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The Dark Web Is Embracing Litecoin at the Expense of More Costly Bitcoin

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Elements of the dark web are disavowing bitcoin in favor of Litecoin and even Dash, a sign that slow transaction speeds and higher fees are driving users away from the original blockchain.

Criminals Embrace Litecoin

A new report by Recorded Future found that cyber criminals are increasingly turning to Litecoin as their preferred unit of transaction, surpassing all other digital currencies except bitcoin. The intelligence firm, which analyzed 150 online market places, indicated that bitcoin’s stock among dark web users has been slowly declining since 2016.

Although the researchers concluded that uptake of Dash was smaller than hypothesized, the coin was still third most popular on the dark web. Bitcoin cash was another digital currency being adopted in larger numbers.

“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,” researchers Andrei Barysevich and Alexandr Solad wrote.

With a market cap of $7.8 billion, Litecoin is the world’s sixth-largest cryptocurrency. It is widely considered the silver to bitcoin’s gold because it is much cheaper than the original blockchain while still offering many of the same benefits.

Dash is ranked 12th on the crypto leader board with a market cap of $4.6 billion.

The Rise of the Privacy Coins

This isn’t the first time we’ve caught wind that criminals are ditching bitcoin. Hacked reported last month that criminal networks were dropping bitcoin for Zcash and Monero – the so-called privacy coins that provide better encryption and anonymity. Europol, the law enforcement branch of the European Union (EU), has already identified these and other cryptocurrencies as the next to replace bitcoin for illicit transactions.

When it comes to privacy coins, Zcash is often considered the best from the perspective of anonymity. However, a newer token by the name of Particl is giving the more established privacy coins a run for their money. The platform uses a Proof-of-Stake algorithm to deliver many of the same benefits as Zcash with the added benefits of atomic swaps and encrypted messaging services.

Although privacy coins provide obvious benefits to cyber criminals, their utility extends far beyond those circles. It can be argued that privacy coins do a better job of sticking to the ideological roots of bitcoin. After all, privacy and confidentiality are among the major draws of decentralized blockchain.

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 606 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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Altcoins Share the Spoils as $6 Billion Enters Global Market Overnight

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The cryptocurrency market just felt the sharp influx of $6 billion to global trade volumes within the space of twelve hours. That’s a 54% increase on the $11 billion recorded late on Thursday night, and on Friday morning (UTC) the altcoin market appears to have reaped the benefit.

The Big Two

Only $1.6 billion of that $6 billion influx found its way into BTC, and the 5% rise by Bitcoin overnight was steady rather than spectacular. It’s difficult to separate the wash trading and transaction mining from the official numbers, since CMC actually includes the excluded trades in its calculation of the daily percentage.

Ethereum’s trade volumes rose by $0.7 billion overnight, but the coin price surged 10% during the height of the flurry. This carries on ETH’s trend of outperforming BTC ever since the crash of early September. The morning’s surge saw ETH threaten the $230 mark – the first time since before the dip on September 5th.

BTC dominance fell by 2.2% overnight as the altcoin market picked up once again. Several tokens recorded north of 50% gains overnight, with some of the majors heavily involved in the action.

XRP +49%

XRP’s trade volume rose by $1.4 billion overnight; from $400 million to $1.8 billion – a volume that competes with Ethereum. Good news for XRP holders, the $1.8 billion volume hasn’t been seen since early April, in the lead up to +40% gains during the height of Q2’s brief market surge.

The early morning price in the $0.47 range hasn’t been seen since the middle of July, effectively cancelling out all of XRP’s losses over the autumn period. This compounds a strong week for Ripple and XRP that has seen them takes huge steps forward in their quest for mainstream adoption.

Stellar, Cardano, Tron

Stellar (XLM) spiked 22.4% at its peak before a slight pullback. The early morning peak of $0.252320 takes XLM back to early August.

It takes less to float altcoins than the big two, and Stellar’s surge came off the back of an $80 million influx to trade volumes, with most of it finding its way to XLM/BTC and XLM/USDT pairs on Binance.

Cardano (ADA) gained 20% on its value overnight, climbing from yesterday’s low of $0.071630 to this morning peak of $0.086385.

ADA’s numbers are weighted similar to Stellar, with an influx of $100 million to trade volumes resulted in gains of around a fifth of its starting value. Upbit’s ADA/KRW (Korean won) trades account for more than a third of the daily total. In fact, Upbit’s KRW trades are present in the majority of the major altcoins’ trades this morning.

TRON (TRX) began its climb yesterday before a brief pullback, but when the volumes returned TRON took its fair share. TRX trades rose by just under $100 million, and the resultant surge took the coin to a valuation of $0.023455 – a price not seen since during early September’s dip. That’s up 17% from last night’s low of $0.019994, and once again the Korean influence is felt with 16% of the daily trades coming in the form of the TRX/KRW pair.

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 59 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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Why Investors Should Pay Attention to Metal Coin

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The current blockchain and ICO investing climate is very much in favour of grand solutions that are going to “revolutionize business” and other extremes along that line. But these companies are missing a very real problem in the crypto world: many potential users are still afraid of investing in them.

Right now there is a lot of opportunity in consumer facing applications. If any protocol can figure out how to harness the interest of consumers while making it much more accessible than Bitcoin, they have a major opportunity. This is a lot of why Coinbase has been so successful – they are considered to be the simplest to deal with.

Introducing Metal Coin

With a special focus on day-to-day usability, Metal Coin (MTL) is an ERC20 token that rewards users with free tokens when they spend cash, send crypto, receive crypto, or convert fiat to crypto (applies vice versa as well). Using the app to do any of these actions can earn up to 5% back in MTL tokens.

This may sound like a ludicrous and infeasible reward, but it is very similar to how credit card companies currently work. And blockchain companies are generally run in a more streamlined manner with lower overhead, which could explain the higher than expected payout.

Basic Use of Metal

Signing up for Metal is designed in a streamlined manner so it is easy to get your money into the system and then you start getting paid in MTL right away as you use it. The process for payouts is referred to as Proof of Processed Payment (PoPP) which distributes coins when payments or transfers have been verified.

As with any other cryptocurrency investment, users must verify their identity and be fully compliant with KYC rules relevant to Metal. Your MTL can be stored in any wallet that supports ERC20 tokens, and there is a special web wallet called Metal Vault available as well.

Current Performance of Metal

Metal suffered a lot in the 2018 crash, and has continued to go down since then. From a peak of ~$11.00, it has now dropped to around $0.67. This can be seen as a bad thing, or it could be an opportunity to capitalize on. Metal is likely to move in sync with the entire crypto market, since it is an entrance funnel for funds. If you believe crypto is going to make a comeback (which I assume you do if you’re reading this), then MTL would be a high-correlation bet on the entire industry.

The team has been working on expanding Metal since 2016 and is continuing to distribute MTL tokens through PoPP as more users perform transactions. Ideally, these tokens become higher in value as the demand in the Metal app grows.

In a lot of ways, MTL has the potential to become a gateway to the cryptocurrency ecosystem for many users. Metal is a cryptocurrency designed to capitalize on the current inaccessibility of cryptocurrency by marrying it with the rampant mobile payment trend. Consumers are generally drawn into the idea of “free tokens”, and it ends up working as a “gateway drug” of sorts to other cryptocurrencies.

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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Tron Kickstarts Recovery as TRX Gains European Exposure

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Tron (TRX) was recently listed on BitBay, the third largest cryptocurrency exchange in Europe, and facilitator of 70% of Poland’s crypto trading market. The addition of TRX to the exchange will mean that Tron now has increased liquidity within the European markets, with TRX/EUR and TRX/PLN (Polish złoty) pairs available for trade.

TRX Kickstarts Recovery

TRX holders have been waiting for the coin price to align with the media hype for quite some time. TRX climbed 13% from September 19th through to September 20th, from a daily low of $0.018369 up to a peak of $0.020762.

As you can see from the chart, the $0.019 level appeared to be significant today. The coin was saved from that level after a flash-sale saw 5% wiped off the coin price in the space of an hour. It appears enough buy-orders were set for $0.019 when the market saw the momentum of TRX growth during the previous evening.

TRX holders have been waiting for the coin valuation to align with the media hype for some time now. Not since TRX’s momentous rise between Q1 and Q2, when TRX crossed the $0.10 valuation, has TRX displayed the kind of tenacity displayed by its media department.

Tron’s Ambition

Patryk Kadlec, Chief of Business Development at BitBay, had this to say about their newest addition:

“TRON is an ambitious project. We have no doubt that its protocol is one of the biggest operating systems in the world based on the blockchain network. We are very proud to list TRX on BitBay and present it to our users. We hope that our contest for traders will drive even more attention to TRON.”

Founder and CEO of Tron, Justin Sun, received the news with glee and added:

“BitBay is one of the biggest digital asset exchanges in the European area. The listing of TRX on BitBay is another milestone for us, representing another significant step of TRON into the European market. We believe that the cooperation between the two parties will provide users with more purchasing channels that are safer and more convenient. This will be a win-win cooperation.”

Sun also recorded this video announcement for the BitBay team in which he appeared to exaggerate the number of TRX token holders – 2 million anyone? But that may have been a genuine mistake considering he appeared to be reading from a cue-card.

Bithumb Resumes TRX Trading

While the TRX numbers from the BitBay exchange haven’t started to roll in just yet, today marked the completion of the TRX mainnet upgrade on Bithumb. Within the space of a few hours the TRX/KRW pair immediately raced to a $1.7 million volume – around 1.5% of the daily total. Trading has been so popular there that TRX has a markedly higher price on Bithumb than anywhere else today, and peaked at a valuation of $0.0215.

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 59 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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