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The prices of Bitcoin, Ethereum and all other major cryptocurrencies are sharply down Wednesday following an announcement by the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it will postpone the decision on approving what would be the first-ever Bitcoin ETF.
The SEC, which recently rejected a proposal by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss to launch a Bitcoin ETF, now has to approve or disprove another similar proposal, issued by the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust. But the regulator has extended the deadline in which it must reach a decision to September 30, 2018.
A document posted by the SEC Tuesday says it has received more than 1,300 comments on this proposal; the regulator found it “appropriate to designate a longer period within which to take action on the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider the proposed rule change.”
In July, the SEC extended the deadline for deciding on Direxion’s Bitcoin ETF proposal to September 21, with similar reasoning.
These delays aren’t overly negative for Bitcoin; in fact, given that one SEC commissioner dissented from the regulator’s decision to reject the Winklevoss brothers’ proposal for a Bitcoin ETF, the fact that the SEC needs more time to make a decision on another proposal might be a positive sign for Bitcoin proponents.
However, it appears that anything resembling bad news can send the crypto market plummeting these days. Shortly following the announcement, the price of Bitcoin dropped by more than 6% and is currently trading at $6,580. Ethereum, the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, fared even worse, having dropped by more than 8% at one point. It’s currently trading at $375, its lowest level since April. Ripple, Bitcoin Cash and EOS — the third, fourth and fifth largest coins by market cap — have all dropped more than ten percent in the past 24 hours.
The market capitalization of the entire cryptocurrency market is also sharply down at the time of writing. At $230 billion, it’s at its lowest point since November 2017.
Despite short periods of optimism here and there, the prices of Bitcoin, Ethereum and most other major cryptocurrencies have been on the decline since their January highs, when the total crypto market cap was over $800 billion. The launch of a Bitcoin ETF would likely be a big boost for Bitcoin and other coins, as it would open the doors to institutional investors to invest in the crypto market.
Disclosure: The author of this text owns, or has recently owned, a number of cryptocurrencies, including BTC and ETH.
With the prices of bitcoin and ether on a steady downward trend, the Securities and Exchange Commission today provided hodlers with a flash of hope: Neither of the cryptocurrencies are considered securities.
So reports CNBC, which notes that the SEC’s head of the Division of Corporate Finance, William Hinman, delivered the news at the San Francisco Yahoo All Markets Summit: Crypto conference. If the SEC had decided differently, then exchanges and markets would likely have faced some serious regulation.
And, well, no one in cryptoland likes regulation.
The announcement was celebrated by big names in both the Ethereum and Bitcoin space.
Oh, also, it had quite the effect on price. Coindesk shows both ether and bitcoin spiking on the news.
But all this doesn’t mean the SEC is washing its hands of the entire emerging industry. According to Hinman, many ICOs are in fact securities and will be on the receiving end of SEC regulatory action.
Interestingly, Yahoo News reports Hinman as explaining that simply calling something a coin or a token makes no difference in the eyes of his agency. More important is the extent of decentralization involved in the network in question.
“Over time,” CNBC quotes him as saying, “there may be other sufficiently decentralized networks and systems where regulating the tokens or coins that function on them as securities may not be required.”
So, you know, better hype up your blockchain project’s decentralized attributes now. It may save you from the SEC’s wrath later.
The prices of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and all other major cryptocurrencies have experienced big drops in the last 24 hours, following the news that South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Coinrail has been hacked.
In a statement on its website Monday, Coinrail said that hackers stole up to 30% of the coins from its storage.
According to Coinrail, the hackers struck on June 10 and made away with a number of different cryptocoins, including the recently launched Pundi X (NPXS), which makes roughly two thirds of Coinrail’s trading volume. Korea’s Yonhap estimated that a total of 40 billion won ($37.2 million) of coins went missing.
Coinrail is a fairly small exchange with roughly $2.5 million in daily volume according to CoinMarketCap. “(Coinrail) is a minor player in the market and I can see how such small exchanges with lower standards on security level can be exposed to more risks,” Reuters quoted Kim Jin-Hwa, a representative at Korea Blockchain Industry Association, as saying. Coinrail said it is cooperating with the police investigating the hack and said it will release an announcement with more details as soon as possible.
The cryptocurrency markets tumbled sharply following the news, with Bitcoin dropping from $7,240 to $6,752 in less than two hours, with the current price being $6,794. The second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, Ethereum, dropped from $570 to $511 before recovering slightly to $533.
Other major cryptocurrencies experienced a similar drop. EOS, the fifth largest currency by market cap, had it worst of all: It plummeted 15% in the last 24 hours, and is currently trading at $11.2. EOS’s price drop is notable as this cryptocurrency is currently in the process of launching its main blockchain network (also known as mainnet) after having raised a reported $4 billion in a year-long initial coin offering (ICO), dwarfing all similar crowdfunding efforts.
The Coinrail theft is the fourth major cryptocurrency exchange hack this year. In January, $400 million worth of cryptocurrency was stolen from Japanese exchange Coincheck, and in February, $200 million worth of cryptocurrency went missing from Italian cryptocurrency exchange Bitgrail. In April, cryptocurrency exchange Coinsecure said some $3.3 million worth of Bitcoin were stolen from its wallet.
The total market cap of all cryptocurrencies has descended below $300 billion for the first time since early April; it currently stands at $297 billion.
This manipulation can include practices such as spoofing (placing large numbers of buy or sell orders with no intent to fill them) and wash trading (simultaneously buying and selling the same asset to create fake volume on the market). You will rarely see these illegal methods used in established stock markets, but some may be using them to profit in the largely unregulated world of cryptocurrencies, teeming with millions of inexperienced traders.
According to the report, the Justice Department is working with CFTC officials on the investigation, which is said to be in its early stages. The investigation is reportedly focusing on Bitcoin and Ethereum, the two largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization.
A recent analysis by investor Sylvain Ribes, for example, has shown that a large amount of volume seen on some popular cryptocurrency exchanges is likely fake and exists only due to practices such as wash trading. And a recent paper, published in the Journal of Monetary Economics, concluded that suspicious trading activity may have been responsible for Bitcoin’s rapid jump in price from $150 to $1,000 in late 2013.
The price of Bitcoin has been on the decline since May 5, when it briefly hit $9,950, and is currently at $7,543. The market cap of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency stands at $128.6 billion. Ethereum is following a similar trajectory. It’s currently trading at $586 with a market cap of $58.4 billion.
Disclosure: The author of this text owns, or has recently owned, a number of cryptocurrencies, including BTC and ETH.
January’s cryptocurrency selloff got fresh impetus on Tuesday when Bitcoin slumped as much as 25 percent, as the prospect of regulatory crackdowns appeared to spread.
While the largest digital coin was down 25 percent at $10,338 as of 4:37 p.m. in New York, it was still at the lowest level since early December, according to composite pricing on Bloomberg. As Bitcoin halted its two-day rally, rival cryptocurrencies also tumbled. Ripple sank as much as 40 percent and Ethereum dropped 26 percent.
Speculators across the globe are struggling to determine when or how market watchdogs may rein in an industry that’s decentralized and derives much of its value from anonymous ownership. Many assertions that digital coins represent a bubble have triggered double-digit selloffs over the past year, only to be followed by rebounds.
In South Korea, shutting down cryptocurrency exchanges is still an option, Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon said in an interview with TBS radio. But measures first need “serious” discussion among ministries, Kim added, holding out hope for traders that a crackdown won’t go that far. Kim said there’s irrational speculation and that rational regulation was needed.
“The finance minister made it clear they’re definitely considering banning crypto trading — and it’s probably the third-largest market,” said Neil Wilson, senior market analyst in London for online trading platform ETX Capital. “The news is hitting prices and broader sentiment, and it follows China’s move to shutter mines.”
China, which first began targeting the industry last year, is escalating its clampdown on cryptocurrency trading, particularly online platforms and mobile apps that offer exchange-like services, according to people familiar with the matter.
“We’ve heard reports that South Korea, China and Japan have considered a shared approach, a path, to regulation,” ETX’s Wilson said, also citing a challenge to digital coins from a bill in the U.S Senate. “It looks like the light touch that has allowed the crypto-boom to explode may be coming to an end,” he wrote in a note to investors.
Lower-than-normal trading in Korea and Japan may have exaggerated the moves in Asia hours on Tuesday, said Mati Greenspan, senior market analyst for the eToro currency platform.
Bitcoin trading using the Korean won was about 3.3 percent of the total among major currencies, compared with more than 10 percent reached on several days over the past two weeks, according to cryptocompare.com data.
Steven Maijoor, chairman of the European Securities and Markets Authority, said investors “should be prepared to lose all their money” in Bitcoin, in a Bloomberg TV interview in Hong Kong. “It has an extremely volatile value, which undermines its use as a currency,” he said. “It’s also not broadly accepted.”
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The ESMA warned retail investors against initial coin offerings in November and is monitoring developments in cryptocurrencies, Maijoor said.
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It’s another green day in the world of cryptocurrencies, with all of the ten largest coins rising significantly in value in the last 24 hours. However, this time it’s not Bitcoin that’s leading the charge.
Yes, Bitcoin’s price rose to $14,043 — a 4.99% increase in the last 24 hours — bringing the most popular cryptocurrency’s market cap to $235.6 billion. But it’s still a long way from Bitcoin’s all time high of $19,962 in December.
But all of the other major cryptocoins rose far more than Bitcoin. Ripple, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, rose 11.48% to a new record of $2.47. Ethereum, which is in third place, rose 16.97%, to $889.77 — another all-time high. And Stellar, which is currently in eighth place by market cap, grew a whopping 36.03%, which brought its price to a record high of $665.
All in all, the market cap of the entire cryptospace is currently at a record $654.2 billion, an impressive feat considering Bitcoin has lost thirty percent of its value in the last couple of weeks.
There’s no significant news to which we can attribute this recent growth. Ripple, which had recently overtaken Ethereum as the second-largest cryptocoin, has been growing like a weed for a while now without any major developments. As for Ethereum, it likely benefitted from the launch of a test network for Casper, a significant upgrade for Ethereum which is currently in alpha stage.
While it historically wasn’t very smart to bet against Bitcoin, it looks like it’s time for all the other cryptocurrencies to shine. Bitcoin dominance as measured by CoinMarketCap — the percentage of Bitcoin’s market cap compared to the market cap of all other cryptocoins — is at a historic low of 36%.
It’s possible that the hoards of investors who recently entered the crypto space (popular exchange Coinbase has grown its user base by millions in the last couple of months) are now diversifying into coins that aren’t Bitcoin. It’s also possible that Bitcoin’s largely stagnant development — in contrast to the extremely busy roadmaps from most of its competitors — is driving investors away. On the flip side, it’s not unimaginable that Bitcoin is just taking a little break before it explodes again.
Bitcoin faced one of its biggest tests this week, losing almost 20 percent of its value after the world’s largest cryptocurrency reached a record high Monday.
The digital currency plunged as much as 30 percent on Friday, before paring losses, as this week’s selloff extended to a fourth day. The weekly decline is the biggest in almost three years. Other cryptocurrencies also tumbled: ethereum dropped as much as 36 percent and litecoin slumped as much as 43 percent, according to composite prices on Bloomberg.
Michael Novogratz, the former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Fortress Investment Group LLC macro trader, said he’s shelving plans to start a cryptocurrency hedge fund and predicted that bitcoin may extend its plunge to $8,000.
“We didn’t like market conditions and we wanted to re-evaluate what we’re doing," Novogratz said in a phone interview. He predicted last week that bitcoin could reach $40,000 within a few months.
Bitcoin dropped to as low as $10,776, before recovering to $14,303 at 4:04 p.m. in New York. It last traded below $10,000 on Dec. 1, when the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission agreed to allow trading in bitcoin futures. The price of the digital coin had more than doubled in the prior three weeks.
The losses represent a major test for the cryptocurrency industry and the blockchain technology that underpins it, which have rapidly entered the mainstream in recent weeks. Bears cast doubt on the value of the virtual assets, with UBS Group AG this week calling bitcoin the “biggest speculative bubble in history.” Bulls argue the technology is a game changer for the world of investment and finance. Both will be closely watching the outcome of the current selloff.
“The sharks are beginning to circle here, and the futures markets may give them a venue to strike,” said Ross Norman, chief executive officer of London-based bullion dealer Sharps Pixley Ltd., which offers gold in exchange for bitcoin. “Bitcoin’s been heavily driven by retail investors, but there’ll be some aggressive funds looking for the right opportunity to hammer this thing lower.”
Traders who bought the currency on futures exchanges using collateral may start facing margin calls following the price decline. Two venues launched products in recent weeks that required hefty security, with Cboe needing 44 percent to clear contracts, and the CME 47 percent. Brokers set safety nets even higher.
Coinbase, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, said all buying and selling was temporarily disabled during today’s rout, after having delays in processing wire transfers and verifying new customers for the past week due to higher traffic. Bitcoin transaction volume jumped more than 30 percent on Coinbase’s GDAX exchange, while fees to approve and record the transactions on the blockchain surged to a record $55, according to Bit Info Charts.
Many of the recent news stories and market moves connected to cryptocurrencies appear to carry hallmarks of the mania phase of a bubble. Long Island Iced Tea Corp. shares rose as much as 289 percent on Thursday after the unprofitable Hicksville, New York-based company rebranded itself Long Blockchain Corp. Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said on Thursday bitcoin isn’t functioning like a normal means of payment and is being used for speculation.
Still, cryptocurrencies are attracting established players. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is setting up a trading desk to make markets in digital currencies such as bitcoin, according to people with knowledge of the strategy. The bank aims to get the business running by the end of June, if not earlier, two of the people said.
For related news and information: XBT Curncy GP for bitcoin VCCY for a cryptocurrency monitor
Ethereum, the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap (behind Bitcoin), is currently trading at $707, a 20% increase in the last 24 hours.
This is a new record for Ethereum, which has kept pace with Bitcoin for the better part of the year but started falling behind sometime in the summer. Bitcoin’s price grew tremendously in the second part of the year. One bitcoin is currently worth $17,176.
Ethereum’s market capitalization, according to CoinMarketCap, is currently $66.5 billion.
Besides being a blockchain-based cryptocurrency, Ethereum has fairly little to do with Bitcoin. While Bitcoin is primarily a payment system, Ethereum is a platform for decentralized apps running on its blockchain.
Ethereum’s platform ushered in a completely new breed of startups that raised funds via initial coin offering or ICO events. Participants exchange Ethereum for new digital tokens created on the Ethereum blockchain. ICOs raised more than $1.24 billion in the third quarter of 2017, according to CoinDesk.
Most recently, Ethereum has been in the news due to a popular game called CryptoKitties, which lets users collect and trade digital kittens stored on Ethereum’s blockchain.
How do I politely tell my finance professor that 8% stock returns are boring when I’m making a 43.6% return on Ethereum without getting a lecture about crypto currency volatility😁 pic.twitter.com/zfInKlNJvR
Looking at price alone, Ethereum’s growth has been even more impressive than Bitcoin’s this year. The cryptocurrency was trading for about $8.3 in January; its current price represents a 8,500% increase.
Ethereum might be rising due to recent comments by SEC chairman Jay Clayton, who published a statement on Monday warning about the dangers of ICOs, which are largely unregulated. He also said that some digital tokens traded in ICOs aren’t securities and do not fall under SEC’s jurisdiction.
Numerous other cryptocurrencies continue yesterday’s rally, most notably, the banking-oriented Ripple, which grew by 73% in the last 24 hours and now has a market cap of $18 billion.
Disclosure: The author of this text owns, or has recently owned, a number of cryptocurrencies, including BTC and ETH, as well as a swiftly rising number of digital kittens.
Bitcoin is losing its luster with some of its earliest and most avid fans — criminals — giving rise to a new breed of virtual currency.
Privacy coins such as monero, designed to avoid tracking, have climbed faster over the past two months as law enforcers adopt software tools to monitor people using bitcoin. A slew of analytic firms such as Chainalysis are getting better at flagging digital hoards linked to crime or money laundering, alerting exchanges and preventing conversion into traditional cash.
The European Union’s law-enforcement agency, Europol, raised alarms three months ago, writing in a report that “other cryptocurrencies such as monero, ethereum and Zcash are gaining popularity within the digital underground.” Online extortionists, who use ransomware to lock victims’ computers until they fork over a payment, have begun demanding those currencies instead. On Dec. 18 hackers attacked up to 190,000 WordPress sites per hour to get them to produce monero, according to security company Wordfence.
For ransomware attacks, monero is now “one of the favorites, if not the favorite,” Matt Suiche, founder of Dubai-based security firm Comae Technologies, said in a phone interview.
Monero quadrupled in value to $349 in the final two months of 2017, according to coinmarketcap.com, placing it among a number of upstart coins that rose faster than bitcoin, the world’s most valuable digital currency. Bitcoin roughly doubled in the same period, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Monero’s price has climbed another 7 percent so far this year, according to coinmarketcap.com.
In monero’s case, criminals are snapping it up because bitcoin’s underlying technology can work against them. Called blockchain, the digital ledger meticulously records which addresses send and receive transactions, including the exact time and amount — great data to use as evidence. Match an address to a crime and then watch the bitcoin universe carefully, and you can see the funds disappear and reappear in other locations.
Sleuths have developed databases and techniques for digesting that information to eventually nab wrongdoers. Say, for example, a coffee shop in Berkeley is known to have a certain bitcoin address, and a wallet used by an extortionist transfers the same amount there every morning at 9 a.m. Police can stop by and make an arrest.
Started in 2014, monero is very different. It encrypts the recipient’s address on its blockchain and generates fake addresses to obscure the real sender. It also obscures the amount of the transaction.
The techniques are so potent that software that flags coins suspected of being obtained through crime now tags just about anything converted into or out of monero as high risk, according to Pawel Kuskowski, chief executive officer of Coinfirm, which helps exchanges and other companies avoid tainted money. That compares with only about 10 percent of bitcoin, he said.
“What we treat ‘high risk’ is something that’s anonymizing funds,” he said in a phone interview. “How are you going to prove that these funds are not coming from illegal sources?”
Monero is one of many privacy-focused coins, each offering different security features. Its main competitor, Zcash — which isn’t known to have a significant criminal following — can offer even better privacy protection. Instead of creating fake addresses to hide senders, it encrypts their true address. That makes it impossible to identify senders by looking for correlations in addresses used in multiple transactions to pinpoint the real one — a vulnerability for monero. Developers of the coin have made progress in reducing it, though.
Still, Princeton University researchers recently developed a tool that helps them analyze Zcash transactions at least to some extent — but they haven’t been able to crack monero. And Zcash high-security features can’t be used on disposable burner phones, a favorite of criminals eager to stay anonymous.
Developers behind monero say they simply created a coin that protects privacy. Most people use it legitimately — they just don’t want others to know whether they’re buying a coffee or a car, Riccardo Spagni, core developer at monero, said in a phone interview.
“As a community, we certainly don’t advocate for monero’s use by criminals,” Spagni said. “At the same time if you have a decentralized currency, it’s not like you can prevent someone from using it. I imagine that monero provides massive advantages for criminals over bitcoin, so they would use monero.”
Yet criminals are probably only a fraction of monero’s users, according to Lucas Nuzzi, a senior analyst at Digital Asset Research, which provides research to institutional investors.
“As with any disruptive technology, many of the initial use cases revolve around illicit activities,” he wrote in an email. But as everyday people grow concerned about privacy and surveillance, “there is utility in these currencies that go beyond just a means of exchange for illicit goods.”
For related news and information: Bitcoin price graph: XBT Curncy GP Cryptocurrency monitor: VCCY
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Bitcoin blew previous $9,700 simply a week after topping $8,000 and approached its closest ever to 5 figures, getting traditional market attention as it defies bubble cautions.
The most significant cost dive because August combined throughout Japanese trading hours and rose the biggest cryptocurrency &#x 2019; s
0; worth in flow above the marketplace caps of all however about 30 of the S&P 500 index members. The boost likewise buoyed its 10-day volatility to more than 15 times the level of the euro-dollar, the most traded currency set.
&#x 201C; The more we find out about forks, it begins to fly greater once again, &#x 201D; stated Craig Erlam, senior market expert in London at Oanda, stated by telephone describing consistent speculation that a split — or fork in market parlance– might be in the offing. &#x 201C; It &#x 2019; s exceptionally hard to figure out a reasonable worth for bitcoin. And there &#x 2019; s no news of compound on the regulative front. &#x 201D;
Bitcoin &#x 2019; s climb has actually stirred reflection by standard market individuals and fanned speculation of a prospective bubble. From Wall Street executives to investor, observers have weighed in as bitcoin has actually increased about 45 percent over the previous 2 weeks. By contrast, it took the S&P 500 Index given that February 2014 to attain a comparable boost.
The rise has actually swept along private financiers. The variety of accounts at Coinbase, among the biggest platforms for trading bitcoin and competing ethereum, has actually practically tripled to 13 million in the previous year, inning accordance with Bespoke Investment Group LLC.
&#x 201C; The weekend &#x 2019; s bitcoin cost walking is simply the extension of a long-lasting bull work on the cryptocurrency, sustained by the tsunami of speculative trading on Japanese exchanges and the entryway of institutional financiers throughout the world, &#x 201D; stated Thomas Glucksmann, Hong Kong-based head of marketing at cryptocurrency exchange Gatecoin Ltd. &#x 201C; It is most likely that the $10,000 mental stratosphere will press more institutional financiers into the mix. &#x 201D;
Bitcoin reached an intraday record high of $9,747.49 on Monday, and was at $9,663 since 4:32 p.m. in New York, up 17 percent from Friday and movinged towards its most significant day-to-day boost given that Aug. 14.
The rate of gratitude has actually made it hard for bullish experts and financiers to keep their forecasts as much as date.
Hedge fund supervisor Mike Novogratz, who is beginning a $500 million fund to purchase cryptocurrencies, stated recently that bitcoin would end the year at $10,000. A day later on, Fundstrat head of research study Thomas Lee doubled his rate target to $11,500 by the middle of 2018.
In an approach mainstream investing, CME Group Inc. has stated it prepares to begin providing futures agreements for bitcoin, which might start selling December. JPMorgan Chase &&Co., the
0; biggest U.S. bank, was weighing recently whether to assist customers bank on bitcoin by means of the suggested futures agreements, inning accordance with an individual with understanding of the circumstance.
Bitcoin &#x 2019; s rise in worth is requiring Wall Street banks to stabilize customers &#x 2019; interest in hypothesizing on the cryptocurrency with executives &#x 2019; hesitation about its future. JPMorgan Chase &&Co. President Jamie Dimon has actually been among bitcoin &#x 2019; s most popular critics, calling it a scams and deriding purchasers as &#x 201C; silly, &#x 201D; while his financing chief, Marianne Lake, has actually struck a more measured tone. The company is &#x 201C; open minded &#x 201D; to the prospective usages for digital currencies so long as they are effectively managed, she stated last month.
The overall market cap of digital currencies now sits north of $300 billion, inning accordance with information on Coinmarketcap.com &#x 2019; s site .