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Tether Theft Leaves $31 Million Exposed in Latest Crypto Heist

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Controversy swept through the cryptocurrency market this week after Tether announced a significant hacking event. The startup company issued a statement on Tuesday, where it blamed malicious actors for compromising its Treasury account. More than 24 hours later, there is no information about whether the funds can be returned.

Tether Heist

Tether has announced that $31 million was wiped from its Treasury wallet on Nov. 19, with the hacker diverting the funds to an unauthorized bitcoin address. The startup company, which issues dollar-backed tokens, is now trying to prevent the funds from re-entering circulation.

The company issued the following statement following the heist:

“Yesterday, we discovered that funds were improperly removed from the Tether treasury wallet through malicious action by an external attacker. Tether integrators must take immediate action, as discussed below, to prevent further ecosystem disruption.”

Tether has also suspended its wallet services as it continues to investigate the cause of the attack. It is also releasing a fresh version of Omni Core to prevent the attacker from diverting funds into another wallet. The company is urging all its users to upgrade to the new protocol. It has also requested that major exchanges block the address  of the attacker.

The token cryptocurrency, labelled USDT, is pegged to the U.S. dollar and fully backed by assets in its reserve account. The company has assured users that all Tether tokens “remain fully backed by assets in the Tether reserve.”

It added: “The only tokens that will not be redeemed are the ones that were stolen from Tether treasury yesterday. Those tokens will be returned to treasury once the Omni Layer protocol enhancements are in place.”

Skepticism Builds

Tether has been a source of controversy long before the recent heist. Back in April, the company said U.S. dollar wire exchanges had been blocked, raising skepticism that the tokens weren’t fully backed by fiat money. According to Bloomberg, market participants have also raised questions about Tether’s relationship with Bitfinex, a cryptocurrency exchange that has also been breached.

Tether and Bitfinex have worked together for at least three years. Both companies sued Wells Fargo & Co earlier this year after the U.S. banking giant eliminated wire transfers.

The recent string of controversies could undermine Tether’s image as a facilitator of fiat currency trades. Even then, the company says on its website that it is not obliged to let users exchange USDT tokens for dollars.

In terms of price levels, USDT was last seen trading at $1.00 for a market capitalization of roughly  $675 million. Trade volumes over the last 24 hours approached $509 million. That makes it the world’s twentieth most valuable cryptocurrency.

The total value of all coins in circulation reached $250 billion on Wednesday for a new all-time high. There are 72 cryptocurrencies valued at $100 million or more. A total of 12 cryptos have a market cap exceeding $1 billion. Latest price trends show at least three more tokens could be welcomed by the billion-dollar club relatively soon.

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 693 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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Altcoins

Coinbase to ‘Explore Support’ for Over 30 Altcoins; XRP, Cardano, EOS, NEO & More

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Coinbase has announced plans to ‘explore support’ for over thirty cryptocurrencies, with major altcoins such as XRP, EOS, Cardano and Stellar up for consideration.

Just yesterday Coinbase Pro surprised everyone by suddenly accepting inbound transfers of four new ERC-20 tokens: Loom Network (LOOM), Civic (CVC), districtOx (DNT) and Decentraland (MANA).

Coinbase Gets Alt-Happy

The addition of those four tokens leaves twenty-seven coins remaining out of Coinbase’s list, published yesterday. According to the announcement, the following batch of coins and tokens are currently being explored:

“Cardano (ADA), Aeternity (AE), Aragon (ANT), Bread Wallet (BRD), Dai (DAI), EnjinCoin (ENJ), EOS (EOS), Golem Network (GNT), IOST (IOST), Kin (KIN), Kyber Network (KNC), ChainLink (LINK), Loom Network (LOOM), Loopring (LRC), Mainframe (MFT), Maker (MKR), NEO (NEO), OmiseGo (OMG), Po.et (POE), QuarkChain (QKC), Augur (REP), Request Network (REQ), Status (SNT), Storj (STORJ), Stellar (XLM), XRP (XRP), Tezos (XTZ), and Zilliqa (ZIL).”

Caveats

Such news will be a boon to bag-holders everywhere, assuming they’re still in the game. However, the announcement does come with a caveat or two:

“Adding new assets requires significant exploratory work from both a technical and compliance standpoint, and we cannot guarantee that all the assets we are evaluating will ultimately be listed for trading.”

With that said, Coinbase has shown itself to be one of the more cautious cryptocurrency exchanges over the years, and the team don’t tend to make many calls that they can’t back up. As many of these coins have already started to pump following the announcement, it’s more than likely that the exchange is fairly confident that the listings will go ahead as planned.

Coinbase stated the possibility that not all of the assets may get the same level of exposure on the platform, owing to technical and legal difficulties:

“…our listing process may result in some of these assets being listed solely for customers to buy and sell, without the ability to send or receive using a local wallet. Finally, as per our listing process, we will add new assets on a jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction basis, which allows us to add assets efficiently and responsibly.”

Market Effects

Every coin mentioned felt some kind of price volatility yesterday, even the stable coin Dai (DAI). Tezos (XTZ), Quarkchain (QKC), Aeternity (AE) and OmiseGo (OMG) were all leading the front page of CoinMarketCap on Saturday morning, surging to between 15-20% gains overnight.

Many of the other coins mentioned also attempted upswings, such as NEO and EOS, but were halted by the movement of the broader market.

The four ERC-20 tokens added to Coinbase Pro yesterday experienced between 20-50% gains within a matter of minutes, however they couldn’t be sustained and ultimately pulled back by large margins.

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 103 rated postsGreg Thomson is a full-time crypto writer and digital nomad. He eats ICOs for breakfast and bleeds altcoins. Wherever he lays his public key is his home.




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Cryptocurrencies

Coinbase Announces Four New ERC-20 Tokens; Prices Surge

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Coinbase Pro announced plans to list four new ERC-20 tokens on Friday, triggering a flurry of buys which saw all four soar to double digit growth.

As per the announcement, inbound transfers have already begun for Decentraland (MANA), districtOx (DNT), Loom Network (LOOM) and Civic (CVC).

Coinbase Focuses on ERC-20

Coinbase announced its intention to focus on ERC-20 tokens back in Q1 of 2018, and Basic Attention Token (BAT) and Ox (ZRX) were the first to gain listings later in the year. As per today’s announcement:

“Following our recent launches of 0x (ZRX), Basic Attention Token (BAT), and our stablecoin, USDC (USD Coin) — all of which are built on Ethereum’s ERC20 standard — we’re now announcing support for Civic (CVC), district0x (DNT), Loom Network (LOOM), and Decentraland (MANA), on Coinbase Pro.”

The news came out of nowhere on Friday afternoon, depriving traders of the usual speculative build-up which occurs with a coin listing. This marks the continuation of a new trend for the exchange following a similar methodology with the recent Zcash (ZEC) listing.

Despite the lack of build-up, the valuations of all four tokens surged within minutes of the Coinbase tweet ringing out.

Decentraland (MANA)

MANA tokens spiked 20% in value following the announcement, with particularly strong gains being felt against BTC.

From a low of 1470 satoshis, Decentraland peaked at 1770 sats before a significant drop-off back to the 1640 range. All numbers taken from Binance, which housed 75% of the $11 million daily trade volume – up 37.5% from before the announcement.

districtOx (DNT)

The Coinbase boost gave DNT 60% gains against Bitcoin today, as an 1,169% increase to trade volume saw the token price rise from 293 sats up to 470 within one hour.

The price was pulled back to the 393 range before finding some stability around 410. Over 80% of DNT trades came from Binance today – which rose from $260,000 to $3.2 million following the announcement.

Loom Network (LOOM)

Loom Network spiked 31% on the announcement, climbing from 1116 to 1465 satoshis and floated by a +200% increase to trade volumes, which rose from $700,000 to $2.2 million.

As with the previous two, the majority of action came from Binance, which housed 77.5% of the daily trades.

Civic (CVC)

Ranked around 130th place by market cap, Civic climbed 28% in value against BTC today, with CVC tokens climbing from 1418 satoshis up to 1827 sats by the peak of the surge. The subsequent drop-off on the Binance trading floor saw the valuation drop as low as the 1620 range, marking an immediate halving of the day’s gains.

Trade volumes quadrupled during the spike, rising from $500,000 to $2 million, with 47% of the total coming from Binance.

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 103 rated postsGreg Thomson is a full-time crypto writer and digital nomad. He eats ICOs for breakfast and bleeds altcoins. Wherever he lays his public key is his home.




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Altcoins

Litecoin Price Analysis: LTC/USD Forms a Double Bottom; Here Come the Bulls                  

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  • Bullish signals demonstrated with recent technical double bottom formation.
  • Unusually high Litecoin transaction spotted, raising much speculation within the market.

There may just be some room now for the bulls to run higher. LTC/USD over the past two weeks has been subject to depressed trading. Upside has been very much capped, short-term rallies are being sold and the range ha­s been tight. This all comes as the price was looking to stabilize, following the hard selling that hit the market in November. A whopping 50% was whipped off the price during that period. A bottom has formed over the ne­ar-term and this is seen around the $28-$27 territory. As a result, the daily candles on the 25th November and 6th December, have formed a double bottom.

Litecoin is ‘Flippened’ by Tether (USDT)

Litecoin continues to slip down the market capitalization ranking. The latest move has seen Tether (USDT) ‘flipping’ Litecoin, moving into the 7th ranking spot. At the time of writing, USDT has a market cap of $1.85 billion, versus LTC at $1.77 billion. This move coming with the chunky drop in Litecoin’s market cap on Wednesday. This was seen around the $1.9 billion mark. Tether (USDT) didn’t have much in the way of movement during its peak on Wednesday (the size was noted at the $1.84 billion mark). Therefore, it is a big thanks to the plunge in Litecoin for the ranking shift.

Unusually High LTC Transaction Volume 

It has garnered attention via the social media space that a large amount of transaction volume and value had recently been spotted. Roughly $1.16 billion worth of Litecoin had been transacted on the 30th November. On the back of this, closely followed Weiss Ratings tweeted, “New Litecoin whale emerges? Nov. 30, about 35.4 million LTC, 60% of coin supply, totalling $1.1. billion, reportedly moved by one entity. This shows how centralized some darlings of crypto like LTC are, not good”. The speculation continues as to where all of this LTC went and why.

It is worth noting that it is rare to see more than $1 billion of trading volume on the Litecoin network. This has not been seen over $1 billion in a single day since February 2018, a time when there was much panic and FUD hitting the market. As of now since this period in February, the Litecoin network has seen an average of around $100 million in trading volume per day. Seeing such excessive spikes in volume well outside of the average is of course going to raise some eyebrows and speculation.

Technical Review – LTC/USD

LTC/USD daily chart

LTC/USD as touched upon has with the most recent daily candle stick, produced a double bottom formation. The bulls need to push for a strong bullish green close to confirm the conviction of this double bottom bounce. A failure will likely ignite further selling pressure to force a breakout to the downside. As a result, the critical near-term area of $28 could be breached, leaving the door wide open to a fresh wave of bears coming in. Eyes are on the neckline of this mentioned formation, this is observed up within $35-36 territory.

Should enough momentum be gathered to the upside from the bulls, then an extension through the neckline area could very well be seen. A move above the $35-$36 could result in a very fast move back towards a reclaim of the psychological $50 mark. LTC/USD last traded here on 14th November, during a period of strong selling momentum. The next likely challenge would be the pre-November drop levels. This is seen around $57, the high area of 7th November. LTC/USD was seen here right before the bearish trend kicked in.

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 79 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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