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Treading the Floods: Cryptocurrency Prices Stable Following Bithumb Attack 

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Cryptocurrencies emerged unscathed Wednesday following yet another security breach of a South Korean exchange, as the market continued to favor a corrective rally for bitcoin and the major altcoins.

Crypto Prices Hold Steady

Bitcoin fell by as much as $200 Wednesday on news of a cyber attack targeting South Korea’s Bithumb exchange. However, the coin quickly recovered and now sits just shy of $6,800, according to data provider CoinMarketCap. Prices peaked at $6,821.56 at 12:34 UTC.

Compared with 24 hours ago, bitcoin’s per-coin value was virtually unchanged.

The ten biggest altcoins by market cap exhibited the same pattern, with prices treading water compared with Tuesday afternoon. The total cryptocurrency market was valued above $290 billion, up from an earlier low of around $282 billion.

Bitcoin and the major altcoins have more or less retained their bullish bias, which suggests that a continuation of the upward trend is likely. Since bottoming last week, coins have rebounded $26 billion.

Bithumb Attack: What We Know

Hackers made off with roughly $31 million in stolen cryptocurrency on Wednesday as Bithumb suffered its third cyber breach in 12 months. The attackers reportedly targeted users’ holdings of XRP, the third-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, by running a series of unauthorized access attempts.

Bithumb was unable to prevent the attack despite spending upwards of 10 billion won ($9 million) on security enhancements. This includes complying with new guidelines for financial institutions requiring 5% of company staff be made up of IT specialists. Bithumb has reportedly exceeded that quota by a wide margin.

The Seoul-based exchange confirmed that it had migrated outstanding crypto balances to cold storage and said it will fully refund affected users. Transactions on the exchange remain suspended for now.

Although news of the attack hit the airwaves on Wednesday, some analysts believe the theft occurred several days earlier as part of Bithumb’s data upgrade. However, the exact cause of the breach remains unclear.

Goldman Sachs Weighs Crypto Trading as an Option

U.S. multinational investment bank Goldman Sachs is considering taking a bigger dive into cryptocurrency by launching a full-scale trading operation, according to COO David Solomon.

“We are clearing some futures around bitcoin, talking about doing some other activities there, but it’s going very cautiously,” Solomon said during an interview in China, as reported by CCN. “We’re listening to our clients and trying to help our clients as they’re exploring those things too.”

Currently, the Wall Street investment giant is clearing bitcoin futures contracts. It has also announced plans to introduce a new bitcoin trading operation, which includes using its own money to trade with clients in a variety of contracts linked to bitcoin.

Institutional traders are awaiting the arrival of custodial services dedicated to cryptocurrency before taking the full plunge into digital assets. To that effect, the San Francisco-based  Coinbase exchange is leading the charge by announcing a new line of crypto custodial services to unlock up to $10 billion in institutional capital.

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 499 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

Tron Price Gains 36% for the Week – Pushes Back Into Top Ten

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Today TRX coins have grown 13% over 24 hours, and continue to climb in value even as Bitcoin and Ethereum start to slow their rate of growth.

Tron began the day at $0.038 and then climbed to a peak of $0.0430 just a matter of minutes ago. That move pushed Tron’s market cap to just under $3 billion, and sent TRX back into the top ten in market cap rankings.

Going back to July 13th, just five days ago, TRX was priced at $0.0314, meaning today’s recent high of $0.0430 marks a 36% growth in less than a week.

Return to the Top Ten

Tron had been edged out of its prime market cap top ten location in recent weeks by Tether. Or rather, Tether moved up the market cap rankings owing to Tron’s fall. Today Tron has pushed back into the top ten for the first time in what feels like a long time, but is actually only a few weeks. Time slows down in the crypto world. The rollercoaster that a gold or silver investor went through over the last twenty years is experienced by the average crypto holder in the space of a week.

The surge into the top ten would have been helped in no small part by the 88% boost to Tron’s daily trading volumes over the past week – rising from $152 million, to $287 million at the time of writing.

Good Ol’ Hype

Tron’s market growth over the last week has been accompanied by a definite ramping up of the hype train. A quick Google search for ‘Tron trx’ opens up a first page with one Youtube video declaring Tron to be ‘better than Ripple’, and another proclaiming that Tron is the new Apple.

Such posts are viewed with suspicion by the community at large, but no corporate interference is necessarily required for crypto enthusiasts to engage in free shilling for their favourite altcoins.

Earlier today, Tron creator, Justin Sun, announced his intention to run as a candidate for one of the Tron network’s super-representative positions. Sun announced on Twitter:

“I am excited to run for #TRON Super Representative alongside excellent candidates, in the hands of our community. Voting is a crucial part of the #TRON ecosystem and embodies our mission of decentralization and democracy. Every vote counts!”

In a community that prioritizes decentralization, this move is certain to raise eyebrows. Sun already owns 10% of the total TRX token supply, and his presence within the day-to-day running of the Tron network might reek a little too much of ‘conflict of interest’.

But then, the alternative view is that if the network requires super representatives (essentially node operators) to service and govern the blockchain; who better than the guy who wants it to succeed the most?

Answers to these questions may only come when Tron either flies or fails, until then, enjoy the drama if you can.

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 23 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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Stellar Price Up 77% for the Week as Protocol Gains Sharia Compliance

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The daily volume for the entire crypto market has jumped 144% in the last three days, up from $8.7 billion on July 15th to the current $21 billion at the time of writing. Every coin in the top ten is glowing green, with Stellar in particular showing tremendous growth for the day.

Earlier this morning XLM coins were trading for $0.23. Fast forward just over twenty hours and that price now sits at $0.318 – that’s a 38% increase for the day, and sets Stellar apart as the best performer in the top ten, run close only by Cardano’s 25%+ growth in the same time frame.

Just six days ago, on July 12th, one unit of XLM was valued at $0.179, meaning today’s price marks 77% growth for Stellar in less than a calendar week. Stellar has now smashed through the monthly high, recording its highest market value since May 22nd.

Stellar’s highest concentration of trade movement has come on Binance today, with BTC and USDT being popular trades. The Korean touch is also felt with around 18% of Stellar’s trades coming against KRW on the Upbit and GOPAX exchanges. The overall daily volume for XLM is currently 425% higher than it was this time last week.

Sharia Compliance

According to a Reuters press release which dropped just last night, Stellar has just received a certificate of Sharia compliance, one which will allow them to focus on bringing the 1.6 billion Muslim population onto the blockchain, so to speak.

Muslim adoption of cryptocurrency has always had to contend with religious money laws, but this recent development could be the watershed moment which changes everything – not just for Stellar, but the for the entire crypto market as it spreads across new lands.

Mansoor Ahmed, assistant general manager at Shariya Review Bureau, said that the technological aspects were never a sticking point:

““For the blockchain technology there was no issue, the main thing we needed to consider was the use of the underlying cryptocurrency”

The Islamic approach to finance is one that emphasizes real-world assets, and tangible value. The accumulation of interest, for example, is forbidden in Islamic society, and so it’s easy to see why there were concerns about cryptocurrency to begin with.

Coinbase and IBM

Stellar and Cardano were two of the coins mentioned in the Coinbase tweet earlier in the week, and the spikes they experienced at the time have compounded over the last 24 hours.

Meanwhile, Stellar’s close relationship with IBM continues to flourish this week as IBM launch their own stablecoin on the Stellar platform.

Stronghold USD is intended to be Stellar and IBM’s answer to Tether; although unlike Tether, one would expect much greater transparency from a company like IBM.

Jesse Lund, IBM’s vice president of Global Blockchain told Reuters:

“IBM will explore use cases with business networks that we have developed, as a user of the token. We see this as a way of bringing financial settlement into the transactional business network that we have been building.”

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 23 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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Cryptocurrency Market Cap Approaches $300 Billion as Bitcoin, Altcoins Continue Surging

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Cryptocurrencies were nearing an important psychological milestone Wednesday, as surging trade volumes propelled the market to its highest level in five weeks.

Market Update

The digital asset market has tacked on over $26 billion in the last 24 hours to reach $296.1 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. At this pace, $300 billion is likely within reach in the coming day. Total market prices have been capped below that level since June 12.

Daily trade volumes on global exchanges now exceed $20 billion for the first time since May. Three exchanges processed more than $1 billion worth of trades.

Bitcoin, which was the main catalyst for the rally, has retained a 43% share of the total market. The largest cryptocurrency by trading volumes and market cap is up nearly 11% over the past 24 hours to trade at $7,741. The bitcoin price peaked just below 7,500 overnight.

Altcoins have also picked up the pace, with all the majors reporting solid gains. Ethereum was up 6% as prices approached $500. Ripple XRP gained almost 9% to $0.513.

Stellar Lumens led the double-digit gainers with returns of 28.4% over the last 24 hours. XLM now sits at $0.296.

Cardano’s ADA coin jumped 19.6% to $0.181. Bitcoin cash, the no. 5 currency, rose 10.1% to $872.

Bitcoin Volumes Double

Bitcoin’s trading volumes have virtually doubled over the past week, as positive headlines surrounding adoption and regulation triggered renewed interest in the cryptocurrency. Hacked previously reported that daily trade volumes of $4 billion or greater are needed to sustain a meaningful rally for the bitcoin price. On Wednesday, bitcoin turned over nearly $6.6 billion.

Tether – a cryptocurrency pegged to the dollar that is often traded against bitcoin – continues to exhibit higher than normal trade volumes. On Wednesday, USDT trades generated $4.2 billion in volume, which is an all-time high.

Unlike previous rallies that appeared technical in nature, the latest uptrend was sparked by news that a trillion-dollar asset manager was exploring ways to enter the cryptocurrency market.

BlackRock, which controls over $6 trillion in assets, has assembled a working group to explore crypto adoption. In an interview, CEO Larry Fink said his firm is a “big student of blockchain” but that he does not see “huge demand for cryptocurrencies” at the moment.

Fink has changed his tune compared to last year, when he called crypto assets “an index for money laundering.”

Coinbase, a large and influential digital currency exchange, has also fueled positive sentiment after the firm said it had gained regulatory approval to begin listing security tokens. Last week, Coinbase also said it had short-listed five cryptocurrencies for future consideration on its exchange.

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 499 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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