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Thailand Seizes 100,000 Bitcoins in Arrest of Infraud Kingpin Sergey Medvedev

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Authorities in Thailand have reportedly seized 100,000 bitcoins following the arrest arrest of cyber crime kingpin Sergey Medvedev.

Bitcoin Seized

The coins were seized by law enforcement agencies in the wake of a Feb. 2 arrest of Medvedev, the co-founder of an online criminal network called Infraud. The platform served as a marketplace for buyers and sellers of stolen credit card information, weapons, narcotics, government documents and other illegal items commonly traded on the darknet.

Using today’s prices, the coins confiscated by Thai authorities are worth roughly $822 million. About six weeks ago, the bitcoins would have been worth nearly $2 billion.

Medvedev, a Russian national, was arrested in Bangkok on Feb. 2 at the request of U.S. law enforcement agencies. His apartment was raided by 30 officers from Thailand’s Crime Suppression Division (CSD), which confiscated the coins, a notebook computer and several documents.

The Infraud group operated under the motto, “In Fraud We Trust.” It was widely regarded as one of the biggest online criminal networks in existence. The Bangkok Post reports that the group was formed in Ukraine in 2010 with Medvedev and Svyatoslav Bondarenko.

The organization operated vending websites that made it easy for criminals to purchase stolen card and identity data. The platform had 10,901 members approved to buy and sell illicit items, according to various reports.

According to  U.S. Deputy Assistant Attorney GeneralDavid Rybicki, Infraud was “the premier one-stop shop for cyber criminals worldwide.”

The Link Between Cryptocurrencies and Crime Networks

For all its apparent benefits, bitcoin has been considered a key enabler of global crime networks. In the early days of digital currency, many of its opponents conflated it with the dark web, and used criminal networks like Infraud to de-legitimize bitcoin.

Advances in digital currency mean bitcoin isn’t the only platform capable of masking international crime networks. In fact, it isn’t even the best at doing so.

For the past two years, cyber criminals have been disavowing bitcoin in favor of “privacy coins” that offer greater anonymity. That was the key takeaway of a recent report released by Recorded Future, an intelligent firm that analyzes criminal marketplaces.

According to the report, bitcoin’s stock among cyber criminals has been declining for the better part of two years, with a greater percentage of dark web users preferring Litecoin and even Dash.

“Bitcoin remains the gold standard in the dark web, with all vendors accepting it as a payment, and Litecoin emerged as the second most popular currency, with 30 percent of all vendors who implemented alternative payment methods willing to accept it,” the report read.

Litecoin generally isn’t part of the same “privacy coin” grouping as Dash, Monero and Zcash. However, it is still considered one of the more privacy-oriented altcoins after its developers added confidential transactions (CTs) to the protocol. The addition was made last September, and was considered a significant competitive advantage in Litecoin’s quest to overtake bitcoin.

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 696 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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Cardano Price Analysis: ADA Moving Within A Deadly Range Block

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  • ADA remains vulnerable to further downside pressure, and there is potential for another 50% drop.
  • IOHK launch two new Cardano tools, ‘Plutus’ and Marlowe for smart contract writing.

Cardano’s ADA price has been very much depressed for the past five weeks now, dropping well over 60% within this period. As a result, ADA/BTC it has been forced to trade around the lowest levels seen since December 2017. It still has yet to show any promising signs of it escaping this stubborn downside trend.

Over the past five sessions, the price has managed to stabilize, producing a near-term bottom within the $0.02800 region. Important to note, with the above-detailed, ADA/USDT price action is moving within a narrowing range-block. This is subject to a potential breakout, causing a deeper drop, as part of this bearish market.

IOHK Launch Two New Cardano Tools

Earlier this week, IOHK, the engineering company that builds cryptocurrencies and blockchains, announced two new tools. These will be for the writing of smart contracts on the Cardano network. The tools named Plutus and Marlowe have now been launched in test format. They have been introduced to provide great value of assistance for start-ups, financial services and fintech industries, and academia. In all cases, the tools allow for preparation of blockchain contracts which will run on Cardano.

Plutus

Plutus will be providing general purpose programming language and tools for Cardano. The scientists and engineers at IOHK were able to combine the discipline of the Haskell functional language with Cardano. As a result, the creation of a platform for fintech developers to write secure and robust smart contracts is being developed.

Marlowe

Marlowe is a streamlined way for non-programmers to generate code and create software products. It has been noted at an easy-to-use tool. Even professionals operating within the finance industry who do not have any programming experience can build these automated financial contracts on the blockchain.

There was full coverage on this and an exclusive interview with IOHK and Cardano’s Charles Hoskinson, on this. See more.

Technical Review – ADA

ADA/USDT 4-hour chart

Looking via the 4-hour char view for ADA/USDT, vulnerabilities remain to the downside. As touched upon earlier, following the steep falls through November into December, price action has found some firmer footing. However, with this consolidation state, a range-block has been formed, which is subject to exposure by the bears.

ADA/BTC weekly chart

The near-term support as part of this current range should be noted at $0.02800. If this fails to hold, there could be some chunky downside to come. Judging from ADA/BTC, there could be room for another 50% move south. Further south eyes would be on the next major area of comfort, seen at the 0.00000550 region.

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 84 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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Zcash Price Analysis: ZEC/USD Shaping Up for Another Potential Fall; Coinbase Giving Zcash Away

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  • Zcash saw a decent bounce on Wednesday, jumping over 6%, but technical there are still some vulnerabilities.
  • Coinbase as part of their ‘12 days of Coinbase’ campaign, will be giving away ZEC to families in need in Venezuela.

ZEC/USD enjoyed a string of gains on Wednesday, jumping as much as 6% in the session. This appears to be somewhat of a consolation move for the bulls, as the sellers look to be exhausted. There has been little direction since the heavy pressure to the downside slowed down and stabilized on the 7th December. The price through the month of November dropped a hefty 63%, with that being carried through into December.

Coinbase Giving Away ZEC

Just a couple of weeks ago the popular U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase announced the listing of ZEC. They are now facilitating ZEC trading via Coinbase Pro, the proprietary trading platform. The service was made available for Coinbase Pro users in the U.S, U.K, the European Union, Singapore, Australia and Canada. On the back of this, ZEC/USD had jumped as much as 20% over the course of the day, following the announcement.

Most recently, Coinbase launched a Christmas campaign, which entails a series of announcements, dubbed “12 days of Coinbase.” Today was the second day, in which they detailed a gift in aid for distressed families in Venezuela. To provide help to these families, Coinbase will be donating $10,000 in Zcash to GiveCrypto.org. This is a nonprofit organization, which distributes cryptocurrency to people within poverty struck living conditions. $1.00 USD worth of ZEC will be deposited into crypto wallets of over 100 families in Santa Elena every day for three months.

Technical Review – ZEC/USD

ZEC/USD 4-hour chart

As touched upon above, ZEC/USD had been provided with a relief bounce in the session. However, price action is still moving within a bearish pennant pattern structure. This has been forming since the 7th December, within this consolidation mode. Price action is narrowing following the steep drop just some days ago. Technically, it does typically spell further potential trouble when behavior is as such currently seen – generating a calm before a further potential storm caused by the rampant bears.

ZEC/USD weekly chart

Given the above-mentioned pattern formation, ZEC/USD is vulnerable to another steep drop. Near-term support of this pennant should be noted at around $54.60. Should the bears manage to force a break, then expect the flood gates to open. A further wave of selling would likely follow, with the next major area of support, not seen until the $30 territory. The price was last down at these levels in February 2017. A demand zone can be seen running from $35 down to $26.

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 84 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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EOS Price Analysis: Cardano Founder Charles Hoskinson Warns of Regulatory Action Against EOS

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  • Charles Hoskinson projects some form of action from the SEC on EOS.
  • EOS/USD enjoys a relief rally on Wednesday, as price moves further north following recent bounce.

The EOS price hasn’t done much but decline of late. Back in August, EOS/USD entered into a very stubborn narrowing range. The price had been confined within this mode of trading right up until November. The range was seen from the $6 territory down $4 area. On the 19th November, EOS/USD bears had finally pushed for a breakout to the downside, from this mentioned range-block. Following this fall, the price plummeted over 60%, over the course of 3 weeks.

Cardano Founder Hoskinson Expresses EOS Regulatory Concerns

The Cardano (ADA) founder, Charles Hoskinson, has beliefs that EOS chief developer of the network is likely to face strong action from regulatory bodies. The SEC would be a potential regulator that investigates their $4bln ICO, as he has described as “egregious.”

Speaking at a press conference in Edinburgh, Charles Hoskinson has made a projection that the Securities and Exchange Commission will look at taking firm measures against Block.One. He believes that this would be done due to the way it had run and hosted the EOS ICO.  Hoskinson further detailed how the EOS token sale sits within the remit of the regulators for them to review the potential for harm of retail investors in the United States.

Charles Hoskinson Anticipating SEC Action on EOS

Hoskinson predicted that the SEC will likely bring punitive measures against Block.One for the way it ran the EOS Initial Coin Offering. The IOHK leader explained that EOS’ token sale falls well within the regulator’s remit to take action against any financial activity which harms US retail investors.

There were several fundamental issues with the EOS ICO, which clearly raise red flags, from Hoskinson’s view. He expressed for particular focus on the amount they had raised over the course of a year, in addition to their “utter lack of respect” for investors. Hoskinson said, the SEC “needed” to take action.

Technical Review – EOS/USD

EOS/USD daily chart

Most recently, the price has managed to stabilize, which could be due to sellers exhaustion. A bounce was seen on 7th December, after falling to a low of around $1.55. The bulls are attempting to make a convincing push back into the $2 territory. Demand in the near-term should now be observed from that recent low, $1.55 up to $1.80.

It is interesting to note the area of which EOS/USD received some comfort on 7th December (this is a known acting support). Back in November 2017 during the big bull run, the price consolidated within the mentioned demand zone for a brief period. This came before continuing its strong move to the north.

Downside Observations

EOS/USD daily chart

Should the near-term area of support fail to hold, then there could be some devastating moves to the downside. A breach of the $1 mark could very well be seen. The next major demand area will be within the depths of $0.90 region. EOS/USD had last traded down here again within the early part of Nov 2017 bull run.

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 84 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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