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U.S. Government to Sell Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash Seized from Cyber Criminal

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A U.S. federal judge in Utah has approved the auction of hundreds of units of bitcoin and bitcoin cash seized from a dark web dealer, CCN has learned. The sale will be part of a larger liquidation of assets belonging to convicted criminal Aaron Michael Shamo.

Bitcoin Auction

There were 513 units of bitcoin and 512 bitcoin cash tokens in Shamo’s possession at the time of his conviction. All of them will be auctioned off, along with two automobiles. At current prices, the sale will amount to roughly $8.5 million.

Shamo was convicted on May 31, 2017 along with fellow dark web operators for several drug-related offences, including trafficking and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

The official court document released by Utah district judge Dale Kimball indicated that it was too costly to store the seized cryptocurrencies for a prolonged period. Based on the court documents, storing the coins cost taxpayers $465 per month.

The decision to liquidate the coins comes amid growing concerns over price volatility, with government officials seeking an imminent sale of the cryptocurrencies before they lose their value.  In October it was disclosed that the U.S. government lost nearly $2.4 billion on the sale of 144,336 bitcoins when the cryptocurrency was priced at just $336 a unit.

According to the official court document:

“The vehicles [bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash] have been seized and are in the custody and control of the United States Marshals Service. Every month, the USMS is accruing $465/month in storage fees for these vehicles. The total expenses for these two vehicles currently is $5,010.70. The BTC and BCH have been transferred to a Government wallet. Due to the volatile market for cryptocurrencies, the BTC and BCH risk losing value during the pendency of the forfeiture proceedings.”

Once considered the exclusive domain of dark web criminality, bitcoin has catapulted into the mainstream over the last 12 months. The price explosion has drawn the attention of various levels of government, from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to the District Court system.

Although bitcoin remains a popular cryptocurrency in the criminal underworld, altcoins with stronger privacy features are gaining prominence. Coins such as Monero, Zcash and Ethereum are becoming more popular among cyber criminals. Zcash appears to have the best privacy protection among the three, which analysts say could generate higher adoption among criminals in the future.

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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4.7 stars on average, based on 742 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

Dash Price Analysis: DASH/USDT Downside Risks Linger Despite Trust Wallet Support Announcement

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  • DASH/USDT price action is moving within a narrowing range formation, subject to further downside risks.
  • Trust Wallet, Binance-owed crypto wallet provider, announces support of DASH.

Price Behavior

DASH/USDT has been trading within a $6 range for the tenth session in a row, at the time of writing. The upper part of this range should be noted at $73. Looking to the downside, the lower support of the formation is seen at $67. The price, like many of its peers within the cryptocurrency market, is stuck within a narrowing range block. They are all currently demonstrating strong downside vulnerabilities, given the current behaviour.

This trading range came after a steep fall in the market last Thursday, 10th January. Double-digit losses were seen across the board after moving within a prior narrowing range formation. DASH/USDT had a strong run from 15th – 24th December, gaining as much as 81% within that time frame. Following the high print towards the latter part of that period, at $102.50, price cooling was seen and then begun to trade sideways.

Between 26th December 2018 – 9th January 2019, DASH/USDT was moving between a narrow $86 at the high and $73 at the low. This led to the explosive breakout to the downside, where the price dropped around 20% on 10th January.

Trust Wallet Supports Dash (DASH)

Trust Wallet, a mobile crypto wallet owned by Binance, announced earlier this week that it has added support for Dash. The announcement followed after just a week ago, when the wallet provider revealed the support of Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin (BTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). In addition, the app also supports Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Tron (TRX) and others.

The team at Trust Wallet, upon their DASH support update, also left users somewhat excited about further announcements lined up. They stated, “Going forward, we will monitor the performance and stability of our Dash release very closely, and if everything works well, hopefully, we can surprise you with more new coins in the coming weeks!”

Technical Review – DASH/USDT

DASH/USDT daily chart.

A breakout of the key mentioned levels that make up either side of the range, $72 and $67, will likely determine the next committed trend. Firstly, in terms of the next major area of support south, eyes will be on the December low area, $58. To the north, drop supply remains heading into and just above the psychological $100 mark.

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 110 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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Altcoins

Litecoin Price Analysis: LTC/USD Bulls Enjoy Big Jump But Stubborn Resistance Capping Potential

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  • Litecoin sees a relief rally on Friday, but is still stuck within stubborn range-block.
  • LTC/USD price action has formed a bearish flag pattern structure, subject to a potential break lower.

The Litecoin price on Saturday was seen holding decent gains of over 5%, as life is kicked back into the bulls. The LTC/USD pair has been victim of trading within a stubborn daily $3 range. This very much being the case for the past nine trading sessions. It is a form of consolidation after the breach south from an ascending trend line. This had been supporting the price from 14th December 2018, up until the bears forced a breach on 10th January.

In light of the breakout below the above-mentioned trend line, a large wave of selling pressure came with that. LTC/USD plunged by as much as 25% to the lowest levels seen since the start of the month. The earlier described range-block formation has come as a result of the increased volatility that accompanied the break south. The high of the range should be noted at the $33 mark, with the lower support eyed down at the psychological $30 level.

Bear Flag

Given this type of price behavior from a technical standpoint, it appears to demonstrate some vulnerabilities to the downside. The calming and consolidating after an initial explosive drop lower to then potentially resume the selling pressure reflects this point. As can see from either the 4-hour or daily chart, price action has formed a bearish flag pattern. When the market fell from 9-10th January, this formed the pole of the bearish flag of the structure. The actual flag is currently being constructed, as part of the sideways trading being observed.

Lightening Network Trial Underway

As reported by the CCN team, Coingate, a cryptocurrency-based payments platform, has now executed a trial run of its Lightening Network via Litecoin.  The platform has partnered up with a privacy service provider, known as Surfshark for this pilot project. Within the partnership, the implementation of Lightening Network payment solution for Litecoin transactions is a big milestone for the cryptocurrency community.

Technical Review – LTC/USD

LTC/USD daily chart. A bearish flag structure can be seen.

As detailed earlier, a breakout from the range-block formation will be the next trend defining move. Should the bears manage to force a break below the lower support, tracking at $30, then a demand area below will be called into action. This can be observed tracking within the $28 price region, which is a known area to find buyers. A failure to do so could see LTC/USD drop back down towards $23-22 range.

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 110 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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Market Overview

Stocks Power Ahead as China Pledges to Eliminate U.S. Trade Deficit; Cryptocurrencies Stabilize

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U.S. stocks surged on Friday, extending their winning streak to four days after China proposed new measures to help Washington eliminate its burgeoning trade deficit. Cryptocurrencies hovered near break-even for the week, as a lack of trading catalysts kept investors non-committal.

Stocks Extend Rally

All of Wall Street’s major indexes booked solid gains to close at their highest in well over a month. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 336.25 points, or 1.4%, to 24,706.35. The index was led by gains Hone Depot Inc. (HD), Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) and UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH).

The much broader S&P 500 Index rose 1.3% to 2,670.71. Ten of 11 primary sectors finished higher, led by energy, industrials and materials stocks.

The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index rose 1% to finish at 7,157.23.
Stocks have gained more than 6% since the year began, as traders looked to offset some of last quarter’s brutal declines.

End of the Trade War?

China is serious about ending the trade war with the United States. Sources close to the negotiations confirmed on Friday that Beijing has offered the United States a six-year increase in U.S. imports valued at more than $1 trillion. This would allow Washington to fully eliminate its annual trade deficit with China, currently valued at $323 billion, by 2024. CCN has more: Bye Bye Trade War? China Plans $1 Trillion Buying Spree to Reduce US Trade Deficit.

As Hacked reported Thursday, U.S. lawmakers are strongly considering lifting tariffs on Chinese imports in a renewed push to broker a new trade deal with Beijing. The Trump administration had previously pledged to raise tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods before Presidents Trump and Xi Jinping agreed to a temporary truce in December. The truce allowed both sides to negotiate a new trade deal over the next 90 days.

Crypto Prices Subdued

Crypto prices maintained their stability on Friday, as contradictory signals kept market activity to a minimum. This comes despite a noticeable pickup in trade volume over the past seven days.

The cryptocurrency market capitalization hovered below $122 billion, where it was virtually unchanged compared to seven days ago. The market bottomed near $116 billion last Sunday before quickly rebounding near $125 billion on Monday. Throughout the week, trade volumes have hovered in the $16-17 billion range. As Hacked recently reported, bitcoin has seen a sharp rise in circulation over the past 30 days.

Read Hacked.com’s Weekly Recap: Crypto Volatility Declines as Bitcoin Shows Renewed Stability; U.S.-China Trade War Could Soon End.

By late afternoon, most major assets were trading lower over the 24-hour cycle. Bitcoin was trading at $3,650, where it was tracking a 24-hour loss of 0.5%. XRP and Ethereum each fell more than 1.5%. Bitcoin cash and EOS booked losses of more than 2% each.

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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4.7 stars on average, based on 742 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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