bitcoin price

The trustee in charge of the assets belong to defunct bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox has denied that his decision to sell more than $400 million worth of bitcoin (BTC) and bitcoin cash (BCH) had a meaningful impact on the global cryptocurrency market.

In an announcement dated March 17, Nobuaki Kobayashi — the Tokyo lawyer in charge of managing the infamous Mt. Gox exchange’s estate during its bankruptcy proceedings — addressed concerns that his handling of the estate has been callous and has had a materially-detrimental effect on the market price of bitcoin.

Earlier this month, Kobayashi announced that he sold $406.6 million worth of bitcoin and bitcoin cash from the infamous exchange’s estate, adding that the estate still held approximately $1.7 billion worth of cryptocurrency assets. He also said that he had sold the coins on order-book cryptocurrency exchanges, rather than through the over-the-counter (OTC) markets that large-scale buyers and sellers generally use.

In Saturday’s statement, Kobayashi confirmed that he sold the coins between December and February — a period in which the bitcoin price plunged from nearly $20,000 to $6,000 — but he claimed that he did so in a way that did not have an effect on the market price of the assets.

“Following consultation with cryptocurrency experts, I sold BTC and BCC, not by an ordinary sale through the BTC/BCC exchange, but in a manner that would avoid affecting the market price, while ensuring the security of the transaction to the extent possible,” Kobayashi said. “Therefore, I believe that the sale of BTC and BCC by us did not affect their market prices.”

“I made efforts to sell them at as high a price as possible in light of their market prices at the time of sale. I believe that they were sold at a fair price, given the market prices at that time,” he added.

But though the Mt. Gox estate continues to hold nearly $2 billion in cryptocurrency assets, investors likely do not need to worry that these coins will be dumped onto the market — at least in the short-term.

As Bloomberg reporter Yuji Nakamura noted following the release of the initial statement, Kobayashi only sold enough coins to cover the exchange’s JPY liabilities.

He is now waiting for the court to rule on whether the exchange can enter civil rehabilitation, which would potentially allow the estate to distribute coins directly back to creditors — rather than selling them for cash and giving creditors the proceeds.

However, even if the court denies the civil rehabilitation plea, it would likely be several months before the trustee resumes selling the coins.

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coinbase lawsuit

Coinbase has been hit with a class-action lawsuit that alleges employees and other insiders engaged in insider trading in connection with the company’s decision to add support for bitcoin cash.

The lawsuit, filed on March 2 in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, alleges that employees and other insiders acted on non-public information to manipulate the bitcoin cash price following its listing on the company’s eponymous brokerage platform, as well as GDAX, its order-book exchange.

As BlockExplorer reported, Coinbase added support for BCH in mid-December. Immediately following its launch, the bitcoin cash price quickly and inexplicably shot up to $9,500 on GDAX, despite the fact that the coin’s global average peaked at $3,813. Within minutes, the company had halted trading, but those who bought BCH during the frenzy accused the exchange of quoting artificially-inflated prices.

Many observers accused those with prior knowledge of the addition of engaging in insider trading, and Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong assured customers in a blog post that the company was conducting an internal investigation. He vowed that the company would terminate and take appropriate legal action against any employee found to have traded on the news.

From the post:

“Given the price increase in the hours leading up the announcement, we will be conducting an investigation into this matter. If we find evidence of any employee or contractor violating our policies — directly or indirectly — I will not hesitate to terminate the employee immediately and take appropriate legal action.”

However, the suit notes that neither Armstrong nor Coinbase has publicly disclosed the results of that inquiry.

Notably, the lawsuit requests that the court award damages under California’s Unfair Competition Law — not statutes involving insider trading. This, as Rick Falvinge noted in his reaction to the brouhaha, is because bitcoin cash and other cryptocurrencies are currently regulated as commodities — not securities. Consequently, insider trading laws technically cannot be applied to the incident.

When contacted for comment, a Coinbase representative referred us to the company’s blog.

Featured image from Pexels

Bitcoin

A new study has found that 57 Ukrainian officials have declared over 21,000 bitcoin as intangible assets over the past two years.

The study, conducted by Opendatabot, found that officials had a total of 21,128 bitcoins, reports RBC. However, it adds that the number is only an estimate.

According to the research, the greatest number of digital currency owners was found in the Odessa regional council and the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

Figures from Opendatabot show that the largest number of bitcoin was owned by Golubov Dmitry Ivanovich, a People’s Deputy of the Verkhovna Rada. He declared the ownership of 4,376 bitcoins in 2015.

Urban Anatoly Igorovich, head of the Odessa Regional Council of the 7th convocation, listed that he owned 4256.3278 in 2017.

Bitcoin Cash has also been a popular cryptocurrency declared by other Ukrainian officials. So much so, that Dmitry Palpatin Viktorovich, Odessa City Council deputy, declared that he owned 7,711 bitcoin cash coins in 2017. At current market values that would put his investment at over $12 million.

Despite the study highlighting the declaration from Ukrainian officials about the ownership of digital currencies, there is still no legal status for cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin in the country.

Sergei Mitkalyk, executive director of the anticorruption headquarters, said:

National Bank of Ukraine does not recognize bitcoin as a virtual currency, money surrogate, intangible value, virtual goods, etc…Courts, considering disputes over virtual settlements, come to a unanimous opinion that the cryptography is neither a thing nor property rights and does not bear any material features at all.

Regardless of this, though, a number of bills have been passed for regulation in Ukraine, but none, so far, have passed.

The first two bills were passed in October 2017. These were introduced by a group of deputies in collaboration with the Ukrainian Blockchain Association. These were followed by a third bill in November 2017 to supplement the second bill. The bill sought to amend the tax code of Ukraine to exempt the profits made from the sale and purchase of digital currencies.

For now, it appears that the NBU is still debating the status of digital currencies in the country. However, the revelation of the ownership of bitcoin by Ukrainian officials comes at a time when the market is experiencing regulatory uncertainty and the market’s attraction among criminals.

Just today it was reported that Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange Coincheck had been hacked, resulting in the biggest crypto theft in history that saw the loss of $530 million worth of NEM.

The news of this means that even more attention will be placed on the cryptocurrency market, with the possibility of more pressure being applied for it to be regulated.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Continuing the story from the 31st of December, Reddit has stated that its mail provider, mailgun, had been compromised. Citing reports of completed password resets that account owners did not request. Reddit also stated that it has moved the password reset facility to an in-house server. The attackers gained access to the content of password reset emails, allowing them to reset passwords for any Reddit account. Mailgun’s blog stated that the attack occurred via a compromised employee account, allowing the attackers to gain access to mailgun customer’s API keys.

Accounts that have Two-Factor authentication enabled are not vulnerable to password reset attacks. Since an attacker must acquire the single-use code to change the password. KeyserSosa, a Reddit admin, stated “We paused final roll out because of the holidays since it’s not a small change and wanted full coverage before final testing on everyone.“ when asked on the status of 2FA roll out to all users. Once full rollout is complete, you will no longer need to be a moderator to use 2FA on Reddit

Protecting your accounts from attacks

This attack shows how far an attacker is willing to go if they believe they can gain from your account.  Remember to never publicly flaunt or share how much of a given cryptocurrency you own, always use secure and unique passwords, never reuse passwords, and enable Two-Factor authentication if you can.

coinbase

Bitcoin exchanges Coinbase and GDAX added full support for bitcoin cash on Tuesday evening, and the rollout did not go smoothly.

Bitcoin Cash Price Explodes After Coinbase Listing

Earlier today, Coinbase announced in a blog post that it had added full support for bitcoin cash, the third-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, enabling users to buy, sell, send, and receive the coin on both Coinbase and GDAX, its professional trading platform. Customers who had coins stored on the exchanges at the time of the fork also received access to their airdropped funds.

The bitcoin cash price surged to record levels in response to the announcement, reflecting the fact that Coinbase’s brokerage service is one of the primary ways in which new users in many countries — the U.S. in particular — purchase cryptocurrency. Some analysts attribute the recent litecoin and ethereum rallies, for instance, to their presence on Coinbase amid an explosion of new user registrations.

bitcoin cash price
Source; CoinMarketCap

Within hours, the global average bitcoin cash price had jumped from $2,300 to $3,000, and it swelled as high as $3,813 before settling down to a present value of $3,224, according to the BlockExplorer price index. This movement represented a single-day increase of 47 percent and lifted bitcoin cash’s market cap to nearly $55 billion.

A Messy Rollout

The news was a huge boon for bitcoin cash proponents, as it further cemented the coin as a top-tier cryptocurrency and made it more accessible to new investors, many of whom likely remain unfamiliar with it.

However, for the company, the rollout could not have gone much worse.

Coinbase’s pricing data comes from GDAX, where the bitcoin cash price quickly — and inexplicably — shot up to $8,500 before the exchange shut down BCH trading and cleared the order books just minutes after their launch.

bitcoin cash price
Source: Coinbase

At press time, GDAX’s BCH markets remained offline, with the last posted trade priced at $9,500. Coinbase, however,  had adjusted the bitcoin cash price down to $3,193, a level that corresponded to the global average.

The rollout left users confused — and enraged — and scores of frustrated users took to social media channels to vow that they would cease to use either Coinbase or GDAX.

It is likely that cooler heads will prevail once GDAX corrects whatever issue caused the price to leap to $9,500 and launches stable BCH markets. Nevertheless, the incident marks yet another public relations headache for Coinbase following a year of unprecedented expansion that has been accompanied by significant growing pains.

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