This Crypto Just Set All-Time Highs, and Analysts Don’t Expect It to Slow Down Anytime Soon

Chainlink’s price action throughout 2019 and 2020 has been unprecedented, with the crypto incurring intense upwards momentum in spite of the turbulent price action seen throughout the aggregated market. This firm uptrend has allowed the cryptocurrency to recently set fresh all-time highs against USD, with it just setting fresh all-time highs against its BTC trading pair yesterday. Analysts are now noting that this uptrend is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon, as it was just able to flip a previous resistance level into support that could help usher in significantly further upside. Chainlink Blasts to Fresh All-Time Highs Against Bitcoin  At the time of writing, Chainlink is trading up over 4% at its current price of $4.20, which marks a notable climb from daily lows of $3.90. The crypto’s massive uptrend has come about in the face of immense bearishness within the aggregated market, with Bitcoin and most other major altcoins incurring intense downtrends over the past week. This strength has allowed LINK to set fresh all-time highs against its Bitcoin trading pair, with it currently trading at 0.00048 BTC – marking a notable climb from recent lows of 0.00044. Although the bullish crypto has been able to set fresh all-time highs against its BTC trading pair, it is still trading down slightly from its recently established USD highs of $4.77. Nonetheless, its recent rally against Bitcoin has generated buzz within the crypto industry. “LINK Daily – Fresh highs,” crypto analyst Big Cheds noted while pointing to a chart showing its tremendous rise against BTC. $LINK Daily – Fresh highs — Big Cheds (@BigCheds) February 29, 2020 The Crypto’s Bullish Technical Situation Likely to Lead it Significantly Higher Importantly, the cryptocurrency’s recent rally against Bitcoin has also led it to flip a previous resistance level into a support level, which is something that could bolster it significantly in the days and weeks ahead. Crypto Michaël, another prominent cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter and a former trader at the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, spoke about this bullish occurrence in a recent tweet, insinuating that further gains could be imminent. “LINK: Perfect S/R flip on the previous highs for support and instant 36% bounce to ATH. Buy the dip,” he bullishly noted. $LINK #CHAINLINK Perfect S/R flip on the previous highs for support and instant 36% bounce to ATH. Buy the dip. — Crypto Michaël (@CryptoMichNL) February 29, 2020 Because Chainlink’s bears have failed to incur any notable strength throughout the course of its recent downtrend, with each dip being met with significant buying pressure, it is probable that its uptrend will extend further in the days and weeks ahead. Featured image from Shutterstock.

“Striking” Fractal Shared by Accurate Analyst: Bitcoin to Soon Explode Past $9,000

After a brutal start to the week that saw Bitcoin crash from $10,000 to as low as $8,500, the crypto market has finally started to show signs of consolidation. According to a well-known crypto trader who has predicted recent price action quite well, this consolidation is a potential sign that Bitcoin will soon re-enter the $9,000s. Such a move, other analysts have said, will confirm that BTC will continue higher, likely moving past its local high at $10,500 prior to the halving. Meet the Trader Who Called Bitcoin’s January Price Action Bitcoin’s strong surge to kick off 2020 has caught many traders on the back foot. Case in point: each leg higher in the price of BTC has been marked by dozens of millions of dollars worth of short liquidations on margin trading platforms like BitMEX. While the majority seem to have been caught off guard, one trader called Bitcoin’s emerging uptrend: Financial Survivalism, also known as Sawcruhteez. Just a day after New Year’s Day, the prominent trader claimed that Bitcoin was starting to show signs it was forming a textbook Wyckoff Spring pattern. The pattern, Sawcruhteez suggested, implied BTC was going to hit $9,200 in the middle of January. And that it did. By January 17th and 18th, the leading cryptocurrency had passed above the key psychological and technical resistance of $9,000. Now, Sawcruhteez is hinting that BTC may soon return higher past $9,000 after this week’s retracement. Sawcruhteez is Leaning Bullish In an analysis shared on Saturday morning, Sawcruhteez remarked that the 30-minute Bitcoin chart of the price action over the past five days is “starting to show some striking similarities to what we saw on the four-hour chart in December.” For those who missed the memo, the price action in December saw Bitcoin bottom in a way depicted in the studies of technical analysis legend Richard Wyckoff (the aforementioned Wyckoff Spring). What Sawcruhteez is suggesting is that BTC has over the past few days printed a price pattern similar to that seen in December, meaning that there’s a likelihood Bitcoin is bottoming and may soon explode higher past $9,000. The 30m $BTC chart is starting to show some striking similarities to what we saw on the 4h chart in December. 🧐 🤔 — Financial Survivalism (@Sawcruhteez) February 29, 2020 He isn’t the only one suggesting that Bitcoin has the potential to bottom around $8,500 to kick-start the next phase of the bull run. Per previous reports from NewsBTC, LightCrypto, a prominent cryptocurrency market commentator, laid out a case for why BTC may be bottoming at $8,500 to $8,600, near 20% from the $10,500 high. The case included the fact that Bitcoin has held up as gold has fallen under $1,600, the seeming impending rate cuts from the Federal Reserve and other central banks, the existence of the impending block reward halving in May 2020, and the fiscal policies being implemented by the world’s governments to respond to flagging economies. Featured Image from Shutterstock

These Maps Will Help You Locate Merchants Ready to Accept Your Cryptocurrency

These Maps Will Help You Locate Merchants Ready to Accept Your Cryptocurrency

Getting into Bitcoin is a first step many have already taken, and with the generally positive start of 2020, more are likely to make the move. But then there’s the question of what to do with your coins. Regardless of how you obtained them – through purchase, faucet, airdrop, fork, business, or salary — it’s an important point to consider. Luckily, options to spend your cryptocurrency have been increasing. Here’s how to find places that accept decentralized digital money using online maps.

Also read: How to Find Your Nearest Bitcoin ATM

Merchant Maps Show You Where to Spend Your Bitcoin

Interactive online maps are the most intuitive way to find anything these days, including merchants that are willing to take your crypto for whatever they sell. And while Google Maps can help you locate a few businesses dealing with cryptocurrencies near you, other platforms are far more specialized. is one of them, as its website allows crypto companies to share their coordinates for free. The map displays around 16,000 venues around the world that accept cryptocurrency payments. Users can filter these entries by multiple categories such as shopping, café, food, grocery, lodging, transport, sports, and nightlife. It will also show you ATMs where you can withdraw digital coins.

These Maps Will Help You Locate Merchants Ready to Accept Your Cryptocurrency

The website is easy to use. Filtering options are displayed on the left side of the map. If you permit your browser to track your location, the map will be centered on it and will offer you nearby crypto merchants. You can also zoom in on a particular city or district and check the tab that shows all merchants in the same area. Clicking on an entry will give you more details about the place, and allow you to visit its website or explore the surroundings in Google’s Street View.

While Coinmap lists businesses processing payments in various coins, other platforms are focusing on merchants that accept specific cryptocurrencies. These can be coins that have established themselves as popular investments and others that are valued for the utility they bring to electronic payments, whether with fast and inexpensive transactions or through other features that facilitate genuine peer-to-peer interaction.

Coin-Specific Platforms Focus on Merchants Accepting Payment-Friendly Cryptocurrencies is a community project spreading the word about restaurants, bars, supermarkets, hotels, and other places that mostly take bitcoin cash (BCH) and dash, but many of the featured locations accept bitcoin core (BTC) as well. It has a desktop version of its map and a mobile application you can download and install. provides you with basic information about the place you are interested in, including offered discounts for crypto payments. It also lets you check the location using Google Maps.

These Maps Will Help You Locate Merchants Ready to Accept Your Cryptocurrency
Bitcoin Cash Map’s offering in the genre, Bitcoin Cash Map, updates users about the growing number of locations accepting BCH. It currently lists almost 2,000 stores across the globe where you can pay with bitcoin cash. The map, which is also available as a mobile app, can be used to obtain contact information for the merchants and links to their websites. Green Pages is another BCH-focused option which allows you to narrow the search to stores where, besides bitcoin cash, you can also pay with four other major cryptocurrencies – BTC, ETH, DASH and XMR.

A different approach to finding crypto-friendly merchants is to check payment processors that track their clients’ activity. For instance, point-of-sale provider Anypay maintains a map showing businesses using its services and other locations that accept cryptocurrencies. The platform supports a number of coins including BCH, BTC, LTC, DASH, DOGE, ZEC, XRP, and ZEN. Locations are displayed in different colors indicating when the last payment took place so that you know which stores process crypto payments regularly. Clicking on a marker also gives you information about that business, its address and accepted currencies.

Explore Merchant Directories That Maintain Online Maps

Coppay is another company that allows users to accept cryptocurrency payments through instant conversion to fiat. It has a map on its website that shows the physical locations where the payment system is being used. Copay provides services mainly to merchants based in the Baltic countries of Latvia and Lithuania, although the company is working to expand to other markets and has already entered Portugal. Salamantex is a payment solution provider that has its own merchant map. Most of its clients are based in Austria, with a couple of stores in Croatia and Malta.

These Maps Will Help You Locate Merchants Ready to Accept Your Cryptocurrency

There are other sources focusing on a specific region. Maltamap, for example, will suggest places where you can spend bitcoin in the Mediterranean nation. The country has branded itself as “The Blockchain Island” in the past few years, after adopting crypto-friendly legislation and welcoming many crypto companies to its shores. A growing number of businesses in Malta accept cryptocurrencies including hotels, real estate companies, auto dealers, and various other service providers.

Specialized merchant directories offer another opportunity to explore cryptocurrency-accepting locations. Аcceptcryptoz lists over 800 such places in several categories including food and drinks, hotels and lodging, shops and markets, arts and entertainment, other services, and even crypto ATMs. Clicking the tab of any of these will take you to the category’s page where you’ll find a map showing you the contacts of the merchants and a list with more details about each one of them on the left side of the screen. These businesses accept one or more of eight supported coins and tokens including major cryptocurrencies.

What other maps showing businesses accepting cryptocurrency payments would you recommend? Tell us in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

Do you need a reliable bitcoin mobile wallet to send, receive, and store your coins? Download one for free from us and then head to our Purchase Bitcoin page where you can quickly buy bitcoin with a credit card.

The post These Maps Will Help You Locate Merchants Ready to Accept Your Cryptocurrency appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Here’s How You Can Invest In Bitcoin Retirement Plans

Here's How You Can Invest In Bitcoin Retirement Plans

With the Bitcoin and crypto revolution accelerating, interest in retirement-focused investment is growing. Whereas long-term savings is always a good idea for anyone seeking financial security, the unique nature of blockchain assets requires greater care and understanding to ensure success.

Do Your Research
With such a rapid pace of development and adoption, seeking to apply cryptocurrency to retirement investment must involve active management and research. Understanding blockchain technology is a must. Also, because Bitcoin is far from the only promising platform, steps should be taken to study the entire crypto space and make investment decisions accordingly. 
As the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency space matures, the legal and regulatory status of this new asset class is all but certain to change. Thus, remaining abreast of laws surrounding the purchase, transfer, and holding of cryptocurrencies will be crucial to successfully save for retirement. 
Choose a Well-Designed Bitcoin Retirement Plan
In most countries, choosing the proper investment vehicle can have significant tax and regulatory implications. In the United States, for example, almost all retirement savings are commonly placed in an employer-sponsored 401k, or an individual retirement account (IRA). This move results in significant tax savings but also restricts withdrawal until retirement age. 
Investors should make forward-thinking decisions on how to maximize tax advantages long-term. IRAs can be easily set up, and Bitcoin can be placed in them via a number of index funds such as the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust. Nevertheless, this type of investment will involve yearly fees. Also, the funds, not the owners, hold the private keys.
A number of companies offer specific Bitcoin IRA services. These include Blockmint and BitcoinIRA. Choosing one of these services may appear less risky, yet still comes with yearly fees and generally the lack of key ownership.
Retirement investing while holding private keys is, without a doubt, a smart move. To do so and still reap the tax rewards afforded to retirement plans requires more work, yet is not especially complex. One move is to create a limited liability company (LLC). It can then purchase Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies which can be held in cold wallets. Taking these steps generally requires working with a professional. 
Remain Consistent And Conservative
As previously discussed, steady and consistent investment strategies have yielded the best results for most crypto investors over the past decade. This plan should sit at the heart of any crypto retirement practice. A diverse portfolio of blockchain assets with a consistent monthly or weekly purchase has the potential to be remarkably profitable in the long-run. 
Cryptocurrencies are, without a doubt, a permanent element of the global financial landscape. This fact makes investing in them a wise move, albeit one that is risky and requires proper planning. Taking proper steps now can ensure an impressive, and secure, return.
Do you want to retire on bitcoin? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! 

Image via Shutterstock

Wilshire-Phoenix Responds to SEC’s Bitcoin ETF Decision

Wilshire-Phoenix Responds to SEC's Bitcoin ETF Decision

Wilshire-Phoenix responded yesterday to the SEC’s decision this week which denied approval for their Bitcoin ETF application. Their criticism falls in line with SEC Commissioner Hester Pierce’s dissent with the SEC’s denials of several ETF applications.

Another Bitcoin ETF Application, Another SEC Denial
The SEC had until a February 26th deadline to make a decision on Wilshire-Phoenix’s Bitcoin ETF proposal, which was filed with the agency last year. The SEC issued an order disapproving the ETF application, and denying Wilshire-Phoenix.
This denial doesn’t come as a surprise, the SEC has denied 9 other applications in the last year or so, including the ETFs proposed by Van Eck, and the Winklevoss brothers.
Even though it isn’t surprising that the Wilshire-Phoenix ETF didn’t receive approval, Wilshire-Phoenix still expressed their disappointment with the SEC’s decision.
An ETF is an Exchange Traded Fund, and it is an investment vehicle that would allow institutional investors a fully-regulated way to get Bitcoin exposure without having to hold or custody the underlying asset, in this case, Bitcoin.
Wilshire-Phoenix feels that the SEC didn’t give the ETF application their full attention, as Wilshire-Phoenix has offered to provide key data and additional info to help facilitate the listing of the ETF.
They agree with SEC Commissioner Hester Pierce’s dissenting comments where she voiced her personal disagreement with the agency’s rejection of many ETF proposals. Both institutional and retail investors believe an ETF is critical for the advance of Bitcoin.
Another Example of the US Regulatory Regime Stifling Innovation?
The SEC’s denial of the Wilshire-Phoenix ETF application comes on the heels of Boerse Stuttgart’s introduction of the first-ever inverse ETP for Bitcoin. Earlier this week, Germany’s second-largest stock exchange introduced the 21Shares Short Bitcoin ETP.
The 21Shares ETP allows investors to short Bitcoin during declining price action. Wilshire-Phoenix contends that the US financial markets desperately need an ETF, or ETP to keep from falling behind.
Hester Pierce agrees and voiced her unhappiness with the SEC’s denial of the Winklevoss ETF by publishing a letter in which she expressed her disagreement. She also recently made headlines for proposing a “safe harbor” policy which would allow blockchain startups a “grace period” from enforcement actions from the SEC, against unregistered securities offerings.
Another SEC Commissioner Robert Jackson Jr. stated that an ETF for Bitcoin is inevitable, however, he added that it must meet the agency’s framework and guidelines. Wilshire-Phoenix believes that they have met the agency’s guidelines and were still denied.
When do you think we will actually see a US Bitcoin ETF? Let us know in the comments!

Images via Shutterstock

Ethereum Sees Dire Technical Breakdown as the Bear Case Builds

Ethereum (ETH) has been closely tracking Bitcoin over the past week, which has exposed it to significant downwards pressure that has erased nearly all of the massive upside it incurred throughout the early part of this month. This downside appears to have invalidated the highly bullish market structure that the cryptocurrency formed throughout the early part of the year, and many analysts are now noting that it could be positioned to see significantly further downside. One top analyst is now noting that an inability to break above key resistance is likely to lead it lower in the near-term, which comes as its technical strength begins degrading. Ethereum Stabilizes Around $225, But Technical Weakness Grows  At the time of writing, Ethereum is trading up marginally at its current price of $225, which marks a notable decline from its weekly highs of $275 that were set last Sunday around the time Bitcoin ran to $10,000. The firm rejection at this level, however, sparked an intense downturn that ultimately led the cryptocurrency to lows of $210, which is where it found strong support. Because ETH is currently trading in tandem with Bitcoin, it is highly probable that where the crypto goes next will be dependent on Bitcoin’s price action, which means a failure for BTC to break above $9,000 could lead ETH and other major altcoins to see further losses. Independent of BTC, however, Ethereum may also see some near-term downside, as it is currently trading within a so-called “bear flag” that could mean another leg down is imminent. Jacob Canflied, a prominent trader and analyst, spoke about this in a recent tweet, saying “Triangle gang. ETH looking heavy.” Triangle gang. $ETH looking heavy. — Jacob Canfield (@JacobCanfield) February 29, 2020 Failure to Break This Key Level Could Spell Trouble for ETH In the near-term, analysts believe that ETH could also be exposed to further losses if bulls are unable to push it above $235, which appears to have turned into a strong resistance level. Crypto Michaël, another popular cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter, spoke about this in a recent tweet, telling his followers that a failure to garner enough momentum to break through this level could lead it down towards $190. “ETH: Not enjoying this one that much at this point. Couldn’t break back above $235 and flipped that level resistance. Might take the lows around $210 for bullish divergences before breaking up. If not, I aim $190/195 or flip $235,” he noted. $ETH #ETHEREUM Not enjoying this one that much at this point. Couldn't break back above $235 and flipped that level resistance. Might take the lows around $210 for bullish divergences before breaking up. If not, I aim $190/195 or flip $235. — Crypto Michaël (@CryptoMichNL) February 29, 2020 Assuming that Bitcoin continues ranging sideways or grinding lower, it is highly probable that Ethereum and other major altcoins will see further near-term downside. Featured image from Shutterstock.

Russian billionaire is getting into cryptocurrency, but not in the way that you expect

Vladimir Potanin, one of the richest individuals in Russia and the CEO of metal conglomerate Norilsk Nickel, received approval from the Central Bank of Russia to operate a cryptocurrency.

A central bank-approved cryptocurrency

According to The Moscow Times, Potanin stated that the central bank has given the company the approval it needs to operate the firm’s cryptocurrency.

He said:

“To some extent Russia appears ahead of many other jurisdictions in terms of digitalization. The central bank gave us a very wide mandate.”

Speaking to CoinDesk in October 2019, Potanin disclosed that the cryptocurrency and the blockchain supporting it are being developed on top of the Hyperledger blockchain network, with the help of IBM.

Based on the protocol the cryptocurrency is launching on top of, it seemingly prioritizes control and transparency over decentralization, which is structurally different from existing cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

At the start, Potanin noted that the cryptocurrency will only be available for a select few institutions, and it would have to receive an approval from the central bank on a case by case basis to further expand the blockchain network.

Local reports have said that the Central Bank of Russia have also tested the blockchain network of Potanin for four months, indicating that it is strictly overseeing the launch and operation of the cryptocurrency.

Norilsk Nickel to operate a cryptocurrency (source: The Moscow Times)

What’s the motive?

In consideration of the structure of the blockchain network and the use cases of the cryptocurrency, it is likely that the government of Russia is being flexible towards Potanin and Norilsk Nickel to showcase blockchain technology.

Potanin operates the biggest refined nickel producer in the world, and the central bank seems to have confidence that the company, due to its size, is able to deliver a blockchain network that will be used by many individuals on a regular basis.

With nearby countries like Japan, China, and South Korea increasingly focusing on blockchain technology, Russia could be exploring the potential of the blockchain and its use cases.

The difference between the approach of the Central Bank of Russia and other central banks in Asia is that it is allowing a cryptocurrency to be an integral part of a blockchain network.

Authorities have long called for blockchain networks and platforms without cryptocurrencies as an incentive system in place, favoring centralized blockchains or distributed ledger platforms.

Potanin and Norilsk Nickel could have been allowed to operate a cryptocurrency under the basis that it is strictly backed by palladium, cobalt and copper, as indicated by local reports. That would prevent significant volatility and speculation on price, as it would merely reflect the value of precious metals.

Other cryptocurrency-related sectors in Russia such as mining have expanded rapidly in recent months.

The post Russian billionaire is getting into cryptocurrency, but not in the way that you expect appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Market Analysts Naeem Aslam and Ian Balina Debate Coronavirus and Crypto

Analyst Naeem Aslam and Tokenmetrics CEO Ian Balina battle it out over the impact of coronavirus on crypto, and whether the halving is already priced into the markets.

In today’s crypto market discussion, Cointelegraph is joined by crypto analyst Naeem Aslam, and the CEO of Tokenmetrics Ian Balina to discuss the impact of the coronavirus on the cryptocurrency markets. 

Will the economic impacts of the coronavirus leave people flocking to cryptocurrencies as a safe haven?

Naeem Aslam is skeptical of Bitcoin’s purported ‘safe haven’ status, emphasizing that Bitcoin is a haven from central bank monetary policy, and not infectious diseases:

“I think when we talk about Bitcoin as a safe haven asset, we're really talking about in relation to central banks and their monetary policies. Right now, we don't have that fear in the market right now. The fear in the market is about influence of coronavirus [...] when we have something going wrong with the monetary policy, then, yes, we could see the momentum coming in because obviously Bitcoin the entire fundamentals base against the traditional monetary policy that the central banks are running.”

Ian Balina rejected the suggestion that crypto and coronavirus are correlated, stating: 

“We personally don't invest or trade on specific events [...] the coronavirus has not shown to be correlated analysis with Bitcoin or crypto in general. So because Bitcoin is a global asset class with numerous global events happening in tandem and it's very hard to pinpoint one particular event as being the catalyst, I think perhaps indirectly the equities markets having a huge selloff where over 1.7 trillion dollars was lost in a few days and I think crypto could be really just playing off of that.”

The pair also share their long-term outlooks for the crypto markets, the probable impact of the upcoming halving, and whether Ethereum will surpass Bitcoin by market cap in the next ten years. Don’t miss it!

Coronavirus, Drug Dealers and Buffett’s BTC: Bad Crypto News of the Week

Coronavirus keeps marching on the planet, drug dealers lose millions of dollars in BTC, while Tyler Winklevoss experiences his “Bitcoin pizza moment.” Check the bad crypto news of the past week

The experts have had a rough few days. Anthony Pompliano, co-founder and partner at Morgan Digital Creek, spoke to CNN about Warren Buffett’s poor view of Bitcoin. The Sage of Omaha had said that he doesn’t own any BTC and sees no value in digital currencies. Pompliano argued that Buffett might be a whiz when it comes to spotting stocks but he’s not so great when it comes to technology. 

Someone else who turned out not to be so great at technology is an anonymous Chinese crypto whale who is reported to have lost $30 million worth of BCH and $15 million worth of BTC in a sim swap. We’ve seen those before so keeping that kind of money in such a vulnerable spot… well, that’s about as thoughtless as not seeing any value in digital currencies.  

At least that whale can say he was robbed though. Irish drug dealer Clifton Collins has just lost nearly $60 million worth of Bitcoin. The former beekeeper had used his drug money to buy 6,000 Bitcoins in 2011, when the currency cost just $5 each. He stored his private key in the cap of a fishing rod. When he was jailed for possession of cannabis, his landlord cleared out his things, including the rod, which is believed to have been incinerated. If the cryptocoins weren’t lost, the Irish state would have confiscated them.

Collins will miss out on the benefits of 2020’s bull run. One estimate has values rising for 1,000 days, while according to one metric this has been Bitcoin’s best year yet. In fact, the only thing that could stop the rise of BTC would be… oh, maybe an international pandemic. The spread of the coronavirus might be one reason that Bitcoin has fallen from its $10,000-plus high over the last few days. But at least Coinbase is ready. The company has announced a three-phase escalation plan should the virus approach their offices. The first phase will be to clean the offices and restrict visitors, which might be a good idea anyway. In the second phase, the offices will be closed to all visitors and stop serving food. Once “containment has failed,” Coinbase will move into Phase 3. Staff will work from home and the offices will be locked down. It would be good to see what their plans are for a zombie invasion.

In better news, Shopify has joined Libra, a much-needed boost after the departure of Mastercard. And Caitlin Long may be about to give America its first bank for digital assets. That’s something to keep an eye on. On the other hand, New Jersey wants to regulate cryptocurrencies, and a bunch of central bankers think that they can run digital fiat currencies without a blockchain. Way to miss the point, guys. 

And finally, Tyler Winklevoss has said that he paid 312.5 BTC in January 2014 for a flight on Virgin Galactic. That was worth $250,000 back then. It’s now worth more than $3 million. He’s called it his “Bitcoin pizza moment.” Dapper Labs, the company behind CryptoKitties, is teaming up with Ultimate Fighting Championship to create “a new digital experience.” Fighting cryptokitties? Really?

And if you’re still not sure what this cryptocurrency thing is all about, we finally have the ultimate guide. You can find it on The Simpsons. They really are the experts. 

Check the audio version below:

Rising Bitcoin dominance may spell the end for altcoin crypto market rally for now

The dominance of Bitcoin is on the rise once again, amidst declining momentum in the crypto market. It puts the so-called “altseason” at risk of a falloff as bearish sentiment ensues.

The crypto market is on the decline as Bitcoin falls

The crypto market remains vulnerable to a sizable correction after a near 50 percent rally since December 2019. Subsequent to 100 percent gains, major alternative crypto assets such as Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and EOS have fallen by around 20 percent on average.

Due to various technical structures and fundamental factors such as the inverse head and shoulders (IHS) formation on the daily chart of Bitcoin, open interest in the margin trading market, and the funding rate of perpetual swaps, traders have started to call for a steep percent correction in the short-term.

Fiat inflows into the crypto market primarily come through bitcoin. As such, alternative crypto assets tend to increase only when the price of bitcoin recovers.

For that reason, when the Bitcoin price enters an extended downtrend, the altcoin market typically sees an intensified downside movement with lower liquidity.

Bitcoin in itself is a risk-on asset, and altcoins are even more high-risk than BTC; during a bull market, altcoins often outperform BTC and during a bear market, altcoins are prone to underperform against BTC.

In mid-February, when major crypto assets like Ethereum and EOS were outperforming Bitcoin, the dominance index of BTC was hovering at around 60 percent.

Within less than two weeks, the dominance index of BTC has increased to 64 percent, as investors look to decrease risks of their holdings at the possibility of a market correction.

Time of uncertainty for all asset classes

It remains uncertain if macro events play any role in the price trend of bitcoin or crypto. But, the coronavirus outbreak has had a negative impact on all asset classes across all sectors, regardless of risk-on or risk-off assets.

Gold, for instance, fell along with stocks over the past week, as investors started to panic sell all major assets as a response to rising fear against coronavirus and the possibility of a pandemic. Highly-regarded trader DonAlt said:

“For some odd reason, I don’t think the Coronavirus is bullish for Bitcoin narrative makes much sense. The media talking about a pandemic isn’t going to get people around the globe to buy a speculative asset, it’s going to get them to buy preserved food and face masks.”

In times of uncertainty, risk-on assets tend to perform poorly, and assets that have extreme levels of risk such as alternative crypto assets are unlikely to sustain their momentum in the short-term.

The post Rising Bitcoin dominance may spell the end for altcoin crypto market rally for now appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Bitcoin to See a “Golden” Short Opportunity if it Taps This Level

Bitcoin’s intense selloff has slowed over the past 24-hours, with bulls garnering some notable buying pressure within the lower-$8,000 region, subsequently leading BTC to enter a short-term bout of consolidation around $8,600. Although bulls have shown some signs of strength during this latest leg down, it is important to keep in mind that its price action over the past week has been bear-favoring, and its deep retrace from its yearly highs seems to suggest its bullish market structure may have been invalidated. Now, top analysts are noting that an incredibly strong resistance level that exists just a hair above BTC’s current price region may be enough to spark a major selloff. Bitcoin Consolidates as Analysts Eye Multiple Key Levels At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading down nominally at its current price of $8,660, which is around where it has been trading at for the past 24-hours. The cryptocurrency’s ongoing selloff first began last Sunday when it ran to highs of $10,000 before facing a swift rejection at this level, with bull’s inability to recapture its position above this level being a grave sign for the crypto. Analysts are now noting that how BTC responds to this ongoing bout of sideways trading should offer insight into where the markets will trend next. Crypto Micahël, a prominent cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter, explained in a recent tweet that a break below Bitcoin’s current price level could lead it to drop as low as $7,500. “Bitcoin: At this point, remaining fairly unchanged in the perspectives. Holding here and I assume $9,000-9,200 retest is likely. Losing it and I’d be pointing $7,500-7,700,” he noted. $BTC #BITCOIN At this point, remaining fairly unchanged in the perspectives. Holding here and I assume $9,000-9,200 retest is likely. Losing it and I'd be pointing $7,500-7,700. — Crypto Michaël (@CryptoMichNL) February 29, 2020 BTC Could Provide a “Golden” Short Opportunity if it Taps This Level Teddy, another popular cryptocurrency analyst, believes that Bitcoin’s recent price action has firmly invalidated its bullish market structure for the time being, leading him to believe further downside is imminent. He also notes that a movement towards $9,150 could be a “golden” short opportunity for traders, with a rejection at this level sparking intense downside. “BTC: Brutal breakout, supports were annihilated – clear bear bias of price structure. Currently consolidating in a down channel, historically they break upwards – 9150’s rejection will be a golden short opportunity. Retest of previous support as resistance?” #BITCOIN | $BTC Brutal breakout, supports were annihilated – clear bear bias of price structure. Currently consolidating in a down channel, historically they break upwards – 9150's rejection will be a golden short opportunity. __ Retest of previous support as resistance? — TEDDY (₿) (@TeddyCleps) February 29, 2020 If Bitcoin fails to garner any upwards momentum, or faces another firm rejection, prior to its weekly close tomorrow, it could mean further downside is inbound. Featured image from Shutterstock.

Bitcoin Price Falls $1,400 in One Week — Is the Bear Market Back?

After falling $1.4K in a week Bitcoin’s bullish trend appears extinguished but finding support at the 21-WMA could reopen the path to $10.4K.

This week the equity markets experienced their worst week in 12 years and as this meltdown took place the crypto market also took a hit. 

Bitcoin (BTC) and the cryptocurrency market saw a significant selloff this week and this outcome is relatively reasonable given that people sell their assets out of fear of potential economic instability. Other safe-haven assets like gold and silver also saw a massive selloff on Friday. 

Are the crypto markets going to find support in the coming weeks, or will we see a continued downtrend in momentum? 

Crypto market daily performance

Crypto market daily performance. Source: Coin360

Selloff ensues after Bitcoin lost key support at $9,400

The price of Bitcoin found resistance at the $10,400 level, after which a test of the $9,400 support was heavily needed. The $9,400 level was unable to provide sustainable support and as the price fell through it this caused a significant selloff throughout the crypto market.

BTC USDT daily chart

BTC USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The sell-off led to the next support area at $8,200-8,400 and many horizontal levels are lining up here, providing potential temporary support and space for a relief rally. 

However, for the short term, many believe that the upwards momentum is out of the markets as the price of Bitcoin is making a lower low (a key indicator for downwards momentum) on the daily timeframe. 

Does this mean that the entire crypto market will reverse course and enter a bearish trend? Not at all. The price of Bitcoin is still 27% higher as on the 1st of January, which makes Bitcoin one of the best-performing assets of the year. 

Weekly chart brings focus to the 21-Week MA

BTC USD 1-week chart

BTC USD 1-week chart. Source: TradingView

The weekly chart is currently resting on an exciting MA (Moving Average), namely the 21-week MA. The previous bull cycle held this level as support towards the bull peak in December 2017, which makes this an interesting indicator for bulls to hold on to. 

If the price could find support at this level, it could mean a continuation of bullish momentum in the coming period. 

BTC USD 1-week chart

BTC USD 1-week chart. Source: TradingView

The weekly chart also clearly shows the massive selloff of the past week. However, it’s currently resting on potential support. Holding the green zone around $8,400 would line up with the 21-WMA and possibly grant a relief rally. 

For sustained upwards momentum, it’s crucial that a breakthrough of the past high at $10,400 takes place but such a move could take some time. The market must find support before these levels can be targeted. 

If Bitcoin price can’t find support at $8,400, the next level to target is at $7,500-$7,700. 

Total market capitalization searches for support

Total market capitalization cryptocurrency chart

Total market capitalization cryptocurrency chart. Source: TradingView

The total market capitalization for cryptocurrencies was unable to break above $300 billion and also couldn’t find support at $250 billion so further downwards momentum was expected.

Currently, an exciting level is approaching as the 21-WMA is also showing up on this chart. Through the whole bull cycle of 2016-2017, the 21-WMA granted support on the total market capitalization as a whole. Providing support in this area would give bulls arguments for upwards momentum. 

Aside from the 21-WMA, a crucial horizontal level can be seen here. During 2018 and 2019, the market capitalization found support at the $225 billion level several times. Showing support here would grant potential upward continuation, as the total market capitalization had been making higher lows since the bottom in December 2018. 

Are altcoins close to bottoming out? 

Total altcoin cryptocurrency market capitalization chart

Total altcoin cryptocurrency market capitalization chart. Source: TradingView

The altcoin market capitalization shows a similar outlook as the rest of the market. There was a massive rejection at the horizontal level at $115 billion, through which the altcoins are searching for support also. 

The next significant level is found around $73-$75 billion, which is similar to the $225 billion of total market capitalization. Since the bottom in December 2018, altcoins have been consistently made higher lows, warranting a new upwards trend to occur. Finding support around the $73 billion levels would warrant another higher low and potential continuation upwards. 

The bullish scenario for Bitcoin 

If the scenario turned bullish, a relief rally towards $9,200-9,400 would be the first step. To do this, Bitcoin price needs to find support at $8,250-$8,400 in order to sustain some upwards momentum to retest previous support levels for resistance.

BTC USD 12-hour bullish scenario chart

BTC USD 12-hour bullish scenario chart. Source: TradingView

The next important question investors will ask will be: Can Bitcoin price break through the resistance and continue its upward momentum? If the answer is no, a likely retest of the $8,200-$8,400 area is next to occur. 

However, breaking the resistance around $9,200-$9,400 and making it support would open the door for a move to the next levels near the $10,400 highs of two weeks ago. 

And finally, finding support around this area would confirm the 21-WMA to be supported again, which is a massive indicator for bull/bear momentum. 

The bearish scenario for Bitcoin 

BTC USD 4-hour chart.

BTC USD 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

There’s no clear guideline for a bearish scenario at this point, but the chart is showing several perspectives. What traders should look for are potential bearish retests. If the price of Bitcoin rallies upwards without any volume and rejects at $8,950 or even $9,175, a bearish retest is confirmed, and the price should trend further down. 

If such a bearish retest occurs, the price will likely retest the support around $8,200-$8,400 one more time. 

However, the more support gets tested, the weaker it becomes. Heavy retests of this support would typically induce further continuation downwards to $7,500-$7,700 as the next primary support after this zone. 

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Seed Migration Tool Now Available

Trinity Seed Migration Tool Now Available

If you used Trinity from December 17, 2019 to February 17, 2020, your tokens might be at risk and you need to take action to prevent theft.

Summary: Trinity is a software wallet for the IOTA digital asset that has been developed for desktop and mobile operating systems. Managed by the IOTA Foundation, this open-source software project enables the user to manage their tokens over the IOTA network. On February 12, 2020 the Trinity Wallet was attacked via a third-party dependency from Moonpay, which resulted in the theft of around 8.55 Ti in IOTA tokens.

This blog post covers the release of the Seed Migration Tool: What it is, why it is needed to protect users who opened the Trinity Desktop Wallet from December 17, 2019 to February 17, 2020, and our path forward.

Quick Overview

The Seed Migration Tool (Mac version, Linux version, Windows version) is officially available as part of our plan to protect users from the Trinity Wallet Attack. It is an easy to use piece of software for MacOS, Windows and Linux that automatically migrates IOTA Tokens from potentially compromised seeds onto a new, unaffected seed. The tool has been thoroughly tested by the IOTA Foundation and audited by a leading security firm.

Trinity users will have seven days from 5PM UTC February 29 until 5PM UTC March 7 to migrate. At the end of this period, we will turn the Coordinator back on.

Do I need to Migrate?

We encourage all individuals that opened the Trinity Desktop Wallet between December 17, 2019 and February 17, 2020 to use the migration tool. This is because we cannot say with absolute certainty how many seeds were collected by the attacker while the vulnerability was being exploited on Trinity Desktop Wallets.

What happens if I don’t migrate?

We strongly encourage every Trinity user to use the tool within the seven-day window. Note that manual transfer to a new seed (without the official tool) after the seven day period is still possible, but there is a risk that tokens associated with your Seed could be stolen once the coordinator is reenabled.

Steps to migrate:

  1. Make sure you update Trinity to the new version

We have released an updated version of Trinity which allows you to check your balance and transactions. Please download the newest version of Trinity and install it over your old version:

When you download the new version, MAKE SURE TO CHANGE YOUR PASSWORD AND STORE IT IN A PASSWORD MANAGER. If you have also used the same password for other services or websites, we strongly recommend you change it there, too, as a precaution. By upgrading to this new version of Trinity, you will remove the vulnerability from your wallet.

2. Downloading the Migration Tool
You can download the tool for your platform here:

Mac version
SHA256 61F8EEA45AD40679DC2FB5D25700E49D5A459A0BA6AA16404B948608E968B9D2

Linux version
SHA256 C3F2A0E9F86B95DB5587A4B455EC920222E2C03B82746FAEC77339D597F07865

Windows version
SHA256 EB3E9CF087A1508A1992A336A6922988ABBF7E8DE83595AE660E51D37175F606

You can find more information on how to use this tool on our documentation site.

3. Follow the steps in the migration tool. Make sure to only migrate each seed once and keep the migration logs on your computer.

If you are uncertain about this process or need assistance, please reach out to our team or the community on the official IOTA Discord.

Release Strategy
IOTA believes in the strengths of open-source software, and in normal situations would release all installable software as an open-source project so you can inspect the code before choosing to install it. However, this is an extreme case, and we have elected not to publish the source code. Time is of the essence because delaying the attackers puts the advantage in your hands. We have internally tested several revisions of this application, submitted it for external audit, and are confident that it does exactly what it is supposed to do — and nothing more.


The security of any system can be defined as the strength of its weakest link. In the case of the Trinity Incident, the weakest link was the trust that the IOTA Foundation placed in a third party’s code delivery system — we own that mistake and have already taken measures to ensure it will not repeat itself.

In the wake of any such digital assault on private property, it is important to reflect upon what went wrong and how things can be improved. This is true of every undertaking, whether in the crypto sphere or elsewhere. Perhaps it is a stretch to imagine that “the whole world is watching”, but eyes are on us; observing how we handle such a delicate situation. So let’s recap:

  • We are striving to follow best-practices of transparency and remediation while taking a healthy dose of self-reflection:
  • We are actively strengthening the operational security posture of the IOTA Foundation against similar and hitherto unknown cyberattacks via external audits and the onboarding of new staff members.
  • We released a safe version of Trinity within five days of our first notification of users being impacted.
  • We have created a new piece of software that enables you to safely transfer your seeds and tokens, which will allow us to restart the network; resuming normal operations as soon as possible.

On that note, we are grateful to you and our entire community for being patient during this ordeal and look forward to regaining your trust, link by link.

Seed Migration Tool Now Available was originally published in IOTA on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

This article was originally published on the: IOTA Blog on 

The post Seed Migration Tool Now Available appeared first on Coin News 24/7 | All Crypto news sorted for all Coins.

Threat Alert: New Trojans Targeting Major Crypto Exchanges Apps Discovered

US-based exchange Coinbase is being targeted by a new banking Trojan that steals Google 2FA Codes.

ThreatFabric, an Amsterdam-based cybersecurity firm specializing in threats to the financial industry, has identified the "Cerberus" Trojan that steals 2-Factor Authentication (2FA) codes generated by the Google Authenticator app for internet banking, email accounts, and cryptocurrency exchanges.

US-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is one of the crypto platforms listed in Cerberus’ exhaustive list of targets — which also includes major financial institutions around the world and social media apps. 

The cybersecurity firm notes that it has not identified any advertisement on the dark beb for Cerberus’ updated features, leading it to believe that the updated version is “still in the test phase but might be released soon.”

Cerberus updated during early 2020

ThreatFabric’s report states that the Remote Access Trojan (RAT) “Cerberus,” was first identified during the end of June, superseding the Anubis Trojan and emerging as a major Malware-as-a-Service product.

The report states that Cerberus was updated in mid-January 2020, with the new version introducing the capability to steal 2FA tokens from Google Authenticator, as well as device screen-lock PIN codes and swipe patterns.

Once installed, Cerberus is able to download a device’s contents, and establish connections providing the malicious actor with full remote access over the device. The RAT can then be used to operate any app on the device, including bank and cryptocurrency exchange apps.

“The feature enabling theft of device’s screen lock credentials (PIN and lock pattern) is powered by a simple overlay that will require the victim to unlock the device. From the implementation of the RAT we can conclude that this screen-lock credential theft was built in order for the actors to be able to remotely unlock the device in order to perform fraud when the victim is not using the device. This once more shows the creativity of criminals to build the right tools to be successful.”

Banking Trojans increasingly target crypto wallet apps

The report also examines two other RATs that rose to prominence after Anubis — “Hydra” and “Gustaff.”

Gustaff targets Australian and Canadian banks, cryptocurrency wallets, and government websites, while Hydra has recently expanded in scope after mostly targeting Turkish banks and blockchain wallets.

Including Cerberus, the three Trojans target at least 26 cryptocurrency exchanges and custody providers. The targets include several leaders in the crypto sector, including Coinbase, Binance, Xapo, Wirex, and Bitpay. 

More than 20 of the targets are wallets providers offering support for leading cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH)

A potential defense against Cerberus is to use a physical authentication key to prevent remote attacks. These keys require a hacker to have the actual device in their presence, which helps minimize the risk of a successful attack.

This “amoral” crypto intends to allow users to profit from Coronavirus deaths

The rapid spread of the Coronavirus has sent shockwaves across the globe, sparking tremendous fear and leading the global equities markets, commodities, and even the crypto markets to see incredibly intense selloffs.

Some prominent analysts have noted that the ongoing global selloff comes as investors flee from risk-prone assets in favor of cash.

Now, one small ERC-20 token is looking to allow investors to profit from the rapid spread – and subsequent destruction – of the COVID-19, leading many spectators to question the morality of this initiative.

Coronavirus sees massive spread as WHO upgrades global risk level

The Coronavirus has been seeing an intense rate of growth over the past several days and weeks, now being found across 29 countries.

The rapid spread of the virus out of its country of origin – China – has led many to claim that it is only a matter of time before it morphs into a full-blown pandemic via community-based spreading – something that is already being seen in California.

The World Health Organization has now upgraded their global impact assessment of the virus to “very high.”

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus spoke about this in a Friday morning briefing, saying:

“We have now increased our assessment of the risk of spread and the risk of impact of COVID-19 to very high at a global level.”

This has sent chills down the spines of investors, with global stock indices, the aggregated crypto market, and even some so-called “safe haven investments” like gold and other precious metals all plummeting.

This crypto wants to allow investors to profit from COVID-19’s destruction

In a recent post on Reddit, the recent release of an ERC20-compliant token dubbed CoronaCoin is detailed, explaining that investors can now “bet on the coronavirus pandemic by investing on CoronaCoin, the more the virus spreads the more valuable the token becomes.”

The token supply will be burned based on the total number of COVID-19 related deaths and infections, thus inflating CoronaCoin’s value.

This idea hasn’t been met with great enthusiasm from investors, however, as many respondents on the post called the concept “disgusting” and “tasteless,” with one user going as far to call it “amoral.”

Conceptually, this notion of attempting to profit from virus-related death and destruction is quite morbid, making it unlikely that this token will be met with any significant utilization and adoption going forward.

The post This “amoral” crypto intends to allow users to profit from Coronavirus deaths appeared first on CryptoSlate.

New Malta Government Says It Still Wants to Run a ‘Blockchain Island’

Will Malta continue to be a “blockchain island” or has it lost its way to the top of the ledger?

Last week, the financial watchdog of Malta came forward with an unexpected statement. Apparently, Binance, a leading cryptocurrency exchange that had been enjoying a close relationship with local authorities, is not authorized “to operate in the crypto currency sphere,” as the regulator’s press release stressed. 

While the Malta Financial Services Authority has yet to license any cryptocurrency business — and not just Binance — under the country’s widely marketed cryptocurrency framework, the statement signifies a deterioration in relations between the cryptocurrency sector and Maltese officials, who have claimed to run a “blockchain island.” 

While the change of tone could be attributed to the recent resignation of Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and the subsequent arrival of his successor, it seems like the local cryptocurrency industry had started to experience difficulties even before that. Nevertheless, in a comment to Cointelegraph, the new government has reiterated its plans to operate as a blockchain island.

Inside Malta’s grand plan 

In September 2018, then-Prime Minister Muscat ambitiously presented his country as a blockchain island during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly. Indeed, about two months prior to the announcement, the Maltese government had approved three crypto-related bills, aiming to establish a strong and transparent regulatory climate: namely, the Digital Innovation Authority Act, the Innovative Technological Arrangement and Services Act, and the Virtual Financial Asset Act.

Although nations like Canada, Japan and Belarus had already enacted cryptocurrency-specific laws by that time, Malta's transition toward becoming a blockchain island was unprecedentedly rapid. The term itself was coined in April 2018 when Silvio Schembri, the current minister of economy, investment and small business, commented to Cointelegraph on the news about Binance, the world’s top exchange, potentially moving to Malta after facing regulatory difficulties in Japan, where it was previously headquartered.

Binance’s relationship with the Maltese government was indeed close at the time. For instance, soon after the article announcing Binance’s interest in Malta aired on Bloomberg, Prime Minister Muscat personally welcomed the exchange via Twitter, writing: “Welcome to Malta, Binance.” Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, also known as CZ, soon responded to the prime minister’s tweet, adding that he was optimistic about the overall possibilities for crypto in the country.

Further, at some point in the summer of 2018, the company even had a private event in Malta, which was held at the official residence of the President of Malta. “How many of you have attended a blockchain even at the presidential palace?” CZ asked while giving a speech under the ancient walls, adding, “We got very, very lucky with Malta. Malta came at a time when regulatory clarity was very much needed.”

Other foreign crypto companies looking for a friendlier jurisdiction soon followed suit, namely fellow exchanges OKEx and BitBay, which had been based in Japan and Poland respectively. Malta’s lowest corporate tax rate for international companies in the European Union — set at a modest 5%, compared to the EU average of 22% — appeared to be yet another rationale for relocating.

In October 2018, Malta continued its “pro-blockchain” politics, signing a declaration to promote blockchain usage along with seven other EU countries. Then, on Nov. 1, the three aforementioned blockchain laws came into effect — and that’s when local players started to first experience difficulties. 

Slow regulations don’t go well with a fast market

The most important part of the three Maltese blockchain laws — the VFA act — essentially requires businesses to get licensed by the Malta Financial Services Authority if they conduct initial coin offerings, trade digital assets, or provide electronic wallets and brokerage activities. 

The act also introduces so-called VFA Agents — entities that audit and advocate such firms. According to Christopher P. Buttigieg, the chief officer responsible for strategy, policy and innovation at the MFSA, “The role of the VFA Agent under the VFA Act is primarily that of gatekeeper,” or the first line of defense. The agency registered the first VFA agents in May 2019, six months after the act came into force. Currently, there are 20 authorized VFA agents, according to the MFSA’s financial register.

However, no businesses have been licensed under the VFA framework yet, despite the fact that it’s been more than a year since it was enacted. “This is definitely disappointing for the hundreds of companies which were lured to the country on promises of a friendly, understanding regulatory environment,” Jan Sammut, founder of ICO Launch Malta, told Cointelegraph. He went on to add:

“My impression is that the government at the time prioritised primacy to market ahead of operational readiness. Subsequently, what initially started off as an understandable desire to 'get things right' and not put the country's reputation at risk in the event of a scandal, seems to have devolved into the double whammy of an absolute overkill of a regulatory package, along with a total operational complacency in issuing actual licences.” 

“Crypto startups still struggle to obtain financial services due to regulatory sluggishness,” an OKEx spokesperson confirmed to Cointelegraph, adding that the exchange is still dedicated to operating from Malta, having applied for a license after the transition period ended. The OKEx representative elaborated:

“We would like to reiterate that OKEx would continue to commit resources to Malta and embrace relevant regulation. In 2018, OKEx has received permission to operate and provide its services out of Malta under the transitory provision granted by MFSA for a period of one year until the license is obtained. Recently, OKEx has submitted an application for obtaining a VFA license.”

On top of the MFSA’s apparent procrastination with the licenses, there are other issues — namely, their potential cost-efficiency. As Leon Siegmund, a board member of Malta’s Blockchain Association and founder of Bitcoin Club Malta, told crypto news outlet Decrypt of the VFA license, “It’s too expensive; it doesn’t provide any value. As long as it’s not passportable, it’s a small market, so it’s not really useful.” Reportedly, the MFSA requires a fee of 10,000 euros to handle a preliminary VFA application.

Moreover, the local approach to crypto regulation is not that soft. As Cointelegraph previously reported, on top of Anti-Money Laundering and Know Your Customer policies imposed by the VFA framework, there is also the EU’s AMLD5 directive.

Related: Governments Begin to Roll Out FATF’s Travel Rule Around the Globe

At the time, Daniele Bernardi, CEO of Malta-based financial advisory company Diaman Group, told Cointelegraph that the stringent compliance requirements have scared local banks away, making it difficult for local businesses to find a financial partner, “The banks in Malta don’t open any kind of account for crypto companies, due to their fear of breaking the AML policy.” Wayne Pisani, a partner at Grant Thornton, one of the 20 registered VFA agents, confirmed that sentiment to Cointelegraph:

“It was never the intention to create a soft touch regulatory framework as this would have run counter to internationally accepted principles of regulatory certainty and transparency. Indeed, the framework regulating the financial application of DLT is closely modelled on EU regulatory principles and follow ESMA guidelines.”

Pisani further added that simultaneous to the enactment of the laws, a parallel project was started “to launch bespoke guidelines setting clear procedures to guide stakeholders in their AML and CFT obligations which goes beyond the standards set by the EU 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive.” Similarly, a representative of the VFA Agent Forum, a soon-to-be-launched entity representing most VFA Agents in the country, argued in a letter sent to Cointelegraph:

“In its VFA framework, Malta has shown its commitment towards a high quality regulatory framework that does not create future inconsistencies with other international regulations. This shows that long-term strategy in having Malta establish itself as a high-quality jurisdiction in this space who is more interested in long-term sustainability rather than short-term quick wins.”

This cautious approach makes sense, given that the government of Malta has long been surrounded by corruption allegations. Back in 2016, upon reviewing the Panama Papers, local journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia claimed that a number of Muscat’s close associates, including his wife, had run firms to launder money and illegally sell passports. Eventually, Caruana Galizia’s blog, where she presented that information, became the most-read news source in Malta. In October 2017, Caruana Galizia was assassinated in a car bombing. Numerous mass protests followed, calling for Muscat's resignation, partly for his inability to resolve the bombing, which has attracted the EU’s attention.

On Dec. 1, 2019, Muscat announced he was stepping down due to the political crisis. The prime minister has been replaced with Robert Abela, a fellow Labour Party member and son of former Maltese President George Abela.

MFSA breaks it off with Binance, but the government supposedly remains pro-crypto

On Feb. 21, 2020, amid the uncertainty surrounding the VFA framework, the MFSA released a public statement, declaring that Binance “is not authorized by the MFSA to operate in the crypto currency sphere.” The agency clarified that recent media reports referred to Binance incorrectly as a “Malta-based cryptocurrency firm,” while the exchange “may not fall within the realm of regulatory oversight.”

Soon, CZ took to Twitter to label the statement as “a mix of truth, FUD & misconception.” Addressing news articles stating that Binance is not regulated to operate in Malta, the exchange’s CEO stated that Binance “is not headquartered or operated in Malta.”

According to an investigation conducted by a local anonymous blogger BugM, Binance has registered two companies in Malta, neither of which has reported any activity since their establishment. Notably, CZ has previously reassured that “any country that can attract Binance to open a branch in their location will receive a handsome tax income revenue.” According to Decrypt, Binance has a physical office in Malta but is headquartered in the Cayman Islands and Seychelles.

Sammut told Cointelegraph that this has been brewing for a while, adding that the MFSA was right to issue a clarification on the regulatory status of the exchange, elaborating:

“Bearing in mind that the company is not in fact under their supervision, the MFSA are correct in wanting to distance Malta's reputation from any potential fallout from an incident that they are unable to foresee due to the company not being under their oversight. On the other hand, if the MFSA got around to issuing licences maybe we wouldn't be here now…”

When asked to clarify its relationship with the MFSA, Binance did not reply. The MFSA also declined to comment on this story. 

However, although current-Prime Minister Abela has yet to publicly comment on cryptocurrencies and blockchain, the new government is apparently still interested in carrying on as a blockchain island. Bartolo Clayton — who has been recently appointed by the Abela as the parliamentary secretary responsible for financial services, digital economy and innovation, the position previously held by crypto-friendly Minister Schembri — clarified the official position on Binance in a letter to Cointelegraph:

“Binance has never been in possession of an official license by MFSA. Such statement has been further corroborated by Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance, on his personal Twitter account where he also stated that Malta has not changed its position. This, therefore, DOES NOT mean that the Government has in some way or another introduced a harsher or more stringent stance towards cryptos, but merely an authority stating facts.”

Clayton went on to add that the government of Malta is still committed to following the blockchain path and that more information will be revealed soon:

“The Government of Malta is committed to consolidate blockchain together with other niche sectors. It is the Maltese government’s belief that we believe that more synergies between these emerging sectors should be explored and encouraged in order to reap and exploit their benefits. Moreover, the Government of Malta is opting for an overarching and holistic strategy for the Digital, Financial and Innovative services in Malta. More details about the new strategy will be disclosed in the coming months.”

Thereby, the new Maltese government has not officially taken a different course concerning cryptocurrencies. As for now, the regulator continues to consult with industry players on its crypto-related initiatives. Earlier this week, the MFSA published feedback on the definition of security tokens and the challenges such assets face in Maltese markets, and how these “can be tackled in a manner that does not stifle innovation."

Bitcartcc’s Merchant Solution: Developer Builds Self-Hosted Btcpay Alternative Supporting Bitcoin Cash

Bitcartcc: Developer Builds a Self-Hosted Btcpay Alternative Supporting Bitcoin Cash

On February 28, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) proponents were introduced to a new platform called Bitcartcc. The project is a self-hosted open source payment processor that allows merchants to accept bitcoin cash easily. Bitcartcc was created because the developers behind the popular application Btcpay refuse to add support for BCH. Bitcartcc was built so anyone can leverage a “light and fast solution” for accepting bitcoin cash payments.

Also read: Record Breaking Interest – Observing the Predictive Power of Bitcoin Futures Over BTC Spot Prices

Bitcartcc: Self-Hosted, Open Source Payment Processor With Bitcoin Cash Support

A new self-hosted open source payment processor called Bitcartcc was unveiled on Friday, as the application’s creator announced the project via the blog. The developer’s announcement explained that the well known Btcpay server, another open source payment processor, refuses to implement bitcoin cash (BCH) support and they believe the organization won’t be adding BCH anytime soon.

Bitcartcc's Merchant Solution: Developer Builds Self-Hosted Btcpay Alternative Supporting Bitcoin Cash

Because of Btcpay’s stubborn refusal, Bitcartcc’s creator decided to construct an alternative. The project was also spawned because Bitcartcc’s programmers wanted to accept cryptocurrencies with their newly developed Telegram bot without any fees. “We had limited funding [and] we needed a light solution too,” the Bitcartcc developer wrote on Friday. “Btcpay didn’t work, nothing did,” he added. The creator of the self-hosted Bitcartcc platform also stated:

[Bitcartcc] is a light and fast solution for accepting cryptocurrency payments in your stores and apps, now supporting Bitcoin Cash — It is a self-hosted solution too, so you can be free of third-party for even just $3.5 a month, or even cheaper.

Bitcartcc: Developer Builds a Self-Hosted Btcpay Alternative Supporting Bitcoin Cash
The admin panel’s main page.

Bitcartcc’s documentation shows a number of deployment methods people can use with the application like CLI, GUI, and a Telegram bot. It suggests hosting options like Lunanode, Azure, Google, Docker, hardware deployment​, third-party hosting​, Raspberry Pi deployment, and ​manual deployment. The types of people and groups who could utilize Bitcartcc include online merchants, and physical brick-and-mortar retailers. Bitcartcc can also provide benefits to those working with freelancer payments, invoices, bill pay, charities, local payment processors, exchanges, developers, hosting providers, and even offchain Lightning Network payments. Bitcartcc highlights the attributes of the open source self-hosted solution which also includes:

  • Saving money (no fees, no subscriptions)
  • Cutting out the middleman (payments go directly to your wallet)
  • Enhancing privacy for you and your customers (no address re-use, no IP leaks to third parties)
  • Saving time (easy integration and installation)
  • Protecting yourself from interference in your business (self-sovereignty)
  • Decreasing the development time as we have ready solutions available for any kind of store
Bitcartcc: Developer Builds a Self-Hosted Btcpay Alternative Supporting Bitcoin Cash
The Bitcartcc developer’s announcement highlights that the payment processor offers “full control.”

Bootstrap an Online or Physical Store in Seconds

People who already have an existing website can use Bitcartcc with the Woocommerce plugin. “We have a powerful web admin panel to manage your stores (yes, you can manage multiple stores with one instance), products, and invoices,” the Bitcartcc developer stressed sharing a demo of the admin panel and a store demo. “If you’re a starting merchant with no coding experience, we’ve got you covered,” Bitcartcc continued. “Full-featured ready store, automatically fetching products you have inserted in the admin panel. You can bootstrap your own online or physical store in seconds.” Bitcartcc’s creator remarked that there are “unlimited possibilities” and the team built Bitcartcc on top of Electrum and Electron Cash with a number of forks.

Bitcartcc: Developer Builds a Self-Hosted Btcpay Alternative Supporting Bitcoin Cash
Bitcartcc offers users the ability to update and clean up their servers.

On Reddit and social media, Bitcartcc was welcomed by the Bitcoin Cash community. “Nice project and very active programmer, wish you success,” one person wrote in response to the Bitcartcc project on r/btc. “Btcpay is all politics that align with Blockstream — They even support Adam Back’s shilled bitcoin gold over bitcoin cash and of course Blockstream’s very own Liquid which has literally near [zero] usage,” another person replied. The Bitcartcc programmer who goes by the name ‘Mr. Naif2019’ on Reddit said he has an entirely different vision than Btcpay. Bitcartcc’s developer stated:

In my project I am going to focus on community — Community thoughts are important, and because of community asking I have added Bitcoin Cash support. I want this project to be a solution for everything, polished with time and community ideas.

What do you think about the Bitcartcc self-hosted payment processor? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

Image credits: Shutterstock, Bitcartcc,, Fair Use, Wiki Commons, and Pixabay.

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Did Stock Markets Lose Value Worth 694,573,873 Bitcoins this Week?

stock market crash bitcoin scale

After the shock of the coronavirus, stock markets turned down, erasing $6 trillion of value within a week. Here is how this value compares with Bitcoin.

Stock Markets Still Make Bitcoin Valuations Look Insignificant
The stock markets, a centuries-old and highly developed system handle trillions in value. A flash crash last week erased around $6 trillion in just a few days, after a panic sell-off based on fears of economic slowdown and a recession. The rapid index decline is massive in comparison to the scale of BTC trading.
A rough calculation estimated that the stock market erased value worth 694,573,873 Bitcoins.

The stock market fell the equivalent of 694,573,873 bitcoin in a single week.
— Blockfolio (@blockfolio) February 28, 2020

Of course, the total supply of Bitcoin will be only 21 million coins, which means the stock markets erased 33 times the hypothetical total supply of BTC. Stock markets reflect immense economic activity, and this is taken as a sign that in cases of wider Bitcoin adoption, the leading crypto coin may represent more significant value.
Currently, Bitcoin trading is relatively small in comparison to stock markets, even at $43 billion per day. Real liquidity may be even lower. But if BTC starts trading on par with more traditional assets, there are even higher limits to its potential valuation.
BTC May Have Unlimited Size Based on Traditional Asset Valuations
The New York Stock Exchange boasts of companies valued close to $30 trillion in total. To map that kind of value, BTC would have to cost more than $1.5 million per coin, a still outlandish valuation that is envisioned in a scenario of “hyperbitcoinization.”
The market cap of BTC is now that of a mid-range company, not even close to tech giants which are valued at around $1 trillion or above. The potential upside of Bitcoin is thus quite significant if the asset starts to appeal as a mainstream investment. The large discrepancy in money valuation shows the long-term potential and the possibility that BTC is just starting to become accepted.
The Bitcoin correlation to the stock market is rather paradoxical. BTC absorbs inflows from enthusiastic traders who do not yet see fears of a recession. For that reason, Bitcoin largely follows the general direction of stock markets.

Recently @sunnydecree made a video about the stock market showing strong correlation to #Bitcoin (from a Macro Perspective) and I have to agree with Sunny on this. @IvanOnTech made a response video showing that #BTC is not totally correlated. Which is also true. (Tweet Continues)
— Kevin Svenson (@KevinSvenson_) February 29, 2020

But on some occasions, BTC spikes during crisis news, acting as an offset to falling stock indexes. Bitcoin is also highly volatile, showing the possibility of rapid appreciation.
What do you think about the latest stock market moves in relation to Bitcoin? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Images via Shutterstock, Twitter: @blockfolio, @KevinSvenson_

Jack Dorsey Should Be Replaced as Twitter CEO, Investor Proposes

Well known activist investor Elliott Management has called for Jack Dorsey to be replaced as CEO of Twitter.

Billionaire investor, Paul Singer, is pushing for the removal of Jack Dorsey as CEO of Twitter. According to a CNBC article dated Feb. 28, the Elliott Management founder and activist investor is concerned about Dorsey’s time being split between two $5 billion-plus companies, and his desire to move to Africa.

Singer questions Dorsey’s focus

The $40.2 billion hedge fund managed by Singer took a major stake in the social media giant recently and has already nominated four replacement directors to Twitter’s board according to reports.

Dorsey has previously faced criticism for his role as CEO of two publicly listed companies; Twitter and Square, both of which have market valuations of over $5 billion. Singer is also concerned about Dorsey’s plan to work up to six months a year in Africa.

Square and Twitter both pro-Bitcoin

Dorsey is a long time supporter of Bitcoin and was instrumental in implementing an easy Bitcoin onramp into his company, Square’s, Cash App. As Cointelegraph reported this week, a full half of Cash App’s revenue now comes from Bitcoin-related revenue.

Square has also invested in Square Crypto, a team funded by Square, tasked with improving the overall Bitcoin ecosystem. Square Crypto made a number of hires in 2019, including its first hire, Steve Lee, who clarified his position in a tweet recently:

“I don't work for Square, I work for Bitcoin. Square pays me so I can spend all my time and energy working on Bitcoin.”

Why Buying Bitcoin at This Price Level May Make Sense?

buy bitcoin now

Bitcoin price is trading at the $8,600 level, and buying BTC at these prices may make all the more sense. But why? 

Bitcoin Already Corrected 20% from the Peak
Bitcoin is already down about 20% from its recent peak. In February, the leading coin touched levels above $10,400, before sliding back. After the crash, exacerbated by the overall market pessimism, BTC has now corrected significantly and may present buying opportunities.

/1 At the risk of looking like a fool by Monday, I want to make the case for why I am a buyer of Bitcoin at the $8,500-$8,600 level, near 20% off the recent local high. In a sea of shorts frothing about a continued plunge, it seems like the contrarian position to adopt.
— light (@LightCrypto) February 28, 2020

The recommendation by crypto Twitter commentator LightCrypto comes with a caveat, that short-term fluctuations may bring the price down. BTC sentiment has turned bearish, with more scenarios for a deeper dip.
BTC traded at $8,736.78 on Saturday, overall remaining bound in a range between $8,500 and $8,900. The Bitcoin fear and greed index sank to 38 points, signaling “fear”, and there is talk of shorting the coin.
However, shorting accumulation has also worked to reverse Bitcoin and liquidate those positions. Even with relatively low price moves, BTC remains risky for a move in either direction. A recent analysis based on wallet acquisition showed that roughly half of BTC addresses are in the money. Prices above $8,000 also have the potential to ensure strong support levels.
BTC Still Boosted by Long-Term Bullish Sentiment
BTC also has the tradition of once-per-quarter corrections of 20 to 30%. The fall from peak prices has already happened, and the price is still above the 150-day moving average. BTC still has to lead up to its halving, potentially returning to higher valuations. Overall predictions see BTC easily regain $10,000 in 2020, while potentially going for highs above $12,000.
For that reason, traders with long-term bullish sentiment also view BTC as a potential buying opportunity at almost every price dip. The leading coin has shown it can dip lower, but also stage a very fast recovery, moving to a higher tier within days.

#BTC still Holding Short.. as long as we close below Daily 200sma at 8770 by end of day.. i am short term Bearish
close above… slightly short term Bullish
— cryptorolly (@CryptoRolly) February 28, 2020

Bitcoin trading also happens on a short time scale, with the possibility of quickly erasing support levels. Spot buying and futures positions differ in their intentions, as BTC price discovery is a matter of different time frames and sentiments. Bitcoin trading volumes remain high above $43 billion per day, though the bulk of trading has switched to Tether (USDT), which is used as a safe haven. USDT volumes reach $56 billion per day, waiting to flow into BTC.
What do you think about the move of Bitcoin to a lower price range? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Images via Shutterstock, @CryptoRolly, @LightCrypto

Wilshire Phoenix Slams SEC for Bitcoin ETF Rejection

New York asset manager Wilshire Phoenix has issued a damning response to the SEC’s rejection of its proposed Bitcoin ETF.

Wilshire Phoenix, a New York-based asset management firm, has responded to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rejecting its proposed Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF).

The firm states it is “very disappointed” by the SEC’s ruling, emphasizing that it went to great lengths to ensure compliance with the SEC’s expectations:

“We made every effort to get the SEC’s attention on this important issue, including undertaking extensive analysis that was made available to the SEC staff, submitting key data, and offering to provide additional information to facilitate the listing of a much needed regulated bitcoin-related ETP in the United States. Unfortunately, the Order shows that all of these efforts did not receive the SEC’s full attention.”

SEC ruling maintains threats to US investors

Wilshire Phoenix filed its proposed ‘United States Bitcoin and Treasury Investment Trust’ with the SEC during January 2019. The firm described the fund as “provid[ing] investors with exposure to Bitcoin in a manner that is more efficient, convenient and less volatile than purchasing stand-alone Bitcoin.”

Despite the firm making six amendments to its application in 13 months, the SEC rejected Wilshire Phoenix’s application on Feb. 26 citing market manipulation and investor protection concerns.

William Herrmann, Wilshire Phoenix’s managing director, responded by arguing that a regulated Bitcoin ETF would provide retail investors with a safer means to access exposure to Bitcoin, adding that cryptocurrency demand will continue to grow regardless of the SEC’s ruling:

“Many retail investors are already investing in this commodity and investor demand continues to grow each day. Our ETP was created to provide investors with exposure to bitcoin through a regulated and transparent vehicle that also mitigates volatility. In my opinion, the Commission has done a great disservice to the public by rejecting this application.”

SEC “unwilling” to approve products offering exposure to Bitcoin

On Feb. 26, SEC commission Hester Peirce, colloquially known as “Crypto Mom” in the cryptocurrency community, issued a dissenting statement in response to the ruling.

The Commissioner argues that the SEC “applies a unique, heightened standard” to the Exchange Act regarding cryptocurrency-related filings, adding that the order is “the latest in a long string of disapproval orders” issued regarding “Bitcoin-related products.”

As such, Peirce concludes that the SEC is “unwilling” to approve “any product” offering exposure to Bitcoin:

“This line of disapprovals leads me to conclude that this Commission is unwilling to approve the listing of any product that would provide access to the market for bitcoin and that no filing will meet the ever-shifting standards that this Commission insists on applying to bitcoin-related products—and only to bitcoin-related products.”

Herrmann echoed Peirce’s assertion, stating: “The SEC has created a test for Bitcoin-related [exchange-traded products] that is clearly inconsistent with the Exchange Act.”

Why is Huobi’s Bitcoin Stash by up 150 Percent Since Jan 19?

huobi bitcoin stash

In the past year, Huobi has dramatically expanded its central cold wallet. Especially the Chinese crypto exchange’s Bitcoin holdings have seen a substantial appreciation. 

Huobi’s Influence Grows as More Bitcoin, USDT Funds Flow into the Exchange
The influence of Huobi cannot be underestimated, but also the fact that the exchange became the biggest Bitcoin (BTC) “whale”, surpassing even the Bitfinex cold wallet. The growth of Bitcoin deposits in Huobi took the attention of analysts.

Markets go up, markets go down, @HuobiGlobal keeps gobbling up $BTC.
BTC in Huobi's wallets is 150% up since Jan 2019 – only surpassed by @DeribitExchange (250% up), which has benefitted from a low base.
Binance may be "blitzscaling", but the money seems to stick elsewhere.
— Elias Simos (@eliasimos) February 28, 2020

The growth also follows a curious pattern. At the end of 2019, Huobi saw a sudden inflow of more than 100,000 BTC, within the course of a couple of weeks. This took the overall amount of Bitcoin within the wallet to 255,502.15 BTC, surpassing the second-largest wallet by nearly 80,000 BTC. Huobi now owns 1.4% of all Bitcoin created, an amount reaching about a quarter of the legendary haul of Satoshi Nakamoto.
Huobi is also one of the largest Tether (USDT) holders, with about 206 million coins in its known wallets.
The exact reason for Huobi’s dominance is unknown. The exchange has made the choice to create one giant cold wallet, instead of a few smaller ones. The market operator is also consolidating Chinese traders, and attracting international traders to Huobi Global.
Huobi Token (HT) Boosted by Buyback Program, Expects Huobi Chain Launch
Just as the Bitcoin wallet of Huobi grew by leaps, so did the activity of Huobi Token (HT). This asset was almost inactive just a year ago, and traded around $1. Now, HT trades with near-record volumes, and rose to $4.85, near its all-time record. The asset reflects the rising importance of Huobi. The exchange now carries more than $1.4 billion in volumes, though still lagging behind Binance activity, which jumped to $4.6 billion.
One of the reasons for Huobi’s prominence is the newly booming BTC futures market. Huobi reported volumes that now surpass even BitMEX.

— Huobi DM (Huobi Futures) (@HuobiDM_Futures) February 21, 2020

Huobi also showed aggressive expansion in boosting the importance of HT, while exploring the possibility of futures markets. The exchange aims to offer a perpetual swap contract, to rival BitMEX.

What’s to come:1. Test chain of Huobi Chain;2. Perpectual contract under testing!3. $HT margin trading;4. More use cases for $HT;5. C2C lending;6. @HuobiDM_Futures will accept HT as a contract guarantee asset.#BUIDL #HuobiSeason 🚀🚀🚀
— Ciara Sun (@CiaraHuobi) February 15, 2020

Huobi will also start a series of token burns for its native token, increasing the potential to make the asset grow. HT in a way may follow the path of Binance Coin (BNB), fueling both direct speculation, and rallies in other trading pairs. Overall, the growth for several Huobi indicators seems to signify a more aggressive expansion. The other bullish indicator for Huobi is the upcoming launch of Huobi Chain, a new blockchain to host the native token, and possibly new projects.
What do you think about Huobi’s growing influence in the bitcoin and the crypto ecosystem? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Images via Shutterstock, Twitter: @eliasimos, @HuobiDM_Futures, @CiaraHuobi