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Bitcoin Going to $100K After ‘Steady Accumulation,’ Says Crypto Trader

Former Goldman Sachs analyst turned Bitcoin (BTC)  maximalist Murad Mahmudov believes the top cryptocurrency will hit $100,000.

“Zoom out & think big”

In a tweet posted on Aug. 13, Mahmudov — who serves as chief information officer (CIO) at cryptocurrency hedge fund Adaptive Capital — wrote:

“At first glance this looks like a weak chop for the next week or so, but my intuition tells me there is steady accumulation happening at these levels. Don’t try to outsmart yourself on short timeframes, zoom out & think big. In my view, BTC is going to $100K per orangecoin.”

BTC-USD technical analysis

BTC-USD technical analysis. Source: @MustStopMurad

Mahmudov analyzed the coin’s key support levels, observing that “200MA [moving-average] /EMA [exponential moving average]/RSIbands [relative strength indicator]+Weekly support all point to 10.8 [$ thousands) but you may get a wick at most given the orderbook support across exchanges.”

Isolating $10,800 as an emergent key support level on the BTC/USD daily chart as well, he said that — with the caveat that he is not purporting to give financial advice — “If I were a betting man, I would be patiently and slowly adding at every key support.” 

To the sky

Mahmudov’s eye-popping $100,000 forecast has been recently echoed by Morgan Creek Digital Assets founder Anthony Pompliano, who considers that the recent dovish turn by central banks will be rocket fuel for Bitcoin’s price and help drive it to $100,000 by the end of 2021. 

Pompliano also cited bitcoin’s halving — the reduction of mining rewards in half in May 2020 — as a major factor likely to propel the coin’s valuation upwards.

This July, Cointelegraph reported that United States-based regulated crypto derivatives and clearing platform LedgerX was giving retail investors the chance to bet on Bitcoin hitting $100,000 by 2020.

At press time, Bitcoin is trading in the $11,200-300 range, fractionally down on the day, according to Cointelegraph’s Bitcoin Price Index.

SEC Postpones Decision on Three Bitcoin ETF Rule Change Proposals

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has delayed its decision on three Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) proposals.

According to documents published on Aug. 12, the SEC has will put off a formal decision on proposed rules changes by NYSE Arca and Cboe BZX Exchange for three Bitcoin ETFs: by asset managers VanEck SolidX, Bitwise Asset Management, and Wilshire Phoenix.

According to the announcements, the SEC has delayed its decision for listing VanEck to Oct. 18, while Bitwise’s listing on NYSE Arca will be delayed to Oct. 13. The decision on Wilshire Phoenix’s United States Bitcoin and Treasury Investment Trust has been postponed until Sept. 29. The SEC stated in each case that:

“The Commission finds it appropriate to designate a longer period within which to issue an order approving or disapproving the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider this proposed rule change.”

ETFs are a type of security that tracks a basket of assets proportionately represented in the fund’s shares. They are seen by many as a step forward for the mass adoption of digital assets.

The VanEck proposal was filed in January, while Bitwise’s current application was filed in February. The Wilshire Phoenix proposal was published in the Federal Register on July 1, 2019.

Securities laws give the SEC the right to postpone its decision on proposed financial products in order to gather information or further deliberate on a rule change that would allow the listing.

Prior postponements and possible delays

Today’s news marks the latest in a series of delays on a Bitcoin ETF. The SEC had previously delayed its decision on VanEck and Bitwise’s ETF applications in March, and again in May.

Following the May decision, the SEC decided to publish 14 questions, available to the public, in order to gather more information and opinions about VanEck’s proposal.

Last December, SEC “Crytpo Mom” Hester Pierce told investors not to hold their breath when it came to waiting for a Bitcoin ETF. She then stated:

“Definitely possible could be 20 years from now or it could be tomorrow. Don’t hold your breath. The SEC took a long time to establish Finhub. It might take even longer to approve an exchange traded product.”

In June, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said that the regulator must first feel comfortable with the security of cryptocurrency custodial services before it could move ahead on an ETF. Clayton also said that the SEC must be satisfied that protections are in place for preventing market manipulation.

Additional reporting by Max Boddy

Goldman Sachs Gets Bullish on Bitcoin With a Price Target of $13,971

In a note to customers, Goldman Sachs gave a bullish forecast for Bitcoin price. Shared on Twitter, Aug. 11, the note suggests a short-term target of $13,971.

Bullish analysis based on Elliott Waves

The target given is based on Elliott Wave Theory, which forecasts market trends by identifying extremes in investor psychology, along with price highs and lows.

According to the analyst, Bitcoin will rebound from support around $11,094, leaving room for at least one leg higher towards $12,916 and $13,971. This could complete a V wave count from July, producing a short-term top or consolidation.

The bigger picture, and longer-term forecast

Potentially, the analyst suggests, this could be the first leg of a five wave count. This would mean that any retracement from $12,916-$13,971 levels presents a buying opportunity, as after the consolidation period, price could once again resume higher unless it goes below the previous recent low of $9,084. 

The note suggests a short-term stop at $10,791. 

Goldman Sachs increasingly interested in Bitcoin and cryptocurrency

Goldman Sachs has taken an increasing interest in the cryptocurrency market. As Cointelegraph reported, in the last month it has gone from “looking at [the] potential” of launching its own virtual token, to making hires to accelerate the program.

China’s Digital Currency Is Ready, Central Bank Says

The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) has claimed that its digital currency “can now be said to be ready.”

According to PBoC deputy director Mu Changchun, a prototype that adopts blockchain architecture has been successfully developed after five years of research.

His announcement, made at the China Finance 40 Forum, was reported by local news site Shanghai Securities News on August 10.

Two-tier operating system

Mu said issuing a digital currency using a pure blockchain architecture would be difficult to achieve in a country as big as China because retailers require high concurrency performance.

The digital currency is also going to adopt a two-tier operating system to cater to the nation’s “complex economy with a vast territory and a large population,” with PBoC on an upper level and commercial banks on a secondary level. According to Mu, this will improve accessibility, enhance adoption rates among the public, and promote innovation among commercial entities.

According to the PBoC executive, the digital currency is designed to be suitable for “small-scale retail high-frequency business scenarios.”

A threat to the United States?

As reported by Cointelegraph on Aug. 9, the PBoC has been planning to get ahead of the U.S. and Facebook’s Libra by issuing a national cryptocurrency, as American politicians slam the brakes on the social network’s stablecoin because of regulatory concerns.

However, despite the upbeat remarks by Mu, it remains unclear exactly when China’s digital currency will actually launch.

XMR Cryptojacking Malware Smominru Updated, Now Targeting User Data

Malware Smominru mines Monero (XMR) on at least half a million infected computers and now also steals sensitive personal data.

An updated malware

Cybersecurity company Carbon Black claimed that its Threat Analysis Unit “uncovered a secondary component in a well-known cryptomining campaign” in a report published on Aug. 7. According to the firm, the malware has now been updated to “also steal system access information for possible sale on the dark web.” Per the report, the update is part of a broader trend in malware development:

“This discovery indicates a bigger trend of commodity malware evolving to mask a darker purpose and will force a change in the way cybersecurity professionals classify, investigate and protect themselves from threats.  ”

The change in the malware was first discovered during an investigation into anomalous activity behavior seen across a handful of endpoints. When investigating, the researchers found “sophisticated, multi-stage malware that was sending detailed system metadata to a network of hijacked web servers.”

Far reaching implications

According to the researchers, this trend will have far-reaching implications for the cybersecurity space. More precisely, according to the report, it will “catalyze a change in the way cybersecurity professionals classify, investigate and protect themselves from threats.”

As Cointelegraph reported yesterday, computer analysts at cybersecurity firm Zscaler ThreatLabZ have found a new type of trojan that targets cryptocurrency users.

Cointelegraph first reported the discovery of Smominru in February of 2018, though the malware had allegedly been infecting computers since May 2017.

Crypto Exchange Binance Points out a Dusting Attack Against Litecoin

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance claims that a dusting attack against fourth-biggest altcoin, Litecoin (LTC).

A large scale attack against privacy

The official Twitter exchange of cryptocurrency exchange Binance claimed that a major attack against users of altcoin Litecoin took place yesterday. The firm made this claim in a tweet on August 9:

“Approximately 5 hours ago there was a large-scale dusting attack on $LTC @Litecoin users.”

The tweet also links to a transaction — which according to Binance is part of the attack — sending a fraction (0.00000546 LTC) of a coin to 50 addresses. Furthermore, the exchange also links to an explanation of a dusting attack, which defines it in the following way:

“A dusting attack refers to a relatively new kind of malicious activity where hackers and scammers try and break the privacy of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency users by sending tiny amounts of coins to their personal wallets.”

A data acquisition strategy

The way this kind of attack works is that the attacker can then track down the transactional activity of these wallets. By analyzing this data, the attacker tries to determine the identity of who controls those wallets.

As Cointelegraph reported at the end of the January, research at the time cited dusting as one of the major threats to cryptocurrencies.

New Jersey Governor Signs Bill to Establish Blockchain Task Force

Governor of New Jersey Phil Murphy recently signed bill S2297, which is an act to create a so-dubbed New Jersey Blockchain Initiative Task Force. The purpose of the task force is purportedly to study blockchain solutions for the benefit of the state.

The news that Murphy passed this bill comes by way of an announcement on the official site of the state of New Jersey on Aug. 8. According to the press release, the taskforce will study the risks and rewards related to blockchain and distributed ledger technology; public blockchains, private blockchains and consensus algorithms; current projects and use cases around the world and their potential within the state; and what laws could be changed for secure and paperless recordkeeping.

Task force will compile six-month report

The task force will contain 14 members who are appointed by officials in various positions of government.

The group will have 180 days after it first convenes to report on its findings and will include a cost-benefit analysis of introducing blockchain tech into government agencies, as well as the force’s recommendations on implementing such solutions.

The task force will be headed by the states Chief Technology Officer Chris Rein. Rein remarked that he was “excited to evaluate and help shape how our state government can best use, and optimize, blockchain technology.” 

Senator James Beach, who sponsored the bill, commented on how he feels confident that blockchain has a place in local government as a type of security measure:

“In an age where digital information needs protecting, blockchain is a technological innovation that will protect us from hackers and those seeking to steal our information […] I believe that whatever the taskforce decides, there is a place for blockchain to be used in local governments to protect them from the ever increasing dangers of the Internet.”

Regulatory enforcement for crypto in New Jersey

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, the state of New Jersey has recently taken steps to protect its citizens against two allegedly fraudulent initial coin offerings (ICOs). The Bureau of Securities in New Jersey has claimed that the companies Zoptax and Unocall are engaged in fraud via their unregistered ICOs, and has called on them to end their offerings immediately. The bureau claimed that the two companies had previously issued “materially false and misleading statements and/or omitting to state material facts in connection with the offer and sale of its securities.” 

Ripple CEO: MoneyGram Using XRP a Bigger Deal Than Facebook’s Libra

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse says the firm is looking into multiple investments and acquisitions following its $30 million partnership with MoneyGram this June.

As Yahoo! Finance reported on Aug. 9, Ripple’s deal with MoneyGram — the second-largest remittances firm worldwide — saw it purchase a 10% stake in the entity, with an option to increase its investment by a further $20 million within two years. 

MoneyGram starts using xRapid

MoneyGram began using Ripple’s xRapid liquidity product on Aug. 3 — a central stipulation of the $30 million deal — as revealed by MoneyGram CEO Alex Holmes during the company’s second-quarter earnings call earlier this month. 

XRapid — which uses the XRP token to facilitate the instant settlement of money sent in one currency into a destination currency — is notably not used by many of Ripple’s other clients, such as Santander, Standard Chartered and American Express. 

In his interview with Yahoo! Finance, Garlinghouse rebuffed the notion that Ripple had forked out a premium on MoneyGram shares to ensure the firm would adopt the technology:

‘“I wouldn’t characterize it as an inducement […] we’re getting more and more customers to sign up and we’re seeing that value. If we want to accelerate that, we have the option of doing things that might be perceived and characterized by some as an inducement.”

Garlinghouse revealed that Ripple paid a high price for the deal given the reluctance of private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners to sell at market values: Moneygram shares had dropped almost 80% in the 12 months leading up to the partnership, but surged 168% thereafter. 

“This is a big deal”

The Moneygram partnership, Garlinghouse claimed, represents one of the first use cases of a crypto asset in production at scale:

“This is a big deal. If I were betting now, a year from now the MoneyGram deal will have a more consequential impact on the crypto markets than the Libra white paper.”

With xRapid volumes up 170% between Q1 and Q2 2019 — even ahead of the MoneyGram development — the CEO forecast xRapid would hit over $1 billion in volume by 2020. 

Currently, Ripple is reportedly signing on two new financial institutions per week — with over 200 contracts with global clients already under its belt. Garlinhouse expects around 100 new contracts to be signed this year, 20% of which will involve xRapid and XRP.

As reported, Ripple increased its quarterly XRP sales by roughly 48% in Q2 2019, selling $251.51 million worth of the token.

Bitcoin Price Will Hit $250K by Q1 2023 Despite Consolidation, Says Tim Draper

Bitcoin (BTC) price will still hit $250,000 but its status as a safe haven asset could see investors waiting a little longer than planned, serial VC investor Tim Draper says.

“People have consolidated towards Bitcoin”

Speaking in an interview with Yahoo! Finance on Aug. 9, the notoriously bullish Draper doubled down on his prediction that Bitcoin will hit $250,000 by 2023. Due to current trends, however, there might be a slight delay to the giant price tag becoming reality.

“It’s consolidated more than I thought it would,” he told the network.

He added: 

“I thought there would be many more competitors at this point that were really relevant, but people have consolidated towards Bitcoin because it’s decentralized.”

Draper is well known for his Bitcoin price prediction, something he has repeated multiple times over the years. Now, he considers a likely time frame for the prophecy fulfilling itself as somewhere in the next four years.

“$250,000 by 2022, and I’m hedging a little, maybe Q1 2023,” he added.

Bitcoin increasingly attractive amid economic uncertainty

As Cointelegraph reported, the consolidation Draper spoke of has seen wider support this week as the fallout from instability in China spurs what many commentators are describing as a flight into Bitcoin. 

If the quarter million figure still eludes markets come 2023, however, Draper has not mentioned what he will do. 

John McAfee, however, has issued himself a much more intense ultimatum; if BTC/USD does not hit $1 million by the end of 2020, the mogul says he will eat his own penis. 

A dedicated tracking resource allows those curious to keep track of how much upside Bitcoin should undergo in order to avoid the situation.

tZERO to Offer Public Trading Starting Aug. 12, Expects Up To 50,000 Investors

Retail giant Overstock’s blockchain subsidiary company, tZERO, plans to allow the public to trade its security tokens in four days.

Saum Noursalehi, CEO of tZERO, shared the announcement with CoinDesk, per a report published on Aug. 8. According to the announcement, Aug. 12 marks the end of a one year lock period following the company’s 2018 token offering.

Noursalehi additionally commented that the company is expecting as many as 50,000 new investors, who have already bought Overstock shares, to begin trading their digital security tokens. Despite not seeing a large amount of registration by press time, Noursalehi said that investors are reaching out to learn more:

“We had a lot of broker-dealers, about 30 or 40, reach out to us that want to get involved in this ecosystem […] We’re working on these requests. Investors have been sending questions as well. They are excited and they are trying to understand it.”

At press time, the report notes that two tokens are available for trading on tZERO’s platform. One is a private equity token dubbed TZEROP, which was issued to operate the company’s initial token offering. The other is Overstock’s digital voting series A-1 preferred stock.

The report also notes that tZERO has been offering token trading since January, but the option was only available to accredited investors. As previously reported by Cointelegraph, these investors were offered the option to trade security tokens through the broker-dealer Dinosaur Financial Group. Dinosaur had partnered with a subsidiary of tZERO — PRO Securities — which allowed for secondary trading of tZERO tokens. 

At the time, Noursalehi commented:

“The world of security tokens has lacked a regulated venue for secondary trading. The trading of our own security tokens is the crossing of the Rubicon for the new world of digital assets. This will create liquidity, democratize access, bring transparency and efficiency to global markets and accelerate the adoption of security tokens.”

Managerial movement

In July, tZERO announced that it had hired three new managers. CEO Noursalehi remarked at the time:

“On the issuance front, Brooke will drive strategic development of our security token ecosystem by focusing on the supply-side of the equation — working with issuers to bring more quality assets to the PRO Securities ATS. Mike and Alex will spearhead our efforts to continue to develop strategic market positioning for tZERO and engage with current and prospective investors, analysts, media and other tZERO stakeholders.”

These three managers have reportedly held their roles since July 15. Navarro in particular was previously a managing director at Barclays, where she headed the company’s technology, media and telecom equity capital markets team.

Bitcoin Network Hash Rate Hits 80 Quintillion for the First Time

Bitcoin (BTC) has passed another network performance milestone this week as the largest cryptocurrency’s hash rate hit a new record high.

Bitcoin secured by 80 quintillion hashes per second

Data from monitoring resource Bitinfocharts confirmed Bitcoin’s hash rate exceeded 80 quintillion SHA256 hashes per second Aug. 8, the first time such a level has been reached.

Hash rate refers to the amount of computing power used to validate Bitcoin transactions. The more power, the costlier it becomes for malicious actors to attack the network. 

As Cointelegraph reported, hash rate has set multiple new all-time highs throughout recent months, reversing a downward trend which characterized the second half of the 2018 Bitcoin bear market. 

The metric is one of many to set personal bests this year; difficulty and volume, among others, have also done so.

Greater security boosts investor confidence 

Network strength in turn contributes to the overall bullish sentiment among Bitcoin proponents, who note that during the cryptocurrency’s all-time price high in December 2017, the same metrics were markedly lower. 

As such, the argue, Bitcoin is better equipped for growth now than then, or at any point in its history.

When that growth will kick in remains uncertain, with opinions nonetheless coalescing around next May’s block size reward halving. Prior to that, miners will ensure that markets keep above the lows seen in the past year, with one analyst putting the floor at around $6,500.

Kik Lawyers Say SEC Has No Strong Evidence, Twisted Facts in Complaint

Social media organization Kik has responded to a United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC’s) complaint alleging that Kik violated securities laws in its 2017 token fundraiser. 

In a court filing dated Aug. 6, Kik’s lawyers state that the SEC relied on taking quotes out of context and twisting facts in order to support their allegations. Kik further wrote that the SEC resorted to misrepresenting the facts because they have no strong evidence to support their claims:

“If the Commission had strong evidence that Kik offered or promised TDE purchasers an opportunity to profit from Kik’s efforts, as part of a common enterprise, the Commission would have simply outlined all the relevant facts and let those facts speak for themselves. Instead, the Commission’s Complaint reflects a consistent effort to twist the facts by removing quotes from their context and misrepresenting the documents and testimony that the Commission gathered in its investigation.”

Moreover, Kik wrote that these purported smoke and mirrors tactics will ultimately fail the SEC if the case goes to trial:

“The result is a Complaint that badly mischaracterizes the totality of the facts and circumstances leading up to Kik’s sale of Kin in 2017. These tactics may have gotten the Commission a decent news cycle, but they will not withstand meaningful scrutiny at summary judgment or trial.”

Kik even goes so far as to claim that the SEC is failing to uphold its governmental obligation to pursue justice by resorting to what Kik alleges to be calculated misrepresentations:

“Indeed, apparently recognizing the weakness of its claim, the Commission has rejected its higher governmental duty to first and foremost seek justice, and has instead employed a strategy to twist the facts, creating a highly selective and misleading depiction of the record as set forth below.”

U.S. SEC vs. Kik Interactive

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, Kik initially warned the SEC in January that they would fight back against enforcement if the Commission pursued action against them for alleged securities law violations in a nearly $100 million initial token offering. In May, Kik made good on their promise and launched a $5 million funding campaign to back a lawsuit with the Commission.