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Use our news to inform cryptocurrency trading decisions, stay up-to-date on happenings in the industry, and more!

Electrum Pro Site Shuts Down, Citing ‘False Accusations’ As Cause
Following the proof released and verified on may 9th, the site hosting the malware Electrum Pro seems to have been voluntarily shut down. A message on the site states Electrum Pro’s reputation has been ruined due to false accusations from electrum.org. The message further states that the domain is up for sale for 25BTC, and provides a contact email. (BlockExplorer verified that the proof was genuine and Electrum Pro is lying.)

Bitcoin Wallet Mycelium Begins Rolling Out BCH Support
BlockExplorer’s David Murray reports on the popular bitcoin wallet Mycelium rolling out support for bitcoin cash.

More Bitcoin Moved From Mt. Gox Wallet, Possible Sell-Off Affects Bitcoin Price
The Mt. Gox bankruptcy trustee is suspected to have dumped another 8,000 bitcoin on the cryptocurrency market. CCN reports, “Today, on May 11, various reports have suggested that the recent price dip of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies was triggered by the sell-off of Mt. Gox coins.”

South Korean’s Largest Cryptocurrency Exchange Raided
CoinDesk Korea reports that on May 10 and 11 investigators from Seoul’s prosecutors’ office searched the head office of popular cryptocurrency exchange Upbit. “UPbit is suspected of fraud for allegedly selling cryptocurrency to customers that it does not actually hold”, according to the report.

Venture Capitalist Tim Draper: “Bitcoin Is The Most Secure Place To Put Your Money”
Tim Draper joined CNBC’s Closing Bell to discuss bitcoin. Draper was bullish on bitcoin stating, “It is a far better currency than the fiat currency. I mean, right now, your banks are being attacked all the time. The hackers are poking holes in your banks and going after your fiat money. And… the bankers are pounding away, trying to keep the hacks away but they’re getting hacked all of the time. No one has ever hacked the bitcoin blockchain. It is the most secure place to put your money.”

Image courtesy of Carty Sewill, http://cartyisme.com/

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News Bytes for April 26, 2018

Nexon Korea Denies It’s Acquiring Crypto Exchange Bitstamp

According to a report in the Korea Herald, Nexon Korea CEO Lee Jung-hun on Wednesday said that the company is not involved in discussions to acquire Bitstamp, the world’s 10th-largest cryptocurrency exchange in terms of daily trading volume.
https://blockexplorer.com/news/nexon-korea-denies-acquiring-crypto-exchange-bitstamp/

Today the 17 Millionth Bitcoin Was Mined

Data from Blockchain.info predicts the 17 millionth bitcoin is likely to be mined today.

https://blockchain.info/charts/total-bitcoins

Spoiler: it was. 

Suspicious Event Hijacks Amazon Traffic, Steals Cryptocurrency

Attackers subverted Amazon’s domain-resolution service on Tuesday, and according to an Ars Technica report, “masqueraded as cryptocurrency website MyEtherWallet.com and stole about $150,000 in digital coins from unwitting end users. They may have targeted other Amazon customers as well.”

https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2018/04/suspicious-event-hijacks-amazon-traffic-for-2-hours-steals-cryptocurrency/

$140 Million Worth of Bitcoin Moved from Mt.Gox Wallet Today

16,000 Bitcoin were transferred out of the defunct Mt. Gox today, sparking speculation the estate’s trustee may liquidate more coins.

https://www.cryptoground.com/mtgox-cold-wallet-monitor/

Jewelry Consortium to Use IBM Blockchain Technology to Authenticate Diamonds

IBM is working with a consortium of gold and diamond companies in the jewelry supply chain to track engagement rings from the mine to the retail shelf via blockchain technology, reports ZDNet.

https://www.zdnet.com/article/jewelry-consortium-to-use-ibm-blockchain-technology-to-verify-authenticate-diamonds-engagement-rings/

First Global Bank Issues Loan Using Blockchain

According to the Financial Times, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) is the first global bank to have issued a loan using blockchain.

https://www.ft.com/content/8c5a44e8-4878-11e8-8ae9-4b5ddcca99b3

Parity Technologies Says “No Intention to Split the Ethereum Chain” Over Fund Recovery

As some Parity users continue to remain unable to access their ether as a result of a bug in Parity’s code, the company finds themselves needing to assure users they have no intention of splitting the ethereum chain. “We have all dedicated a great deal of time and effort to developing the ethereum ecosystem and have no intention of harming what we have helped build.”

 

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Mark Karpeles, former CEO of now-defunct bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, claims that he doesn’t want the billions of dollars he may stand to gain as a result of the company’s bankruptcy.

Karpeles, who operated the infamous Tokyo-based exchange throughout its 2014 collapse, made this statement in a Reddit AMA on Wednesday.

“I don’t want this. I don’t want this billion dollars. From day one I never expected to receive anything from this bankruptcy,” Karpeles said. “The fact that today this is a possibility is an aberration and I believe it is my responsibility to make sure it doesn’t happen.

“I do not want to become instantly rich. I do not ask for forgiveness. I just want to see this end as soon as possible with everyone receiving their share of what they had on MtGox so everyone, myself included, can get some closure,” he continued.

At present, it appears that creditors who held bitcoins on the exchange at the time of its demise will be paid in fiat according to the exchange rate in 2014, which works out to about $480 per coin.

The remaining funds, which could number in the billions of dollars, would then be distributed to Mt. Gox’s two shareholders – Karpeles, who owns 88 percent of the exchange, and Stellar co-founder Jed McCaleb, who reportedly retained a 12 percent stake after selling the exchange to Karpeles.

Karpeles said that he continues to advocate for Mt. Gox to be moved out of bankruptcy and into civil rehabilitation, which would provide creditors with an additional opportunity to file claims and would also increase the likelihood that creditors could receive their compensation directly in bitcoin.

As BlockExplorer reported, the Mt. Gox trustee has already sold more than $400 million worth of the exchange’s bitcoin and bitcoin cash, funds which will be used to cover the company’s JPY liabilities. This sell-off was, perhaps wrongly, blamed for the cryptocurrency market’s recent downturn.

It is unclear whether the trustee will sell any of the exchange’s 160,000 bitcoin and bitcoin cash in the future, as this will depend on the court’s decision.

Featured Image from Pixabay

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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.

Featured Image from BitcoinWisdom

bitcoin-1813505_1280

Bitcoin has been on quite the rollercoaster since its all-time high peak in December of 2017. The drop, which accelerated throughout January and culminated in reaching a low of $5,900 before bouncing back up to ~$8,000 for much of the remainder of February. Just as February came to a close, bitcoin started to fight back, reaching key resistance levels at $11,750 only to be rejected. This week, steam started to pick back up and a retest of this key area was yet again rejected, except this time, it rocketed downward in a crash that has spooked much of the cryptocurrency community and has held any indication of a new bull run to a screeching halt.

In late January until the big February crash, there was an endless supply of negative press related to cryptocurrencies, including government bans, Korean exchanges being delisted from CoinMarketCap, and more. However, since the CFTC and SEC commission where the US committees announced a “do no harm approach” to cryptocurrencies. The sentiment seemed to change immediately, which prompted Bitcoin’s end of February climb into March.

Today, though, was a perfect storm of bad news and FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) that was a likely cause of Bitcoin dropping nearly $1,000 in value in a little more than an hour.

Crypto: The SEC Won’t Let me Be

The U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released a public statement today, calling cryptocurrency exchanges “potentially unlawful online platforms for trading digital assets.” In the statement, the SEC calls out the fact that many cryptocurrency assets meet the definition of “securities,” and because they do, exchanges must register with the SEC.

Most cryptocurrency exchanges such as GDAX aren’t registered with the SEC and instead operate using money transmission licenses. To be fully compliant with SEC guidelines, exchanges will have to register and then be put under close scrutiny under SEC inspections and other requirements. Those that do not register with the SEC, could be sued or shut down. Or both.

What this means for exchanges is yet to be seen, but changes are coming and speculators were clearly unsettled by the news.

 

Binance API Issues Cause Market Issues

If the SEC asserting their control over exchanges wasn’t enough, there was also fear over a Binance hack that caused widespread selling of funds – selling that wasn’t initiated by users. Many of Binance’s customers took to Twitter and other communities to inquire about why all of their altcoin holdings were sold and converted to Bitcoin. One Reddit user wrote:

WTF is happening! Binance just sold all my alts at market rate and I have got just the Bitcoin now. Is it because of account getting hacked or binance bot issue? Have raised a ticket 715903 for this. Edit: Binance has started reversing transactions now. I see Bitcoin back on my account.

Users panicked believing Binance was hacked.. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao explained the selling as “irregularities in trading activity” and Binance has since reversed all the unauthorized trades.

 

Mt. Gox Crashes Bitcoin Again (and Again)

A little over five years ago, the most prominent bitcoin exchange at the time, Mt. Gox, halted all bitcoin withdrawals, and then suspended trading. It was later revealed that Mt. Gox was hacked, resulting in millions of dollars in bitcoin being stolen from its customers and their own reserves. Fast-forward to today – it has been revealed after a Mt. Gox creditor meeting earlier in the day, that a trustee who holds Mt. Gox’s recovered bitcoins has been selling them off at market rate since September, and may have been responsible for selling large amounts of bitcoin – enough to effect market price – that prompted some of the biggest drops in bitcoin’s price in 2018.

While creditors are mostly paid off due to this trustee selling off the bitcoins at an average of $10,000 each (meanwhile claims stemming from Mt. Gox only equate to the fiat equivalent of $400 per bitcoin), but over 165K bitcoins still remain in this trustee’s possession, prompting fears of additional selloffs that will increase bitcoin’s volatility. and drive prices down further.

Reddit users are already speculating the likelihood of the Mt. Gox trustee being responsible for the market crash in February, in addition to the drop from the all-time high, among more drops following in January. Thanks to the blockchain, there is some validity to the claims, with addresses tied to the Mt. Gox accounts moving significant amounts of bitcoins on December 22, January 17 and 31, with the largest dump of 18K BTC being on February 5 – which coincides with the market crash.

 

Where Do We Go From Here?

In summary, today’s drop concludes that the bears are still in control, and that market sentiment around cryptocurrency is at a recent low, despite cryptocurrency being such a trendy buzzword, it was just added to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Where the market goes next is anyone’s guess, but unfortunately the SEC’s tightening grasp on exchanges, potential for exchange hacks, and the remaining 166K BTC in this trustee’s control aren’t going anywhere… yet.