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Binance Says No Foul Play Involved in Temporary Shutdown

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The Binance cryptocurrency exchange temporarily halted trading and withdrawals on Thursday, but assured investors that the shutdown was routine and not related to any attack.

Server Downtime

Trading and withdrawal disruptions first emerged around 2:20 GMT, with the company later announcing server issues “due to a significant increase in users and trading activity.” Although the issue seemed routine, Binance later pushed back its timeline for when trading will resume.

An official announcement told traders that full functionality would resume at 2 pm GMT, but later pushed back that target to 4 am GMT Friday.

Company CEO Changpeng Zhao took to Twitter on Thursday to explain the situation:

“We experienced a server issue on our replica database cluster, causing some data to be out of sync. Need to fully resync from master. Due the size of the data, it will take several hours. No data is lost. We appreciate your understanding and support.”

The tweet had nearly 1,700 replies at the time of writing.

The Hong Kong-based firm has been in operation for only a few months, but has already become a top-five exchange in terms of volume. On Thursday, the exchange processed more than $2 billion in transactions, second only to OKEx. Roughly $25.6 billion worth of transactions were posted across all exchanges Thursday, according to data provider CoinMarketCap.

Binance isn’t the only exchange to experience prolonged downtime. Last month, Kraken’s planned two-hour outage turned into two days.

Security Woes Continue to Haunt Exchanges

Market participants are understandably skittish about any disruption to normal trading given the industry’s history of cyberattacks. Since 2014, crypto exchanges and wallet services have lost billions due to cyberattacks. The biggest and most recent example was the theft of 500 million NEM tokens from the Tokyo-based Coincheck exchange. South Korean intelligence services recently informed the public that North Korea may have been responsible for the attack.

A massive theft of bitcoin in 2014 brought down Mt Gox, once the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange. Other major exchanges, such as Bitfinex, have also been compromised by sophisticated hackers.

Attacks on service providers are expected to grow as digital currencies appreciate in value. Although the market has undergone a huge correction, coins are still valued at more than $400 billion, a figure that could easily rise should buyers re-enter the market en masse.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.7 stars on average, based on 742 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he leads content development for one of the world's foremost cryptocurrency resources. Over the past eight years Sam has authored more than 10,000 articles and over 40 whitepapers in the fields of labor market economics, emerging technologies, cryptocurrency and traditional finance. Sam's work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Contact: sam@hacked.com Twitter: @hsbourgi




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Litecoin Price Analysis: LTC/USD Bulls Enjoy Big Jump But Stubborn Resistance Capping Potential

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  • Litecoin sees a relief rally on Friday, but is still stuck within stubborn range-block.
  • LTC/USD price action has formed a bearish flag pattern structure, subject to a potential break lower.

The Litecoin price on Saturday was seen holding decent gains of over 5%, as life is kicked back into the bulls. The LTC/USD pair has been victim of trading within a stubborn daily $3 range. This very much being the case for the past nine trading sessions. It is a form of consolidation after the breach south from an ascending trend line. This had been supporting the price from 14th December 2018, up until the bears forced a breach on 10th January.

In light of the breakout below the above-mentioned trend line, a large wave of selling pressure came with that. LTC/USD plunged by as much as 25% to the lowest levels seen since the start of the month. The earlier described range-block formation has come as a result of the increased volatility that accompanied the break south. The high of the range should be noted at the $33 mark, with the lower support eyed down at the psychological $30 level.

Bear Flag

Given this type of price behavior from a technical standpoint, it appears to demonstrate some vulnerabilities to the downside. The calming and consolidating after an initial explosive drop lower to then potentially resume the selling pressure reflects this point. As can see from either the 4-hour or daily chart, price action has formed a bearish flag pattern. When the market fell from 9-10th January, this formed the pole of the bearish flag of the structure. The actual flag is currently being constructed, as part of the sideways trading being observed.

Lightening Network Trial Underway

As reported by the CCN team, Coingate, a cryptocurrency-based payments platform, has now executed a trial run of its Lightening Network via Litecoin.  The platform has partnered up with a privacy service provider, known as Surfshark for this pilot project. Within the partnership, the implementation of Lightening Network payment solution for Litecoin transactions is a big milestone for the cryptocurrency community.

Technical Review – LTC/USD

LTC/USD daily chart. A bearish flag structure can be seen.

As detailed earlier, a breakout from the range-block formation will be the next trend defining move. Should the bears manage to force a break below the lower support, tracking at $30, then a demand area below will be called into action. This can be observed tracking within the $28 price region, which is a known area to find buyers. A failure to do so could see LTC/USD drop back down towards $23-22 range.

Disclaimer: The author owns Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 110 rated postsKen has over 8 years exposure to the financial markets. During a large part of his career, he worked as an analyst, covering a variety of asset classes; forex, fixed income, commodities, equities and cryptocurrencies. Ken has gone on to become a regular contributor across several large news and analysis outlets.




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Stocks Power Ahead as China Pledges to Eliminate U.S. Trade Deficit; Cryptocurrencies Stabilize

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U.S. stocks surged on Friday, extending their winning streak to four days after China proposed new measures to help Washington eliminate its burgeoning trade deficit. Cryptocurrencies hovered near break-even for the week, as a lack of trading catalysts kept investors non-committal.

Stocks Extend Rally

All of Wall Street’s major indexes booked solid gains to close at their highest in well over a month. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 336.25 points, or 1.4%, to 24,706.35. The index was led by gains Hone Depot Inc. (HD), Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) and UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH).

The much broader S&P 500 Index rose 1.3% to 2,670.71. Ten of 11 primary sectors finished higher, led by energy, industrials and materials stocks.

The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index rose 1% to finish at 7,157.23.
Stocks have gained more than 6% since the year began, as traders looked to offset some of last quarter’s brutal declines.

End of the Trade War?

China is serious about ending the trade war with the United States. Sources close to the negotiations confirmed on Friday that Beijing has offered the United States a six-year increase in U.S. imports valued at more than $1 trillion. This would allow Washington to fully eliminate its annual trade deficit with China, currently valued at $323 billion, by 2024. CCN has more: Bye Bye Trade War? China Plans $1 Trillion Buying Spree to Reduce US Trade Deficit.

As Hacked reported Thursday, U.S. lawmakers are strongly considering lifting tariffs on Chinese imports in a renewed push to broker a new trade deal with Beijing. The Trump administration had previously pledged to raise tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods before Presidents Trump and Xi Jinping agreed to a temporary truce in December. The truce allowed both sides to negotiate a new trade deal over the next 90 days.

Crypto Prices Subdued

Crypto prices maintained their stability on Friday, as contradictory signals kept market activity to a minimum. This comes despite a noticeable pickup in trade volume over the past seven days.

The cryptocurrency market capitalization hovered below $122 billion, where it was virtually unchanged compared to seven days ago. The market bottomed near $116 billion last Sunday before quickly rebounding near $125 billion on Monday. Throughout the week, trade volumes have hovered in the $16-17 billion range. As Hacked recently reported, bitcoin has seen a sharp rise in circulation over the past 30 days.

Read Hacked.com’s Weekly Recap: Crypto Volatility Declines as Bitcoin Shows Renewed Stability; U.S.-China Trade War Could Soon End.

By late afternoon, most major assets were trading lower over the 24-hour cycle. Bitcoin was trading at $3,650, where it was tracking a 24-hour loss of 0.5%. XRP and Ethereum each fell more than 1.5%. Bitcoin cash and EOS booked losses of more than 2% each.

Disclaimer: The author owns Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.7 stars on average, based on 742 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he leads content development for one of the world's foremost cryptocurrency resources. Over the past eight years Sam has authored more than 10,000 articles and over 40 whitepapers in the fields of labor market economics, emerging technologies, cryptocurrency and traditional finance. Sam's work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Contact: sam@hacked.com Twitter: @hsbourgi




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Weekly Recap: Crypto Volatility Declines as Bitcoin Shows Renewed Stability; U.S.-China Trade War Could Soon End

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Cryptocurrencies remained under pressure this week, though newfound stability for bitcoin alleviated the risk of a new bearish breakdown. The leading digital currency has managed to hold above a critical long-term support line, which has had a stabilizing effect on the broader market.

In traditional markets, signs of progress on U.S.-China trade talks pushed stock prices to new monthly highs even as the partial government shutdown in Washington entered its fourth week. Corporate earnings have been mostly positive, helping Wall Street extend its recovery from a brutal fourth quarter.

Cryptocurrencies Lack Direction

Cryptocurrency prices turned green on Monday, overcoming a potentially devastating correction that appeared imminent last weekend. Bitcoin swung below $3,550 on several occasions ahead of Monday’s session, setting the stage for a deeper fall back toward December lows. As we reported earlier, a sustained fall below $3,550 would put bitcoin in “GTFO” territory.

In other news, Ethereum’s long-anticipated Constantinople hard fork was delayed this week after developers identified a critical security flaw in one of the proposed changes. Read more here.

The cryptocurrency market cap bottomed at $116.3 billion on Sunday before recovering closer to $125 billion on Monday. Crypto markets have been directionless ever since despite the presence of larger than normal volumes. Bitcoin’s daily trading volumes have surpassed $5 billion since Monday.

At the time of writing, the total cryptocurrency market was worth $121.5 billion, little changed compared to seven days ago. Trade volumes reached $16.7 billion, which is fairly consistent with the weekly average.

Bitcoin’s Accumulation Phase?

2019 is shaping up to be the year of accumulation for bitcoin, as long-term holders and new market entrants look to capitalize on more affordable prices. According to technical analyst Eric Thies, the next 12 months could mirror the trend observed in 2015, a year where many crypto holders bolstered their position following a protracted bear market. This view holds water regardless of whether you believe bitcoin has bottomed or not.

In less than 30 days, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will enter their longest bear market in history. As of Friday, the crypto bear market had stretched on for 392 days. The longest bear trend was observed back in 2014-15 at 420 days, according to Ran NeuNer of CNBC’s Cryptotrader.

The amount of bitcoin in circulation suggests more traders are entering the market. Whether they will be buyers or sellers is yet to be determined. As we recently noted, the supply of active bitcoin in the market has increased by 40% since last summer, with much of the influx occurring since October. Read more: Bitcoin Likely Headed Lower as Whales Activate Long-Dormant Accounts.

Trade War Winding Down?

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that the Trump administration is considering lifting tariffs on Chinese goods in an effort to broker a new trade agreement with Beijing. The speculation was a welcome sign for investors who were growing more concerned with the backlash against Huawei and its potential impact on a trade deal. Read: Why the Huawei Scandal Will Reignite the US-China Trade War.

U.S. and Chinese trade delegations made important progress in their first round of talks in Beijing earlier this month. China has reportedly agreed to purchase more U.S. agriculture and energy commodities as well as open up its domestic market to American companies. Talks are expected to heat up over the next six weeks ahead of a self-imposed deadline in March. That’s when the 90-day truce agreed to by President Trump and China’s Xi Jinping is scheduled to end.

Stock Markets in Recovery Mode

Wall Street and global stocks have risen sharply this week, as a combination of trade optimism and upbeat corporate earnings lifted investor sentiment. U.S. stock markets have recovered more than 11% since Christmas Eve, when they plunged to their lowest levels in over a year.

Strong earnings from Bank of America Corp (BAC) and Goldman Sachs Inc. (GS) set the tone early this week. Both banks beat on profit forecasts, with Goldman shattering both top- and bottom-line estimates.

The CBOE Volatility Index, also known as the VIX, is currently trading at half of its December peak. This not only puts it below the long-term average, it signals renewed optimism in the stock market. The VIX trades in the opposite direction of the S&P 500 Index roughly three-quarters of the time.

The Week Ahead

Corporate earnings will dominate the headlines next week, as several Dow blue chips and S&P large-cap stocks report fourth quarter results. New proposals to end the U.S. government shutdown are also expected next week. The shutdown, now in its 28th day, is the longest in U.S. history.

In cryptocurrencies, all eyes will be on key technical levels. A lack of trading catalysts has kept markets subdued for the past four days. It remains to be seen whether this will alleviate bearish pressure or invite new sellers back into the fold.

Disclaimer: The author owns Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.7 stars on average, based on 742 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he leads content development for one of the world's foremost cryptocurrency resources. Over the past eight years Sam has authored more than 10,000 articles and over 40 whitepapers in the fields of labor market economics, emerging technologies, cryptocurrency and traditional finance. Sam's work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Contact: sam@hacked.com Twitter: @hsbourgi




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