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Global Malware Campaign WannaCry is Affecting Bitcoin’s Price

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As CCN earlier reported, WannaCry has infected more than 36 000 computers. Users of affected machines are prompted with the following screen:

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The malware WannaCry automatically encrypts files on the computer and demands the user to send $300 in bitcoin to a particular bitcoin address.

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For the last weeks, we have seen a dramatic surge in cyptocurrency prices with bitcoin leading the way. The first thing I reacted to when I read other news articles about WannaCry was the press’ immediate “conclusion” that this is a targeted attack on multiple governments (even Russia is hit).

I do not believe that’s the case. I believe that the guys (and girls) behind this massive Windows-attack might be interested in one thing only, money (or rather bitcoins). I do not believe for one second that they have targeted specific companies nor countries. They have money on their mind.

Was the bitcoin price surge a part of the attack?

Then I started to wonder, what if these “hackers” are so sophisticated and powerful that they have been able to manipulate cryptocurrency prices? And then started the attack once they were satisfied with their gains? What you should consider is that bitcoin and ethereum are still small compared to other stocks and commodities; it’s much easier to manipulate cryptocurrencies than e.g. Gold.

I find it strange that the hackers have given users of the infected computers such a short timeframe to unlock the malware. There are two reasons I can think of:

  1. They want to create chaos and uncertainty for cryptocurrency holders
  2. They want to dump their coins fast

I cannot believe they want bitcoins sent to their addresses and expect “ordinary people” with no understanding of bitcoin to be able to buy and send them bitcoins within the respected timeframe. The attack seem to have started on May 12th (a Friday) and banks are closed during the weekend. It just doesn’t make any sense to me.

As you can see from the graph above, the Bitcoin price was negatively affected by the announcement of WannaCry. My guess is that there are some that have made a lot of money by shorting Bitcoin the last couple of days.

What will happen with the bitcoin price next?

I’m afraid that we have seen the highest high for bitcoin this year. I could be very wrong (and I hope I am), but something tells me these last couple of weeks have been “fishy”. There could be some very adverse effects for bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general caused by the massive malware campaign WannaCry. Politicians and police authorities can put their combined effort into preventing malware attacks like WannaCry by implementing stronger regulations on cryptocurrencies (exchanges and withdrawals). In the worst cases, banks may be banned from accepting deposits or withdrawals from bitcoin exchanges. If they see that bitcoin can harm their economies, they will throw everything they got towards blocking and making bitcoin illegal.

Yes, I do know that cryptocurrencies will survive either way, but mass adoption might be much tougher to accomplish.

These are just my thoughts, I believe the following week(s) will give us a better idea what this major attack will do to cryptocurrencies in general.

If you got a lot of funds in bitcoin, ethereum or any other cryptocurrency, I would take my profits and wait with entering the market again until the dust settles. Be aware; I like to play it safe (and I could be wrong). At least secure some profits for now (ensure you won’t lose it all).

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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4.2 stars on average, based on 49 rated postsFounder of Hacked.com and CryptoCoinsNews




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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. knightofone

    May 13, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    This isn’t the first ransomware, i don’t see why it would affect the crypto space this much this time

    • Jonas Borchgrevink

      May 13, 2017 at 6:34 pm

      Hello, It’s probably the largest to date. But yeah, you might be right. It might not affect the price more than it already has..

  2. eko6321

    May 13, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    I think weekdays we will know more better results but your article make a sense.

  3. dano5050

    May 13, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    Trying to impute this or that price movement to this or that event is so contrived. If the price of bitcoin had gone up you would have said that all the folks having to rescue their computers had put upward pressure on prices.

    And then “I’m afraid that we have seen the highest high for bitcoin this year”. Really? Based on what analysis?

    Come on. We’re actually paying to read this. Try harder.

    • Jonas Borchgrevink

      May 13, 2017 at 10:26 pm

      As I explained, these are my thoughts. I’ve been into this game since 2013, I’ve seen ups and downs. Let’s see what happens the coming months. Would you buy me a beer if I’m correct? 🙂

  4. jacobcanfield

    May 14, 2017 at 1:15 am

    What do you think of all the server issues that Poloniex and Kraken are having? Do you have any recommendations for where to move my funds to? I have been following your blog very closely and saw the trend patterns for Stellar and Ripple as well and it seems like it’s consolidating and following the pattern, but the lows only seem to happen with website crashes. Does it matter if the sell offs occur from a website crash or natural course of action according to your technical charting? If so, could you do another analysis in the next few days?

    Thanks!

  5. Gabriel

    May 14, 2017 at 5:00 am

    Interesting take. My first reaction was to see it as a risk that people would associate bitcoin with illegal activities and be put off. But then, malware and ransomware have been around for a long time now, and the problem is not really the medium of payment but rather poor computer security across the board.

    • Jonas Borchgrevink

      May 14, 2017 at 11:35 am

      Yes, you might be right! Let’s see what happens the coming week.

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Analysis

Technical Analysis: Correction Continues but Coins Remain Stable

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It’s been another mixed session for cryptocurrency investors as judging by only the price action, the segment suffered losses across the board, but comparing the current sell-off to the January plunge reveals that the majors are much more resilient this time around.

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The largest digital currencies are holding on to most of the gains of the recent weeks, and the price action near the crucial support zones is also encouraging. With all that said, the correction is not over yet, and further losses are still in the cards, but barring a substantial change in price action, the coins will likely continue the rally.

BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

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Bitcoin has been trading around the key $10,000 level all day long, and, so far, a clear break-down has been averted. The short-term momentum indicators are now in neutral territory regarding the most valuable coin, and that could mean that a bottom is close, and investors should already add to their holdings here. Further strong support is found between $9000 and $9200, while targets are ahead at $11,300, $13,000, and $14,250.

XMR/USDT, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Correlation between the majors has increased during the sell-off, but there are still clear outperformers and laggards, adding to the bullish case. Monero remains among the strongest coins from a technical perspective, trading right at the lower boundary of the bullish consolidation pattern, with the $280 price level holding up for now. The coin faces strong resistance near $300 and $335, but we expect the uptrend to continue with the next target being ahead at $400, while further support is found at $240.

(more…)

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 109 rated postsTrader and financial analyst, with 10 years of experience in the field. An expert in technical analysis and risk management, but also an avid practitioner of value investment and passive strategies, with a passion towards anything that is connected to the market.




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Altcoins

Crypto Correction Deepens With Bitcoin Falling Below $10,000

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Cryptocurrencies hastened their decline on Thursday, with the total market cap falling to its lowest level in over a week as bitcoin and the major altcoins backtracked.

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Fresh Selloff Hits Crypto Market

Ninety-two of the top 100 cryptocurrencies tracked by CoinMarketCap were trading lower Thursday afternoon. The combined market capitalization for all coins fell 6% to $430 billion, the lowest since Feb. 13.

Bitcoin broke below $10,000 for the first time in nearly a week, and was last seen trading at $9.891. Even with the decline, bitcoin is maintaining its bullish outlook insofar as prices hold above the technically important $9,000-$9,200 region. Although downside is expected to persist in the short term, a bounce back toward $11,000 is expected. This is confirmed by the oversold Relative Strength Index (RSI), which also points to a rebound.

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As the following chart illustrates, the value of bitcoin peaked near $11,800 earlier this week before the recent bout of profit-taking took hold.

Ethereum, the world’s no. 2 cryptocurrency by market cap, fell below $800 for the first time in almost two weeks. At the time of writing, one ether was worth around $793, which represents a decline of 4% from the previous close.

Like bitcoin, ether is also grappling with oversold levels. However, the recent low is much shallower than the one Ethereum experienced in early February when prices fell toward $550.

Meanwhile, Litecoin tumbled to a session low of $188.73, more than offsetting a 50% gain earlier in the week. At the time of writing, the coin was down 6.5% at $192.59.

Elsewhere in the market, Ripple plunged nearly 9% to $0.93, while bitcoin cash fell fell nearly 8% to $1,210.

No Immediate Catalyst for the Decline

Like previous corrective phases, there was no immediate catalyst for the market’s sharp reversal, a sign that technical traders were largely responsible for the downshift. Since peaking above $518 billion on Saturday, the crypto market has declined 17%, all but reversing the previous week’s sharp rally.

On the regulatory front, the French government just announced it will be cracking down on unregulated cryptocurrency trading. In a statement issued by Autorite des Marches Financiers (AMF), the nation’s financial market watchdog, regulators said they had noticed a growing trend in unregulated futures and derivatives trading involving cryptocurrency.

“The AMF concludes that a cash-settled cryptocurrency contract may qualify as a derivative, irrespective of the legal qualification of a cryptocurrency,” the AMF said in the statement, as reported by CCN. “As a result, online platforms which offer cryptocurrency derivatives fall within the scope of MiFID 2 and must therefore comply with the authorisation, conduct of business rules, and the EMIR trade reporting obligation to a trade repository.”

MiFID stands for Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, a harmonized regulatory framework for the European Union’s financial markets. MiFID 2 was launched earlier this year to provide more transparency on traders and go after non-compliance more aggressively.

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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4.5 stars on average, based on 161 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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Analysis

Crypto Update: Bitcoin Tests $10,000 amid Correction

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The altcoin-triggered correction continued in the segment overnight amid the renewed sell-off in global stocks, with a slight bounce in Asian trading and a subsequent dip after the European open. The major coins are all down by more than 5% since yesterday, but for now, the momentum of the move is not worrying, and most importantly the leadership of the rally is holding up relatively well.

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Bitcoin bounced off the key $10,000 level, the $200 support zone held in Litecoin, Monero is still in its consolidation pattern above $280, and only Dash showed deterioration since yesterday, but the long-term picture remains encouraging even in Dash’s case.

LTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

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The above-mentioned levels in the technically strongest coins are not even the last line of defense for bulls, as the preceding strong rally left several key levels behind which could serve as the basis of the next leg higher.

Also, we expect the currently negatively diverging coins, led by Ethereum and Ripple, to start showing strength as the short-term momentum reaches oversold territory, and good entry points might be close both for traders and long-term investors.

BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

BTC touched the $10,000 support level, but for now, the technically more important $9000-$9200 zone is not in danger, and the short-term momentum indicators are already neutral thanks to the correction.

That said, more downside is likely in the coming days, but investors and traders should be looking for reversals to enter new positions, as we expect the uptrend to continue, with targets ahead at $11,300, $13,000 and $14,250.

Ethereum Provides a Glimmer of Hope

ETH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Although bears are still in control regarding the short-term picture in the second largest coin, this morning ETH didn’t hit a significant new swing low, and that could be the first sign of relative strength, with the $845 support not far above the current price level, and the MACD indicator is already near oversold territory.

Despite the slightly positive sign, short-term traders should remain defensive concerning the weaker coins, while long-term investors should still accumulate the currencies on the dips.

Stay tuned for our detailed technical analysis later on today.

Featured image from Shutterstock

Disclaimer:  The analyst owns cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but doesn’t engage in short-term or day-trading, nor does he hold short positions on any of the coins.

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 109 rated postsTrader and financial analyst, with 10 years of experience in the field. An expert in technical analysis and risk management, but also an avid practitioner of value investment and passive strategies, with a passion towards anything that is connected to the market.




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