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Bitcoin Gold Is Held Captive by Whale With Almost Half the Supply

Bitcoin Gold (BTG)’s price is being manipulated by a whale controlling close to half of the circulating supply. These are the findings of an analysis conducted by an independent trader and analyst, who preferred to remain anonymous.

He published his findings in a blog post, where he explained why he believes a single group of people accumulated their way into a huge Bitcoin Gold position, and are now using that supply to control the market.

Accumulation through Bitfinex

The events started in August 2018, when Bitfinex margin long positions began its sharp ascent to include almost two million BTG. The exchange makes its margin data publicly available, which can help gauge the general trader sentiment in a particular coin — for example by comparing the ratio of short and long positions.

BTG/USD Longs on Bitfinex. Source: TradingView.

BTG/USD Longs on Bitfinex. Source: TradingView.

In Bitcoin Gold’s case, the strong increase in margin positions was accompanied by lackluster price action. While the coin generally followed the broader crypto market, the price eventually spiraled downward.

BTG/USD on Bitfinex. Source: TradingView.

BTG/USD on Bitfinex. Source: TradingView.

The analyst estimated that the 1.9 million BTG held at some point in Bitfinex represents between 38% and 48% of its total circulating supply.

Bitcoin Gold was born in 2017 after a network fork from Bitcoin (BTC), thus maintaining its original history up until that point. This means that Bitcoin Gold contains at least as many inactive coins as its parent, including Satoshi’s cache.

He further elaborated how he reached that figure:

“Over 11 million Bitcoins (BTC) haven’t moved in the last year. Considering big wallets’ unwillingness to claim their coins due to fear of private key leak for a minimal return, it can be argued that a number even larger than 11 million BTGs are inactive or lost forever.”

He then estimated a figure of 4 to 5 million active BTG. When asked by Cointelegraph why he is so certain that this is the work of one whale, he explained:

“The accumulation was very consistent and systematic over the course of almost a year, it would be almost impossible for it to be a coincidence that multiple entities were using the exact same system to accumulate.”

The analyst also conducted a manual analysis of the average entry price for the whale. By comparing the number of coins bought each day with their price, he arrived at a figure of $22.86 as the break-even price.

Raking in profits

Following the extensive accumulation, the whale began using its position to influence markets. In early January, Bitcoin Gold’s price rose in consecutive moves by up to 200%, from $5 to $15. Margin positions dropped precipitously just as the upward move was complete.

BTG/USD Longs with price superimposed. Source: TradingView.

BTG/USD Longs with price superimposed. Source: TradingView.

No major announcements were posted at the time on Bitcoin Gold’s Twitter account, which highlights the potential for fabricated price action. The analyst further noticed that Bitfinex’s wallets were subsequently drained of a significant chunk of BTG.

He conducted a test on Binance, which showed that it was not the destination wallet. A volume comparison points to Korean exchange Bithumb as the likely receiver of these funds. The analyst argues that this is part of the whale’s “distribution” strategy, which would have external retail traders join in a fabricated pump to let the whale offload the coins.

Comparison of exchange activity. Source: Onlyforesight.com and TradingView.

Comparison of exchange activity. Source: Onlyforesight.com and TradingView.

The price was, however, held back from rising due to a powerful “sell wall” on Bitfinex, around $15. The increased activity on Bithumb led the analyst to conclude that the whale could be Korean, as the exchange requires a national Social Security Number to create an account.

Chances of a coincidence

The sudden decrease in Bitfinex margin could also be explained by the whale divesting from BTG. The analyst argues that the trading group simply “claimed” its position:

“I think the whale was planning on selling on Bitfinex originally, and then realized there wasn’t enough liquidity to exit there, so now they’re forced to send their coins to another exchange (by first ‘claiming’ their margin position, and then withdrawing).”

“Claiming” is the act of settling a margin position by compensating the amount loaned in full.

These market manipulation tactics have since been observed on Binance. As the analyst explained:

“Bitfinex acts as a suppression mechanism; every time the price tries to increase on Binance, Bitfinex holds it back. People (and bots) see the difference, and try to pounce on the arbitrage opportunity. However, by the time people transfer their BTGs from Bitfinex to Binance, the gap has already closed and the prices equalize.”

This can be clearly seen in Feb. 10 trading. As shown in the picture below, candles on Bitfinex have a “clean cut” around $13.8, while the price on Binance clearly moved past the barrier.

BTG/USD on Bitfinex and Binance (orange line), H1 candles on Feb. 10. Source: TradingView.

BTG/USD on Bitfinex and Binance (orange line), H1 candles on Feb. 10. Source: TradingView.

The Endgame

Given the scale and amount of time invested into BTG accumulation, the analyst argued that the traders will seek a substantial profit:

“It is expected that the price of BTG will multiply in value from the current value of ~$12 (as of this post) and increase a substantial amount from the $22.86 projected breakeven price.”

He conjectured that a potential target could be $100, which could result in a maximum profit of $150 million. The current attempts at price suppression are necessary to not let interest burn out too quickly, as the analyst explained:

“If the price rises too fast, it’s destined to downtrend for an extended period as people gradually take profits and there is no-one to buy up the increasing supply hitting the market.”

There are currently no signs that point to the Bitcoin Gold team having anything to do with this market manipulation. The developers did not respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.

Coinbase Becomes Direct Visa Card Issuer With Principal Membership

Coinbase is now a principal member of Visa, according to a Feb. 19 announcement. This will allow it to issue debit cards without relying on third parties.

The membership is an evolution of Coinbase’s current relationship with Visa, with the cryptocurrency exchange providing a Visa-based debit card. Called Coinbase Card, it allows customers residing in the European Union or European Community to spend multiple cryptocurrencies.

While the card itself can function globally, it cannot be ordered by people residing outside of the supported areas. Coinbase reports that the card is seeing the most usage in the United Kingdom, followed by Italy, Spain and France.

Through the direct integration with Visa, Coinbase promises that it will be able to provide additional services and support more markets. The company asserts that it is the first “pure-play crypto company” to become a principal member.

Long history of debit cards 

The current iteration of the card was launched in 2019 in the U.K., but Coinbase previously supported the Shift crypto card, which drew funds from the user’s exchange balance. The service was launched in 2015.

Like many other crypto cards, Shift was hit hard by the revocation of WaveCrest’s Visa license in early 2018. The Gibraltar company was the effective issuer of almost all debit cards that served cryptocurrency users. Shift finally shut down operations in early 2019.

The new version is supported by Paysafe Financial Services Ltd., the company behind consumer products such as Skrill and PaysafeCard. It is unclear when or how the transition to Coinbase-issued cards will occur.

Coinbase representatives did not immediately reply to a request for comment. The article will be updated as more information is received.

Bitcoin Price Reclaims $10K Reversing Weekend Losses, XTZ Soars 13%

After a bearish weekend which saw Bitcoin (BTC) price drop 8.76% to $9,444, the price has again reclaimed the $10K mark. Prior to the breakout, the price was steadily moving upward, reclaiming the $9,800 support on increasing trading volume. 

Over the weekend many traders expressed fear that a drop below $9,450 would solidify a bearish trend reversal but previous analysis by Cointelegraph suggested that a sharp retrace that could pull the price to the $9,500 to $8,800 zone was needed after Bitcoin’s recent strong performance.

Crypto market daily price chart

Crypto market daily price chart. Source: Coin360

Cointelegraph contributor Michaël van de Poppe also explained that above $9,450 Bitcoin remained bullish as many traders would be looking to close the CME gap at $10,460. 

Despite the weekend correction, a golden cross between the 50 and the 200-day moving average was unaffected and the relative strength index (RSI) on the daily timeframe remained near 50. 

BTC USD daily chart

BTC USD daily chart. Source: TradingView

Today’s price action brought the price back above the 23.6% Fibonacci retracement level at $9,500 and also above the 20-MA of the Bollinger Band indicator. If the price can manage a close above $10,000 then it seems likely that traders will look to follow the CME narrative that Bitcoin price should close the recently created gap at $10,460. 

Before filling the gap, Bitcoin price will need to overcome the $10,168 to $10,330 zone, which the volume profile visible range (VPVR) suggests could be a challenge. 

Flipping this zone to support would open the door for the price to extend to the upper Bollinger Band arm at $10,500 and as discussed in a previous analysis, the VPVR shows that above $10,500, Bitcoin price could rapidly ascend to $11,000 to $11,500. 

Altcoins also showed significant strength as Bitcoin’s price rallied back above $10,000. Tezoz (XTZ) rallied 12.63%, Ether (ETH) 8%, XRP 4.34% and Chainlink (LINK) 5.38%. 

Bitcoin daily price chart

Bitcoin daily price chart. Source: Coin360

The overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $290.9 billion and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 62.2%.

Keep track of top crypto markets in real time here

Peter Schiff ‘Concedes’ Bitcoin Profitable, But Won’t Succeed as Money

Bitcoin (BTC) skeptic Peter Schiff has admitted that holding the cryptocurrency is profitable — but claims it will “never” compete with fiat currency.

In a tweet on Feb. 18, Schiff, well known as a fierce Bitcoin critic and longtime gold bug, “conceded” that the cryptocurrency in the past ten years had been a successful investment.

Schiff: BTC investors “make a lot of money”

“I concede that anyone who bought #Bitcoin 10 years ago and sells it today will make a lot of money,” he wrote.  

“But I never said the price of Bitcoin could not rise. I only said that Bitcoin would never succeed as money. Nothing that has happened over the past 10 years has proven me wrong!”

Having recovered the wallet password that he assumed he had lost, Schiff is now once again the owner of around 0.4 BTC, the result of a donation campaign that sought to endear him to its benefits last year. 

While the anti-Bitcoin rhetoric has since continued, Schiff appeared noticeably angered during the time that he thought his holdings were lost forever. 

His latest complaint, as before, meanwhile received little sympathy among Twitter users. Bitcoin-friendly travel agent, TravelbyBit, was among the responses.

“#Bitcoin has succeeded as money,” the company wrote.

Schiff additionally said that RT host Max Keiser had refused to debate with him on this weekend’s episode of news review show Infowars. As Cointelegraph reported, Keiser used the opportunity to “officially” change his Bitcoin price outlook from $100,000 to $400,000.

Beating gold at its own game

As Saifedean Ammous noted in his popular book, “The Bitcoin Standard,” in terms of technical characteristics, Bitcoin does not only possess the three fundamental attributes required of money but does so considerably more effectively than fiat.

Its fixed supply, impossible to manipulate, gives rise to the description of Bitcoin as “digital gold,” something Schiff has long failed to refute.

The idea that Bitcoin could soon usurp the market cap of the world’s entire physical gold reserves remains a hot topic of debate.

Binance Cloud to Allow Users to Launch a Crypto Exchange Within 5 Days

Binance’s newly released Binance Cloud platform might be somewhat different from what the crypto industry expects the new feature to be.

After Binance founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) first hinted at the introduction of Binance Cloud on Feb. 8, the new service has been officially released on Feb. 17, targeting users willing to set up crypto exchanges, according to a blog post by Binance.

All-in-one infrastructure for launching a crypto exchange

According to the announcement, Binance Cloud will serve as an all-in-one infrastructure platform for customers and partners to launch digital asset exchanges based on Binance’s industry-leading technology, security, liquidity as well as custodial services. The solution also supports dashboard for managing funds, multilingual functionality, as well as a range of trading pairs and coin listings.

The Binance’s new exchange-specific cloud solution will provide users with a method of setting up a crypto platform in their local markets. Binance Cloud’s features include crypto spot market and futures trading as well as local bank API integrations and peer-to-peer exchange services from fiat to crypto, the announcement notes. In the future, Binance Cloud plans to add more features like staking, over-the-counter trading services as well as token issuance with initial exchange offering platform.

CZ says that Binance Cloud will allow users to launch an exchange within three to five days

Speaking about Binance Cloud in an interview with Cointelegraph, CZ outlined that the new service will particularly target people in regions that are not yet covered by Binance. CZ said that Binance Cloud will allow those people to run their own exchanges in local markets that are far from Binance “both fiscally and also culturally or just knowledge-wise” to date.

The Binance CEO also told Cointelegraph that Binance Cloud would allow any partner to launch an exchange within three to five days in case if “other preparations are in order.” According to the original announcement, the first major digital asset exchange fully powered by Binance Cloud will launch in early March 2020.

Binance Cloud comes in line with Binance’s mission to unlock crypto for everyone

CZ also pointed out that Binance Cloud is the first initiative of its kind, claiming:

“Binance Cloud is a product suite previously missing from the market […] We are eager to share the quality experience of Binance through different brands, communities, and markets globally.”

Speaking to Cointelegraph, CZ was unsure of who had initially conceived the idea of Binance Cloud, beyond the fact that it was not him. The Binance CEO added that the origin of the idea is not as important as execution. CZ stressed that Binance Cloud aims to enable everyone to access crypto and contribute to global adoption. CZ said:

“We want to enable more of our partners to access crypto, so that other people can do this together with us in enabling people to access crypto. So the concept behind Binance Cloud is that we want to provide a platform where other people can help us enable access to crypto. So that’s really the idea behind it.”

The news comes amid a recent report claiming that Binance has applied for a license to operate in Singapore. Originally based in Malta, Binance will now purportedly expand its regulatory compliance by acquiring a license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

On Feb. 16, Cointelegraph published an interview with CZ, in conjunction with the CEO winning the top position in the Cointelegraph’s first-ever Top 100 list.

TON Devs Worldwide Join Forces to Intervene in SEC Case Against Telegram

A group of international Telegram Open Network (TON) contributors have submitted a court document criticizing United States regulators’ line of attack against the project. 

The group has formed a non-profit association, “The TON Community Foundation,” and collectively submitted the brief on Feb. 14 in the form of an amicus curiae.

An amicus curiae is a brief that offers expertise or insight into a given case on behalf of an entity that is not formally party to the case itself — i.e. an entity that is neither a plaintiff, defendant, nor legal counsel for either side. 

The court can decide whether or not to take the brief into account at its discretion.

Who are the members of the TON Community Foundation?

In their filing, the contributors state that the foundation has been formed to represent a “professional community of active participants in the TON project in whose interest it is to see the TON blockchain mainnet launched as soon as possible.”

The foundation comprises 20 teams in the TON global community, designated as “independent specialists with extensive blockchain experience who are involved in the actual work on the TON blockchain and who write its code, protocol, smart contracts, tools, and applications.”

These 20 teams ostensibly represent over 2,000 computer scientists, engineers, programmers, and entrepreneurs — based in China, Russia, France and Spain, among other countries. 

Calls to resist the SEC’s “innovation-suffocating regime”

The foundation writes that the unanimous position of the TON dev community is that the TON blockchain is fully operational, has “state-of-the-art prelaunch security” and a developed suite of services. They contend it would, in its current state, be ready for launch as a mainnet in a “matter of seconds.”

The brief focuses on particular arguments that were presented by Brown University Professor Maurice Herlihy in his review of TON for the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. 

Following Telegram’s wildly successful $1.7 billion initial coin offering for TON in 2018, the SEC had launched an investigation into the project in 2019, claiming the entity had not registered with the commission for its ICO and the network’s “Gram” tokens. The Herlihy report was submitted as evidence on behalf of the SEC in late December 2019.

In its brief, the foundation argues that the court should decline the SEC’s impulse to place the industry under an “innovation-suffocating regime,” it contends. 

It argues that other successful blockchains — such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Tezos — would never have launched had they been subjected to Professor Herlihy’s “academic scrutiny” and his “unrealistic standards of pre-launch performance, security, and maturity.” 

Moreover, despite Professor Herlihy serving as the SEC’s blockchain expert, the foundation claims he has mischaracterized the TON network in his report. 

It notes that he uses a blockchain definition from 2010 that has since become obsolete, which fails to account for smart contract functionality as one of the technology’s core parameters.

What makes the TON blockchain unique, the brief outlines, is that literally “everything in its network is based on interaction with smart contracts” and “all Grams will be located in smart contracts,” so that, “in a way TON is a smart contract platform more than a cryptocurrency one.”

The rest of the foundation’s arguments against Professor Herlihy’s report provide a detailed overview of the state of the network’s services, readiness for launch, protocol, code and security audit results.

Past battles

As reported, prior to his foray into blockchain, Telegram’s creator, Pavel Durov, had already faced significant controversy in his native country, Russia, where he resisted pressure from state security services to access user data in the wake of political unrest.

Will Bitcoin Price Finally Conquer $10K? Here Are 3 Things to Consider

Bitcoin (BTC) bulls were celebrating the digital asset’s recent surge above $10,000 for the first time this decade, but the smiles were short-lived as Bitcoin failed to hold above $10K for a meaningful amount of time.

Is this another short-lived bull run like the seven times Bitcoin crossed $10K in 2019? Or is this time different?

Daily crypto market performance. Source: Coin360.com

Daily crypto market performance. Source: Coin360.com

$10K Bitcoin in 2019

BTC USD daily chart. Source: TradingView

BTC USD daily chart. Source: TradingView

As can be seen in the chart above, Bitcoin crossed over the $10,000 mark on seven occasions in 2019. Each time, the leading digital asset failed to maintain its price above this level for more than a few days.

During this time, altcoins rallied as if the much-anticipated “alt season” was upon us. But as we later found out, it wasn’t, and there was still more downside to come.

So is this time around any different? Here are a few important things to consider.

Is seven the magic number in 2020?

Since Bitcoin surpassed $10K on Feb. 9, we have seen the leading digital asset rocket above and below this key psychological barrier line exactly seven times. However, the big difference here, is that it has occurred over a seven-day period, whereas in 2019 it was over a four-month period.

BTC USD daily hourly Source: TradingView

BTC USD daily hourly Source: TradingView

This shows that volatility has returned to the crypto market, but can we expect Bitcoin to cross up beyond the $10K price mark again in the short term? Or is this a long-overdue correction for Bitcoin that will see the price plummet further?

To determine the likely outcome, there are a few more factors I feel are worth considering at this point.

The $675 CME gap

Fighting for the bulls we have the fact that the CME closed at $10,475 on Friday, so if Bitcoin stays at its current price of around $9,800, it will leave a gap of around $675 to fill next week.

BTC USD CME Source: TradingView

BTC USD CME Source: TradingView

Last week saw a similar size gap close on Monday, Feb. 10. However, this was closing a short gap, whereas next week is closing a high gap.

Should the CME gap fill, it means Bitcoin will rocket back over $10K and on its way to $10,500 making it the eighth time Bitcoin has surpassed $10K in 2020, which would already beat the 2019 record.

Bitcoin mining difficulty to drop for the first time in 2020

Every two weeks this year the mining difficulty has increased and at the same time so has the price of Bitcoin.

BTC mining difficulty. Source: BTC.com

BTC mining difficulty. Source: BTC.com

However, we’re approaching a yearly first, where the mining difficulty is set to decrease by an estimated 2% in nine days’ time.

Much like the price, nothing can go up forever, and the mining difficulty is also experiencing a pullback. But while there is no guarantee that this is driving the current price of Bitcoin, I’ll be feeling a lot more bullish once the mining difficulty starts to increase again.

Bullish scenario

BTC USD daily hourly Source: TradingView

BTC USD daily hourly Source: TradingView

Despite the pullbacks that Bitcoin has experienced over this weekend, it has still managed to hold support in the current ascending channel that it has been in since the beginning of January 2020.

Providing Bitcoin doesn’t begin to break down below the support level throughout next week, then this would see $10,000 as the new support for Bitcoin, with key resistance being around the middle of the channel at $10,500, and $11,500 at the upper end.

Bearish scenario

BTC USD daily hourly Source: TradingView

BTC USD daily hourly Source: TradingView

Technically speaking, Bitcoin has broken the support of the ascending channel if you count today’s candlewick down. However, until I see a candle close below this channel I won’t be counting it as valid.

As such, support is currently around $9,700. The next level of support can be found at the 200-day moving average, which is sitting at $8,900. Should this support fail to hold, then this opens up a completely new era for Bitcoin, as historically it has never fallen below this level.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of @officiallykeith 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 Drop Nets Bitfinex ‘Whale’ $10 Million in 5 Minutes

Late Saturday night on Feb. 15, Bitcoin (BTC) price briefly reclaimed the $10K mark after a tumultuous day of trading that saw the price drop 5.35% to $9,853. The possibility of a downside break was enhanced by Bitcoin’s failure to hold above $10,330 and for the past 4 days $10,450 to $10,500 served as a stiff zone of resistance. 

According to data from Skew Analytics, the swift 5.35% drop resulted in $90 million worth of liquidated leveraged positions at BitMex. 

BitMEX XBTUSD Liquidations. Source: Skew.com

Bitfinex whale recovers $10M in 5 minutes

In the immediate aftermath of Bitcoin’s sharp price correction crypto-Twitter began to speculate that Bitcoin whales were at play. Some traders pointed to a well-known Bitcoin whale called Joe007 as one of the players partially responsible for Saturday’s correction.

Bitfinex CTO Paolo Ardoino posted the following image from the Bitfinex leaderboard and tweeted,

“How to recover 10M in 5 minutes@J0E007.”

BTC USD daily chart. Source: Tensorcharts.com

Popular crypto-trader and Cointelegraph contributor filbfilb also posted the above chart to his Telegram group and pointed out that Bitcoin’s price dropped as a sell-wall was removed. Filbfilb suggested that Joe007 took advantage of thin order books the weekend in order to slam Bitcoin’s price below $10,000. 

 Filbfilb said:

“Looks like finex whale dumped.”

This wouldn’t be the first time a crypto whale was implicated in trading maneuvers that significantly impacted the entire spot market. In December 2019, Joe007 entered into a bet with a Dogecoin trader to win 10,000 DOGE and then seemingly used an 800 BTC buy-wall to defend the $7,200 level.

What’s next for Bitcoin?

Now that the smoke has cleared and the price appears to have stabilized we can take a look at the charts to see what or where Bitcoin price might go next. The drop below $9,900 nudged the price out of the rising wedge pattern and to the lower band of the Bollinger Band indicator.

BTC USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

Taking a closer look at the daily and 6-hour timeframe shows that $9,800 has served as support and the Volume Profile Visible Range, or VPVR, shows a high volume node between $9,898 to $9,756. Below this level, there is also support at $9,400 which is near the 23.6% Fibonacci Retracement level. 

In the event that $9,400 fails to provide support, Bitcoin’s price could drop to the 50-day moving average at $8,800. Despite the somewhat dire outlook presented above, traders need not sell at market rate and run for the hills. 

After an amazing multi-week rally which saw Bitcoin price move from $6,853 to $10,497, many traders already believed that the digital asset was overdue for a correction. 

BTC USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

Take, for example, crypto trader and Cointelegraph contributor Micheal Van de Poppe who on Saturday tweeted the above chart and said:  

“Uptrending markets give you only a few retracements and usually they are bought up quite quick. This is a nice drop and instant to the first interest zone. Alts holding up really well in $BTC pair. Calm pace -> everything continues.”

As the weekly close approaches, traders will want to see Bitcoin reclaim and hold $10,000 and fingers will be crossed that the $10.1-$10.3K area has not flipped from support to resistance. 

At the time of writing the 6-hour timeframe shows Bitcoin riding along the 50-MA, making higher lows and attempting to push above the lower trendline of the rising wedge. 

BTC USDT 6-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The Relative Strength Index, or RSI, has already pulled up to reverse course from it slow at 39. An encouraging development would be to see Bitcoin tackle $10K then push to the Bollinger Band moving average at $9,200. 

If the price can sustain above this moving average this would give the bulls an opportunity to aim for the upper Bollinger Band arm at $10,516.

Bitcoin wasn’t the only asset to undergo a sharp correction on Feb.15. As the digital asset dropped to $9,800, a large number of altcoins also saw double-digit percentage losses.

Uptrend Broken? Bitcoin Tumbles Below $10K as Greed Hits 6-Month High

Bitcoin (BTC) has fallen below its landmark $10,000 price point after failing to break $10,500 resistance, mimicking a similar $300 drop earlier this week. 

Crypto market 1-day price chart. Source: Coin360

Crypto market 1-day price chart. Source: Coin360

Bitcoin drops to $9,800s

Coin360 and Cointelegraph Markets data show Bitcoin has fallen below the $10,000 big-even, to a press time price of $9,884. 

“Good response by the bulls but 10k needs reclaiming,” commented Cointelegraph Markets contributor filbfilb in his Telegram channel after BTC price initially rebounded back over the $10,000 mark. He continued: 

“We bounced off the 20 DMA, which is meant to act as support, but there is an argument the uptrend is broken. It is the weekend and it would leave us with a gap above. Hopefully, some of you got filled. I missed out on that by a few bucks. I’m going to wait and see what happens with the OBV on the 4 hour for now.”  

Meanwhile, another fellow analyst Michael van de Poppe was more upbeat saying that a pullback was expected, if not a healthy part of a bull market. 

“First of all: a retracement is still very healthy for this market, even if ETH goes to $240 and BTC to $9,500,” he wrote, adding: 

“Second of all: no, we’re not going to $3,000. Third of all: we’re still early.”

Crypto participants express greed 

Over the past few weeks, crypto’s largest asset has broken out of its multi-month downtrend, taking several swipes at its most recent price swing high near $10,500. After hovering between $10,500 and $10,100 for the last couple of days, unable to surge above $10,528, Bitcoin made a decisive downside move below $10,000. 

Coinciding with the drop, crypto’s Fear and Greed Index posted a reading of 64, indicating the market may have gotten a tad greedy and unrealistic with its expectations.

Source: Crypto Fear & Greed Index

Source: Crypto Fear & Greed Index

As crypto participants’ emotions became overextended, the Fear and Greed Index listed highs not seen since August 2019.

BTC’s recent rally also took many altcoins for a positive price ride as well, with coins such as Tezos (XTZ) and Ether (ETH) enjoying double-digit percentage gains. At press time, Bitcoin’s market dominance stands at 62.2% with the cryptocurrency market capitalization falling to $289 billion.

Keep track of top crypto markets in real time here

XRP Price Hits 7-Month High as BitMEX Users Reel From 60% Flash Crash

BitMEX continues to field major criticism and even anger from traders who lost huge amounts of money in a flash crash involving altcoin XRP

The crash, which occurred at 14.00 UTC on Feb. 13, saw XRP/USD fall 60% from $0.33 to just $0.13 — for two seconds.

XRP crashes on BitMEX 

In that time, traders complain, measures designed to prevent liquidations of positions failed to activate, and BitMEX automatically erased their entire balances.

BitMEX is well known for offering trades with significant leverage. In the case of XRP, traders are able to leverage by up to 50 times.

Following the event, the company issued a statement defending its reaction, saying its platform was functioning as normal.

“We understand traders’ frustration when prices move quickly against their positions,” a tweet read.

XRP/USD 5-day price chart

XRP/USD 5-day price chart. Source: BitMEX

At press time, XRP/USD was back at $0.33, a seven-month high, having instantly rebounded after the sudden dip. Nonetheless, those affected had anything but recovered.

“Not getting back a penny. Outright criminal,” startup investor Marc de Koning wrote on Twitter. 

“This ONLY occurred on Bitmex, nowhere else. All in a matter of seconds. No liquidity to back up the move.”

CEO: users are “trading a turd”

BitMEX launched a new XRP product earlier this month. At the time, CEO Arthur Hayes appeared to joke about the coin’s legitimacy.

Hours before the flash crash, he issued another post about XRP price growth, which has topped 25% in the past few days alone. Hayes tweeted:

“CRipple the shorts. Pro Tip: the Buy and Sell buttons are both equally profitable regardless of whether or not you are trading a turd.”

BitMEX’s insurance fund, which the company says is “not intended for use” in situations such as the XRP event, currently stands at 34,328 BTC ($352.2 million).

Bitcoin Price Bull Run May Last 3 Years With $45K Top, Says Tone Vays

Today popular market analyst and Cointelegraph contributor filbfilb joined veteran trader Tone Vays on his YouTube trading channel. During the discussion, each trader discussed their long and short-term vision of Bitcoin’s price (BTC) action, along with the various trading indicators and styles they use. 

According to Vays, Bitcoin’s price action on the weekly time frame remains strongly bullish as Bitcoin broke through multiple levels of resistance and is still on six on the TD Sequential indicator, which is favored by Vays. 

BTC USD weekly chart

BTC USD weekly chart. Source: TradingView

Vays also pointed out that Bitcoin pulled above a critical descending trendline at the 0.32% Fibonacci retracement level at $9,770.55. However, the veteran trader cautioned investors as the daily time frame is less bullish in his opinion. 

According to Vays, the recent notch of a nine on the TD Sequential indicator and the slowing momentum in Bitcoin’s price hint that a one to four candle correction could occur before Bitcoin moves higher before it halving event. 

Vays believes that at the moment Bitcoin is in a no-trade zone on the daily timeframe as it is short-term bearish. From Vays’ point of view, opening a long position on a breakout above $10,400, $10,450 would be a safer trader. 

Alternatively, if the price pulled back to $10,000, then acquisitions for long positions in the $9,500 range would be ideal.

Filbfilb talks Bitcoin, mining and price action

According to filbfilb, Bitcoin recently exited its reaccumulation phase when it blew through the $9K resistance. filbfilb expects that Bitcoin will eventually burn through the $9,500 to $11,000 zone but the digital asset is expected to meet some pushback at the long term overhead descending resistance and the point-of-control from the 2018-2019 bear market. 

The market analyst also points out that on the wider timeframe (weekly) Bitcoin has reclaimed the 50% Fibonacci retracement level but he also anticipates that the 61.8% level will serve as significant resistance as Bitcoin hasn’t closed above $11.5K since January 2018. 

BTC USD daily chart

BTC USD daily chart. Source: TradingView

Filbfilb is overwhelmingly bullish on Bitcoin’s long term prospects and points out that the digital asset is trending above every major level of the volume-weighted moving averages on multiple time frames. 

Filbfilb believes that if Bitcoin can overcome the $11,500 mark, it could run all the way to the 78.6% Fibonacci retracement level at $15,500 before encountering resistance and pulling back towards $11,000 again. 

Over the short-term, filbfilb believes it wouldn’t be unreasonable for Bitcoin price to bounce off the $9,500 area but if this were to occur it would not invalidate his bullish point of view. 

When asked if failure to notch $11,000 before the halving, filbfilb said:  

“I can definitely see us having a go at $11,000, but it may just take a little bit longer for us to get through than I expected.”  

Increasing interest in Bitcoin futures is the tell

To support his long term bullish point of view, filbfilb explained that the CME Bitcoin Futures have been the ultimate tell on where the market is headed. He points to the strong and steady increase in futures trading volume and the on-balance volume (OBV) indicator continuing to press into higher highs. 

Bitcoin CME Futures weekly chart

Bitcoin CME Futures weekly chart. Source: TradingView

This shows that larger holders and possibly institutional investors are deeply involved with Bitcoin. A steady increase in open interest (OI) and the futures premium on Bitcoin contracts also show that larger hands are feeling bullish about Bitcoin’s future prospects. 

CME Bitcoin Futures Total Open Interest & Volumes chart

CME Bitcoin Futures Total Open Interest & Volumes chart. Source: TradingView

When asked about this pre-halving price target expectation filbfilb said placing a new high higher than 2019 at $15 to $16K would be great. Vays then interjected that the current bull market is likely to last for three years when the pre-halving and post-halving timeframes are factored in. 

With that said, Vays asked filbfilb to give his “ultimate” Bitcoin all-time high price for the next 2 years. Filbfilb responded with:

“I think we’re going to struggle to get past $60K. I think that $60K will be a really really troublesome level to get across. I’ll certainly be looking to book some serious profits at that point. Trying to go above $50K to $60K at this point would be a little bit foolish.” 

Towards the end of the interview, Vays took questions from the live audience and one viewer asked whether now is a good time to buy Bitcoin or should one wait until the next sharp correction. Filbfilb responded in-depth and added this as the take away to the discussion: 

“The open interest across the whole of the market is going up and this is a good thing. Overall the market looks good and healthy for me. I don’t think there’s any point in trying to wait around for some sort of pre-halving pump because in my view we’re already halfway through it.”

Ledger Reignites Trezor Beef With ‘Dishonest’ Report on Crypto Wallet Hardware

Cryptocurrency hardware wallet manufacturer Ledger has reignited an old feud with competitor Trezor, in a blog post dated Feb. 13 highlighting the claimed benefits of its internal Secure Element chips. Trezor co-founder and CEO of SatoshiLabs, Marek “Slush” Palatinus, hit straight back, in a tweet accusing the post of being “dishonest” and not telling the “whole story.”

The Ledger post compared the three internal chip types common to hardware wallet devices: Microcontroller Units (MCU), Safe Memory chips and its own Secure Elements.

It claimed that the MCUs found in Trezor wallets were intended for general devices such as microwaves and TV remotes, and had no embedded countermeasures against physical security attacks.

Furthermore, it stated that Safe Memory chips, used in certain other manufacturers’ hardware wallets, were not third-party tested, and were vulnerable to side-channel attacks as the private keys were passed to the MCU.

Only part of the story

Palatinus retweeted the post, claiming that Ledger was being “dishonest” and “point[ing] out only part of the whole story.”

A non-disclosure agreement (NDA) for Secure Elements chip vendors prevents wallet manufacturers from discussing security issues, according to the tweet:

“Trezor is using nonNDA chips so we can be fully transparent and act in your best interest.”

Palatinus promised to talk more about the implications of NDAs to end-user security at the Bitcoin 2020 conference in March.

Bad blood

Ledger previously clashed with Trezor last March, when it published a report disclosing five supposed vulnerabilities in Trezor hardware wallets.

As Cointelegraph reported, Trezor was quick to respond, pointing out that none of the vulnerabilities were critical for hardware wallets. Furthermore, none of the weaknesses could be exploited remotely, with all requiring physical access to the device.

Things seemed to have calmed down since then, but with this latest post, Ledger may well have reignited an old beef.