Community

China Warns Against Cryptocurrency ‘Speculation’ Amid Blockchain Hype

China should embrace blockchain technology but not “speculate” about cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), state media claim.

State newspaper: “We must remain rational”

As Reuters reported on Oct. 29 quoting local news outlet the People’s Daily, Beijing’s previously-announced support for blockchain should not be read as support for crypto.

The People’s Daily is a publication under the direct control of the ruling political power, the Communist Party of China.

“Blockchain’s future is here but we must remain rational,” it wrote. The publication continued: 

“The rise of blockchain technology was accompanied by that of cryptocurrencies, but innovation in blockchain technology does not mean we should speculate in virtual currencies.”

Bitcoin still higher after blockchain remarks

The veiled warning comes days after Chinese president, Xi Jinping, publicly pledged to make the country the world’s number one blockchain environment in a speech. 

His words came along with China signing a new so-called “crypto law” governing various aspects of blockchain technology, to enter into force in January. 

Many suggested the events triggered a major surge in the Bitcoin price, which on Friday expanded from $7,400 to local highs around $10,500. 

Cryptocurrency trading is wholly banned in China, however, with Xi not mentioning anything which could suggest a change in policy. 

Nonetheless, the mood around Bitcoin still remains buoyant, with the weekend’s gains enduring to see BTC/USD still up 28%.

Binance Lists Blockstack for $250,000 ‘Long-Term Payment’

A United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing reveals that major cryptocurrency exchange Binance received a $250,000 “long-term payment” to keep Blockstack (STX) listed for one year.

Blockstack’s SEC filing reveals that Binance received 833,333 STX, which at the $0.30 token valuation provided by the company is equivalent to $250,000. The document also shows that the company intends to pay Binance more:

“[Blockstack] will pay three additional incremental payments of 833,333 each, on the first, second and third anniversaries of the Services Agreement’s effective date provided the Stacks Token is continuously listed on Binance prior to each such date. In addition, the Company will pay Binance a USD $100,000 payment for Binance’s marketing services.”

The payment is not a listing fee, per Binance

The filing follows an Oct. 23 announcement from Binance, which stated that the exchange did not charge a listing fee for adding Blockstack’s token to its platform.

When asked to clarify the apparent contradiction between the SEC filing and its announcement, a Binance spokesperson told Cointelegraph that the $250,000 payment received by the exchange is not a listing fee, and was rather a marketing fee that is Blockstack’s idea:

“A long term payment fee is an incentive proposed by Blockstack for Binance to keep the token listed on the exchange. This is a new payment fee proposed by Blockstack.”

Binance also provided a comment from Blockstack PBC CEO Muneeb Ali, who explained that the standard agreement includes a listing fee referred to as the “Technical Integration Fee.” This fee was $0 in this instance, which is what Binance stated in its announcement. Ali continued:

“The ‘Long-term Payment’ is something new that is not part of Binance standard agreements and it was an idea that I had and I proposed it to them. This long-term payment is meant to watch out for the Blockstack ecosystem by incentivizing Binance to list Stacks over many years and aligns well with our long-term focus. The marketing fee is a joint marketing campaign that we plan to run later on, again that is not a ‘listing fee’ but a marketing campaign that we plan to launch in the near future.”

As Cointelegraph reported earlier this month, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao announced that all the listing fees cashed in by the exchange would be donated to charity. Binance will not only donate such fees to charitable causes but will also allow developers to name the amount they pay, without demanding a minimum fee.

Bitcoin Trading Spikes as Argentina Bans Buying More Than $200 a Month

Argentina is back on the radar for Bitcoin (BTC) proponents after sudden capital controls cut U.S. dollar purchasing power by 98%.

Central bank: $200 limit “temporary”

As news outlets reported, including Cointelegraph Brasil on Oct. 28, the country’s central bank has opted to reduce the amount of dollars a saver can purchase each month from $10,000 to just $200. 

A drop of 98%, the stringent new rules appeared on Sunday, the day voters elected a new president. The previous $10,000 limit itself came into being as a result of capital controls in September. 

Argentina has seen the value of its fiat currency, the Argentine peso (ARS), fall dramatically this year, with annual inflation exceeding 50%. 

In a statement, the Central Bank of Argentina (BCRA) said the reduced dollar access would last for two months. 

“Given the current degree of uncertainty, the Board of Directors of the BCRA decided to take a series of measures this Sunday that seek to preserve the reserves of the Central Bank. The measures announced are temporary, until December 2019,” it said in a statement. 

The bank continued:

“It establishes a new limit of $200 per month for dollar purchases for individuals with a bank account and $100 for the amount of dollars that can be purchased in cash. These limits are not cumulative.”

Argentina sets top three week on Localbitcoins

The move came as Argentina posted its third-strongest week on record for Bitcoin trading on P2P platform Localbitcoins

According to data from Coin Dance, for the week ending Oct. 26, accounts traded 14.15 million ARS ($240,000). It should be noted that the tally in BTC terms was not high, with the volumes highlighting the continued weakness in the peso.

Localbitcoins trading volumes for Argentine peso (ARS)

Localbitcoins trading volumes for Argentine peso (ARS). Source: Coin Dance

Nonetheless, Bitcoin commentators were quick to point out the benefits of switching to the decentralized cryptocurrency.

“It’s not your money if you need permission to use it,” Twitter analyst Rhythm summarized on Monday.

The previous president had appeared more interested in Bitcoin’s potential. As Cointelegraph reported, Mauricio Macri met with venture capitalist Tim Draper in March, during which the pair reportedly struck a deal to adopt Bitcoin as Argentina’s currency if it performed strongly enough compared to the peso. 

Since then, other capital control experiments have garnered similar reactions from Bitcoin spheres, notably the shutdown of Lebanon’s banks last week.

Crypto Capital Exec Indicted on Three Criminal Counts in NY Court

The United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York has indicted Crypto Capital executive Oz Yosef on three criminal counts.

An Oct. 23 court filing obtained by Cointelegraph confirmed that Oz Yosef has been indicted by U.S. authorities on conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud and conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business.

Crypto Capital allegedly mislead Bitfinex

The filing would appear to confirm allegations from cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex, which in a recent statement tried to establish itself as a victim of fraud regarding Crypto Capital — its former payments processor.

On April 25, the New York Attorney General’s office alleged that Bitfinex lost $850 million and subsequently used funds from Tether— its affiliated stablecoin operator — to cover the shortfall. Bitfinex claimed that Crypto Capital spread the firm’s funds across multiple bank accounts in several countries, making it difficult to access. 

Bitfinex explained that the Panama-based payments processor processed funds for and on behalf of Bitfinex for years and that Bitfinex was relying upon its representations, including those by executive Oz Yosef, which eventually turned out to be misleading. The exchange claimed:

“Among those misrepresentations, Crypto Capital regularly referred to its integrity, banking expertise, robust compliance programme and financial licences. This was designed to assure us that Crypto Capital was capable of handling Bitfinex’s transactions.”

Bitfinex previously claimed  that any allegation that Crypto Capital laundered illicit funds upon request of Bitfinex or its customers is “categorically false.” 

President of Crypto Capital arrested in Poland

Ivan Manuel Molina Lee, the president of Crypto Capital, was arrested by Polish authorities on Oct. 24 on suspicion of money laundering and being involved in an international drug cartel. Lee was detained on a European Arrest Warrant issued by the prosecutor’s office in Wrocław. His arrest is reportedly connected to $350 million that was previously seized by the Polish Ministry of Justice.

The Curious Case of AT&T, Seth Shapiro’s SIM Card and a Stolen $1.8M

Over the past week, the global crypto community bore witness to a unique case wherein California resident and blockchain entrepreneur Seth Shapiro filed a lawsuit against American telecom giant AT&T — alleging that a couple of the firm’s employees had perpetrated a nefarious SIM-swap scheme that resulted in the former losing $1.8 million in various crypto assets.

Shapiro, who is a two-time Emmy Award-winner, as well as an author and adjunct professor at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, filed the aforementioned lawsuit against AT&T on Oct. 17, claiming that between May 16, 2018 and May 18, 2019, the telecom provider’s employees perpetrated four hacks in total that lead to his personal and confidential data — including usernames, passwords, event calendar, etc. — being leaked to third-party hackers. 

In this regard, the submitted court documents highlight that the aforementioned developments resulted in the miscreants gaining control of Shapiro’s various cryptocurrency exchange accounts on platforms, such as KuCoin, Bittrex, Coinbase, Huobi, Cryptopia, Livecoin, HitBTC, Coss.io, Liqui and Bitfinex. Not only that, but they were also able to seize control of some of his other digital accounts, such as Evernote.

In addition, the plaintiff has also alleged that he is currently in possession of chat logs that clearly show the AT&T employees and hackers discussing their plans to use the stolen funds to acquire their dream cars and other valuable objects. The logs also contain details of how the hackers planned on rerouting the funds to avoid being caught by the police. On the subject, the lawsuit reads as follows:

“AT&T employees obtained unauthorized access to Mr. Shapiro’s AT&T wireless account, viewed his confidential and proprietary personal information, and transferred control […] to a phone controlled by third-party hackers in exchange for money. […] The hackers then utilized their control over Mr. Shapiro’s AT&T wireless number […] to access his personal and digital finance accounts and steal more than $1.8 million.”

Cointelegraph spoke with Shapiro

To gain a better understanding of the situation, Cointelegraph reached out to Shapiro and asked him to share some comments regarding the matter. First, Cointelegraph wanted verified whether Shapiro had indeed made repeated attempts to get AT&T’s service operators to prioritize his calls in order to protect his account. 

Additionally, Cointelegraph also asked him why he failed to notify local police authorities immediately after the first hack — after all, it has been alleged that a total of four breaches took place. Shapiro responded to this by saying:

“I did. There’s not much local PDs can do — AT&T has all the information. In my case, I was lucky that the REACT Task force in Santa Clara got a lead and pursued the case. As did the Department of Homeland Security, who have been amazing. I am very grateful to both groups and can give you contacts at each.”  

When asked about the crypto assets that were lost as a result of the repeated intrusions, Dwayne Sam — an attorney at Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP — and a member of Shapiro’s legal team, provided a legal document that contained the following data:

  • Approximately 1,200 Ether (ETH) — estimated to be worth around $500,000 — was stolen from the claimant’s Bittrex account.
  • Another $400,000 was illegally siphoned from an associated Wax cryptocurrency account. 
  • Shapiro claims that he had been able to raise between $700,000 to $1 million in crypto for a project he was undertaking — the proceeds for which commingled with his personal crypto savings.

In all, Shapiro alleged that he has had to face a total loss of around $1.7 million in cryptocurrency — $1 million of which consists solely of his personal funds, which he said was savings for his retirement.

It should be mentioned that AT&T has had a poor track record when it comes to SIM-swapping incidents, with occurrences more than doubling between January 2013 and 2016. 

Also, in an earlier case relatively similar to this one — Terpin v. AT&T — a United States court did lay some responsibility on the claimant for failing to secure the account adequately. Thus, when asked if Shapiro’s legal team expected to face similar responsibility from the judge presiding over their case, Sam replied by saying:

“Mr. Shapiro’s case will be judged on its own merits. That said, nothing in the Terepin court’s most recent decision could or should be construed as blaming the victim.”

Lastly, when asked about how the legal team foresees the judgment of his case panning out in court Shapiro pointed out:

“The evidence in this case of AT&T’s culpability and negligence is overwhelming. We fully anticipate that AT&T will be held legally accountable for its actions and those of its employees.”     

Community reaction

To better understand if the responsibility in relation to this matter lies with AT&T alone or with the firm’s employees who reportedly stole Shapiro’s data, Cointelegraph got in touch with David Reischer, an attorney and CEO of LegalAdvice. He responded by saying Shapiro’s allegation that AT&T being in violation of the Federal Communications Act is absolutely true — especially in regard to the firm failing to protect the confidentiality of his mobile telephone account and other related data. He then went on to add:

“AT&T is liable for its employees criminal acts via a theory of vicarious liability that holds a company accountable for the acts of its employees. The chat logs introduced into evidence by Mr. Shapiro further detail the scheme to steal Mr. Shapiro’s cryptocurrency and AT&T is equally negligent for not protecting Mr. Shapiro against this scheme and fraud.”

Similarly, another important facet is whether or not the issue of contributory negligence arises — i.e., would Shapiro’s activities qualify as contributing to the damage, as he should have known not to use a SIM card as an authenticating factor. On the subject, Jonathan Klinger, an Israeli cyber law attorney and blogger, told Cointelegraph:

“It is also quite hard to believe that such a material amount of funds were held in an account that merely needed these factors. One should expect the protection of personal data to be proportionate to the amount of funds that he might lose. In this case, these factors weigh in favor of AT&T. Shapiro has a long way ahead before he might get any compensation, in my opinion.”

It is also worth remembering that SIM swapping is a relatively new type of fraud that has been growing at a rapid pace over the past decade or so — especially in the wake of the recent crypto boom. 

Related: Grand Theft Crypto: The State of Cryptocurrency-Stealing Malware and Other Nasty Techniques

Thus, investments made through smartphones, laptops and other digital devices are now prone to certain third-party interference, which one needs to be wary of at all times. On the subject, Alina Kiselevich, a communication specialist with a legal background at Enigma Securities, pointed out to Cointelegraph that, “Mr. Shapiro did everything that a responsible client should do” by repeatedly reporting an attack to AT&T and seeking help from the telecoms company:

“As you can see, it was impossible for Shapiro to call the police, because it did not happen between long periods of time, but rather very quickly. Robert Jack and Jarratt White, two people standing behind the theft from AT&T’s side, were confirmed to be employed there, their involvement in the case was also confirmed.”

Other notable cases involving AT&T

Terpin v. AT&T Mobility: Last year, Michael Terpin, a prominent cryptocurrency advocate and the founder of Marketwire, was the victim of SIM swap fraud involving AT&T. He filed a lawsuit against the firm in August 2018, later winning $75.8 million in a civil judgment — even though AT&T filed for a dismissal of the lawsuit, the plea was eventually overruled by the court.

Liu v. AT&T: On Feb. 12, 2018, after Mitch Liu’s smartphone started malfunctioning, he immediately went to an AT&T store and spoke to the customer care representative, revealing his Social Security number as proof of identification. 

He was then provided with a new SIM card, which, once installed, allowed hackers to obtain control of his cell phone data. On March 19, 2018, Liu received a message stating that his social media and cryptocurrency exchange accounts had been compromised, and that a total of $10,000 worth of crypto assets had been moved from his wallets.

Sidhu v. AT&T: As per court documents recently obtained by Cointelegrah, early last year, AT&T user Jagdeep Sidhu started experiencing issues with his cell phone. He subsequently acquired a new SIM card and upon restarting his phone, Sidhu immediately realized that his Gmail, Coinbase, Facebook and Instagram accounts had been compromised. 

Basu v. AT&T: On Aug. 27, 2018, REACT investigators confirmed that an unknown individual was able to gain control of Saswata Basu’s phone and steal his AT&T cell phone account via a SIM swap. Shortly afterward, his Yahoo and Gmail addresses were accessed without authorization. In all, it is estimated that Basu lost around 9,000 DASH and 1,287 ETH.

Hui v. AT&T: According to legal data acquired by Cointelegraph, on Nov. 20, 2017, Tina Hui tried to log into her Gmail account only to be told that she had changed her password four hours prior. Upon seeing the message, she immediately sent in a request for a password reset and waited for a two-factor authentication text message to arrive. However, when the message did not come, Hui realized that her cell phone might have been compromised. She rushed to an AT&T store to rectify the issue, but by then, a number of her personal accounts, including her Coinbase wallet, had been hacked into.

China Passes First-Ever ‘Crypto Law’ Going Into Effect January 2020

The Standing Committee of the 13th National People’s Congress in China has passed a new law regulating cryptography on Oct. 26 that will take effect on Jan. 1, 2020, reports local news outlet CCTV. 

Per the report, the new regulatory framework aims to set standards for the application of cryptography and the management of passwords. The new regulatory framework establishes the role of a central cryptographic agency meant to lead public cryptographic work, creating guidelines and policies for the industry. 

Implicit cryptocurrency regulation

The draft of the law was published on May 7 by a Chinese news outlet. The text is largely focused on government centralized password management and does not explicitly mention cryptocurrency, though it does focus on cryptography, a key component underpinning cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

Wan explained: 

“The key take away is — the developing of new cryptography, hashing algo, even the usage of the tech, will be in the official legal realm. This means you need to follow the CCP standard for all ‘encrypted’ behaviors, which can be VERY broad, from mining to block propagation.”

Preparing for China’s national crypto

She concluded that the law is building the foundation for the upcoming Chinese national cryptocurrency, though there is no official timetable for its launch, one Chinese official confirmed in September. 

As Cointelegraph reported yesterday, China’s President Xi Jinping has called for the country to accelerate its adoption of blockchain technologies. 

Meanwhile, this past week, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg warned that Chinese superiority in the digital currency space could put the U.S. dollar at risk in an attempt to sell lawmakers his plans for the Libra stablecoin.

“China is moving quickly to launch a similar idea in the coming months. We can’t sit here and assume that because America is today the leader that it will always get to be the leader if we don’t innovate,” he argued in an official statement. 

Bitcoin Price Soars 42% to $10,500 — Biggest Daily Gain Since 2011

The last 24-hours have been an absolute roller coaster for Bitcoin price (BTC). Earlier in the week, BTC swiftly dropped by 10% after failing to hold above the $8,400 support.

Crypto market data daily view

Crypto market data daily view. Source: Coin360

By Thursday, BTC/USD was sitting on the bottom trendline of a descending wedge pattern and many investors and analysts were calling for a drop to $7,000. 

A few even predicted that a revisit to the long-term support at $6,500 was on the cards. Despite the bearish bias, traders like Scott Melker and Michaël van de Poppe spotted a series of bullish divergences on the 4-hour and daily timeframe and by Friday morning (Oct. 25) the chart and various indicators on the hourly and 4-hour timeframe were flashing bullish.

Investors believed that a quick upside move to $7,700-$7,800 would occur and many expected that bears would open their short positions at the top of this range and eventually push Bitcoin price back down to the mid $7,000s or high $6,000s at worst. 

Bitcoin price does the opposite

Obviously, this is exactly what did not happen and the short squeeze that accompanying the first part of Bitcoin’s 16% rally from $7,450 to $8,600 resulted in the liquidation of $150 million shorts at BitMEX. 

BitMEX XBT USD Liquidations

BitMEX XBT USD Liquidations. Source: Skew.com

After such a strong move, consolidation around the $8,300 to $8,500 region was the next expectation that traders had in mind. Tackling the $8,800 resistance would have been the next step and it seemed likely that this would play out depending on the state of the weekly candle at closing. 

Surprisingly, Bitcoin bulls gathered up enough steam for a final hurrah, and towards the evening of the U.S. trading session bull pressed Bitcoin price far above the $8,800 resistance to set a higher high at $10,540.

Analysts and traders will probably spend the weekend searching for the exact reasons that catalyzed today’s strong 36% surge — the biggest daily gain since 2011. 

Currently, the crypto community is pointing to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s call for the development of blockchain technology throughout the country. Bakkt’s Bitcoin futures back to back all-time high volume achievements are also being cited as a reason for Bitcoin’s surge. 

What are the next steps?

BTC/USD daily chart

BTC/USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview

As shown by the daily chart, Bitcoin bounced off the descending trendline at $7,400, rallied up to the 61.8% Fibonacci retracement level, then rocketed through the 111, 128 and 200-day moving averages (DMA). 

The volume profile visible range shows that numerous levels of resistance were sliced through and the wick to $10,542 set a higher high not seen since Sept. 6. Bitcoin stopped its advance right at a high volume node (VPVR) and a move above $10,542 should proceed toward $10,970 and $11,500, and then to $12,000, according to the daily chart. 

If Bitcoin can clear $12,000 over the coming weeks, it’s pretty much open air after that. 

Death cross averted, for now

BTC/USD daily chart

BTC/USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview

At present, the forecasted death cross between the 50 and 200-DMA has been avoided and the 50 DMA is curling away from the 200 DMA. 

The MACD line shot far above the signal line and the bullish divergence that analysts identified on the daily MACD and RSI proved to be an early indicator of what was to come. 

Divergence is simply when the price trends in one direction and an oscillator trends in a counter direction.

BTC/USD weekly chart

BTC/USD weekly chart. Source: Tradingview

The 36% surge even altered the trajectory of the weekly MACD, flipping the histogram from deep red to pink and curving the MACD up toward the signal line. 

As shown by the chart above, barring some unprecedented price reversal, Bitcoin appears set for a pleasant weekly close above the descending channel. Some will even go as far as labeling the current setup a trend reversal. 

Looking forward

Over the short-term, it is possible that Bitcoin could pull back to the upper arm of the descending channel at $9,360. This point also aligns with the upper arm of the Bollinger Band indicator and after strong upside moves the price has a tendency to settle near the top arm and the middle moving average of the indicator. 

BTC/USD 4-hour chart

BTC/USD 4-hour chart. Source: Tradingview

At the time of publishing, there is a spinning top candle on the 4-hour chart and volume has dropped off significantly when compared against the high volume spike seen on Oct. 26. As mentioned earlier, the MACD on this time frame is pulling a reading not seen since Aug. 5, 2019.

BTC/USD 4-hour RSI

BTC/USD 4-hour RSI. Source: Tradingview

The 4-hour RSI has also popped above 85, a point which in the past has marked exhaustion from buyers. The same can be said for the Stochastic RSI (Stoch). 

If Bitcoin has become overbought on the shorter timeframes, then the current spinning top candle is evidence of this. The current pause in momentum and indecision could also be the result of profit-taking and a drop off in volume as traders are wary of buying the top after such a high volume breakout. 

If the rally does not resume shortly, most traders will probably observe to see whether Bitcoin consolidates and builds support before entering into new positions. 

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author (@HorusHughes) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Bitcoin Price Skyrockets to $8.7K Confirming Previous Bottom Signals

Bitcoin (BTC) price just made a $1,200 rally towards $8,700, leaving bears and shorts behind. Several signals were pointing towards a potential trend shift and price reversal, while the overall market sentiment was still extreme fear. 

Crypto market data. Source: Coin360

The majority of the market was looking for lower levels to buy and most often when the majority expects one thing, the opposite happens.

However, what were the reasons behind this latest push?

CME gaps closed and Bakkt volume kicks in

BTC/USD CME chart. Source: TradingView

Gaps on charts are often used by traders to define targets and trades. Approximately 90% of the time these gaps are closed before the market moves further. In the case of Bitcoin, the digital asset showed two CME gaps after the rally from $3,200 earlier this year. The first one was a gap between $8,500 and $9,000 and the second one was between $7,330 and $7,450. 

The first gap closed by the breakdown of the descending triangle, while the second gap was closed by the dropdown a few days ago and closed to the dot. This leaves one open gap which is situated at the $11,800 level, way above the current price. 

As noted in earlier articles, CME futures expiration dates often provide volatile days. Today was one of those days, and this is likely why BTC price made its move. 

Interestingly enough, Bakkt futures provided a new all-time high, as 640 contracts were traded during on Oct. 23, 2019, an increase of 653% compared to the previous day. The next day, another 330 contracts traded. 

These signals show that there’s demand and interest at these levels for Bitcoin, as there’s never been such a high level of volume on a day on Bakkt futures since the launch.

Bullish divergences suggest a bottom was in order

BTC/USD daily chart. Source: TradingView

On the daily timeframe, numerous potential bottom signals were shown for the first time since the top in June 2019. Bitcoin was able to hold an important support level at $7,400, which has been acting as support in June 2019 as well.

Alongside with the bounce, bullish divergences were building as Bitcoin price moved within a falling wedge structure. Bullish and bearish divergences generally mark a potential top and bottom forming in the chart. This phenomenon was observed during the December 2017 peak and the December 2018 bottom.

The chart is showing these bullish divergences for the first time on the daily time frame since the top in June 2019 and this provided an additional explanation of the massive rally that took place today. 

Remarkably, the last dropdown brought Bitcoin price closer to the 0.618 Fibonacci level, which is an important level for Fibonacci and Elliott Wave traders.

Weekly chart back above the 100-week moving average

BTC/USD weekly chart. Source: TradingView

The weekly chart is also providing several bullish arguments after this dropdown. The 100-week moving average (WMA) was lost during the recent dropdown. However, Bitcoin gained it back during the most recent push. 

The 100-WMA is an important indicator of market sentiment and confirmation of the direction of the market, as we can see in the history of the chart.  

Going back to the start of the bull market in 2016, confirmation was needed on the 100-WMA before the price could continue rallying. This confirmation was given by a small “trap” below the 100-WMA but closed above it.

The same approach seems to be happening here, as Bitcoin clearly dropped below the 100-WMA and immediately bounced back up within the week.

Additionally, some sideways trading could occur after this before a new rally towards the halving begins. This could imply a potential target of $17,000-20,000 prior to the halving.

Total market cap at a critical level

Total Crypto Market Capitalization chart. Source: TradingView

The total cryptocurrency market capitalization (including Bitcoin) is at a critical level and potential support. Holding this area between $180-205 billion would be a massive support/resistance flip, considering the importance of this level.

The area is an order block from November 2017, prior to the big boom in December 2017. This level was a significant level during several bounces in Q3 and Q4 of 2018. 

If the total market cap is able to claim this level as support now, the market is ready to aim for upper levels at $350 billion again and make another higher low, an essential indicator for upwards and bullish movements. 

Good signals are given, as the price and market capitalization bounced significantly earlier today. Similar to the Bitcoin chart, this chart is also providing bullish divergences indicating a potential bottom forming.

Interesting enough, the last time the bullish divergences appeared was in the period of December 2018. 

Key levels for BTC/USD

BTC USD daily chart. Source: TradingView

This bounce upwards can be stated as a bullish move, as the market bounced $1,200 upwards within one hour. However, for further bullish movements, Bitcoin still has to clear a few levels.

First of all, Bitcoin needs to close the weekly candle above the 100-WMA, which is considered an important indicator. The 100-WMA is currently resting at $7,800.

Additionally, the 200-Day moving average (DMA) and exponential moving average (EMA) are still moving above the current price levels. For more strength and a bullish outlook, the price of Bitcoin has to break above these daily moving averages. Currently, they are moving at $8,600 and $8,750.

Ultimately, the massive support at $9,200 has to be broken and flipped back to support, as Bitcoin will reclaim an important range then. If Bitcoin is able to get back in that range, we can conclude that Bitcoin made its bottom from the recent parabolic moves and is ready for further upwards continuation towards the halving event taking place sometime in May 2020. 

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the CryptoMichael and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.

China’s President Xi Urges Accelerated Blockchain Technology Adoption

China’s President Xi Jinping has called for the country to accelerate its adoption of blockchain technologies as a core for innovation. Xi made the comments at a Politburo Committee session on blockchain technology trends on Oct. 24.

Blockchain adoption promotes innovation

Xi stressed that the implementation of integrated blockchain technologies is key in promoting technological innovation and transforming industries. He told the committee:

“We must take blockchain as an important breakthrough for independent innovation of core technologies, clarify the main directions, increase investment, focus on a number of key technologies, and accelerate the development of blockchain and industrial innovation.”

Blockchain, not Bitcoin

Xi’s push for greater blockchain adoption comes against the backdrop of China’s long-standing aversion to — and a crackdown on — cryptocurrencies. Authorities in the country first banned ICOs in 2017, quickly followed by cryptocurrency exchanges.

There have even been reports that at least one government agency is considering a ban on cryptocurrency mining.

Digital currency arms race

Unsurprisingly, the one cryptocurrency that the Chinese government doesn’t seem to have an issue with is its proposed central bank digital currency (CBDC). Despite reports throughout the summer that the launch of this was imminent, officials from China’s Central Bank last month said that there was no timetable for the launch of the CBDC.

Meanwhile, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has been referencing the threat of Chinese superiority in the digital currency space in an attempt to sell U.S. lawmakers his plans for the Libra stablecoin.

“China is moving quickly to launch a similar idea in the coming months. We can’t sit here and assume that because America is today the leader that it will always get to be the leader if we don’t innovate,” he argued in an official statement. 

Now Is A Great Time To Visit Cointelegraph’s Unblocked Facebook Page

After being banned for more than a month, Cointelegraph is once again accessible via Facebook.

There were more questions than answers when the block took effect on September 18. Facebook has a hardline anti-crypto policy when it comes to paid advertisements, but ours was a community page for distributing reported news, boasting more than 700,000 likes.

It’s not clear what happened to initiate the block. Facebook’s policy for pages of this kind revolve around prohibiting “misleading, fraudulent or deceptive” information, and they “must not facilitate or promote online gambling, online real money, games of skill, or online lotteries without our prior written permission.” None of these apply to the content we produce and distribute.

Our Instagram page remained live and active throughout this time, even though Facebook owns that company as well.

A Facebook rep shared via email that the Cointelegraph page was unpublished in error and is live once again. That means there’s never been a better time to visit us on Facebook and give us a like.

US Congressman Warns: Crypto May ‘Displace or Interfere With Dollar’

The United States congressman who said the country should ban cryptocurrency returned to publicly slating the phenomenon this week.

Sherman: Crypto could “achieve its objectives”

During the latest hearing over Facebook’s Libra digital currency on Oct. 23, Brad Sherman used his chance to speak to deliver fresh criticism of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) and their alleged use cases. 

Sherman, who was already well known as an opponent of any money that challenges the U.S. dollar’s role as a global reserve currency, built on his previous claims from May when quizzing Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

“I’m not here to be anti-Facebook; I was anti-cryptocurrency back when you were anti-cryptocurrency,” he told Zuckerberg.

Continuing, Sherman nonetheless appeared to give unlikely weight to the idea that a disruptive financial instrument can succeed in taking power away from the dollar.

“Cryptocurrency either doesn’t work, in which case investors lose a lot of money, or it does achieve its objectives perhaps and displaces the U.S. dollar or interferes with the U.S. dollar being virtually the sole reserve currency in the world,” he said.

Tired dollar arguments

As Cointelegraph reported, Sherman has made it known he is no more a fan of Libra, which he called the “Zuck Buck” in July than Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency.

His comments coincided with a dramatic slide on Bitcoin markets, however, with BTC/USD plunging 8% to hit levels not seen since before Facebook published Libra’s whitepaper in June 2019.

Sherman added that he thought the dollar was a poor choice for criminals, contradicting various findings that showed fiat remains preferable for money laundering and financing of terrorism over publicly-traceable Bitcoin.

ING Bank Proposes Security and Privacy Trade-Off for Corda Blockchain

ING announced that researchers at the financial services firm have solved a security and privacy issue on blockchain software firm R3’s Corda blockchain.

On Oct. 23, ING’s distributed ledger technology team presented its white paper, called “Solutions for the Corda security and privacy trade-off: having your cake and eating it,” where it reportedly found a solution to improve the security and privacy trade-off on Corda, an open-source blockchain platform.

Zero-knowledge proofs allow for greater privacy and security

The white paper states that currently, the content of each transaction on the Corda blockchain is revealed to a validating notary to be able to achieve consensus. Being able to observe the content of transactions may raise privacy concerns. ING director Mariana Gomez de la Villa explained:

“In the case of the validating one, the notary sees the contents of a transaction before it determines if the information is correct, which means participants lose privacy. […] A non-validating notary doesn’t see a transaction’s content, which creates a security risk where the notary could sign off the wrong transaction if a malicious participant builds an invalid transaction. However it protects participants against double-spends, an attack where someone could spend the same asset twice, as does the validating notary.”

ING’s solution introduces a zero-knowledge proof (ZKP) notary service to validate transactions, that can purportedly evaluate the validity of a transaction without compromising on safety and without revealing any private contents.

In the cryptography world, ZKP is known as a method that allows one party to prove to another party that a statement is true without giving up any additional information. Zero-knowledge proofs were defined for the first time in a 1988 paper published by researchers from MIT and the University of Toronto as “those proofs that convey no additional knowledge other than the correctness of the proposition in questions.”

ZKPs allow for greater privacy on public blockchains and could fuel growth in blockchain adoption by reducing the expensive and time-consuming process of setting up private networks.

ING CEO says the bank might cut ties with Facebook

Cointelegraph reported previously that ING CEO Ralph Hamers stated that banks may be inclined to stop working with social media giant Facebook if the firm goes ahead with the planned launch of its Libra stablecoin. Hamers explained that banks such as his have a rather low-risk approach:

“We are such a large, regulated institution that you don’t want to risk anything. […] We’ve said we’ll take a look and see how this develops.”