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Bitcoin Has Crashed Again—But Is This When To Buy Bitcoin?

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency investors have had their hopes of a return to bitcoin’s all-time-high in 2019 all but dashed after the latest sudden sell-off.

[Updated Nov. 25 at 7:48 a.m. ET] The bitcoin price last night fell to a six month low of $6,515 per bitcoin on the Luxembourg-based bitcoin and crypto exchange Bitstamp. The bitcoin price is down some 6% over the last 24-hour trading period, wiping billions of dollars from the value of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency.

The bitcoin and crypto industry has been rocked by a severe bitcoin and crypto trading warning out of China, which some have blamed for the latest sell-off.

Now, Wall Street veteran Peter Brandt, who made a name for himself by predicting bitcoin’s devastating 2018 bear market, has called bitcoin’s low for July 2020–two months after bitcoin’s closely-watched halving event.

“My target of $5,500 is not far below today’s low,” Brandt wrote on Twitter ahead of the weekend’s sell-off.

“But I think the surprise might be in the duration and nature of market. I am thinking about a low in July 2020. That will wear out bulls quicker than a price correction.”

Brandt, who earlier this year said bitcoin will eventually hit $100,000 and described the bitcoin market as “like no other,” warned bitcoin bulls “must first be fully purged” before the price will rebound.

Brandt’s comments echo some of bitcoin’s biggest bulls, who have recently come out in force to reassure investors that bitcoin is far from dead.

As well as the May bitcoin halving, which will see the number of bitcoin rewarded to miners cut by half from 12.5 bitcoin to 6.25 bitcoin, bitcoin investors are hopeful next year will bring an increase in the number of bitcoin retail investors and people using bitcoin and cryptocurrencies for payments.

Bakkt, a New York Stock Exchange-owner backed bitcoin and cryptocurrency venture, announced last month it plans to launch a consumer app for cryptocurrency purchases in 2020.

U.S. coffee chain Starbucks will be its first launch partner, with the company one of the original backers of the crypto project, along with software giant Microsoft and Boston Consulting Group.

Meanwhile, Bakkt’s bitcoin futures daily volume hit a new all-time high, according to data from Intercontinental Exchange, with some $20.3 million across 2,700 futures contracts on Friday.

Many in the traditional financial industry remain unconvinced by bitcoin and crypto, however.

This month, former European Central Bank president Jean-Claude Trichet slammed bitcoin and Facebook’s crypto project, warning bitcoin is “not real” and not the future of money.

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I am a journalist with significant experience covering technology, finance, economics, and business around the world. As the founding editor of Verdict.co.uk I reported on how technology is changing business, political trends, and the latest culture and lifestyle. I have covered the rise of bitcoin and cryptocurrency since 2012 and have charted its emergence as a niche technology into the greatest threat to the established financial system the world has ever seen and the most important new technology since the internet itself. I have worked and written for CityAM, the Financial Times, and the New Statesman, amongst others. Follow me on Twitter @billybambrough or email me on billyATbillybambrough.com. Disclosure: I occasionally hold some small amount of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Source: Bitcoin Has Crashed Again—But Is This When To Buy Bitcoin?

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Check out the Cryptocurrency Technical Analysis Academy here: https://bit.ly/2EMS6nY Join The Cryptocurrency Technical Analysis Academy for $40 off using the coupon code “August 2019”. In this video we analyze a head and shoulders pattern that is forming in this downtrend. Will this mean that the down trend is over and we will have a new rally? Or will Bitcoin continue moving to the downside and go even lower? – – – If you enjoyed the video, please leave a like, and subscribe! – – – Follow me on Instagram & Twitter: @cryptojebb Join the Discord! https://discord.gg/59jGjJy #Bitcoin #BitcoinToday #BitcoinNews I am not a financial adviser, this is not financial advice. I strongly encourage all to do their own research before doing anything with their money. All investments/trades/buys/sells etc. should be made at your own risk with your own capital. Spare Change? BTC 127eLjKTBKU9HTFhYowCDC4D3JBxonVk15 ETH 0x5115ACa82edf204760fE3B351c08a48d6004D89B LTC LSKXx3fQRK5LMowGznVvo6A9NtmtaQaoqP Please do not feel obligated to donate, though donations are appreciated!

Here’s Where $800 Of Bitcoin Buys You $10,000 Cash

Researchers from cloud security-as-a-service provider Armor’s Threat Resistance Unit (TRU) have been taking a deep dive into a dozen dark markets and forums. Analysis of the data compiled from trawling these English and Russian-speaking criminal marketplaces has been published in the annual Armor Black Market Report. As well as the usual tracking of the prices for stolen credit cards, bank account credentials and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) for-hire operators, there was one surprising new trend: a Bitcoin to cash conversion scheme that offers criminal buyers the opportunity to buy cash for pennies on the dollar. Paying $800 (£647) in Bitcoin gets you $10,000 (£8,095) in cash.

The Black Market Report

The Armor Black Market Report is the result of researchers from the Armor TRU trawling through underground internet markets and criminal forums. These “dark markets” are notorious for selling just about anything that can be stolen online, from personal and financial data to illicit services such as articles of incorporation for creating shell companies, the distribution malicious spam and even hackers for hire who will scrub your credit history.

The TRU research team analyzed and compiled data from twelve dark markets and criminal forums visited between February and June 2019. It came as no surprise to me that they found cybercriminal after cybercriminal selling credentials for as yet “unhacked” Windows remote desktop (RDP) servers. These are often used by ransomware actors looking for an entry point into corporate networks. That these credentials were being sold for as little as $20 (£16) was unexpected though. The cost of entry, quite literally, to the ransomware threat sector has never been cheaper.

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Neither, for that matter, has the cost of cold, hard cash. The TRU researchers found that, partly to get noticed in a crowded market and partly to offset the risk of monetizing stolen banking and credit card accounts, entrepreneurial threat actors are selling cash for between 10 and 12 cents on the dollar. This isn’t, as you might have guessed, a case of criminal philanthropy.

Instead, it’s a method for criminals to offload the risk of monetizing stolen account credentials by transferring the funds available rather than taking possession of them. It’s still money laundering, and it’s illegal, but it puts the most significant weight of risk onto the buyer.

Here’s how the buy cash for Bitcoin scheme works

The seller offers bundles of cash in various amounts, from $2,500 (£2,020) to $10,000 (£8,095) in exchange for a pre-paid fee in Bitcoin. That fee varies between 10% and 12%. Which means that $10,000 of cold cash can be bought for $800 in Bitcoin.

The buyer makes the payment and then chooses how they would like to collect the cash. This can be a straightforward transfer of funds to a bank or PayPal account or wired via Western Union. As well as getting a significant return on their illicit investment, the purchaser no longer has to worry about monetizing online bank account or credit card credentials. It’s a turn-key service; there’s no risky logging into compromised accounts, no money mules to worry about, just the (totally illegal) collection of cash.

“For those scammers who don’t possess the technical skills and a robust money mule network to monetize online bank account or credit card credentials, this is an offer that can be very attractive,” Chris Hinkley, head of Armor’s TRU team said, “the threat actors are still selling financial account and credit card credentials outright, but this clever service gives them an additional channel for monetizing the large amounts of financial data available on the underground.”

Money mules served well by dark market documentation

One of the other interesting things to come out of this analysis was the fact that cybercriminals are selling articles of incorporation and sole proprietorship papers on the dark market. Not shocking, but interesting. While the cash for Bitcoin transactions gets rid of the money mule requirement, there are still plenty of people who adopt that role, and these papers are aimed at them. A money mule is someone who transfers stolen money between accounts in exchange for a fee of between 10% and 20% of the value. For a money mule to be successful, they need to open business bank accounts that don’t trigger fraud alerts on larger transfer volumes. To open these accounts, they need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) assigned by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, and that’s where the documentation to create shell companies enters the equation. The documentation does not come cheap, however. Sole proprietorship papers complete with EIN were found on sale for $1,611 (£1,298), and Articles of Incorporation with EIN were $811 (£653).

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

I’m a three-decade veteran technology journalist and have been a contributing editor at PC Pro magazine since the first issue in 1994. A three-time winner of the BT Security Journalist of the Year award (2006, 2008, 2010) I was also fortunate enough to be named BT Technology Journalist of the Year in 1996 for a forward-looking feature in PC Pro called ‘Threats to the Internet.’ In 2011 I was honored with the Enigma Award for a lifetime contribution to IT security journalism. Contact me in confidence at davey@happygeek.com if you have a story to reveal or research to share

Source: Here’s Where $800 Of Bitcoin Buys You $10,000 Cash

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