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Crypto Market Selloff Intensifies Amid CFTC Probe; Bitcoin Plunges Below $6,700

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Cryptocurrency prices experienced a massive selloff on Sunday, as investors grappled with multiple pain points ranging from cyber security to regulation. At the time of writing, the overall market was trading at its lowest level since mid-April.

Market Meltdown

The cryptocurrency market has shed $47 billion over the past 24 hours, according to data provider CoinMarketCap. The market’s total value was last seen hovering just below $294 billion.

The intense selloff was associated with a sharp rise in trading volume, with daily turnover reaching $19.5 billion. The market averaged between $14 billion and $16 billion last week.

Nearly all of the top-100 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization had booked losses. All major assets in the top-ten were down double digits percentage-wise, with EOS plunging more than 22% to $11.00 a unit.

IOTA and TRX were each down more than 18%. Stellar Lumens and Cardano’s ADA were down 13% and 14%, respectively.

Bitcoin pierced below $6,700, possibly setting the stage for a bigger correction in the near term. At the time of writing, bitcoin was down nearly 12% at $6,740.

Despite increased volume, turnover in the crypto markets remains very low by recent standards. So low as weak volumes persist, volatile price swings can be expected.

CFTC Probe

Hacked reported Sunday that the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is broadening its investigation into price manipulation tied to bitcoin futures contracts.

According to The Wall Street Journal, CFTC regulators grew frustrated with CME’s inability to extract comprehensive trading data from four major cryptocurrency exchanges. The exchanges – Bitstamp, Coinbase, itBit and Kraken – eventually handed over data, but only on a few hours’ worth of activity. The Chicago-based exchange had initially requested a full day.

CME Group is regulated by the CFTC, which is growing increasingly weary of price manipulation in the digital currency market. The commodity regulator backed the launch of bitcoin futures in December but conceded that the project was risky.

Coinrail Hack

The crypto world experienced yet another high-profile security breach Sunday after South Korea’s Coinrail announced that it had lost more than $40 million in altcoins. The heist targeted lesser known tokens NPXS, ATX and NPER. The trio of affected coins were frozen following the attack.

The team at NPER later announced it had located the wallet of the perpetrator. According to the group’s Medium post, the wallet’s address has been permanently locked, making it impossible to transfer the coins.

Coinrail is one of several digital currency exchanges to have been targeted by cyber criminals. The frequency of attacks has intensified over the past 12 months as criminals seek to exploit the rapid rise in cryptocurrency prices. Some have attributed the rise of cyber attacks to the cryptocurrency market’s largely unregulated status. A lack of regulation often means there’s little recourse for victims of large-scale breaches.

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 461 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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Crypto Real Estate: The Time Is Now

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If you’re a Russian oligarch, an Asian billionaire or just a simple kid from South Jersey with giant aspirations, it is time for action in the newly emerging world of crypto real estate.  Here is why.

For the average home buyer the price of a home has increased about 1.72% annually over the past 10 years.  That is just slightly more than the 1.49% rate for the U.S. economy. Things have changed somewhat in recent time and we read Case Shiller numbers placing the rate between 5%-7%.

For investors in bitcoin, the action is taking place elsewhere in the real estate world.  It is in the world of the super high-end real estate where BTC and other cryptos can play a role.

If your soul contains an ounce of cynicism, at this point,  you are probably saying what is new about the connection between crypto and real estate?  The answer is arbitrage. Never have high-end property prices been so high and crypto prices so low.  It would be a classic arbitrage to sell high-end real estate and buy bitcoin.

Natural Buyers For Bitcoin

There are plenty of statistics on housing and loads of public records revealing who owns a given piece of property.  The US government claims that 9.6 million Americans own second homes and perhaps 16% own investment property.

But when it comes to the true high-end market, global real estate is definitely in the billions. For example, take penthouse in 432 Park Ave in New York that, when new, sold for over $100 million in cash and you get the idea.  This is a market where anonymity is prized and protected. This has long represented the “no brainer” for bitcoin to gain acceptance. And best of all, it is perfectly legal medium of exchange.

Enter Propy (PRO)

Here is a company that appears to be positioned to take advantage of transactions in the global ultra high-end real estate market. Before getting started, one thing needs to be disclosed.  I neither own or am being compensated for writing about Propy. I stumbled across the name purely by accident.

Propy.com fancies itself as being dedicated to solving the complexities of purchasing property across borders.  They claim to be the world’s first international marketplace. The PRO token is built on the Ethereum ERC20 standard. Propy raised $15.4 million with their ICO last September which places a value on the company of roundly $100 million.

So PRO may not rank with the likes of Telegram but they are not exactly chopped liver either. With the spread between the price of ultra high-end real estate and bitcoin never having been greater and the perpetual need for anonymity, the team at PRO may find itself in a sweet spot no matter if the like it or not.

The First Crypto Test In Rome On June 28

CCN.com reports that PRO has managed to team up with the Hilton family-owned real estate broker Hilton & Hyland in an auction of a Roman villa named the Palazetto Mansion aiming to snatch $38 million in dollars or crypto from the buyer.  This is not first effort of its kind but it is by far the largest.

Arbitrage In The Air

Events in Rome on June 28 will be most interesting as much for bitcoin as for PRO.  This is not to say that bitcoin is the only crypto in the world, just the largest and best known. Nevertheless, the total value of bitcoin is now just a little over $114 billion so every billion of future real estate transactions will make a difference at these levels.

Perhaps this is all wishful thinking on the part of someone who owns neither PRO nor BTC but several things are obvious.  First, those folks that put their hidden billions in real estate using corporate identities are not casual investors but savvy players with lots of high priced advisors.  Arbitrage spreads between ultra high end real estate and crypto present a pretty irresistible attraction. Just something to consider when investor psychology toward crypto in general stinks.  

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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4.4 stars on average, based on 82 rated postsJames Waggoner is a veteran Wall Street analyst and hedge fund manager who has spent the past few years researching the fintech possibilities of cryptocurrencies. He has a special passion for writing about the future of crypto.




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Treading the Floods: Cryptocurrency Prices Stable Following Bithumb Attack 

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Cryptocurrencies emerged unscathed Wednesday following yet another security breach of a South Korean exchange, as the market continued to favor a corrective rally for bitcoin and the major altcoins.

Crypto Prices Hold Steady

Bitcoin fell by as much as $200 Wednesday on news of a cyber attack targeting South Korea’s Bithumb exchange. However, the coin quickly recovered and now sits just shy of $6,800, according to data provider CoinMarketCap. Prices peaked at $6,821.56 at 12:34 UTC.

Compared with 24 hours ago, bitcoin’s per-coin value was virtually unchanged.

The ten biggest altcoins by market cap exhibited the same pattern, with prices treading water compared with Tuesday afternoon. The total cryptocurrency market was valued above $290 billion, up from an earlier low of around $282 billion.

Bitcoin and the major altcoins have more or less retained their bullish bias, which suggests that a continuation of the upward trend is likely. Since bottoming last week, coins have rebounded $26 billion.

Bithumb Attack: What We Know

Hackers made off with roughly $31 million in stolen cryptocurrency on Wednesday as Bithumb suffered its third cyber breach in 12 months. The attackers reportedly targeted users’ holdings of XRP, the third-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, by running a series of unauthorized access attempts.

Bithumb was unable to prevent the attack despite spending upwards of 10 billion won ($9 million) on security enhancements. This includes complying with new guidelines for financial institutions requiring 5% of company staff be made up of IT specialists. Bithumb has reportedly exceeded that quota by a wide margin.

The Seoul-based exchange confirmed that it had migrated outstanding crypto balances to cold storage and said it will fully refund affected users. Transactions on the exchange remain suspended for now.

Although news of the attack hit the airwaves on Wednesday, some analysts believe the theft occurred several days earlier as part of Bithumb’s data upgrade. However, the exact cause of the breach remains unclear.

Goldman Sachs Weighs Crypto Trading as an Option

U.S. multinational investment bank Goldman Sachs is considering taking a bigger dive into cryptocurrency by launching a full-scale trading operation, according to COO David Solomon.

“We are clearing some futures around bitcoin, talking about doing some other activities there, but it’s going very cautiously,” Solomon said during an interview in China, as reported by CCN. “We’re listening to our clients and trying to help our clients as they’re exploring those things too.”

Currently, the Wall Street investment giant is clearing bitcoin futures contracts. It has also announced plans to introduce a new bitcoin trading operation, which includes using its own money to trade with clients in a variety of contracts linked to bitcoin.

Institutional traders are awaiting the arrival of custodial services dedicated to cryptocurrency before taking the full plunge into digital assets. To that effect, the San Francisco-based  Coinbase exchange is leading the charge by announcing a new line of crypto custodial services to unlock up to $10 billion in institutional capital.

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 461 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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Cryptocurrency Prices Have Recovered $26 Billion from Last Week’s Bear-Market Low

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Cryptocurrency prices were seeing green on Tuesday, as investors continued to rally behind news of a popular bitcoin trading app being granted regulatory approval to operate in New York. The push for regulated crypto custodial services has also not gone unnoticed, with the likes of Coinbase looking to overcome one of the final barriers to institutional adoption.

Crypto Prices Hit One-Week High

Digital currencies on Tuesday overcame tepid trading conditions and lower trade volumes to reach their highest level in seven days. The total market peaked at $294.2 billion at 17:00 UTC but has since consolidated at $290.5 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. As a reminder, the market bottomed near $264 billion last week, the lowest since early April.

Crypto prices have been surprisingly stable since last week’s brisk selloff. As Hacked reported earlier, bitcoin volatility is at its lowest level in a year even while factoring the latest price collapse.

Almost all of the top-ten coins had reported gains over the past 24 hours. Tron’s 8.3% gain was the biggest, with TRX trading at $0.048.

Ethereum rose 3.4% over the past 24 hours to trade at $536.86. Bitcoin cash reported slight gains, climbing 1.6% to $900.54.

Bitcoin was virtually unchanged compared with the same time Monday. The world’s largest cryptocurrency by market cap is up 2.5% over the past seven days.

Although trading volumes were a paltry $13.2 billion, turnover is up 39% from Sunday’s lows.

Prices received their initial boost Monday afternoon on news that Square, Inc.’s Cash app was granted a BitLicense to operate in New York. The app, which has a bitcoin trading platform, has more than seven million active users. The company, which is led by Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, saw its share price and market cap rise significantly on the news.

Custodianship: The Final Frontier?

San Francisco-based Coinbase has joined forces with hedge funds and third-party custodians to unlock up to $10 billion in institutional capital. According to some industry insiders, custodianship is the last of the major barriers to widespread cryptocurrency adoption among hedge funds, banks and day traders.

As Goldman Sachs, Nomura Holdings and others have demonstrated, there is strong appetite for cryptocurrencies at the institutional level. But without a stable and robust custodian service, staking large positions on a highly volatile market is not considered feasible. This is especially the case for funds that are involved with handling university endowments and pension programs.

According to Ari Paul, co-founder of the Blocktower crypto-focused hedge fund, institutional money has been trickling into the digital currency market since mid-2017. And while adoption has been slower than expected, “that doesn’t mean it’s not coming,” Paul tweeted May 31. “There are a lot of pieces that need to come together, one big piece being third party custody,” he said.

Kyle Samani, a cryptocurrency hedge fund manager, recently told Bloomberg that custodianship is viewed as “the final barrier” to market entry. “Over the next year, the market will come to recognize that custodianship is a solved problem. This will unlock a big wave of capital,” he said.

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 461 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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