cointelegraph on Feb. 19. Coinfloor wants to reduce stress of buying Bitcoin As part of its “no BS” approach to crypto, Coinfloor is starting to launch its new set of services today with the “No BS Education” guide. The new educational section on Coinfloor website is intended to provide free access to provide simple and trusted knowledge about cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin such as on how to buy crypto and choose a crypto exchange. Coinfloor’s No BS Education guide outlines that Bitcoin is the “most powerful form of money ever made” as well as the “best cryptocurrency for retail investors and traders” despite still not being perfect in terms of usability for everyday transactions. On the other hand, the guide notes that investing in altcoins — other cryptocurrencies than Bitcoin — “has historically been more risky than Bitcoin.” Obi Nwosu, CEO and founder of Coinfloor, emphasized that many crypto exchanges provide confusing or even dishonest services in order to benefit from beginners in the industry. According to the executive, the new crypto guide will help new Bitcoin adopters to learn the most proper information about the industry. Nwosu said: “Too many of our peers provide questionable, complicated and dishonest services to try and exploit novice consumers. […] It’s just as important to honestly educate people about crypto in clear language and reduce the complexity that’s prevented widespread adoption and stopped Bitcoin from fulfilling its incredible potential.” Reducing min deposit amount from $1,300 to about $300 Coinfloor’s other new services include auto-buying Bitcoin service and multi-signature Bitcoin custody. According to the announcement, Coinfloor’s Auto Buy option will be launched in March 2020. Nwosu noted in an email to Cointelegraph that both No BS Education and Auto Buy were developed by Coinfloor’s internal team. Outlining Coinfloor’s…