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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 648 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/USDT is Eyeing a Big Move Out of Current Technical Setup

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  • Positive update from IOHK audit of Icarus by Kudelski Security.
  • ADA/USDT is moving within a pennant pattern formation, subject to breakout.

Solid Icarus Audit reported by IOHK

IOHK recently announced in their forum that an audit was conducted by Kudelski Security, which is an independent and third-party security audit firm. The audit conducted demonstrated that the Icarus project implementation for Cardano looks all good and set to go, without any major problems. However, a few changes may need to be executed. IOHK developed the Icarus code as a reference implementation, for Cardano light portfolio.

The important of “independent audits, like this one was stressed by IOHK. Stating “they are critical for identifying security issues in the Icarus wallet, that may not have been identified by internal audits”.

Furthermore, IOHK has elucidated Icarus as an open source code base serving as a reference for the creation of safer and easier mobile wallets for Cardano. They said, “this guarantees our customers and clients the safest portfolio we can offer.”  Given the benefit of an external audit, the developers can resolve any problems identified during its product launch audit.

Positive Updates from Cardano Founder

Cardano’s founder, Charles Hoskinson, was recently commenting on Cardano’s future. He said “We have so many amazing things coming out.”

Mr Hoskinson further added that one of their scientists has flown in from Switzerland. They will be doing a video, which will be the first time they have ever talked about their sharding design that we have for Cardano. Further commenting on other updates, including videos about Shelley and the Rust project.

Technical Review – Daily Chart

ADA/USDT daily chart

ADA/USDT is moving within a triangular pattern or a pennant formation, as seen via the daily time frame. It is narrowing, moving closer to a breakout. Ranging ahead of another drop to the deep south. Although, fundamental developments coming out from the Cardano foundation, remain very much upbeat currently.

Over the past 8 days, the price has been grinding higher, after receiving support at the lower trend line of the above-mentioned pattern. In terms of resistance to the upside, this can be seen at 0.08310000. The upper tracking trend line. Further north, a supply zone is running from 0.09000000-0.09500000. ADA/USDT  last traded here on 23rd September. Finally, support is tracking at 0.071800000, lower part of the pennant, also within a demand area. Another strong buying territory is observed from 0.06500000-0.06000000.

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 33 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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Ethereum Price Analysis: ETH/USD Coming Towards the End of Triangular Pattern, Breakout is Around the Corner

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  • Ethereum’s Annual Devcon is just under two weeks away, to be kicked off from 30th October – 2nd.
  • ETH/USD price action has been narrowing within a triangular pattern, subject to a breakout.

Ethereum’s Blockchain Upgrade Faces Delay

Just a few days ago, Ethereum’s software upgrade, had a failure, as Constantinople – proposed hard fork did not activate on the test network Ropsten. Ethereum has been planning to implement the Constantinople upgrade in November. However, given the failed attempt seen in the testing stage of the upgrade, this appears to have now shifted plans. The Ethereum infrastructure organization, Infura tweeted: “Due to a consensus issue with the Constantinople fork, Ropsten is currently not usable. The Ethereum dev community is investigating. Until further notice please utilize one of the other Ethereum testnets.”

As a result, the developers at Ethereum had released a patch, to fix the bug problem. An independent developer working on the project, Lane Rettig, commented on the delay, noting that they are investigating the failure to upgrade. Rettig said: “I would expect it to get delayed to 2019.”

Wave IV of Grants Program Distributed for Ethereum Development

Millions of dollars have been distributed by the Ethereum Foundation to projects that are contributing to the development of Ethereum. A full breakdown of the grants distributed can be viewed in their latest blog post. The funds totaling over $3 million, were sent out to 20 individuals and groups, that are working on the Ethereum blockchain.

Ethereum Annual Developer Conference

It is not long now until Etheruem’s Devcon 4, which will be held from Oct 30th–Nov 2nd in Prague.

Devcon is Ethereum’s “family reunion.” It is hosted to educate and empower their community to build decentralized applications, bringing Ethereum protocols, tools, and culture to the world.

The annual conference is for “builders: designers, UX researchers, smart contract devs, blockchain researchers, client implementers, test engineers, infrastructure operators, community organizers, and even artists in the community.”

Technical Review – 4-hour Chart

ETH/USD 4-hour chart

ETH/USD has been stuck trading within a triangular pattern, since mid-September. The price has swung between a low seen around $170 up to a high within $255 territory, within this period.  Over the past three weeks price action has been narrowing. As a result, ETH/USD is moving closer towards the end of the pattern, looking very likely of a breakout. On 15th October, the price saw a large surge in volume, which as a result saw a quick upper wick spike outside of the pattern. However, on the close of that candle, the price was back within the triangle.

Furthermore, resistance to the upside is eyed at $215, the upper trend line of the pattern. A break north will likely see the above supply zone tested again, $250-255 region. Finally, in terms of support, this can be seen at the lower part of the pattern, just below the $200 mark at $197. Consequently, should bearish momentum push for a breach, a below demand zone will likely come into play at $180-165 area.

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 33 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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Monero Price Analysis: XMR/USD is Stable and Gunning for Potential Gains on “Bulletproofs” Technology Update Day

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  • Monero developers have released an updated version to their protocol, implementing “Bulletproofs”.
  • XRM/USD is within a range block, with price behavior suggesting of a potential imminent breakout higher.

Monero Becoming First Crypto Over Billion-Dollar Market Cap Implementing “Bulletproofs”

Developers at the Monero foundation, have released an updated version to the protocol. This will be live from 18th and 19th October. They are becoming the first network to try out “bulletproofs”. The goal of this technology is to significantly decrease the weight of confidential transactions. From today, 18th October, the privacy-focused cryptocurrency will be testing this.

The move from Monero will make them the first crypto with over a billion-dollar market cap, to try out the “bulletproofs” technology. Over the past year, the foundation has been working on cutting the size of its confidential transactions, by at least 80 percent.  A full overview of the upgrade was posted in a blog post by Monero.

The purpose of bulletproofs are to facilitate confidential transactions. Senders and recipients addresses will remain visible, but the amounts being sent is concealed. The technology also aims to reduce transaction times and fees.

Sarang Noether, a spokesperson for Monero and a key part of the bulletproof integration, was recently speaking on the upgrade. He noted that “Bulletproofs will be replacing the “zero-knowledge range proofs”, of which their confidential transactions are reliant on. The cryptocurrency will activate the technology during its next system-wide upgrade, or hard fork. An upgrade that will require nodes to adopt a new software. Furthermore, Sarang added, “hard forks are sometimes colored as a risky process. However, this upgrade is part of Monero’s bi-annual cycle to introduce new features.”

Technical Review – 4-hour Chart

XMR/USD 4-hour chart

XRM/USD for the past going on three sessions now has been trading within a tight range-block. This trading behavior coming after the aggressive movements seen just some days before. On 11th October the price had spiked over 10% lower. To then enter a tight range, which saw a huge breakout, jumping around 20% high. Over half of this spike to the upside was reversed, moving into the three-session range as mentioned above.

Looking to the upside, eyes will be on another range-breakout. Bulls will be wanting to retest the breached supporting trend line. An attempt was made during the rally seen on 15th October, however strong resistance was observed. In terms of support, this can be eyed at the lower part of the current range, around $107.50. If the bears pile enough pressure, it vcould see a fast move back to $100, then further south below demand area from $86-76.

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 33 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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