Category Archives: Cryptocurrency

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Einstein meets Cryptocurrency in 2019 – Cartoon

Cartoon: Einstein meets cryptocurrency in 2019 cartoon

Cartoon: Einstein meets cryptocurrency in 2019 cartoon
Cartoon: Einstein meets cryptocurrency in 2019

 



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BitcoinNews.com Bitcoin Market Analysis 21st March 2019

BitcoinNews.com Bitcoin Market Analysis 21st March 2019

Starting from 18 March, buyers have been trying to build a local trend movement, with a clear line of support. However, if we remember the previous analysis, now the price moves in consolidation, with limits of $4,040 being the lower limit and $4,120 the upper limit. At the moment, buyers are able to break the upper limit of consolidation relatively in the increased volumes. However, this breakthrough is not yet sure. At the hourly timeframe, there is still a struggle for the upper limit of consolidation:

On a daily timeframe, growth from 18 March does not look bright and confident either in terms of size or character of candles. Buyers again are trying to test the upper trend line of the triangle:

Therefore, we continue to expect a local fall in the price at least to the lower limit of consolidation at $4,040. However, the critical price zone for buyers is $3,900–3,950. In addition to the fact that a good volume was formed in this price zone after the 18-day consolidation on 25 February, the lower trend line of the triangle, which buyers protect from December 2018, passes through this price zone:

If buyers do not keep this price zone then the first stop of the price at a price of $3,660.

If we analyze the mood of market participants, then buyers feel confident and increase their marginal positions:

Also, the confidence of buyers confirms the index of fear and greed, which is now at a rather high rate:

The only thing that impedes buyers in confident growth is volume, which at the moment is not enough.

Sellers became less confident and after yesterday’s growth of the coin, less than 1% began actively closing their margin positions:

According to the wave analysis, the last wave of the triangle “e” is now formed. Buyers have the last chance to change the situation now. To do this, they must complete their current attack with success. But every subsequent attempt by buyers is actually weaker:

If we analyze in detail the wave e, which consists of three waves, then we see that the wave a = c at the price of $4,150. The maximum possible length of the wave c is at the price of $4,300. But now, buyers stop growing and do not have the strength to move higher:

In concluding our analysis, we want to distinguish two critical points. If buyers do not keep the price range from $3,900–3,950, then the next global support for buyers is $3,500. After it, sellers will have a great chance to test $2,650.

However, if buyers find the strength to break the triangle up and fix above the price zone of $4,200–4,300, we will wait for a green positive period. However, looking at the current facts, we have little faith in the possibility of implementing the second scenario.

 

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About the Author: Peter Oleshchuk is a trader and technical analyst.

He has spent two years studying and analyzing the crypto market.

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Exclusive: College Student Claims to Have Cracked Bitcoin Mixing Services

College Student Claims to Have Cracked Bitcoin Mixing Services

A college student has claimed to have successfully cracked the algorithm behind most centralized Bitcoin mixing services. Using his methods, he says he can backtrack all transaction history done by the service providers.

In an interview with Bitcoin News, Ruhr-Universität Bochum student Felix Maduakor explained how he carried out a study to assess the privacy levels of Bitcoin mixing services. In doing so, he discovered vulnerabilities in the algorithms used by centralized Bitcoin mixing services such that transactions supposedly thought to have become anonymized through the mixing algorithms of such platforms can be traced back to the source. He says that this proves the algorithms being used by centralized mixing services are inefficient in terms of security when compared to either decentralized mixing services or privacy-centric cryptocurrencies.

His study proves that the major mixing services tested at the time contained “trivial bugs” such as timing attacks and leakages that, attackers could manipulate to deanonymize past transactions processed by these services. He further claims that even if these implementation faults were fixed, every transaction processed prior to the fix is “irreversibly vulnerable”.

Bitcoin mixing or tumbling

Bitcoin has been described as a pseudonymous cryptocurrency since the transactions conducted on the blockchain are open to the public, and perhaps with a skilled programmer, such digital transactions can be traced back to the source. In an attempt to provide more privacy to the nature of Bitcoin transfers over the blockchain, a technique called Bitcoin mixing has often been used, which basically swaps user bitcoins with each other with the aim of reducing traceability.

However, as Maduakor notes, while the implementation of P2P mixing algorithms in Bitcoin clients could enhance privacy in Bitcoin, most of these algorithms based on the decentralized architecture such as Coinshuffle ++ introduced by Tim Ruffing, Pedro Moreno-Sanchez and Aniket Kate are not widely adopted.

In his opinion, the algorithms should be implemented in the wallet software, and if it were to be added to the Bitcoin core, it would have made a huge difference. However, according to Madu, the Bitcoin core developers do not yet see the need for such a feature, citing concerns that it could hinder the growth of Bitcoin.

To date, most Bitcoin users who want additional privacy for their transactions have resorted to using commercially-driven centralized mixing — also known as tumbling — services, which according to Maduakor, aren’t so effective after all.

Why privacy matters

Contrary to popular opinions about privacy-centric cryptocurrencies, in the digital world, privacy is of utmost importance because a leak in a string of information can lead to a cascade of misuse. Maduakor’s opinion about Bitcoin’s privacy provides a rather balanced approach to the concept:

“If Bitcoin is [to be] used as a [global] currency/payment token, it has to provide some sort of privacy. Otherwise, everyone could check the exact salary, production costs, etc. on the blockchain. The leakage of cash flow [information] can have a huge impact on a company, its partners and customers.”

Many governments have expressed their concerns about privacy-centric cryptocurrencies and for good cause, as cryptocurrencies from the get-go have been unfairly associated with unlawful activities such as money laundering and terrorist financing. Moreover, anonymizing transactions through Bitcoin mixing services could conceal the real origins of Bitcoins and make it hard to detect if it were from the darknet or stolen from a cryptocurrency exchange. Other strong proponents of decentralization have suggested cryptocurrency privacy to be a fundamental human right.

Should cryptocurrencies gain mainstream advantage and anonymity features, it could complicate the jobs of law enforcement agencies. While it does seem to be a dilemma, a middle ground would be certainly hard to come by. However, the option of having privacy features remains a top priority for internet-based activities, as security and data protection are important commodities in the ecosystem.

Are centralized mixing services doomed?

Maduakor’s approach involved identifying the characteristics of the transactions such as version, fee, timing, lock-time, sequence number as well as transaction signing and how the signing was done by a major mixer at the time, Coinmixer.se, followed by filtering of more than 99% of the blockchain data which were not connected to the mixing process. From the data obtained, he was able to detect the input transactions (source of funds) and the output transactions (anonymized coins).

His findings bore significant peculiarity because while Coinmixer.se is currently offline, the historic transactions done by the mixing service could still be traced. Moreover, with modifications on the approach, nearly all centralized mixing service out there could be deanonymized, as he was able to break the transactions done by bitmixer.io, bitblender, and helix using a similar approach.

The interesting conclusion isn’t just about the mapping of transactions, which invariably may be of interest to law enforcement, but the nature of the mixing as regards the provider. In the near future, it would be easy to associate a transaction log to a mixing service provider.

Alternate privacy solutions

Knowing that centralized Bitcoin mixing services have a loophole in their algorithms, alternatively, privacy-centric cryptocurrencies may be the best option for users of cryptocurrency. Even though Zcash and Monero have different approaches to achieving privacy, still their algorithms are superior to those of centralized mixing services.

Maduakor noted that a decentralized mixing service would have also been a good alternative, as they not only remove centralized entities who “steal your coins” but also have “higher levels of security since their implementation requires no black boxes”. He also thinks that bitmixer.io would have been more secure if it were open source.

 

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JP Morgan Promotes “Faster, Cheaper” Blockchain Payments

JP Morgan Promotes “Faster, Cheaper” Blockchain Payments

A JP Morgan executive has taken the opportunity on camera to promote blockchain payment methods as ”faster and cheaper” than the traditional alternatives.

Ron Karpovich, Global Head of eCommerce Solutions at JPMorgan Chase, was interviewed by CNBC’s Squawk Box earlier today where he explained blockchain technology was capable of proving the same, if not better, services than traditional banks while requiring lower fees.

Karpovich added that he saw the technology gave opportunities for “more partnership [with traditional banks] instead of competition”.

The self-proclaimed ”specialist in Cross-Border Payments” added that he ultimately believes it is only matter of time before e-commerce customers begin using blockchain to make their payments, even though it may remain ”behind the scenes” and customers may not be aware of it.

JP Morgan’s own JPM Coin was defended by the executive who determined it did not necessarily make the company convert in favor of cryptocurrency at large.

”I think there’s a difference between trading a cryptocurrency that’s in the market that’s ubiquitous versus using the technology to enhance your payments infrastructure,” he said, reaffirming that the financial institution’s interest in blockchain was to make payments ”faster and cheaper.”

 

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QuadrigaCX Co-Founder’s Prior Convictions Exposed

QuadrigaCX Co-Founder Michael Patryn's Prior Convictions Exposed

More information related to the closure of QuadrigaCX has been revealed, notably implicating the exchange’s co-founder Michael Patryn as a convicted criminal.

Patryn founded the Canadian cryptocurrency exchange with the recently deceased Gerald Cotten, although it is now known the former was found guilty in several criminal cases in the US, including one instance involving identity theft.

The investigative report published by Bloomberg alleges that Patryn has changed his name twice, his given name claimed to be Omar Dhanani. Patryn has, however, denied these claims.

In 2005, Patryn pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit credit and bank card fraud, also found to be involved in the criminal shadowcrew.com website that operated as an online marketplace for trafficking stolen credit and bank card numbers. Other convictions include burglary, grand larceny, and computer fraud for which he admitted his guilt in a California court.

Patryn left QuadrigaCX in 2016, although the late co-founder and CEO Cotten’s innocence has been called into question after his untimely death in December resulted in a supposed lockdown of around USD 190 million worth cryptocurrencies. QuadrigaCX claims Cotten was the sole owner of the exchange vault’s passkeys, leaving the exchange without access to the funds. An investigation is ongoing.

 

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Nasdaq, Bloomberg, Reuters List CoinMarketCap Crypto Indices

Nasdaq, Bloomberg, Reuters List CoinMarketCap Crypto Indices

A number of major financial data feeds will now list two cryptocurrency benchmark indices provided by CoinMarketCap, as revealed in a blog post by the crypto markets monitor today.

The platforms involved in the launch include Nasdaq Global Index Data Service (GIDS), Bloomberg Terminal, Thomson Reuters Eikon and Germany’s Börse Stuttgart.

The first index has been dubbed CMC Crypto 200 Index (CMC200), including Bitcoin and over 90% of the aggregate cryptocurrency market. The second, CMC Crypto 200 ex BTC Index (CMC200EX), will track the cryptocurrency market performance without Bitcoin’s 50% market capitalization.

Independent German index provider Solactive AG will be responsible for calculating and administering both indices in line with the stated methodologies. Solactive AG has calculated the Cboe Bitcoin Futures index since the latter’s launch in December 2017.

Fabian Colin, Head of Sales at Solactive AG hinted that there may be more indices to come in a statement cited in the post: ”We are looking forward to developing more crypto indices in the future, which will optimistically result in investable indices and might lead to further products.”

CoinMarketCap also noted that the indices will be ”prominently displayed” on its own website, stating it as ”the most-trafficked site in the cryptocurrency space”.

 

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Bitcoin Hash Rate Hits 4-Month High, Sparks Optimism

Bitcoin Hash Rate Hits 4 Month High, Sparks Optimism

Bitcoin’s hash rate has reached the highest levels seen since November 2018. The increase in mining power suggests profits available at the current spot price as well as potentially expectations for a future price increase.

Surpassing 52 quintillion hashes per second Tuesday 19 March, mining difficulty has changed little for the last month or so, meaning new miners have had an easier time bringing their rigs online.

As well as benefiting the security of the Bitcoin network by adding more hash power, it shows growing confidence in the network’s future as more resources are invested in mining operations.

Taking to Twitter to comment on hash rate movements last year, Casa CTO Jameson Lopp proclaimed:

”Hashrate follows price… Miners are speculators too!”

Hashrate follows price. Some folks believe price follows hashrate, possibly because hashrate doesn’t simply track ~spot~ price, but rather tracks some ~speculative~ future price. Miners are speculators too!

— Jameson Lopp (@lopp) June 23, 2018

Concerns were raised over low hash rates in alignment with price plummets in 2018 as less efficient mining rigs were disabled to avoid operating at a loss, although the remaining miners benefitted from steady difficulty rates.

Mining difficulty is expected to increase again shortly, however, given this hash rate peak with more miners expected to join the network.

 

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Exclusive: How a Local Startup Was Instrumental in Pakistan’s Decision to Legalize Crypto

How a Local Startup Was Instrumental in Pakistan's Decision to Legalize Crypto (2)

Pakistan’s own national celebrity and humanitarian Wakar Zaka has told Bitcoin News that his project, TenUp, played a key role in both informing the government about the technology and rousing a significant pressure group among the country’s population in favor of cryptocurrency legalization.

Pakistan’s Finance Minister Asad Umar has issued a recommendation to legalize cryptocurrency trading and business in the country. Around 5,000 digital currency exchanges are to be registered, while the cryptocurrencies will be classified as “investments” and net gains will be subject to taxation as per the US’s standard.

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) banned cryptocurrencies in April last year, so observers are asking, why the policy U-turn now?

Bitcoin News caught up with Zaka where he explained the vital role his own cryptocurrency project TenUp had in influencing the government’s decision.

TenUp was actually a test case to use and present to the government to show how cryptocurrency work… the government was very humble and up for the technology so I knew that I had a chance.”

Zaka has been in contact with Finance Minister Umar for a while now and his relationship with the country’s top government officials including the prime minister meant he knew they would be a careful audience for his ideas.

The new cryptocurrency legislation is still in a “recommended” stage but should be rolled out by 20 July given its strong support from the finance minister who has assured there will be a focus on know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) policies when it becomes legal to trade. It is particularly exciting news as it will be the first time Pakistan is taking the lead in technology, particularly among its neighboring countries, Zaka noted.

The government task force

He is currently working closely alongside the new government-imposed task force devoted to ensuring the cryptocurrency legalization is rolled out responsibly and practically.

”The task force is taking contributions directly from us; basically, it’s us behind all the decisions. They will send us messages and ask us about stuff. I have full faith in the new government. The president of Pakistan is educated about the technology and is pro-blockchain. He is the first national leader in the region to be this outspoken in favor of it. He explains the technology in the common man’s language- that’s a very good sign for us.”

The task force is made up of ”tech-savvy guys” there to create appropriate legislation. Zaka has been showing them videos and presentations and sharing information about the TenUp project.

On the task force’s agenda is mainly how cryptocurrency will be traced and how to appropriately license come 5,00 exchanges to operate. There will also be a special investigation team set up for initial coin offerings (ICOs).

Zaka’s next ambition is to help launch a state-issued cryptocurrency for Pakistan; he has been using Venezuela and Iran as examples for the government to look into. But the Pakistani state is still in need of some convincing that it is the best decision. Zaka argues, however, that a government-issued cryptocurrency could be a way to bring in revenue from across the globe.

”Pakistan should hold its own ICO because the president has good credibility all around the world, better than Venezuela for sure. The entire world would look into it.”

He has high hopes and expectations that the G20 held in Osaka, Japan in June will be a big turning point for how cryptocurrencies are perceived on the international stage. ”India will definitely follow us in legalization,” Zaka predicted, ”we will see that in a month or so.”

Legalizing cryptocurrency will of course usher in some macroeconomic changes for the country, allowing much of the vast number of unbanked people in Pakistan access to personal accounts. New businesses and the technology sector would also flourish, perhaps even bring the ”tech revolution” Wakar predicts.

Celebrity for the good and bad

Zaka has happily used his celebrity status and huge fan following to share the message and educate people on cryptocurrencies. ”It was very difficult to make them understand how cryptocurrency can work and can eliminate money laundering for example,” he acknowledged.

”Everyone in my region, in India and Pakistan, thought this was a tool for money laundering. I have been education fans for about six months. There has never been another case of a celebrity with a big fan following promoting cryptocurrency properly. When a celebrity starts promoting it, their fans will follow it. Those fans become an army and then they start pushing the government. If other celebrities in India or Nepal start speaking up about it, I think people will definitely start to understand.”

Pakistani celebrities have historically tended to protest against religions such as Islam and build popular movements behind these ideologies so Zaka’s actions were quite unpredicted.

The problem, of course, comes when celebrities such as Floyd Mayweather throw their weight behind token projects that prove to be multilevel marketing or Ponzi schemes. These cases bothered the Pakistani government, of course, and Zaka made it clear he was not in conversation with the government for personal financial benefits by promoting his own cryptocurrency project, TenUp.

”In every region of the world celebrities should use their fame to help people not just to promote themselves. If you have fame you have responsibility. Celebrities in Nepal and India should look at the bigger picture.”

”I’m very happy the government has made the decision to legalize cryptocurrency and its a very big thing for our country,” Zaka finished.

 

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BitcoinNews.com Bitcoin Market Analysis 20th March 2019

BitcoinNews.com Bitcoin Market Analysis 20th March 2019

During the past four days, price traded in a narrow 2% corridor between the prices of $4,040–4,120. Today, buyers have decided to try to break through this consolidation. However, this attempt was not supported by a sufficient number of volumes. This is quite clear in comparison with the attempt to break through the global triangle on 16 December:

However, sellers are in no hurry to take the initiative. If you look at the growth dynamics from 4 March, then the current consolidation looks more like a stop before a continuation of growth. Sellers do not try to sell; the volumes in the consolidation are low. However, if you compare these dynamics to the growth on 18 February, then it becomes clear that faded candles and small volumes point to the weakness of buyers and the price can collapse sharply at any moment.

If we are talking about the mood, then it’s clear from the marginal positions of the buyers that they intend to continue the growth:

Today’s positions have grown significantly but the price has remained in the consolidation corridor.

Margin positions of sellers also began to increase and today, confidently emerged from the triangle located from 8 March:

From the point of view of the wave analysis, we are now coming to the end the correctional wave, which consists of subwaves a,b,c. This wave began after the breakdown of the lower trend line of the triangle on 5 March:

Therefore, our main scenario is unchanged and we expect a fall to start at $3,950 and if buyers do not keep the trend line of the triangle, our next targets will be $3,750 and $3,500.

An alternative scenario is the breakdown of the price zone of $4,200–4,300. However, at the moment, this scenario is unlikely.

 

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About the Author: Peter Oleshchuk is a trader and technical analyst.

He has spent two years studying and analyzing the crypto market.

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BitcoinNews.com Ethereum Market Analysis 18th March 2019

BitcoinNews.com Ethereum Market Analysis 18th March 2019

It is already the fourth week that buyers have decided their relationship around the price zone of $135–140. This week, buyers are trying to fix themselves above this zone but these attempts look uncertain. The fact is that after 13 March, when sellers could not update the local minimum, they began their growth attempt. However, if we compare the size of candles and their volumes, we assume that this attempt will also fail. Now the price moves in the local channel, which is more like a correction channel, after which the fall should continue.

If we analyze the marginal buyer positions, from the beginning of March, buyers are increasing their positions. The exception was today:

Sellers, on the contrary, reduced their positions, but all this happened in the wedge:

Therefore, there is a high probability of an active increase in margin positions of sellers soon, which will lead to a fall in prices.

On a weekly timeframe, the situation looks not to the benefit of buyers:

After a flawed breakdown in February, the volumes of each subsequent week decreased and the candles clearly show that the balance of power is beginning to change.

According to the wave analysis, we expect the wave d to continue formation and a test of $120:

With a high probability after the test of this price zone, consolidation within the triangle will continue and buyers will try again to break through $155–160. However, with the appearance of abnormal volumes at a price of $120, there is a great chance again of a test of $82.

Globally, we are seeing the weakness of buyers and the continuation of trade in the falling channel, which was formed from January 2018. However, before consolidation in the triangle may be delayed until the end of April. Therefore, the critical points remain the same. Sellers, for a confirmation of this force, should keep $155–160. To maintain a growth chance, buyers should keep $120. And we have to wait for a breakdown of control points and then make important decisions.

 

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