Connect with us


Bitcoin Whales Resurfacing May Mean Rough Seas Are Ahead for Traders



The Wall Street

Overlooked amid a resumption of digital-asset market volatility is a resurgence of activity by anonymous owners of long-dormant Bitcoin accounts that suggests more dramatic price swings lie ahead. Starting in October, a large number of holders who hadn’t touched their Bitcoins for between six months and more than 2-1/2 years began moving their coins, according to analytics provider Flipside Crypto. The trend has continued since the start of the new year, with so-called digital wallets that have been active in the last 30 days now holding about 60 percent of the circulating supply, the Boston-based firm found.

“It’s definitely a big shift,” Eric Stone, head of data science at Flipside, said in an interview. “There’s more potential than usual for price swings.”

The supply of active Bitcoins has risen 40 percent since last summer, according Stone. Similar wallet activity preceded large price swings in 2015 and 2017. Two years ago, the uptick foreshadowed the surge that took the coin’s price to a record high of almost $20,000 toward the end of the year. Bitcoin has since slumped to around $3,650.

The concentration of ownership is what makes the activity so potentially market moving. Often referred to in the industry as whales, about 1,000 addresses control 85 percent of all Bitcoins, and include many early investors that have remained relatively inactive during the stratospheric price surge and collapse of the past two years.

“We’ve definitely seen that many long-time holders of Bitcoin are becoming active,” said David Balter, chief executive officer of Flipside.

“The fact that those wallets have been recently active leads us to believe they could soon be active again,” Stone said. “Put another way: We have no reason to expect them to remain stagnant for another 2-plus years.”

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Virtual Currencies To Go Down as ‘Load of Nonsense,” Says ECB’s Hansson




Crypto currencies will probably die as a “complete load of nonsense,” according to European Central Bank policy maker Ardo Hansson.

“The bubble has already started to collapse and maybe we should just see how far this collapse goes, and what is left when we’ve reached a new kind of equilibrium,” the Estonian central-bank governor told a conference in the Latvian capital of Riga. “I think we will come back a few years from now and say how could we ever have gotten into this situation where we believed this kind of a fairy-tale story.”

Still, Hansson warned that authorities may need to focus on investor-protection aspects “if grandmothers start investing in that,” and highlighted concerns that crypto currencies can be used for illegal activities. Financial-stability issues may arise if links between virtual assets and the regulated financial sector are starting to increase, he added.

While Hansson has voiced similar views earlier, the country’s financial watchdog warned recently that it views companies providing services linked to crypto assets as a new source of money-laundering risks. The nation’s police issued almost 500 licenses to crypto-currency exchange providers in a year, and more than 440 licenses to companies offering a wallet service. A frontrunner in digital services, Estonia is still reeling following the $235 billion dirty-money scandal that has engulfed the country’s branch of Danske Bank A/S.

Continue Reading


Bitcoin Mining Chip Maker Canaan Considers U.S. IPO



Crypto Wallet

Canaan Inc., China’s second-biggest maker of Bitcoin mining hardware, is considering listing in the U.S. after shelving plans for a Hong Kong initial public offering, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The Chinese company, which was earlier targeting to raise about $1 billion, is discussing the possibility of selling shares in New York as soon as the first half, according to the people. Deliberations are at an early stage, and there’s no certainty they will lead to a transaction, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

Bitcoin has fallen 79 percent from its record high in December 2017, making it more difficult for cryptocurrency companies to attract stock-market investors and less profitable for miners to generate new coins. Bitmain Technologies Holding Co., the largest maker of specialized mining chips for the industry, and smaller rival Ebang International Holdings Inc. also filed for Hong Kong IPOs last year.

Beijing-based Canaan, founded in 2013, sells computer equipment under the “Avalon” brand with fast customized chips that win digital coins by solving complex math problems. It reported 1.31 billion yuan ($191 million) of revenue in 2017, according to a Hong Kong exchange filing in May.

Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank AG, Credit Suisse Group AG and CMB International Capital Ltd. were joint sponsors of Canaan’s proposed Hong Kong listing, the filing shows.

Continue Reading


Paytomat Adds Bitcoin Diamond (BCD) to Supported Currencies



Bitcoin Diamond

Bitcoin Diamond (BCD) will be the newest addition to Paytomat’s point-of-sale (POS), wallet, and settlement system (including both crypto-to-crypto and crypto-to-fiat settlements). This follows the November 2018 announcement of BCD & Paytomat’s collaboration to release the BCD Pay Wallet for iOS and Android, due for release in January 2019.

Paytomat has a rapidly growing user base across Europe, with presence in countries such as GeorgiaItalySpain and the Netherlands, in addition to its native Ukraine. BCD and Paytomat’s partnership will help to increase BCD’s accessibility and usability in many areas of the world, making this an important milestone for BCD’s path to mass-market adoption.

Known for its fast transactions, low fees, high security, and affordable coin prices, BCD is designed to make everyday transactions practical. Now that Paytomat has added BCD to its ready-to-install cryptocurrency point-of-sale system, any e-commerce or brick-and-mortar business can also accept BCD as payment with minimal effort and initial investment.

Furthering its mission of adoption, BCD is also being added to the Paytomat Wallet, a convenient multi-coin tool that allows for storage and management of assets all in one secure app. Customers can now hold BCD and other crypto assets all in one place and make instant payments at their selected stores, while receiving current fiat value updates for each crypto.

BCD and Paytomat share a goal of bridging the gap between retail and cryptocurrency. With the practicality of BCD and convenience of Paytomat’s suite of technologies, accepting cryptocurrency payments is quickly becoming a reality for a large number of traditional and e-commerce merchants around the world.

In 2019, BCD aims to continue establishing partnerships with leading cryptocurrency organizations to increase brand awareness and encourage adoption.

About Bitcoin Diamond (BCD)

Bitcoin Diamond is a Bitcoin fork that was created to solve the slow transaction confirmations and high threshold requirements of Bitcoin. Through BCD Pay, business owners are able to offer their products to a global market without needing to absorb expensive fees from international payments. Furthermore, with BCD Pay, business owners do not have to worry about costly chargebacks from indecisive or fraudulent customers.

Earlier this year, BCD debuted BCD Bazaar, an international marketplace that gives customers access to a wide range of products from across the world by accepting payments in Bitcoin Diamond (BCD) or Bitcoin (BTC).

Continue Reading


Irish Government Gives Green Light to Anti-money Laundering Bill



Irish Government

Irish Government has approved tougher laws to tackle money laundering, including the use of cryptocurrencies in funding terrorism. The main purpose of the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) (Amendment) Bill 2019 is to give effect to the fifth EU money laundering directive and strengthen existing legislation.

The proposed law includes restrictions on the use of “virtual currencies for terrorist financing and limiting the use of pre-paid cards” and improves safeguards for financial transactions to and from “high-risk third countries”.

If the Bill passes, banks and other financial institutions will be required to carry out stricter due diligence before taking on new clients. Credit and financial institutions will also be prevented from creating anonymous safe deposit boxes.

The Bill also gives new powers to the Garda and the Criminal Assets Bureau to access bank records when investigating money laundering.

“The reality is that money laundering is a crime that helps serious criminals and terrorists to function, destroying lives in the process,” Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said in a statement on Thursday.

“Criminals seek to exploit the EU’s open borders and EU-wide measures are vital for that reason. Ireland strongly supports the provisions in the fifth EU money laundering directive. ‘’

The Minister said the Government is building “a very robust legal framework and further developing vital expertise within An Garda Síochána.

“My message to criminals is clear: those engaging in corruption or money laundering in Ireland will not get away with their crimes.”

Continue Reading


Crypto’s 2019 Goal: Technology People Can Use



Bitcoin Severely

“Few tangible uses for Bitcoin (BTC) and its underlying blockchain technology have emerged,” according to a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article published Jan. 1.

According to WSJ, in 2017 actual crypto development “took a back seat to getting rich.” The article also states that “at the beginning of 2018, the question was whether Bitcoin could live up to the hype of 2017’s manic rally,” and at the end of 2018 the answer was “no.”

Andy Bromberg — the founder of Coinlist — a platform for running regulatory-compliant token sales, explained that the next step for crypto was figuring out “how we can turn this technology into products for people to use.” However, according to the article:

“Bitcoin and the hundreds of other digital currencies that have popped up over the years are still largely usable only by developers.”

Developing apps for the Ethereum (ETH) platform is much less intuitive than for other non-blockchain platforms, according to the WSJ. For Ethereum, there are no developer kits which are currently available to build an app for iOS or Android, so “building a similar app for the Ethereum platform involves developing an entire suite of tools to connect the app to the platform itself.”

Still, WSJ admits that new institutional investors could get into the space when Bakkt will be launched by the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the operator of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

The article states that “despite the entry of some established Wall Street players, scammers abound.” This idea is in line with the declarations of Jed McCaleb — Stellar’s co-founder — who recently said that “ninety percent of these projects [that aren’t Stellar, Ethereum (ETH) or Bitcoin] are B.S.”

Continue Reading


South African Government Tackling Crytocurrency Challenge



South African

The South African government has established a crypto assets regulatory working group to investigate all aspects of cryptocurrencies and related blockchain concepts.

This is with a view to developing a cohesive governmental response to cryptocurrencies and a unified intergovernmental regulatory framework, finance minister Tito Mboweni said in a written reply to a parliamentary question by Freedom Front Plus MP Wouter Wessels.

The minister said the working group includes representatives from the Financial Intelligence Centre, Financial Sector Conduct Authority, Treasury, the Reserve Bank and the SA Revenue Service (Sars).

“It is anticipated that, following broad industry comment and participation, the crypto assets regulatory working group will be ready to release a final research paper on the subject during the course of 2019,” Mboweni said.

He noted that Sars is unable to accurately trace the number of declarations pertaining to capital profits on cryptocurrencies as the existing income tax return forms do not make provision for taxpayers to specifically declare capital profits regarding cryptocurrency trades.

“However, work is under way within Sars to consider the amendment of the tax forms for the 2019 tax season in order to cater for the description of other assets (which will include cryptocurrencies) by means of a specific description field on the form.

“Taxpayers who have made some form of declarations regarding cryptocurrency trades have captured such trade as a form of ‘other trade income’ or ‘other trade loss’, and have made reference to a description of digital/crypto currency trading (e.g. Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin (LTC), Ethereum (ETH), Zcash (ZEC) to name a few).”

Sars applies normal income tax rules to cryptocurrencies.

The Taxation Laws Amendment Bill of 2018 included proposed amendments to the treatment of cryptocurrencies for income tax and VAT purposes.

Mboweni said these amendments would ensure that losses on cryptocurrencies may only be offset against profits from cryptocurrencies (otherwise known as ring-fencing). He said the amendments would also clarify that cryptocurrencies cannot be classed as personal-use assets for capital gains tax purposes and would treat cryptocurrencies as financial services for VAT purposes.

Continue Reading


Hackers Pocketed $878,000 from Cryptocurrency Bug Bounties in 2018



Cryptocurrency Bounties

While hardcore cryptocurrency enthusiasts often tout blockchain for its heightened security, the technology is not perfect – and there are often tons of vulnerabilities in the code. Indeed, blockchain companies have received at least 3,000 vulnerability reports in 2018 alone.

According to stats from breach disclosure platform HackerOne, blockchain companies awarded $878,504 in bug bounties to hackers this year. The data was compiled in mid-December. By contrast, the total sum of bug bounties awarded by August was $600,000.

With $534,500 awarded, EOS creator accounts for more than 60 percent of all bounties handed out in 2018.

Here is the top three all-time chart when it comes to bug bounty rewards (please note this includes bounties from before 2018):

  • – $534,500
  • Coinbase – $290,381
  • TRON – $76,200

While cryptocurrency exchange desk Coinbase comes in second (with $290,381 in bug bounties), it’s been running a disclosure program since 2014. launched its disclosure program for EOS at the end of May. Shortly after that, one single hacker claimed $120,000 in bug bounties from in less than a week.

“Nearly 4 percent of all bounties awarded on HackerOne in 2018 were from blockchain and cryptocurrency companies,” a HackerOne spokesperson told Hard Fork.

Still, it seems blockchain companies remunerate hackers slightly better than other industries on HackerOne.

“The average bounty for all blockchain companies in 2018 was $1490, that is higher than the Q4 platform average of around $900.” the spokesperson added. “One of the top paid crypto hackers earned 7X the median software engineer salary in their country respectively.”

The blockchain bug problem is bigger than it seems

HackerOne told Hard Fork there are currently 64 blockchain companies on its platform at present. For context, there are more than 2,000 various cryptocurrency companies out there. This means the real number of vulnerabilities is likely significantly higher.

Just keep in mind that researchers found crippling vulnerabilities in both Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash this year – the former of which is blockchain‘s oldest and most well-established protocol out there. Earlier this year, reports suggested there were more than 34,000 vulnerable smart contracts in Ethereum-based projects alone.

Due to its immutability aspects, the severity of vulnerabilities on the blockchain is much more serious than in other centralized technologies, since there is no way of reversing transactions (unless we’re talking about EOS or other systems with built-in backdoors).

So if you were thinking about betting on blockchain to keep your funds safe, you might want to measure the risk.

Continue Reading


Why Bitcoin Matters for Freedom




In the border city of Cúcuta, Venezuelan refugees stream into Colombia, searching for food to feed their families. Years of high inflation, projected to top 1 million percent, has turned bolivares into scrap paper. More than 3 million Venezuelans have fled since 2014, and 5,500 exit for good each day. According to the United Nations, the exodus is “on the scale of Syria” and is now one of the world’s worst refugee crises. As Venezuelans escape, they leave with close to nothing, desperate and vulnerable.

Because they live under authoritarianism, Venezuelans have no way to reform the policies that have destroyed their economy. They can’t hold their rulers accountable through free and fair elections or campaign for change without fear of reprisal. As they stand in hours-long lines for rationed groceries and medicine and watch their life savings disappear, it can seem like there are no options.

But innovation happens at the edge. Today, Venezuelans are adopting and experimenting with Bitcoin to evade hyperinflation and strict financial controls. Speculation, fraud, and greed in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry have overshadowed the real, liberating potential of Satoshi Nakamoto’s invention. For people living under authoritarian governments, Bitcoin can be a valuable financial tool as a censorship-resistant medium of exchange.

Take, for example, remittances. After ravaging the domestic economy, the Venezuelan regime is now taking a cut of money coming in from abroad. New laws force Venezuelans to go through local banks for foreign transactions, and require banks to disclose information on how individuals get and use their money. According to Alejandro Machado, a cryptocurrency researcher at the Open Money Initiative, a wire transfer from the United States can now encounter a fee as high as 56% as it passes from dollars to bolivares in a process that can last several weeks. Most recently, Venezuelan banks have, under pressure from the government, even prevented clients using foreign IP addresses from accessing their online accounts.

To circumvent this bureaucracy, some Venezuelans have started to receive bitcoin from their relatives abroad. It’s now possible to send a text message to your family asking for bitcoin, and receive it minutes later for a tiny fee. Government censorship isn’t possible, as bitcoin isn’t routed through a bank or third party and instead arrives into your phone wallet in a peer-to-peer way. Then you can, moments later, sell your new bitcoin into fiat through a local Craigslist-style exchange, or load it onto a flash drive (or even memorize a recovery phrase) and escape Venezuela with complete control over your savings. A popular alternative – have your family wire money to a bank in Colombia, walk across the border to withdraw, then walk back to Venezuela with cash in hand – can take far longer, cost more, and be far more dangerous than the Bitcoin option.

Continue Reading


This is Why a Single Global Currency (Like Bitcoin) Won’t Happen, Payoneer CEO



Bitcoin Can Put

Certainly, one global currency would eliminate problems like intentional manipulation of currency values and it could make pricing transparent and eliminate foreign transaction fees. In fact, the benefits of a global currency is one of arguments for bitcoin by its proponents.

But as logical and desirable as the idea sounds, it’s unrealistic. In particular, there would be no tangible benefit to the U.S. government to transition to a single global currency.

That’s according to Scott Galit, the CEO of New York City-headquartered Payoneer, a global payment processor start-up named one of CNBC’s most disruptive companies of 2018.

“Despite the interests of lots of people out there in the Internet world who love the idea of frictionless commerce and frictionless money and avoiding fiat currencies, I don’t see it, ” Galit tells CNBC Make It of the idea of a future single global currency.

First, Galit says it’s unlikely the U.S. government will ever allow people to pay their taxes with something like bitcoin, because that would mean the government’s money would be subject to the exchange rate fluctuations of that digital currency. For example, by December, bitcoin had lost about two thirds of its value since the beginning of 2018, according to CoinMarketCap. If that happened to government money, it would not be able to meet its financial obligations, according to Payoneer.

“Now you could have a debate whether taxes are fair or unfair or whatever but they are a reality. There are going to be taxes because governments need revenues,” Galit says. “Countries actually need tax revenue in order to fund services for their residents.”

But at least when it comes to state government, some attitudes may be shifting. Ohio has become the first state in the country to allow certain tax bills to be paid with bitcoin, but payments still need to go through the website, which converts bitcoin into cold hard cash, which the government then receives, highlighting Galit’s point. Arizona, Georgia and Illinois have bills in the works that would allow bitcoin to be used to pay tax bills in a similar way, according to the Wall Street Journal.

In addition to taxes, Galit says the U.S.’s Federal Reserve System‍ is a hurdle.

The Fed exists to ”[promote] the stability of the financial system,” and “to minimize and contain systemic risks through active monitoring and engagement in the U.S. and abroad,” among other tasks, according to its website. Its most powerful lever on the U.S. economy is its federal fund interest rate, or the rate at which it lends money to banks. If the Fed raises the interest rate, borrowing money becomes more expensive in the U.S. economy, thereby putting a damper on growth. If, on the other hand, the Fed lowers interest rates, borrowing money becomes cheaper, thereby accelerating the economy.

If a nation’s central bank does not have the ability to control the currency for the people in its own nation state, then it is largely rendered impotent. And most countries have their own central banks too.

“Central bankers are there to actually help manage the economies and provide kind of stewardship for those economies,” Galit says. “Part of that is actually managing currency in the interest rates [for lending] and in exchange rates. If you don’t actually have any control over a currency you’ve lost one of the major policy tools that you have, so what do you do?”

Continue Reading


Official Statement on CoinMetrics Report



Crypto Wallet

On December 23, 2018, CoinMetrics released an article purporting a recent discovery concerning the Bitcoin Private fork. Per the report, an independent third-party technical audit uncovered that a large quantity of Bitcoin Private coins (approximately 2 million BTCP) were allegedly created during the fork-mine. Upon public release of the article, our Core Team of developers immediately launched an investigation to ascertain whether or not the alleged findings of an additional amount of BTCP coins were true. It should be noted that the BTCP Contribution Team had no prior knowledge of these reports before they were released to the public.

After performing our own due diligence, Bitcoin Private can officially say with certainty that these findings are mathematically accurate. However, at this time, the source, purpose, and recipient of this exploit is currently unknown to the Bitcoin Private Contribution Team.

What Really Happened?

Per the findings of our internal audit, the following is an accurate timeline of events pertaining to the underlying issue set forth in the CoinMetrics report:

  1. A bounty for a specific issue was posted, which can be seen here:
  2. A developer accepted the bounty, becoming a BTCP developer. He was promoted to a contributor on GitHub, allowing him to merge pull requests.
  3. The developer completes the issue, merges his own code, and is sent his reward. One line of code is missing which allows the fork mine to be exploited due to the nodes not properly verifying the falsified fork blocks. The code can be found here and was merged on January 5: The missing line of code is as follows: || tx.vout.size() > 1. We determined this after the CoinMetrics report was released.
  4. After collecting the bounty, the developer in question stopped working on the BTCP project. The contribution team has not heard from him since January. We have reached out to him for comment.
  5. During the publicly announced fork mine, a bad actor exploited this bug, creating 2 million coins. It went unnoticed by the contribution team until it was uncovered by CoinMetrics.
  6. Coinmetrics notices something is not correct with the supply. They investigate and uncover the exploit.
  7. BTCP Contribution team begins it’s own investigation to uncover the bad actor and determine the best way to move forward.
  8. BTCP Contribution team requested for deposits and withdrawals to be closed on exchanges trading BTCP.

The fundamental benefit of open source development is that ability for contributors of the community to to view and help fix the code. This worked in favor of Bitcoin Private when a particular developer discovered an exploit in our code that would have allowed anyone to mine the SegWit coins, which we were able to patch within 24 hours. Unfortunately, however, open coursedevelopment has its negative attributes as well: the person who discovered the fork-mine vulnerability acted in bad faith and willfully opted not to report it. As the code was open source, and the fork-mine was announced on Twitter, anyone with sufficient blockchain development knowledge could have exploited it.

Bugs are something we dealt with significantly during the month of February leading up to the fork. Much of the code work performed in January was by open source developers who wrote their code, collected their bounty, and subsequently left the Bitcoin Private Development Team. After performing extensive code review in late January in preparation for the BTCP fork, a number of bugs were uncovered and rectified before the fork occurred in the best interests of protecting community members and the project itself. One such bug that was resolved was a serious issue found within the original 2-way replay protection code which took weeks to fix. While we regret that all the bugs in Bitcoin Private source code were not discovered prior to the fork, technological instances such as this are common in this space, and it is unfortunate that the bug was not remedied in time despite the diligent efforts put forth by the entire Bitcoin Private development community.

The Bad

Unbeknownst to Bitcoin Private, approximately two (2) million BTCP coins that were never intended to exist on the blockchain chain were created and moved to a shielded address. According to CoinMetrics, as much as 300,000 illegitimate BTCP were deshielded, though it is unclear at this time if these coins were sent to an exchange or used/stored elsewhere.

The Good

While it is not beneficial for a bug such as this to exist, in the case of Bitcoin Private, this particular exploit could only be taken advantage of during the fork mine, which already occurred earlier this year. Therefore, it is impossible for this particular bug exploit to occur again, nor can it be further exploited.

Who Did It?

Because the fork mine was public, anyone with a sophisticated working knowledge of blockchain development could have exploited the code bug. At this point, the only thing we can be sure of is that the BTCP Contribution Team did not know about the exploit until it was uncovered by CoinMetrics.

We have contacted HitBTC about the situation and are hopeful that the bad actor might be uncovered. The CoinMetrics team has been included in this email for full transparency. We are hopeful that with their forensic expertise in blockchain, we will be able to find the bad actor, expose them, and report them to the proper authorities. If suggested by CoinMetrics, we are willing to contact any and all exchanges as needed to uncover the truth of the matter.

What Else Can We Do?

While the coins exist, we do have options to fix this. We have come up with two potential plans and would like to hear community feedback on the options:

  1. CoinMetrics has stated they believe less than 20k legitimate BTCP coins exist in shielded addresses along with 1.7–1.8 million illegitimate coins. Our team is favoring an option to hard fork and remove all shielded coins from existence. While this would cause the 20k legitimate coins to disappear, we believe this is preferable to the alternative of leaving the 1.7–1.8 million illegitimate coins in circulation. This would also fix the over-supply issue.
  2. We could perform a hard fork to remove all unmoved coins, which we believe to be greater than 12 million BTCP. This would fix the supply issue, but would not remove the illegitimate coins.

WE INTEND TO PROCEED WITH CODING OPTION #1 IMMEDIATELY. If we see consensus from the community on moving forward with this option, then the hard fork will be coordinated and initiated as soon as possible. It is possible that the bad actor could begin moving those coins out of the shielded pool to avoid their destruction. In a worst case scenario, we could use a snapshot of the chain just prior to deshielding the 1.7 million coins and roll the chain back in time. We hope we will not have to do this but will continue to monitor the chain. In the meantime, we request that all exchanges close deposits and withdrawals of BTCP to mitigate any damage that could be done to the network. WE ALSO SUGGEST THAT ALL USERS PROCEED WITH CAUTION NOW WHEN MOVING COINS.

Bitcoin Private wants to officially thank the CoinMetrics team for uncovering the exploit. We have opened a line of communication with CoinMetrics with the intentions of working in concert to uncover more about what transpired and how to we can prevent anything like this occurring in the future. Not just for Bitcoin Private, but for the cryptocurrency community as a whole.

Bug Bounties

We want to remind the community that the BTCP Contribution Team rewards users for finding bugs in the code and reporting them, with the reward reflective of the severity of the exploit. We encourage the Blockchain Community and the general public to report any potential bugs or exploits to [email protected] or through our GitHub repo:

Continue Reading