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Analyst Expects Bitcoin Above $9.5K in Near-Term as Risk-On Sentiment Improves

Analyst Expects Bitcoin Above $9.5K in Near-Term as Risk-On Sentiment Improves
  • Bitcoin analyst Edward Morra sees price heading towards $9,575 in the coming sessions.
  • The prediction surfaces after the cryptocurrency failed to close above its short-term resistance level near $9,285.
  • It also appears as global risk-on sentiment improves on positive job reports and vaccine hopes.

Bitcoin could close above $9,500 in the coming session even as it experiences modest sell-offs near its interim resistance level $200 below.

That is, according to Edward Morra. The Bitcoin analyst-cum-trader said that the BTC/USD exchange rate could establish a local top at $9,575. The level on June 16 capped the pair from extending its correcting upside run, leading Mr. Morra to see it as a decent interim long target.

“Rejected off daily resistance at ~$9285, flip it and we can get a nice long set up to ~9575 tops,” he wrote. “Currently, the price just in a sandwich between levels, good for scalping.”

bitcoin, cryptocurrency, btcusd, xbtusd, btcuusdt, crypto

Bitcoin price chart showing its next potential moves following its latest bearish rebound. Source: Edward Morra, TradingView.com

The prediction followed Bitcoin’s modest rebound attempts from its June low at $8,815. While the cryptocurrency recovered to as high as $9,297, it failed to rebound entirely towards $10,500, the level that started the downtrend originally.

Mr. Morra’s upside target $9,500 looked achievable, given the ongoing price rally in the U.S. stock market. Bitcoin and the S&P 500 have formed an uncanny positive correlation since March 2020. So if the U.S. index continues rallying, it prompts Bitcoin to do the same.

But the correlation does not guarantee an extended move above $9,500. More so, some observers believe the level would hold off the bull from continuing their upside bias. One analyst went as far as listing six technical indicators that suggest a massive price pullback if Bitcoin comes closer to $9,500.

bitcoin, cryptocurrency, btcusd, xbtusd, btcuusdt, crypto

Bitcoin indicators are holding the price below $9,500. Source: Coiner-Yadox, TradingView.com

The chart above shows the bearish indicators. They are a daily pivot near $9450, June volume-weighted average price at 9480, the 200-4H simple moving average at $9,460, June’s monthly open at $9,450, a giant Descending Trendline, and a 61.8 percent Fibonacci level.

Bitcoin is trading sideways overall to compensate for its three-month-long bull run. Between March 13 and today, the cryptocurrency rallied by more than 150 percent. That leaves traders with enough opportunities to exit their positions on a significant profit.

Nevertheless, not all traders are liquidating their long positions. Part of the reason is the cryptocurrency’s ability to hold its bullish bias above $8,800-$9,000 range. Traders recognize its correlation with the global stocks and anticipate the global banks’ continued monetary aid to sustain their uptrends.

Meanwhile, more bullish scenarios are developing as the world’s largest economies share their rebound stories post-lockdown. U.S. stocks, for instance, rose today on a positive non-farm payroll jobs data.

The European indices also surged higher with sentiments getting a boost from a vaccine candidate that yielded positive results during trial. Pan-European Stoxx 600, for instance, climbed 1.3 on Thursday.

These scenarios help people coming out of lockdowns, get a job, and boost consumer spending. It also increases their likelihood of investing more into assets like Bitcoin.

Source: www.newsbtc.com

Author: Yashu Gola


Researchers Expose Flaw in Bitcoin Wallets That Could Be Exploited for Double-Spending

Researchers Expose Flaw in Bitcoin Wallets That Could Be Exploited for Double-Spending

A standard way to transact bitcoin could be misused to enable a kind of double-spending, new research has found. 

Blockchain sleuths at ZenGo, a wallet startup, have found a vulnerability that affected at least three major competing crypto wallets – Ledger Live, Edge and Breadwallet (BRD) – and potentially more. 

The bug, which the Tel Aviv-based firm calls BigSpender, allows a hacker to double-spend a user’s funds and possibly prevent them from ever using their wallet again. It works by exploiting how certain wallet’s handle Bitcoin’s replace-by-fee (RBF) function, a failsafe that enables users to swap an unconfirmed transaction with one that has a higher fee. 

Related: Nomura-Backed Crypto Custody Venture Launches After 2 Years in the Works

“[BigSpender] can lead to substantial financial losses and in some cases to make the victim’s wallet totally unusable, with no way for the victim to protect themselves,” ZenGo CEO Ouriel Ohayon said in an email. “So this can be seen as a high severity attack.”

Like other optional Bitcoin features with associated vulnerabilities, such as time-locked transactions, the RBF function has become a standard way for users to send value back and forth. It was pitched and accepted by the developer community as a way for Bitcoiners to circumvent slow confirmation times by paying more in fees. 

See also: Raphael Auer – The Security Trilemma and the Future of Bitcoin

From the outset, there were fears the RBF function was not well supported by bitcoin wallets, despite being integrated at the Bitcoin system’s protocol layer, the pseudonymous Bitcoin researcher 0xB10C said. “ZenGo shows that a user can be tricked into think ing he is receiving bitcoin when he is not. I believe this to be novel. I’ve at least not heard about it before,” he said. 

Related: Thailand to Raise $6.4M With Sale of Blockchain-Based Bonds

The firm tested nine different wallets including Ledger Live, Trust wallet, Exodus, Edge, Bread, Coinbase, Blockstream Green, Blockchain and Atomic Wallet. Of those tested, three were found to be vulnerable to the theoretical exploit. 

“We have not tested all the wallets but it could be that if three of the largest are implicated, more out there are, too,” Ohayon said. ZenGo alerted the firms about its findings, and gave them 90 days to repair the vulnerability. 

Ledger and BRD have released code changes to prevent the attack from happening, and paid undisclosed bug bounties to ZenGo, while Edge is undergoing a “significant refactor” that will address the issue, Edge CEO Paul Puey said in an email. 

The hack leverages a known vulnerability in how certain wallets treat unconfirmed transactions, including but not limited to RBF ones, said Peter Todd, a former Bitcoin developer and RBF’s architect. 

How it works: Attackers send funds to their intended victim, and set fees low enough to nearly guarantee the transaction will not receive a confirmation. For vulnerable wallets, this pending transaction will be reflected as an increase in the recipient’s account balance, possibly leading some victims to erroneously believe the pending transaction has already been confirmed. The attacker then “cancels” the pending transaction, in ZenGo’s terminology, by using RBF to change the recipient to an address they control.  By the time the victim realizes that the transaction has, in fact, been canceled, he’ll have delivered the goods.

To be clear: Similar attacks were possible before RBF, but in the absence of proper precautions by wallet providers, the payment option has highlighted the risk. 

This discrepancy between a victim’s stated and actual balance could be exploited by malicious actors tricking people into providing goods or services without paying for them – except the minimal amount of fees spent. In this sense, the flaw is with a wallet’s UX and UI design.

If a hacker can trick a person into believing they received payment, while simultaneously maintaining control of the bitcoin, this is a double-spend, according to ZenGo’s researchers. Others contest this use of the term. 

“You have to decide what is the definition of a double-spend. Most people that aren’t trolls would say that a double-spend is when you have a confirmed transaction that is somehow invalidated and spent with a different confirmed transaction,” Jameson Lopp, CTO of custody startup Casa. 

This attack, by its nature, takes advantage of the way wallets display unconfirmed transactions. In this sense, the attack – while fraudulent – isn’t breaking the way the Bitcoin code functions.  

“The whole point of the blockchain is to prevent the double-spend problem,” Lopp said. “It goes back to the original Satoshi white paper, which says the solution to double-spending is to have a distributed ledger that many people are checking.” 

The only thing you can rely on is transactions that have been mined

A general rule of thumb when transacting with bitcoin is to never trust a transaction with fewer than six confirmations, 0xB10C said. This was a point repeated by a number of developers, including Todd, Lopp and BRD CTO Samuel Sutch. If this exploit goes through, at least some of the responsibility is on the victim. 

“The only thing you can rely on is transactions that have been mined,” Todd said.

In this sense, Sutch called BigSpender a “minor bug,” and “kind of contrived,” but also something worth fixing and paying a bug bounty for. BRD recently passed 5 million users, Sutch said. 

“More wallet developers need to know their users don’t know the distinctions under the hood,” Lopp said. Many don’t even know the difference between confirmed and unconfirmed from a security standpoint. So the onus is on developers to build a better user experience so they cannot be confused and defrauded by things like this.”

To this end, Ledger updated the way the wallet displays pending transactions. If users are unsure “to check the status of a transaction” using a block explorer. “Such verification is not possible with your bank today,” Ledger’s CTO Charles Guillemet said over email.

Updating wallets to clearly display what is happening during a RBF transaction is well and good for everyone involved. However, ZenGo researchers found there is a second-order attack, which follows the same scheme outlined above, and could permanently disable a wallet with or without the victim’s knowledge of the transaction. 

In this case, the attacker again artificially inflates a victim’s balance by sending repeated transactions to her wallet. This can be done without a victim’s consent. By rerouting the transactions before they are confirmed, the victim’s stated wallet balance and actual funds are again decoupled, making their wallet unusable. Worse, the attack can affect multiple wallets at the same time. 

See also: Long-Festering DeFi Dapp Bug Still Not Fixed by Industry (Updated)

Essentially, it’s a denial of service (DoS) attack, preventing people from using their wallets.

“This also disables other kinds of sending attempts if the wallet’s coin selection algorithm chooses funds from this nonexistent transaction,” Ohayon said. These wallets are “bricked,” to use Sutch’s parlance. “It’s a huge inconvenience.”

Sutch said BRD made the vulnerability a top priority for the firm after it was alerted. Strangely, it managed to fix the bug while working an unrelated problem, he said. 

The issue ZenGo raises with its security research is not sequestered to the wallets the team tested. The vast majority of Bitcoin wallets are capable of receiving RBF transactions, and many of the companies behind them are “resource-constrained,” Sutch said, and are unable to provide a fix immediately.  

When enabling RBF functionality on Casa, Lopp said he configured the system to not display these types of transactions until confirmed, which is non-standard in the industry. “The default parameters would display these transactions,” he said.

Update (July 2, 20:15 UTC): A passage paraphrasing Peter Todd was modified to make it clear he was referring to the problem of how some Bitcoin wallets display unconfirmed transactions broadly, not just RBF transactions. Other passages were revised for clarity as well. 

  • Researchers Expose Flaw in Bitcoin Wallets That Could Be Exploited for Double-Spending
  • Researchers Expose Flaw in Bitcoin Wallets That Could Be Exploited for Double-Spending

Source: finance.yahoo.com

Author: Daniel Kuhn


Market Wrap: Bitcoin Briefly Breaks Below $9K, but Markets Remain Comatose

Market Wrap: Bitcoin Briefly Breaks Below $9K, but Markets Remain Comatose

Bitcoin broke below $9,000 Thursday afternoon as the leading cryptocurrency has continued to trade in a tight range just above $9,000 for several weeks.

  • Bitcoin at $9,060 as of 20:00 UTC (4 p.m. ET), down 2% over 24 hours
  • BTC trading range (past 24 hours): $9,300 – $8,900
  • Ether down 3% trading, at around $225
  • Institutional investment continues despite sleepy market
  • Nearly all cryptocurrencies down over 24-hour period

Despite the brief 3% afternoon drop, however, the cryptocurrency markets continue to stay eerily calm as volatility drops and traders continue to expect a big move. Bitcoin was changing hands at around $9,060 as of 20:00 UTC (4 p.m. ET). 

Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, dropped 3%, trading around $225 as of 20:00 UTC (4 p.m. ET), according to Coinbase.

Related: Bitcoin Miners Saw 23% Revenue Drop in June

Bitcoin teased bearish traders Thursday with a 3% dip from $9,250 to $8,930 in afternoon hours. The move sparked a series of liquidations on BitMEX, spiking to $30 million after the afternoon price move, according to Skew. Liquidations had been fairly flat for several days on the largest bitcoin derivatives platform.

What future awaits cryptocurrencies?
GOODBAD

Despite the afternoon drop, spot trading volumes were relatively stable relative to the preceding few days. Coinbase volume, for example, just barely edged out its Wednesday’s volume, reporting a total of $78 million traded. 

Despite the quiet price action, institutional investors continue to make moves in crypto markets. 

  • S&P 500 flat, gaining less than 0.2%
  • FTSE 100 up 1.3%
  • Nikkei 225 down less than 0.2%
  • Gold up 0.5% trading at $1,777

Related: Bitcoin Startup Zap Is Working With Visa

As bitcoin dipped, some of the darlings of the equities markets continued to soar. Tesla made a new all-time high for the second consecutive day Thursday, climbing to $1,228 in early trading hours. The technology stock opened 5% higher than its Wednesday close as its bullish momentum continues with ferocity. Zoom also made a new all-time high, trading at just below $264 during afternoon hours. 

See also: DeFi Insurer Nexus Mutual Maxed Out by Yield-Farming Boom

Social media stocks weren’t quite as lucky, dipping a bit on Thursday. Twitter dropped more than 1% Thursday. Facebook dropped 2.2%.

Cryptocurrencies in general were almost all in the red Thursday, according to Messari. The only digital asset categorized as a currency with a positive 24-hour return, according to its methodology, was monero (XMR) up 2.5%. 

In commodities, gold gained 0.5% on the day after recovering from 1% drop during afternoon trading hours. Crude oil gained more than 2%.

  • Market Wrap: Bitcoin Briefly Breaks Below $9K, but Markets Remain Comatose
  • Market Wrap: Bitcoin Briefly Breaks Below $9K, but Markets Remain Comatose

Source: finance.yahoo.com

Author: Zack Voell


Bitcoin As A Payment System — Crypto Cards And The Rocky Road They Travel

Bitcoin As A Payment System — Crypto Cards And The Rocky Road They Travel

(Photo Illustration by Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The financial space was rocked by the news that German fintech group Wirecard filed for insolvency owing €3.5bn. Not only a financial failure but also a seemingly “elaborate and sophisticated fraud,” according to EY, the company’s auditor for more than a decade.  

Many companies using Wirecard’s service would have been struck by the news, and would have had to hit the panic buttons, including a few crypto companies using Wirecard for their own card payment systems. 

Already a difficult operation to get right, crypto payment, and crypto payment cards are only starting to make their way into the mainstream but it is instances like this that really hinder their potential and growth. Bitcoin has had a few changes in designation over the years, and as it stands, making it a payment system is harder than it once was.

The major cryptocurrency has undergone a number of evolutions in its some 11 years of existence. The digital currency began life as a medium for exchange in transactions, and found its first use when 10,000 BTC was traded for two pizzas (those pizza’s are now worth just shy of $100 million).

But, just like the value of those two pizzas has changed, so has the designation of Bitcoin. The digital asset is today seen far more like an investable asset. Bitcoin is spoken about in the same breath as stocks and commodities and is permeating the conversations of Paul Tudor Jones and the execs at CME, Fidelity and other corners of Wall Street. 

However, this fluid flow of Bitcoin’s designation may well be seeing a shift back towards acting like “A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System,” as it is labelled in its own whitepaper. Recent news from Visa, PayPal and Venmo have many looking towards Bitcoin (or that should be cryptocurrencies, blockchain and the entire token ecosystem) for its potential in payments. 

PayPal is rumoured to be rolling out direct sales of cryptocurrency to its over 300 million users, while it is posting job vacancies for blockchain experts. Visa has also started working towards the cryptocurrency space with a patent for its own type of cryptocurrency, not to mention its support of the Coinbase crypto debit card as a Visa Principal Member.

If there is indeed a move towards Bitcoin and crypto taking a new role in the evolving payments system, then the clues will probably be in the application. One of the biggest applications, and the possible bridge to the next evolution of payments, is the oldest, new, technology — cards.

But, as the recent news surrounding Wirecard shows, this road for crypto cards is not an easy one. Just getting a foot in the traditional card scene can be difficult for Crypto payment’s solutions providers — but then there are the companies that provide the payments railways to also consider.

The little pieces of plastic that nearly everyone carries around in their wallets are seen as so normal and so standard that little thought is given to their journey. However, debit and credit cards can be seen as the original fintech, and the original digitalization of cash. 

This is why they are probably all the first place to look for the next iteration of digital cash — and that could be crypto. I have already mentioned that Visa is doing a lot of work regarding crypto payments and tokenization, but its chief competitor Mastercard is not letting this new wave slip by.

I spoke with Suman Hughes, Director of Communications at Mastercard about their thoughts on cryptocurrency cards and the incorporation of crypto as a new payments system. 

“We see potential in cryptocurrency, especially in stablecoins. We have observed how using an internal stablecoin and tokenized fiat can improve settlement. We are driving the development of new products, including viable digital currencies that are safe, stable, reliable, and compliant,” Hughes told me. 

“We are working with governments to explore Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), which brings physical cash into the modern digital age. CBDCs can enable financial inclusion, increase the efficiency of payments infrastructure and reduce informal economies.”

Unsurprisingly, the interest in the potential of crypto for a major payment’s network like Mastercard revolves around its potential for a broader application. CBDCs are certainly on the rise, and could become a standard implemented by governments, rolled out through the likes of MasterCard and into the hands of the individuals. 

But, there is also no getting away from the original crypto space and those who are looking to utilize their decentralized coins and cryptos in a payments method. Coinbase, Fold and other big crypto companies have partnered with Visa and the likes to roll out cards, but there are others trying to compete. 

I spoke with the CEO of Crypto.com, Kris Marszalek, a company looking to pioneer the way in regards to personal crypto payments cards. He explained how it is not a straightforward process to compete with the legacy payments networks, even if it is with a brand new technology. 

“It’s definitely challenging for a crypto startup to roll out a card product that is ready for prime time,” he told me. “It needs to work well with traditional financial and payment networks, which means we have to partner with established players. 

“That was a judgment call we made from day one. We focused on compliance, security and privacy as the foundation on which the company should be built. We’re building a globally trusted financial institution that’s in the process of securing licenses in all major jurisdictions.”

“But we are also building for the future. Payment is always about adoption, from both a merchant and user standpoint.”

It is not only difficult entering the legacy system of payment with new financial technology like Bitcoin, there are also the hurdles that come with some of these traditional companies. The Wirecard news has rocked the financial world and with Crypto.com reliant on this company for its card’s, they too were struck hard.

The FCA in the UK effectively shut down Crypto.com’s card activity in the UK and Europe to try and stem the damage from Wirecard’s collapse, and forced Crypto.com’s hand in looking for a new card service provider. 

“The FCA effectively shut down Wirecard UK, the issuer of our cards in Europe. Our EU/UK cards will stop working today. All customers will receive 100% credit back to their crypto wallets within 48 hours. We’re moving the card program to a new vendor,” Marszalek tweeted following the news. 

The latest on this saga for Crypto.com is that the FCA, the U.K. watchdog, has allowed Wirecard Card Solutions, a Newcastle-based subsidiary of troubled German company Wirecard AG, to resume regulated activity meaning that the cards from Crypto.com have been reactivated in the UK and Europe.

These kinds of events, while mostly a one-off and rare, do represent the other issues that crypto faces in trying to enter the mainstream. Payment systems are usually taken as impenetrable and as a given, but there are hidden dangers that can hold back the advancement of this space.

That being said, the future of crypto seems laid out, and on top of that, its future as a payments system is becoming more and more probable.

There are certainly tangible changes in the crypto space when it comes to payments, and how these payments will be enacted and rolled out. But there is also a long way to go. However, as Marszalek explains, the digital asset bridge has already been built by cards.

“By 2030, every single person on the planet will hold digital assets one way or another. Our mission is simply to accelerate the world’s transition to cryptocurrency. Familiar form factors, like a card, play a very important role in educating main street users.”

Still, Hughes explained that there are still a number of things that need to be overcome in the crypto space for payments to be normalised with these assets. 

“We strongly believe that for digital currencies to become trusted payment instruments for consumers or businesses, it is essential that they offer stability, regulatory compliance and consumer protections,” she added.

Source: www.forbes.com

Author: Darryn Pollock


Satoshi Nakaboto: ‘Major Tesla investor thinks Bitcoin’s market cap will be 10% of gold’s by 2025’

Satoshi Nakaboto: ‘Major Tesla investor thinks Bitcoin’s market cap will be 10% of gold’s by 2025’

Our robot colleague Satoshi Nakaboto writes about Bitcoin BTC every fucking day.

Welcome to another edition of Bitcoin Today, where I, Satoshi Nakaboto, tell you what’s been going on with Bitcoin in the past 24 hours. As Habermass used to say: Buy low, sell high!

We closed the day, July 01 2020, at a price of $9,228. That’s a minor 0.90 percent increase in 24 hours, or $82. It was the highest closing price in five days.

We’re still 54 percent below Bitcoin‘s all-time high of $20,089 (December 17 2017).

Bitcoin‘s market cap ended the day at $169,988,756,578. It now commands 66 percent of the total crypto market.

Yesterday’s volume of $15,971,550,355 was the highest in one day, 30 percent below last year’s average, and 78 percent below last year’s high. That means that yesterday, the Bitcoin network shifted the equivalent of 280 tons of gold.

A total of 382,408 transactions were conducted yesterday, which is 19 percent above last year’s average and 15 percent below last year’s high.

Yesterday’s average transaction fee concerned $0.87. That’s $3.04 below last year’s high of $3.91.

As of now, there are 13,190 Bitcoin millionaires, or addresses containing more than $1 million worth of Bitcoin.

Furthermore, the top 10 Bitcoin addresses house 5.1 percent of the total supply, the top 100 14.3 percent, and the top 1000 34.8 percent.

With a market capitalization of $170 billion, Oracle has a market capitalization most similar to that of Bitcoin at the moment.

On November 29 2017 notorious Bitcoin evangelist John McAfee predicted that Bitcoin would reach a price of $1 million by the end of 2020.

He even promised to eat his own dick if it doesn’t. Unfortunately for him it’s 97.7 percent behind being on track. Bitcoin‘s price should have been $413,227 by now, according to dickline.info.

On a yearly basis Bitcoin now uses an estimated 60 terawatt hour of electricity. That’s the equivalent of Greece’s energy consumption.

Yesterday 26,910 fresh tweets about Bitcoin were sent out into the world. That’s 36.7 percent above last year’s average. The maximum amount of tweets per day last year about Bitcoin was 82,838.

This was one of yesterday’s most engaged tweets about Bitcoin:

Institutional investor Ark Invest has said bitcoin is a “contender for the first global digital money”—echoing comments made by the CEO of another of its portfolio companies: Elon Musk: https://t.co/jvipgQ5NYl by @BillyBambrough

— Forbes Crypto (@ForbesCrypto) July 1, 2020

This was yesterday’s most upvoted Reddit post about Bitcoin:

New York-Based Asset Manager Secures $190 Million for Bitcoin Fund from r/CryptoMarkets

print(randomGoodByePhraseForSillyHumans)

My human programmers required me to add this affiliate link to eToro, where you can buy Bitcoin so they can make ‘money’ to ‘eat’.

Source: thenextweb.com

Author: Satoshi Nakaboto


Analyst Expects Bitcoin Above $9.5K in Near-Term as Risk-On Sentiment Improves


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