41. 09/06/2019 22:41
Polish Cryptocurrency Exchange Shuts Down Overnight, Taking Funds With It

A polish cryptocurrency exchanged called Coinroom shut down on April 2, 2019, taking multiple customer accounts worth up to $15,000. The site is currently down and there is no way to contact the founders.

“We don’t know how much they took,” said one user named Maciej. “But it is definitely a lot of cash.”

Polish news site Money.pl first discovered the exit scam on May 31.

“Coinroom registered as a business in 2016 and a year later opened its website. Clients could deposit, buy, and sell cryptocurrencies. They could also exchange cryptocurrency for fiat,” wrote Marcin Łukasik on Money.pl. “In April users received an email that told them that their accounts would be closed. They had one day to get their cash out. In order to do this they had to contact the exchange admins directly. Everything was laid out in the terms of service the users signed.”

The exchange closed the next day and users who did not follow the proper procedure – one laid out by the exchange itself – lost their assets.

The owners disappeared and the president, Tomasz Zbigniew Wiewióra, was not available to answer questions regarding the exit scam. One Coinroom client found that Wiewióra opened a business in Estonia after leaving Poland. Users also believe that the company ran afoul of the KNF, the Polish economic authority. Łukasik noted that the same thing happened to another exchange, Bitmarket24, resulting in an overnight closure. Coinmarket was under investigation but survived a few months after being entered in to the KNF’s black list.

One former user thinks the cash is long gone.

“There are some very interesting indicators that the cryptocurrencies  were taken out and moved to other exchanges a few days before the shutdown,” he said. “On the blockchain nothing disappears.”

42. 08/06/2019 21:43
Vancouver Saw the First-Ever Bitcoin ATM. Now Its Mayor Wants to Ban Them

Bitcoin ATMs have become “an ideal money-laundering vehicle,” according to the Vancouver Police Department, prompting a proposed city-wide ban by the mayor, and potential federal legislation, The Star reports.

The 76 machines within the city limits have come under police fire twice already this past year due to perceived regulatory issues. Though, most recently in February 2019, Sergeant Alvin Shum took aim not only at Bitcoin ATMs, but also the ideological underpinnings of blockchain generally. He wrote, in a report to the Vancouver Police Board:

 

“Given the lack of a central authority, there is no controlling organization who can monitor or regulate the transfer of funds to ensure a legitimate transaction. This creates a prime opportunity for the criminal element to capitalize on remaining anonymous, as they work to defraud unsuspecting citizens, launder money, and make large-sum anonymous transactions.”

This lack of regulation, Shum said, will allow for the incubation of organized and petty crime. Indeed, he points to the rising trend of cryptocurrency police filings in Vancouver year over year, which increased 350% from 2016 to 2017, and saw a further 250% increase in 2018.

Current reporting rates indicate the Metro Police will receive 840 reports this year, on track for a 300% increase in reports from 2018.

It is unclear how many of these crimes were directly tied to the use of cryptocurrency ATMs, though Shum spoke of a “high-pressure” tactic employed by fraudsters to direct victims to withdraw large amounts of cash and deposit it in a Bitcoin ATM to a predefined Bitcoin address. These scams target the most vulnerable segments of the population including recent immigrants and the elderly.

Since Shum wrote to the police council, 15 new machines have been added to the Vancouver metro area, according to coinatmradar.com.

In January, the city council suggested a bylaw to “regulate the use and operation of cryptocurrency ATMs, including the requirement for a business licence, requirement for signage to advertise common frauds, requirement for identifications to be used to verify the sender and receiver of funds and requirement of security features.”

Four months later, at a May 28 council meeting, Mayor Kennedy Stewart pushed for the outright ban crypto ATMs in the city. Defenders of the machines cite the utility for people who have transaction limits on their bank accounts, and the convenience for conducting cryptocurrency transactions. The third largest metropolitan area in Canada, Vancouver only hosts about 12% of the nation’s total crypto ATMs.

The first bitcoin ATM ever was installed at a Vancouver coffee shop in 2013, which contained a built-in palm scanner designed to prevent users from processing more than $3000 CAD per day.

“We don’t want drug dealers sending a bunch of coke to the States and then withdrawing cash,” said one of the machine’s owners as it was unveiled at its location in 2013. “We don’t want these to turn into money laundering machines; that’s the worst thing that could happen.”

Currently, Vancouver lacks standardization for the types of transactions that can be performed on its ATMs. Some machines require a cellphone number and text verification for transactions over $1,000, while for others push the limit to $3,000, according to CoinATMRadar.com. A few machines advertise no limits at all, according to The Star.

A decision regarding the regulation, monitoring, or ban of crypto ATMs is currently being researched by city staff who will report back in the fourth quarter of 2019, Alvin Singh, the mayor’s director of communications, told The Star.

43. 07/06/2019 21:05
Bitcoin Price Eyes Stronger Recovery Rally After Bounce to $8K

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  • Bitcoin has bounced back to $8,000, forming a double bottom breakout – a bullish price pattern – on the 4-hour chart.
  • The price breakout has opened the doors to $8,400. On the way higher, BTC may face resistance at $8,350.
  • A rally to $8,350, if any, could be short-lived if trading volumes remain low.
  • A break below $7,432 (June 4 low) would revive the case for a drop to the 50-day moving average at $6,915.

Bitcoin has recovered to $8,000 after defending key support for two consecutive days and may remain well bid over the weekend.

The leading cryptocurrency by market value is currently trading at $7,990 on Bitstamp, having hit a high of $8,020 earlier today.

BTC ran into offers around $7,900 in the early U.S. trading hours on Thursday and fell back to $7,450. However, much like Wednesday, the drop below the 4-hour chart’s 200-candle moving average (then located at $7,588) was short lived.

With the rise back to $8,000, the cryptocurrency has charted a bullish technical pattern on one of the short-duration charts. As a result, the recovery rally may continue, with prices rising to $8,400 over the weekend.

The weekly close (Sunday, as per UTC) will also be key. BTC witnessed solid two-way business last week before ending on a flat note, a sign of indecision among buyers. A short-term bearish reversal would be confirmed if prices close below last week’s low of $8,000 on Sunday.

4-hour chart

Bitcoin’s previous 4-hour candle closed out just above the resistance of $7,924, confirming a double-bottom breakout.

The pattern essentially represents a bearish-to-bullish trend change. So, it seems safe to say the pullback from the May 30 high of $9,097 has ended and the path of least resistance is now to the higher side.

It’s worth noting that a double-bottom breakout is usually followed by a move higher by roughly the length of the spread between the bottom and the neckline – in this case from $7,450 to $7,924, giving potential a rise of around $470.

So, with breakout already confirmed, BTC could climb toward $8,400 over the weekend. On the way higher, BTC may face resistance at $8,350 – the upper edge of the falling channel representing bearish lower highs and lower lows.

The rally, however, could be short lived if trading volumes remain anemic. As the above chart shows, trading volumes are locked in a downtrend despite the price recovery.

Daily chart

BTC created a long-tailed doji candle on Thursday amid falling volume bars – another sign the pullback may be over.

That said, the outlook would turn bullish only if prices see a high-volume UTC close above the 4-hour chart falling channel resistance, currently at $8,350. A channel breakout, if confirmed, would open the doors to $9,000.

On the downside, the June 4 low of $7,432 is the level to beat for the bears. A violation there would put the focus back on the bearish divergence of the RSI and the downward sloping 5- and 10-day MAs and allow for a deeper drop to the 50-day MA at $6,915.

44. 04/06/2019 08:25
Bitcoin Faces Price Pullback as Signs of Bull Exhaustion Emerge
  • BTC risks falling below $8,000 in the short-term, having created a doji candle last week.
  • Below $8,000, the focus would shift to the 30-day moving average, currently at $7,643, which has a penchant for reversing price pullbacks.
  • The outlook as per the daily chart would turn bearish if the price sees a UTC close below the 30-day MA. The long-term outlook will remain bullish as long as the price is trading above May’s low of $5,263.
  • The case for a short-term correction would weaken if bitcoin bounces from the bullish 5-week moving average, currently at $8,220, and ends up clearing today’s high of $8,746.

Bitcoin (BTC) could revisit sub-$8,000 levels in the short-term, as a longer-duration chart is flashing signs of bullish exhaustion for the first time this year.

The world’s top cryptocurrency by market capitalization witnessed solid two-way business last week. Prices rose to fresh 12-month highs near $9,100 only to fall back all the way to $8,000 before registering a flat close at $8,735, according to Bitstamp data.

The indecisive price action came after a solid rally. For instance, BTC rose by $3,800 in the preceding four weeks and is currently up more than 125 percent on a year-to-date basis. Further, BTC closed May with 62 percent gains – the biggest monthly gain since August 2017.

So, the ambiguous trading activity witnessed last week could be considered a sign of buyer exhaustion. That argument would be further strengthened if prices settle below $8,000 this Sunday.

Therefore, the psychological support of $8,000 is the level to defend for the bulls. As of writing, BTC is changing hands at $8,465 on Bitstamp, representing a 1.2 percent drop on a 24-hour basis. Prices hit a high and low of $8,746 and $8,336, respectively, earlier today.

Weekly chart

Bitcoin created a classic doji candle last week, signaling indecision in the market place.

The candlestick, however, appeared following a four-week winning streak and with prices at one-year highs. So, it seems safe to say that indecision or exhaustion is predominantly among buyers.

It’s worth noting that BTC created a similar looking doji candle in the seven days to April 14. The pattern, however, failed to yield a correction and prices hit a fresh multi-month high above $5,600 by month end, possibly because the 14-week relative strength index (RSI) was biased bullish at the time.

The latest doji candle is accompanied by overbought readings above 70 on the RSI. As a result, a correction to levels below $8,000 looks likely.

That said, the 5- and 10-week moving averages (MA), currently at $8,220 and $6,762, respectively, continue to trend north, indicating a bullish setup, and could put the brakes on any price drop.

The psychological resistance of $9,000 could come into play if bitcoin bounces from the 5-week MA at $8,220 and ends up clearing today’s high of $8,746.

Daily chart

On the daily chart, the RSI has produced lower highs, contradicting the higher highs on the price.

That bearish divergence, coupled with the “bearish outside day” candle created on May 30, indicates the cryptocurrency is overdue for a pullback, possibly to the historically strong support of the 30-day MA, currently at $7,648.

That average has consistently reversed pullbacks throughout the rally from lows near $3,700 seen on Feb. 8.

As a result, a strong bounce from that MA would revive the short-term bullish setup, while a UTC close below that level could embolden sellers, leading to a deeper correction.

Monthly chart

BTC closed last month with 62 percent gains, marking a strong follow-through to the falling channel breakout or long-term bearish-to-bullish trend change confirmed by April’s candle.

The breakout looks stronger now as the 5-month MA has crossed above the 10-month MA – the first bullish crossover of those lines since September 2015.

The 5- and 10-month MAs are currently located at $6,032 and $5,414, respectively, and would likely come into play should prices find acceptance below the 30-day MA at $7,648.

The long-term bullish outlook would be invalidated only if the price drops below May’s low of $5,263.

45. 02/06/2019 20:29
Bitcoin Shines Amid Wall Street Losses

Bitcoin decoupled from traditional markets in May, rising more than $3,000.

The cryptocurrency, currently at $8,300 on Bitstamp, is set to end higher for the fourth straight month with 60 percent gains. That is the longest monthly winning streak and the biggest monthly gain since August 2017.

Notably, the leading cryptocurrency by market value has put on a good show despite the losses on Wall Street. The S&P 500 index – a benchmark for global equity markets – is on track to end May with a 6 percent loss.

Other riskier assets – the ones which are sensitive to economic growth prospects – are also flashing monthly losses, as seen below.

Both copper and brent oil, the barometers of global economic activity, have dropped 9 percent and 11 percent, respectively this month. The Chinese Yuan has also shed 2 percent.

Investors have clearly sold risk in May, possibly due to the re-escalation of the US-China trade war and the resulting fears of a global economic recession.

The flight to safety has boded well for traditional safe haven assets. For instance, gold is reporting a 1 percent monthly gain and the US 10-year treasury yield is down 13 percent or 43 basis points (bond prices and yields move in opposite directions).

The gains in the traditional safe havens, however, appear lackluster when compared to bitcoin’s 60 percent rise. That said, it is still too early to conclude that BTC is the new safe haven.

This is due to the fact that up until now, BTC has moved mostly in line with the risk assets, as seen in the above chart. For instance, BTC is up 127 percent on a year-to-date basis. The S&P 500 and other major risk assets are also reporting year-to-date gains.

Also, BTC largely mimicked the price action in the equity markets in 2018.

BTC’s reputation as digital gold will be solidified if it continues to post solid gains during bouts of risk aversion, if any, in the coming months.