The Western Australia Police Force has recently seized a record amount in cryptocurrency. The police seized the funding, totaling up to a hefty AU$1.52 million, or about US$1 Million, in a recent drug probe concerning two people.
Busted By The Address
A 25-year-old woman and a 27-year-old man were arrested by the Australian Border Force (ABF) due to allegations of importing MDMA. The substances themselves, 55 grams of MDMA spread evenly across drug tablets and powder, were hidden within a children’s toy painting kit. The drug-loaded toy was sent from the UK, heading to the Australian city of Perth.
Upon investigation of the property of the two suspects, the police seized electronic devices and stumbled on AU$ 1.52 million worth of cryptocurrencies.
A New Record for Crypto Seizure
Paul Matthews, detective senior sergeant and the man in charge of the drug and firearms squad of the police force, considered the seizure to be the highest of its kind. He stated Western Australia (WA) Police Force has previously ceased millions of Australian dollars in the form of property and bank assets. Matthews noted that it was especially prevalent in “established criminal networks.”
However, Matthews states that the “identification and freezing of over $1.5 million in cryptocurrency in these circumstances highlights the current digital environment.” He points in context to the environment law enforcement agencies operate within.
Both suspects were charged with attempted possession of drugs with the intent to sell or supply (MDMA). Coupled with that, they’re charged with the possession of prohibited drugs with intent to sell or supply (cannabis). The two have appeared in court twice beforehand, once on the 5th of November and again on the 20th. Their next court date is today, the 4th of December, 2019.
Australia Gearing Up against Drugs
Matthews stated that the WA Police force was making use of the “latest technologies and digital forensics techniques” to further their investigation. In the context of this case, he is referring to “all possible methods of holding financial assets” and thus the possible forms of wealth for illegal activities.
Rod O’Donnell, the Regional Commander of the ABF’s WA branch, stated that the officers at the Perth Gateway Facility made use of x-ray and trace detection. This was to prevent the inflow of multiple small concealed packages of illegal drugs sent through the mail every day.
O’Donnell stated that every little bit of drugs that the ABF can prevent means “one less hit that could potentially ruin someone’s life and the lives of those around them.” He explained that the ABF’s officers were “awake to the many creative methods” that criminals use to try and push these drugs into the country. He noted that the officers would do “everything they can” to stop the illegal imports at the border.
If you’ve followed the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency technical analysis space, you likely know of the TD Sequential.The indicator, created by Point 72 consultant and well-known investor Tom DeMark (hence TD Sequential), has long been a staple of the trading suites of many investors, giving these traders a way through which they can determine where assets have found local tops and bottoms. Specifically, it has become popular with Bitcoin traders, with Wall Street veteran turned BTC proponent Tone Vays and other popular analysts actively promoting the time-centric indicator.Related Reading: Under 6.8m Bitcoin Changed Hands in the Past Year: Does it Indicate Positive Sentiment?Demark, who has been largely quiet on cryptocurrencies due to his lack of online presence, recently broke his silence on Bitcoin, taking to Bloomberg to explain his indicator and talk about his expectations for the future price of BTC.
Where Will Bitcoin Go Next According to Top Analyst?
Tom DeMark recently made an appearance on Bloomberg to talk markets. While the segment involved discussions around other subject matters, like a potential topping pattern put in by the S&P 500 and American equities as a whole, the host of the segment asked DeMark about Bitcoin due to his indicator’s popularity in the space.
In his monologue about the matter, DeMark quipped that Bitcoin remains in an “eight countdown,” which he claims shows that the “risk for downside” in the Bitcoin market remains “quite a bit, even from here.”
On the matter of exact targets, he noted that his firm, DeMark Analytics, is currently charting a move in the BTC price to $6,308 — some 15% lower than current prices — with a current max downside of $5,294 in a crash-like scenario.
A move to $5,300 from current prices would be a near-30% drop from the $7,400 level, which Bitcoin sits today. This would line up with a prediction from popular trader Mac, who, as noted by NewsBTC in a previous report, believes the final bottom of this bear move will be close to $5,100. Mac argued that this will be the “ultimate bottom” due to a confluence of key supports: the double-month volume-weighted average price, a “price inefficiency fill” level, and the 200-week moving average.
So why should DeMark’s calls be given heed?
Well, the investor also took some time to explain the historical accuracy of his indicator: he revealed that a 13 candle, which signifies a strong trend reversal, was registered by the TD Sequential when Bitcoin hit $20,000 in December 2017, and that another 13 candle, was seen when BTC cratered to $3,150 on December 14th. What’s more, a 13 candle was printed at the $14,000 top seen in June of this year.
In other words, his indicator managed to call the two most important macro levels of Bitcoin’s entire history thus far, giving him a great track record, especially by this market’s standards.
DappReview, a Beijing-based research firm, has now been acquired by one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges: Binance. With the acquisition, Binance plans on developing existing dapps and creating brand new blockchain use cases.
The Mandatory Good Words
Viktor Radchenko, the founder of Binance’s Trust Wallet, gave a public statement about the matter. He explained that Trust Wallet and DappReview’s APIs would integrate in the near future. This will provide a more accessible platform to explore new crypto games and Dapps as well as give more insight into decentralized finance (DeFi) use, analytics, and services.
Binance itself gave a public statement regarding this. The company stated it would offer DappReview its support in various non-technical fields. Things like business development and marketing will be handled, while DappReview will remain autonomous in both operations and technical development.
#Binance Acquires Leading Decentralized Application Platform @dapp_review to Further Blockchain Adoption
Vincent Niu, DappReview’s Founder, had a few things to say about the deal as well. He explained that working with Launchpad and Binance’s developer network, aptly named Binance X, will bring many opportunities for DappReview. Niu cites the ability to bring in more Dapp developers and helping promising Dapp projects through fundraisers. Nia also mentions the possible synergies with companies like Binance Research, Trust Wallet, and more.
Developing The Dapp Ecosystem
Niu further stated that the DappReview service would partner up with the world’s public blockchains and protocols that make use of Dapps. They will do this through Binance and its ecosystem, Niu says.
Niu made it clear that the dapp platform will unveil a suite of new products come 2020’s first quarter. However, Niu declined to reveal the exact nature of the products, merely stating that it’s an analytical tool.
With this new acquisition in mind, Niu states that DappReview has plans to expand its footprint in the global market. Niu states that Binance will serve as the perfect partner by providing the needed support when it comes to branding and marketing.
Binance’s New Beijing Offices
A more interesting note is that Binance now officially has a subsidiary within China’s borders. Last month, Binance, the Block, and Chinese media collided with each other when the Block pushed out an article about Binance’s Shanghai offices being shut down after a police raid. The problem was that Binance didn’t have a Shanghai office to begin with. With a new subsidiary in Beijing, it’s unclear how the future will be like within China’s anti-crypto borders.
Binance has declined to provide information about the financial terms of the deal. They’re also tight-lipped about the entity that made the acquisition itself. All in all, it’s unclear about what is and isn’t the truth anymore. What this will mean for the future remains to be seen, but for now, Binance has added a vital tool in the Dapp market.
One of the most terrible things that could happen to a blockchain network is the dreaded 51 percent attacks. Several cryptocurrencies and their networks have been victims of this, with millions in assets stolen from users due to the ability of a single party to control the vast majority of an asset’s blockchain.
However, the attempted 51 percent attack on the Vertcoin system is one unlike any other attempt ever. On December 2, James Lovejoy, the lead maintainer of the asset, revealed in a reporton GitHub that a malicious entity targeted popular crypto exchange Bittrex in a bid to gain control of the Vertcoin blockchain and steal assets from there. However, while the blockchain suffered a successful attack in December 2018, this one hit a bit of a snag.
In the post, Lovejoy claimed, “Based on the market prices during the attack’s preparation and the difficulty of the blocks the attacker produced, we estimate the attacker spent between 0.5-1 BTC to perform the attack.”
Due to this, it would appear that the hackers ended up losing between 0.06 BTC ($440) and 0.56 BTC ($4,100), instead of making any money off of their planned attack. Lovejoy confirmed that the entire value of block rewards gotten by the attackers was about 13825 VTC (~0.44 BTC), adding that the unprofitable nature of this specific attack made the motive for it difficult to discern.
This isn’t the first 51 percent attack to be perpetrated this year. Back in January, Ethereum Classic, an offshoot of the original Ether cryptocurrency, was hit in a similar attack that led to the loss of about $500,000 worth of tokens.
The hack was confirmed by popular asset custodian Gate.io, which revealed that the attack happened between 00:40 and 04:20 on January 7. The company added that all transactions involved in the hack were confirmed normally on the ETC blockchain. The hacker reportedly stole and spent 85,000 ETC tokens (worth roughly $500,000 at the time), then rolled the blockchain back with the majority compute power he had to recover the spent tokens.
A Litany of Cryptocurrency Threats
While very rare and difficult to pull off, the threat of the 51 percent attack is a present one that every blockchain network has to keep wary of. However, 51 percent attacks are definitely not the most pertinent threat that cryptocurrencies face. Thanks to the resurgence of the market this year, hacking methods such as cryptojacking and ransomware have been on the rise. In general, this has been a pretty good year for hackers.
Last week, crypto security and analytics firm CipherTrace published its Cryptocurrency Anti-Money Laundering Report for Q3 2019, which revealed that the total volume of crypto-related theft and fraud have led to losses amounting to about $4.4 billion. The amount has so far blown away the $1 billion that CipherTrace estate in its report for Q1, and we still have a financial quarter to go.
One of the many beauties of Bitcoin is that the blockchain backing it is simultaneously pseudonymous and transparent, meaning that you can look into, say, the number of BTC in existence but not know who (or what) owns coins. The pseudo-transparency exhibited by Bitcoin has created an industry and art around “chain analysis,” which gives researchers a way to delve into the cryptocurrency economy in ways others can’t.Case in point, top blockchain analytics site BitInfo Charts recently observed that 11.58 million Bitcoin — more than 50% of all of the cryptocurrency in circulation, which is valued at over $70 billion as of the time of writing this — has not moved in over a year. This also means that less than 6.8 million BTC has changed hands in the last 12 months.Meaning… less than 6.8 million BTC have changed hands in the last 12 months.Remember, it’s the scarcity that creates value. https://t.co/NVsJ5zIzf8— Mati Greenspan [not trading advice] (@MatiGreenspan) December 2, 2019This could imply that there remains strongly positive sentiment in the cryptocurrency market, despite the 50% downturn seen in the price of Bitcoin over the past five months. The thing is, if you didn’t have chain analytics, you wouldn’t have been able to come to this conclusion.Related Reading: Bitcoin Price’s November Close Triggers Medium-Term Sell SignalsWhat Does This Stat Imply? Yes, CoinMetrics estimates that over 4 million BTC — just under half of the “dormant” coins — have been lost to the ether, with owners of said keys losing access to their keys, passing away, opting not to access the coins for other reasons, etc.Though, the fact that there’s a large portion of BTC, and thus investors in the industry that have yet to move their coins, despite the near-100% performance this year implies largely positive sentiment.Related Reading: Strong NYSE Composite, Dow Jones May Give Bitcoin a Boost Into 2020Why Are HODLers Bullish on Bitcoin? But why are they bullish? Why are the holders of the dormant Bitcoin fine with sitting through parabolic run-ups and brutal drawdowns? We don’t have a comprehensive list for the reasonings of so-called “HODLers,” but here are a few reasons why as explained by Thomas Lee of Fundstrat Global Advisors in a recent CNBC “Market Alert” segment.Firstly, the popular researcher noted that the strength in traditional equities is likely to provide BTC with some positive momentum heading int 2020. More specifically, he believes that the positive performance seen in American stocks should set the stage for risk-tolerant investors to start siphoning capital back into Bitcoin and other markets deemed “risky” by classical investors.Secondly, the block reward reduction is taking place within the next six months. Lee thinks that this will have a positive effect on the long-term outlook for Bitcoin’s price.And lastly, the Fundstrat executive noted that while China has taken a harsh approach in regulating Bitcoin in its latest blockchain campaign, he believes the country remains pro digital assets.Related Reading: Crypto Tidbits: Bakkt’s Bitcoin Futures Surge, UpBit Hacked for $50 Million in Ethereum, US Arrests Blockchain ResearcherFeatured Image from ShutterstockSource
BitFlyer, Japan’s largest exchange in Bitcoin trading volume, has recently come out with a new announcement. One of the only ten exchanges with “real” trading volumes, as claimed by the Bitwise asset management firm, has integrated XRP trading to its platform.
Adding Second Largest Coin By Japan Trading Volume
BitFlyer gave the official announcement on Monday. Within the public statement, BitFlyer celebrates the addition of a new cryptocurrency after just under two years of the last integration. Bitflyer stated that the XRP token is now the second-largest cryptocurrency in Japan by trading volume, beaten only by Bitcoin. The company said that the latest data was given via the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association. With this information in mind, it’s logical why BitFlyer would add it to their exchange.
BitFlyer’s users in Japan are now capable of buying and selling the XRP coin through the company’s various platforms. While Japan’s users can access it through the mobile wallet apps or the web platform, it’s unclear if this stretches to BitFlyer’s international clients. BitFlyer has yet to comment about whether or not the company’s European and US subsidiaries will enjoy this benefit as well.
A Small Wager As Advertisement
As a further incentive to get the XRP ball rolling within the exchange, BitFlyer is offering a reward campaign for those that trade in XRP. Ten customers stand the chance of being rewarded 100 000 yen (About $912) should they trade in XRP with a minimum value of 5000 JPY (around $45). The rewards campaign will end on the 26th of December, 2019.
Back in September this year, BitFlyer made a substantial announcement. Both its Europe and US subsidiaries would receive support for a range of new forms of cryptocurrency. BitFlyer US gained a lesser amount of integration, only gaining support for Ethereum Classic (ETC), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).
The BitFlyer Europe platform had almost twice this. The exchange added ETC, LTC, and BCH as well, but with the addition of two more coins: Monacoin (MONA) and Lisk (LSK).
Striving For Better Products
Giving a public statement about the matter, the COO and co-head of Bitflyer Europe, Andy Bryant, had a few words about the subject. He explained that the currencies added were already available, but only to BitFlyer’s Japanese customers. Because of this, Bitflyer Europe has decided to consolidate its offer across its region to create a global platform for the worldwide trading community.
Bryant also describes the new additions as “some of the largest and most exciting altcoins in the world.” He also explains that through leveraging the company’s experience in Japan’s crypto market, BitFlyer plans to give the same results in its US and Europe branches. The company is taking steps to match the Japanese exchange’s levels of simplicity, transparency, and speed that it already shows for Bitcoin and Ethereum.