Category: Bitcoin Study/Strategy

BEARS ARE WRONG: Why miners are banking on a huge Bitcoin price rise

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Bitcoin Holds Above $11,300, Top Cryptocurrencies See Mixed Results as Market Reacts to Lagarde Appointment

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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro Reveals He Doesn’t Know What Bitcoin Is

Jair M. Bolsonaro, the president of Brazil, has recently revealed in an interview with a well-known TV show host that he doesn’t know what bitcoin is, while speaking about his administration’s decision to shut down an ‘indigenous cryptocurrency’ project.

According to local news outlet Portal do Bitcoin, the TV show host has been participating in various cryptocurrency-related events recently, and was speaking to the country’s president about a cryptocurrency-related project barred by Brazil’s Minister of Human Rights, Family, and women, Damares Alves.

Bolsonaro, with a disapproving tone, stated:

She [Damares] discovered at the end of the transition last year that they were earmarking Funai for RS $40 million, and do you know why Ratinho? To teach indigenous people how to mess with bitcoin.

The “indigenous cryptocurrency” project Bolsonaro refers to was signed three days before the mandate of Michel Temer, Brazil’s former president, ended. It would see the country spend roughly $12 million to bring in an “alternative currency” for its indigenous communities, in a move that purportedly could “transform the reality of these people.”

As CryptoGlobe covered, however, the project saw the government sign a contract directly with the National Indian Foundation (Funai) and with the Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF), instead of seeing organizations compete for it through a traditional bidding process.

At the time, officials claimed the UFF was chosen because of its “expertise” in similar projects. It’s worth noting, however, that Funai employees claimed the work that was set to be done was of “questionable technical relevance.”

Reacting to Bolsonaro’s disapproving tone, Ratinho asked the Brazilian president if he knew what bitcoin was. Bolsonaro replied he didn’t know but with help from the host managed to get a little more out:

It’s that virtual coin. I do not know how to operate that ‘train’ yet.

As Portal do Bitcoin reports, Bolsonaro’s son Carlos Bolsonaro appears to not yet properly understand cryptocurrencies. On the microblogging platform Twitter, he claimed the halted cryptocurrency project blocked “millions in bitcoin,” when in reality it blocked millions in fiat currency.

Featured image via Jair Bolsonaro’s YouTube channel.

Source: CryptoGlobe

Despite Bitcoin’s Drop From $9,000 Analysts Expect The Digital Currency To Reach $20k | UseTheBitcoin

Image result for Despite Bitcoin's Drop From $9,000 Analysts Expect The Digital Currency To Reach $20k

Bitcoin (BTC) experienced a very positive year. The digital currency was able to end the bear market that it started in 2018 and it reached the highest point in over 9 months. Although Bitcoin fell from almost $9,100 to $7,800 in a few days, analysts consider it can reach its previous all-time high once again.

Could Bitcoin Reach $20,000?

During an interview with The Independent, the cryptocurrency analyst Oliver Isaacs said that Bitcoin could eventually reach $25,000 by the end of the current year. That means that Bitcoin would experience a price increase of 224% in just six months, something that doesn’t seem impossible. Indeed, Litecoin (LTC) and Binance Coin (BNB) have surged over 300% and 500% respectively in the last six months.

He believes that there are several catalysts behind Bitcoin’s move towards $9,000, including the U.S.-China trade war that started some months ago. Bitcoin could eventually be used as a safe haven, even when the digital currency is volatile and is still young compared to other assets.

In addition to it, Garrick Hileman, the head of research at Blockchain.com, said during a conversation with the South China Morning Post (SCMP) that he sees a strong inverse correlation between Bitcoin and the Chinese Renminbi. Nonetheless, he said that they cannot be sure that the recent price surge experienced by Bitcoin was driven by trade tensions between China and the United States.

Isaac has also mentioned that there is increased adoption of Bitcoin and other technologies such as Blockchain. Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon and others are starting to work with digital assets and distributed ledger technology (DLT) in order to offer better services and products to people around the world.

It is also worth mentioning that there are other firms such as Fidelity Investments and the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) that have also been trying to offer new services to firms and larger investors. Although their products are not yet ready to be released to most of the users, they have made significant improvements in the last months.

Finally, during a conversation with Bloomberg TV, Jehan Chu, the co-founder and managing partner of Kenetic, said that he expects Bitcoin to be traded close to $30,000 by December 2019.

Currently, CoinMarketCap shows that Bitcoin is being traded around $7,766 and it has a market capitalization of $137 billion.

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Source: Despite Bitcoin’s Drop From $9,000 Analysts Expect The Digital Currency To Reach $20k | UseTheBitcoin

Bitcoin Plunged Below $8,000–Did This Cause The Sudden Price Drop?

bitcoin, bitcoin price, image

Bitcoin, which has been swinging wildly over recent weeks, has crashed under $8,000—suddenly losing almost $1,000 per bitcoin in a matter of minutes last night.

The bitcoin price, down around 8% over the last 24 hour trading period, is still up around double where it began this year after a terrible 2018 that saw many of the world’s biggest cryptocurrencies including bitcoin lose around 80% of their value.

It’s been suggested the latest sudden bitcoin sell-off, which sent the wider cryptocurrency market sharply lower, was caused by a so-called bitcoin whale selling a large amount of bitcoin then buying it back after the market has dropped due to the influx of supply—potentially earning millions of dollars in the process.

Last night a large bitcoin holder moved some 25,000 bitcoin, worth more than $200 million, from an off-exchange wallet to the San Francisco-based Coinbase bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange, as reported by a bitcoin and cryptocurrency whale tracking Twitter bot.

Shortly after that, 14,000 bitcoin, worth $112 million, was moved from Coinbase to another wallet, then a further 11,000 bitcoin, worth $88 million.

“If you do a little math and follow the timeline, it’s not hard to see that someone dumped 25,000 bitcoin for $215 million and bought it back shortly after for $200 million,” wrote Reddit user u/makoveli in a post to popular cryptocurrency forum r/cryptocurrency. “In doing so, they pocketed $15 million and walked away with the same amount of bitcoin as they started with.”

Bitcoin, despite being the most widely traded cryptocurrency with trading volume into the billions of dollars every day, still struggles with wild price swings due to large holders moving significant volumes of bitcoin.

bitcoin, bitcoin price, chart

The bitcoin price has risen and fallen sharply multiple times over recent weeks.

Following the sharp bitcoin price plunge, other major cryptocurrencies including ethereum, Ripple’s XRP, litecoin, EOS, and bitcoin cash all fell with EOS leading the field lower, down over 10% on yesterday’s price, according to CoinMarketCap data.

Bitcoin SV, a variant of bitcoin cash, itself a fork of bitcoin, was the only top 10 cryptocurrency largely unaffected by the sudden sell-off—something that will likely further speculation the controversial token suffers from low liquidity and high price manipulation.

You can follow me on Twitter @billybambrough and read my other Forbes posts here

Disclosure: I occasionally hold some small amount of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies

I am a journalist with significant experience covering technology, finance, economics, and business around the world.

Source: Bitcoin Plunged Below $8,000–Did This Cause The Sudden Price Drop?

The Large Bitcoin Collider Is Generating Trillions of Keys and Breaking Into Wallets – VICE

Since we first published this article, major security flaws in the Large Bitcoin Collider client have come to light. Check out our follow-up reporting on these issues here.

For nearly a year, a group of cryptography enthusiasts has been pooling their resources on a quixotic quest to brute-force crack one of bitcoin’s cryptographic algorithms for creating wallet addresses. This is thought to be impossible today, but if they succeed, at least one element of bitcoin’s cryptography will be instantly obsolete.

It’s probably due to the scope of the challenge that the project is called the Large Bitcoin Collider, after the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest particle accelerator. But instead of new physics, the Large Bitcoin Collider is hunting cryptographic collisions—essentially proving that a supposedly unique and random string of numbers can be duplicated. More on collisions and their ramifications for bitcoin later, but along the way the LBC is using its computing power to try and bust open bitcoin wallets owned by other people, and potentially taking the coins inside.

Read More: The Great Physical Bitcoin Robbery

The basics are this: bitcoin addresses containing funds can be accessed by private keys, which are generated at the same time as the address. Technically, a number of private keys could work with any given address, but you’d need a huge amount of computing power to brute force your way through enough possibilities to find any of them. The LBC attempts to accomplish this by recruiting the computing power of anyone who’s willing to download and run their software.

Finding a private key that works with an existing wallet is a fast-and-loose version of “cracking,” and gives the attacker access to all the funds inside. But when someone in the LBC pool finds a working private key, do they get to keep the coins?

“In principle yes, although there is a process defined where—if someone appears with an alternate key—the pool members consider him the owner of the address,” “Rico,” the pseudonymous lead of LBC, told me in an email. He would only tell me that he’s a computer programmer “past his 40s,” who lives in Europe.

As for the legality of all this, LBC advises participants with a rather laissez-faire attitude.

“Depending on your jurisdiction, this may be considered theft and is therefore illegal,” the site’s FAQ states. “However, there are many jusrisdictions [sic] where you could perfectly legally claim 5-10% of the value found. So you should consider if you want 100% and become a criminal or if you get 10% and still be a law abiding citizen.”

The LBC has been working for just under a year. So far, Rico claims, the project has generated over 3,000 trillion private keys and checked them against existing bitcoin addresses to see if they work, and has found three that do and contain bitcoin. They’ve found over 30 private keys in total, some of which are for so-called “puzzle” addresses that are suspected to have been generated as easy bait for crackers.

“This project has been called many things: Impossible, illegal, pointless, cool, etc.”

Cracking wallets may seem malicious on the surface—and if an LBC participant knowingly steals funds, it might just be—but it also has research value. Bitcoin security researcher Ryan Castellucci has done work cracking wallets as a proof-of-concept in order to model attacker behaviour and defend against it.

“The thing that disappoints me about this is that they’re only checking addresses that have a balance instead of all addresses that have ever been used,” he said in an interview over the phone. “For research, it’s much more interesting to check all addresses that have ever been used, because that will show you if there’ve been weak addresses created in the past and if they’ve been cleaned out by attackers.”

But cracking wallets is just one part of the LBC’s mission. The other is to find a genuine cryptographic collision, which would mean it’s possible to generate inputs that, when put through the bitcoin address hashing algorithm, generate an identical pair. If it were ever to happen, bitcoin would have to use a new cryptographic algorithm for addresses. This would be similar to Google creating a collision with the once-popular SHA-1 cryptographic algorithm, which ended its usefulness for good.

Read More: I Broke Bitcoin

“Finding a P2PKH-collision [one cryptographic method of creating bitcoin addresses] would probably mean the end of P2PKH but not bitcoin,” Rico explained, regarding the ramifications of finding a collision. “Bitcoin would evolve with new address types. Most certainly it wouldn’t ‘die’ because of this.”

Castellucci also urged caution when it comes to getting all riled up about the LBC’s search for a cryptographic collision in bitcoin.

“To effectively find [a collision], you would have to find some way to generate [keys] much, much faster than is currently known to be possible,” he said. “Unless they find some sort of breakthrough in cracking techniques, the brute force strategy they’re using poses no threat to anybody’s bitcoin.”

“Someone could play the lottery three weeks in a row and win every time,” he explained. “That theoretically could happen, but it’s safe to assume it won’t.” Castellucci isn’t alone in this belief. Others, on the /r/bitcoin subreddit for example, have been much less kind and called the LBC “pointless.” But that hasn’t deterred Rico.

“Since it’s inception [around] 8 months ago, this project has been called many things: Impossible, illegal, pointless, cool, etc.,” Rico wrote.

“I think there is more waiting to be uncovered by the LBC—including a collision,” he continued. “So with that in mind we really do not care much about what ‘someone on Reddit’ said.”

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Source: The Large Bitcoin Collider Is Generating Trillions of Keys and Breaking Into Wallets – VICE

Bitcoin Holds Over $6,000, Beats Stocks And Gold In 2019, Will It Ever Get Back To $20,000?

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Bitcoin has outperformed stocks and gold, so far, in 2019.

The digital currency has gained close to 68% YTD, the NASDAQ QQQ Invesco ETF shares have gained 18.09%, the Russel 2000 iShares ETF has gained 15.04%, while SPDR Gold shares have lost 0.08%.

Stocks, Gold, and Bitcoin YTD

Stocks, Gold, and Bitcoin YTD

Koyfin

Meanwhile, the rest of the cryptocurrency was mixed, with 30 out of the top 100 advancing, and 70 falling over the last seven days.

Table 1

Number of Cryptocurrencies That Advanced/Declined In The Top 100 Ranks

Cryptocurrencies Advance/Decline Number
Advance 30
Decline 70

Source: Coinmarketcap.com 5/10/19 at 10 a.m

“The worst of the bitcoin bear market is behind us,” says Ian King, senior research analyst at Banyan Hill Publishing, who specializes in cryptocurrencies.

He sees a number of factors driving the Bitcoin rally this time around. One of them is resilience. “In 2017-2018, Bitcoin had a boom and bust, but it’s still here,” adds King.“The November 2018 capitulation was a mirror image of the panic buying of December 2017.”

Market capitulations usually follow bad news, but are signals of strong turnarounds. “All markets bottom when they stop selling off on bad news,” says King.  “Two weeks ago, the NYAG claimed Bitfinex was missing $850mm in customer funds.  The market sold off and then rallied.”

That’s the 4th boom and bust cycle since Bitcoin’s creation 10 years ago, observes King.  “I’m more confident of this recovery than I was of the last, as there are more institutions and retail investors looking at bitcoin as a digital store of value,” adds King.

Meanwhile, Fidelity, Ameritrade, and ETrade are planning to launch institutional trading platforms within the next few weeks, raising market participation.

That’s a bullish sign for Bitcoin, according to King.

But will Bitcoin ever reach $20,000 again? Not in 2019, according to Farrukh Shaikh, Co-Founder and CFO

-Gath3r, LTD. “In the coming few months, it is not very likely at all to go near the all-time high of $20,000. However, 2020 is when the halving occurs for BTC, where mining rewards get cut in half ie reducing future supply,” says Shaikh. “This would be the 3rd halving for BTC since inception, and previous ones have been catalysts for huge price increases for BTC.”

And that could help  Bitcoin reach $20,000 by 2021, according to Shaikh. “Speaking from a technical analysis perspective. there are several scenarios where it can reach and surpass the $20,000 price point within the next couple of years,” adds Shaikh.“On a fundamental basis, real world use, adoption and acceptance of BTC is increasing with each passing month, which are also positives for its future price expectations.”

While, it’s hard to predict where the digital currency will be in a couple of years from now, one thing is clear: volatility will continue in cryptocurrency markets.

[Ed. note: Investing in cryptocoins or tokens is highly speculative and the market is largely unregulated. Anyone considering it should be prepared to lose their entire investment. Disclosure: I don’t own any Bitcoin.]

My recent book The Ten Golden Rules Of Leadership is published  by AMACOM, and can be found here. 

I’m Professor and Chair of the Department of Economics at LIU Post in New York. I also teach at Columbia University.

Source: Bitcoin Holds Over $6,000, Beats Stocks And Gold In 2019, Will It Ever Get Back To $20,000?

Financial Advisory Firm Says Past Market Trends Point to Bitcoin at $20,000 by 2021

Financial advisory firm Canaccord Genuity has predicted that bitcoin (BTC) could hit $20,000 by 2021 based on retrospective projections in an analysis published on May 9.

This prediction is based on a close similarity between the four-year price cycles of bitcoin during the 2011–2015 and 2015–2019 ranges, as shown in the following graph:

Bitcoin price cycles. Source: Canaccord Genuity

Canaccord Genuity points to the bitcoin mining rewards schedule as a possible cause for these four-year price cycles, since the reward drop — which decreases by 50% for every 210,000 blocks mined — has so-far occurred about once every four years. However, the report cautions:

“As always, we caveat this observation with the obvious — this is simply pattern recognition and not reliable fundamental analysis.”

Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Graham commented on cryptocurrency prices at the beginning of 2018, saying that the upswing in regulatory enforcement would likely have a major impact on the crypto market via dislocation (therefore making it hard for crypto assets to be accurately priced).

Earlier this week, Galaxy Digital Founder and CEO Michael Novogratz predicted that the price of bitcoin would exceed $20,000 by the end of 2020. Novogratz did not provide a specific rationale for his conviction, but did note that bitcoin is in a bull market and is outperforming the price growth of other cryptocurrencies.

At press time, bitcoin is trading at $6,404.55 and is trending up by 4.89% on the day, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

Source: Financial Advisory Firm Says Past Market Trends Point to Bitcoin at $20,000 by 2021

Bitcoin Price Rages to New 2019 High Beyond $5,900 with Fuming Bulls Ahead

By CCN.com: Within three hours, the bitcoin price surged from $5,682 to $5,910 on Coinbase, a leading regulated crypto exchange that operates in the U.S. market, reaching a new 2019 high.

In the past week, the bitcoin price has soared by more than 11 percent, allowing the rest of the crypto market to add $20 billion to its market capitalization.

The valuation of the crypto market is up more thn $20 billion in the past week (source: coinmarketcap.com)

In consideration of the recent performance of bitcoin and the projections of industry experts, prominent crypto researcher Willy Woo has said he is 95 percent certain the low $3,000 region was the bottom for bitcoin.

WHAT WOULD IT TAKE TO CONFIRM BITCOIN BULL MARKET?

In November 2018, Woo predicted bitcoin to reach a bottom in the second quarter of 2019 based on an indicator called NVTS, which evaluates fundamental data such as transaction volume among other types of data pertaining to the blockchain to analyze the long-term trend of bitcoin.

At the time, Woo said that all blockchain indicators point toward a bearish trend. Weeks later, the bitcoin price plunged from more than $6,000 ultimately to $3,150, as projected by the researcher.

“This last reading of our blockchain and macro market indicators is still in play. What has changed is that NVTS has now broken its support, typically a sell signal. All our blockchain indicators remain bearish. NVT, NVTS, MVRV, BNM, NVM. They are experimental but have served to make very correct calls to date, even when traditional on-exchange indicators were reading to the contrary,” Woo said last year.

The accurate analysis of the macro trend of bitcoin by Woo can be primarily attributed to his consideration of fundamental factors as well as technical factors to better evaluate market conditions.

On May 7, Woo said that based on the Bitcoin Network Momentum and the 200-day moving average (MA)–a technical indicator typically used to project the long-term trend of an asset–bitcoin likely hit its bottom at $3,150 and is in the process of forming a bull market.Woo explained:

To summarise my view of the market in one spot instead of various webcasts and tweets. I’m 95% certain the market has bottomed, that’s to say we are unlikely to break below past lows.

The bull market (upward and onwards) has not formally confirmed just yet. We need to successfully retest the 200 day MA & Realised Cap (both ~$4,400 right now), or without retest we need to stay above them for a sizeable time, say another month.

Willy Woo@woonomic

The bull market (upward and onwards) has not formally confirmed just yet. We need to successfully retest the 200 day MA & Realised Cap (both ~$4400 right now), or without retest we need to stay above them for a sizeable time, say another month.

View image on Twitter

Willy Woo@woonomic

We also need price to be validated with on-chain volume mooning from here. We’ll likely get that confirmation soon in the next 4-8 wks. (I personally think the April 1st break above $4300 will be remembered years ahead as the start of the 2019 bull market). pic.twitter.com/NzzGkvcT8t

View image on Twitter

In the upcoming weeks, many analysts generally expect bitcoin to undergo a consolidation period, demonstrating stability at the current price level.

While some traders anticipate the dominant cryptocurrency to retest some support levels below $5,000, as long as BTC remains above $4,400, Woo noted that the momentum of the asset can be sustained.

FIDELITY IS COMING

The noticeable increase in the interest in bitcoin, as shown in the surge in the real spot volume of bitcoin which hovers at around $550 million–up nearly two-fold from $270 million in March–comes after Bloomberg reported Fidelity will launch a crypto trading service in weeks.

“We currently have a select set of clients we’re supporting on our platform. We will continue to roll out our services over the coming weeks and months based on our clients’ needs, jurisdictions, and other factors. Currently, our service offering is focused on Bitcoin,” Fidelity spokesperson Arlene Roberts told Bloomberg.

Apart from various technical indicators pointing toward upward momentum for bitcoin, the strengthening of the infrastructure supporting crypto assets may be rekindling the confidence of investors in the asset class, as it would enable investors who were previously unable to commit to the crypto market to reconsider their stance on the market.

Joseph Young

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Source: Bitcoin Price Rages to New 2019 High Beyond $5,900 with Fuming Bulls Ahead

Crazy Crowdfund Scammer Pitched a Backpack, Stole $800,000 to Buy Bitcoin

iBackPack, Bitcoin

A prolific crowdfunder is being sued by the FTC after duping investors to use their money for himself. | Source: Kickstarter

Douglas Monahan promised consumers a ‘high-tech’ backpack known as the iBackPack, but failed to deliver the product after raising over $800,000. After allegedly scamming Indiegogo users of $720,000, Monahan staged three more crowdfund campaigns to take his total bounty to $0.8 million.

IBACKPACK ‘CREATOR’ SHUT DOWN BY FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION

The investigation against Monahan was inadvertently revealed last year when an FTC agent’s private email exchange was made public. On May 6th, the FTC took action and levelled a Complaint for Permanent Injunction and Other Equitable Relief against the Texas man.

According to the FTC, rather than use $800,000 to create the iBackPack, Monahan used the funds for ‘personal purposes’ – among them, buying Bitcoin. From the complaint filed in the Southern District of Texas, May 6th:

“Defendants have used a large share of contributions for Defendant Monahan’ s own personal purposes, such as making bitcoin purchases and ATM withdrawals and paying off personal credit cards; for marketing efforts to raise additional funds from consumers; and for other business ventures.”

Monahan’s victims also claim that their personal data was sold, owing to the unexpected marketing communications they all received soon afterwards. This is only the second time in history that the FTC has gone after a crowdfunder. In 2015, Erik Chevalier raised $120,000 for a board game, and then sold off contributors’ personal data after failing to deliver the product.

CROWDFUND HOPPING: INDIEGOGO TO KICKSTARTER AND BACK AGAIN

After failing to produce anything from the $720,000 he raised on Indiegogo, Monahan jumped over to Kickstarter and started marketing the iBackPack 2.0. From this campaign, he raised a further $76,000, all while his original backers were still awaiting their products.

He then launched another two campaigns back on Indiegogo and siphoned a further $11,000 from gullible investors.

The Indiegogo page for the iBackPack still exists, and has been inundated with nearly 4,000 comments from disgruntled patrons. One recent comment notes:

“I love that the FTC is suing you, and I hope they make Indiegogo just as guilty for letting this continue without protecting their customers.”

GULLIBLE VICTIMS? A PARALLEL BETWEEN BITCOIN AND CROWDFUND INVESTING?

Not a week goes by where the Bitcoin isn’t lambasted by critics in one way or another. This week it was Warren Buffet who dismissed Bitcoin as nothing more than a gambling device.

Cryptocurrency adherents are often characterized as gullible victims of an obvious bubble, but if $800,000 is being thrown away on the ‘iBackPack’ then we clearly have other problems to worry about. The ‘high-tech’ iBackPack appears to be nothing more than a bag with a charger and some USB ports inside it.

The parallels between Kickstarter promises and ICO pitches are obvious here. Just like with ICOs, crowdfunders do not have to guarantee that their project will even materialize. As Andrew Smith, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said:

“If you raise money by crowdfunding, you don’t have to guarantee that your idea will work. But you do have to use the money to work on your idea—or expect to hear from the FTC.”

 

Source: Crazy Crowdfund Scammer Pitched a Backpack, Stole $800,000 to Buy Bitcoin