Woman charged over ‘Australian first’ Bitcoin cybercrime
A woman has been charged after allegedly illegally changing cash for cryptocurrency, in what is believed to be the first case of its kind in Australia.
The 52-year-old was arrested at a shopping centre in Burwood, in Sydney’s inner-west, yesterday.
She is accused of being part of a syndicate profiting off the unlawful exchange of Bitcoin, and yesterday NSW Police seized $60,000 in cash and 3.8 Bitcoin.
The price of one Bitcoin is currently around $15,000.
The woman was charged with three counts of knowingly dealing with proceeds of crime, and breaching a requirement regarding digital currency exchange services.
The investigation began in November 2018, when detectives from the State Crime Command’s Cybercrime Squad established Strike Force Kerriwah to investigate an online money laundering syndicate operating across NSW, unlawfully exchanging cash for cryptocurrency.
“It will be alleged as part of this investigation that the cryptocurrency wallet used by the individuals involved has transacted since 2017 over 326 Bitcoin,” Detective Superintendent Matthew Craft, Cybercrime Squad Commander, said today.
“That equates to over $5 million in today’s money. This is a significant quantity of Bitcoin for somebody who is not a registered digital currency exchange.”
Det. Supt Craft said a search warrant was executed at a home in Hurstville yesterday, where further Bitcoin to the value of $18,000 was seized along with telephones, mobile phones, computers.
“This particular investigation is believed to be an Australian first where unregistered cryptocurrency exchanges who operate have been identified and in this case prosecution commence,” he said.
“This will be the first of many arrests I believe we will make over the coming years and you’re being put on notice.”
Author: By Freya Noble • Senior Producer11:41am May 15, 2020
Bitcoin Breaks Above $9,000
Bitcoin has started the day posting gains. At press time, the largest cryptocurrency by market cap is trading at $9,396.61 (+5.63%), according to CoinMarketCap.
Chart of the USD/BTC trading pair from EXANTE
For its part, Ethereum has grown to $198.41 (+4.35%), while XRP has jumped by 1.48% and is now trading at $0.2.
FxPro’s team of analysts say:
“Bitcoin has managed to break above the $9,000 psychological barrier. Today, the reference crypto is registering an increase of more than 5%. This is a very positive news, especially considering that after the halving, market participants had a pretty moderate outlook. The trading volume of the Bitcoin network has also recorded a 12% increase.
The greed and fear index has changed little and still remains in the ‘fear’ area, while the RSI for the BTC/USD pair has risen along with the price even though it is not yet expected to reach the overbought area.
Altcoins are following Bitcoin’s trend. Thus, Ethereum has grown by about 4% and is currently trading at around $200. According to CoinMarketCap, the total market capitalization has risen by $13.5B in a single day. Investors have positively received the bullish trend of the market.”
According to CoinMarketCap’s ranking, 9 currencies on the top 10 are in green.
As for the market cap of all currencies listed in CoinMarketCap, it stays at $256,884,438,351.
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Author: José Rodríguez
Bitcoin daily chart alert – Bulls flexing their muscles – May 14
(Kitco News) – Bitcoin-U.S. dollar prices are sharply up Thursday morning and bulls have gained more power. A price uptrend is firmly in place on the daily chart and bulls have the solid overall near-term technical advantage. The path of least resistance for prices remains sideways to higher in the near term. Stay tuned.
By Jim Wyckoff
Here’s how can you save yourself from Bitcoin Crypto scams
Bitcoin is the Pandora’s Box in terms of investment – it can be either good or bad, depending upon how careful you are about where you are investing.
Ever since its launch in 2008, controversy has not left Bitcoin’s side. It has fuelled hundreds of rags-to-riches stories, but at the same time, it has enabled scammers to earn millions from unsuspecting buyers and investors.
Bitcoin prices have been hovering around $9,000 for quite a few days making it a lucrative investment opportunity for thousands of Indians. If you are among the thousands looking forward to investing in the future of crypto, you must find out all about potential Bitcoin scams and the ways to steer clear of them –
i. Fake crypto investment platforms
Fake bitcoin exchanges are a real threat! Back in 2017, a South Korean fake exchange was operating under the name of BitKRK. While it looked legit and presented itself as a part of the crypto trading community, it swindled investors and buyers out of millions of dollars before it was intercepted by the South Korean financial authorities.
You must avoid all fake cryptocurrency exchanges. Stick to the reputed and recognized bitcoin exchanges only. Check Bitcoin forums and subscribe to authentic RSS feeds or notifications so you receive the news of fake exchanges on time. or, stick to trustworthy Bitcoin platforms for genuine investment opportunities.
ii. Others less credible cryptocurrencies
After the success and skyrocketing demand of Bitcoin, several new cryptocurrencies have been mushrooming across the globe. It is indeed difficult to keep an eye on the authenticity and performance of each one.
New altcoins can be cheaper, which makes them more of a lucrative investment opportunity to most new investors. The selling idea behind these new currencies is that it’s already too late to invest in bitcoin and one must seize the opportunity to invest in one of the new and upcoming ones to make more money!
Well, that’s not at all true. Always remember that My Big Coin was taken down after it sold fake alt currencies for $6 million to customers.
However, it is important to take a look at the basics of any altcoin including its maximum supply and circulation. For example,Bitcoin maximum supply is 21 million exactly and 18 million are in circulation. Bitcoin is one of the most valued, trusted and most accepted cryptocurrencies across the globe.
iii. Mining scams
Cloud mining allows regular investors without expensive hardware to mine cryptocurrencies. It can be indeed lucrative if you consider that you can mine altcoins like Bitcoin sitting at home without investing in exuberantly priced hardware.
There are a few cloud mining services that allow users to rent server space at a fixed rate for mining altcoins. However, if you are a first-time investor, how do you know which services are genuine, and which ones just want your hard-earned money?
One way to identify the fake ones is by their lofty promises. They promise implausible returns on your investment and never mention the hidden fee that applies on these returns. These servers are smart designs to take money from unsuspecting investors. No authentic companies should be able to guarantee a profit.
Always be vigilant while signing up for cloud mining servers. Think about the security of your data on your system before you go online on a shared server.
iv. Pump and Dump schemes
It is not uncommon for groups of scammers to buy a new altcoin en masse. That increases the market price of the cryptocurrency momentarily and triggers FOMO (fear-of-missing-out) among other investors.
As soon as the new investors begin investing in the new coin and the prices shoot up higher, the scammers sell their share of coins for a higher price.
It is illegal in the securities market, but pumping and dumping are more than common in the grey zone of cryptocurrencies. Avoid pump and dump schemes by choosing more popular and stable crypto options like Bitcoin only.
New investors don’t always understand the ins-and-outs of cryptocurrency before and during investing. This has given several malware programs the chance to evolve. Malware programs now pose newer and bigger threats to people.
Modern malware that targets cryptocurrency users and investors can latch onto the user accounts to retrieve the user’s online wallet balance, drain their account and replace their authentic address with that of the scammer.
Apart from updating your antivirus and system firewall, you need to make sure that you are visiting a secure and trustworthy platform that does not prompt auto-download of .exe files or ask you to download suspicious attachments.
The author is Founder at Bitbuddy – a bitcoin marketplace which allows the sellers and shoppers to sell and buy directly on its platform.
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A Stark Fed Warning Just Sent Bitcoin Sharply Higher
Bitcoin is again soaring, climbing to nearly $10,000 per bitcoin after U.S. Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell warned the U.S. is facing an “extended period” of weak economic growth “without modern precedent.”
The bitcoin price began climbing following Powell’s comments yesterday but has now accelerated its rally, up almost 10% over the last 24 hours.
MORE FROM FORBESHas The Coronavirus Pandemic Sealed The Dollar’s Fate?By Billy Bambrough
U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has warned of an “extended period” of weak economic … [+] growth–knocking equity markets but boosting bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
The latest bitcoin rally comes after bitcoin went through a supply squeeze known as a halving earlier this week—cutting the supply of new bitcoin rewarded to those that maintain the bitcoin network, called miners, by half.
“Yesterday, Powell warned about the economic risks from COVID-19 and increased tensions with China, which could lead to liquidity issues,” Marcus Swanepoel, the chief executive of London-based bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange, said in a note.
“In response, global markets fell quickly and cryptocurrencies found buyers.”
The bitcoin price hit $9,950 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange before falling back slightly. Other major cryptocurrencies have also climbed, adding some $20 billion to the total value of the crypto market.
“If bitcoin can go above the big, round level $10,000, it will give hope to the whole crypto market,” said Alex Kuptsikevich, senior financial analyst at FxPro, adding bitcoin is currently “defying gravity.”
Meanwhile, the S&P 500 index closed down 1.75% after Powell’s comments as investors digested the likelihood of a sluggish recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
“Wall Street did not seem happy about the Fed’s statement. Not the warnings and not the unwillingness to provide an easy way out,” Mati Greenspan, the founder of analysis and advisory firm Quantum Economics, said in a note.
“Stock indices are down more than 1%. On the other hand, bitcoin and the digital markets are up. Quite a welcome contrast to the tight correlation we’ve experienced since the start of the corona-crisis. In fact, the entire halvening event seems to have had a rather liberating affect on the digital asset space.”
Last month, Fed officials slashed interest rates to zero, launched an unprecedented bond buying program and teamed up with the Treasury Department to begin precedent-setting emergency lending to companies and first-ever corporate bond purchases.
But Powell said the Fed might need to go further.
“While the economic response has been both timely and appropriately large, it may not be the final chapter, given that the path ahead is both highly uncertain and subject to significant downside risks,” Powell said in an interview with Adam Posen, the director of the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
“There is a sense, growing sense I think, that the recovery may come more slowly than we would like. But it will come, and that may mean that it’s necessary for us to do more.”
MORE FROM FORBESJohn McAfee Thinks He’s Solved Bitcoin’s Greatest Mystery-Who Is Satoshi Nakamoto?By Billy Bambrough
The bitcoin price has added almost 10% over the last 24 hours, somewhat putting to rest fears this … [+] week’s supply squeeze would result in a sharp decline in the bitcoin price.
Meanwhile, bitcoin and crypto analysts are still processing the effect of bitcoin’s third supply halving, which has put pressure on bitcoin miners.
“It is highly probable that some of the miners will start selling their assets to cover the losses,” said Kuptsikevich.
“Others will go out of business, and if they have debts, they will also have to cover their costs by selling coins.”
The bitcoin price has more than doubled since the coronavirus-induced crash in March—putting it on track to be one of the year’s best performing assets.
However, many have warned bitcoin volatility is likely to increase over coming weeks and months before settling down due to the halving supply shock.
The bitcoin price crashed over 10% on Sunday ahead of bitcoin’s third halving, spooking many bitcoin traders and investors.
Author: Billy Bambrough
Market Wrap: Bitcoin’s Price Up 12% Since the Halving
May 14, 2020 at 20:49 UTC
Bitcoin has seen steady gains in price since the halving took place on May 11. The number of institutional investors trading in the CME crypto options market is a sign of continued interest in this asset class.
At press time, bitcoin’s price has risen 12% since the reward for bitcoin miners was cut in half.
Over the past 24 hours, bitcoin (BTC) was trading up 6% at $9,689. The world’s first cryptocurrency is chugging higher, with technical indicators including the 10-day and 50-day moving averages above bullish levels since May 13.
“Broadly speaking, we expect demand for bitcoin to continue growing incrementally and it will take some time for the supply shock to work its way through the market and be reflected in price,” he said.
Bitcoin options open interest on CME, or the total number of outstanding contracts, have spiked since May 5, a sign of institutional interest. On Thursday, options open interest reached a high of $105 million, a huge jump considering average daily interest has been a paltry $13 million since Jan. 13 when first launched on CME.
Trading on the CME is generally done by well-capitalized investors with experience trading derivatives. The rise in open interest is likely coming from that subset of the market, said Vishal Shah, an options trader and founder of derivatives exchange Alpha5. “Whoever is behind these purchases is clearly a sophisticated trader,” he said.
The bitcoin activity uptick on the CME is from traders making bullish bets, says Shah. “The interest is in higher strikes, like May at $10,500 is a popular one,” he said. “There’s a fair chance these are buyers of calls. Interestingly, $10,500 is a key level on the BTC chart, and a move through there is expected to bring some fireworks. It’s no surprise then that the focus is on those strikes.”
A call gives the owner the right, but not the obligation, to buy a specified amount of an underlying asset at a specified price within a specified time.
Prior to the halving, bitcoin briefly broke through the $10,000 barrier. Shah isn’t the only trader predicting another run to that level and perhaps beyond. An uncertain economic outlook is one reason why Henrik Kugelberg, a Sweden-based over-the-counter trader, thinks that will happen.
Cryptocurrency gainers include iota (IOTA) climbing 6.2%, dogecoin (DOGE) being a good boy and in the green by 3.2% and nem (XEM), also up 3.2%. Losers in 24-hour trading include lisk (LSK), losing 2.5%, cardano (ADA) in the red 1.2%. and stellar (XLM) losing 1%. All price changes were as of 20:00 UTC (4:00 p.m. ET) Thursday.
In commodities, oil was trading up Thursday by 7% while gold was relatively flat, climbing less than a percent.
In the United States, the S&P 500 index of company stocks was up 1% Thursday. Stocks have traded rather choppily in the past month, yet the American equity benchmark has eked out a 1.8% gain during that time.
Toby Wu, senior analyst for multi-asset brokerage eToro, sees some positives for U.S. stocks in the near term. “There may be a ray of light as the U.S. plans to push out a new stimulus plan worth $3 trillion. If the plan is passed on Friday, we can expect this to bring some much-needed positivity to the U.S. market,” Wu wrote in a report Thursday.
U.S. Treasury bonds all slipped Thursday. Yields, which move in the opposite direction as price, were down most on the two-year bond, falling 10%.
In Europe, the FTSE Eurotop 100 index of the largest publicly traded companies closed trading in the red 2%. For Asia, the Nikkei 225 of Japan’s largest companies closed the trading day in Tokyo down 1.7%, weighed upon by poor performers in engineering, chemicals and electronics.
Author: Alyssa Hertig