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3 Possible Short Term Scenarios for Bitcoin (BTC) and the Crypto Markets

The subtle art of predicting the future of the crypto markets hinges more on news and the reaction to it, than to the highly respected technical analysis of BTC. This can be seen with the recent decline of Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and all other digital assets due to fake news that the Goldman Sachs firm, was relegating plans to launch a Crypto trading desk in the near future. The news had stated that the firm had cited Bitcoin regulatory hiccups as the reason to temporarily put the plans on hold.

The crypto markets are yet to recover from this FUD with the most affected digital asset being Ethereum (ETH). The King of Smart Contracts took a massive hit when it fell from levels of $280 right before the fake news was released, to its lowest value this year of $188 earlier this morning. ETH is currently trading at $192 and down 12% in the last 24 hours.

BTC Retesting $5,800

The first possible near future scenario for BTC, is that it retests levels of $5,800 as seen back on June 29th. The current support level of $6,150 is crucial for the digital asset to maintain its value above $6k. If this is broken, due to slow trading today (a Sunday), further decline is imminent.

Of noteworthy mentioning is BTC’s response on the 29th of June when it hit $5,800. After the fearful decline, the King of Crypto would then regain $1,000 in a period of a week. Therefore, if Bitcoin were to retest this levels, it would do so only briefly.

Bitcoin Recovers to $6,500

Without much technical analysis, we can tell that BTC has been massively oversold over the weekend. The weekends are known to historically have low trade volumes. Therefore, with the new week only hours away, the King of Crypto is likely to gain a few more dollars in value in the next few hours.

However, this is not guaranteed given the unpredictability of the crypto markets. We have purposely ignored technical analysis for we know that any real or fake news can negatively or positively impact the crypto markets.

Bitcoin Falling to $5,000 After the SEC postponing or rejecting the CBOE ETF

Many crypto enthusiasts have market September 30th as the D-Day for the CBOE sponsored Bitcoin ETF verdict at the SEC. The probability of the authority approving the ETF are slim given the SEC’s past record of rejecting or postponing any such rule change that comes its way.

Therefore, with September 30th only 20 days away, and with BTC proving to be shaky for the last few days, news of a rejection or postponement could send the digital asset to the lower levels of $5,000. What the cryptocurrency trading community needs to do, is to prepare for the worst as we approach the aforementioned D-Day.

In conclusion, Bitcoin has stabilized at levels of $6,200 after falling from recent stable levels of$ 6,400 due to fake news. The sudden decline in the markets has mostly affected ETH which is trading at new lows at $192. As we head into the new week, the next few hours will be determine which direction Bitcoin and the crypto markets take at least before the 30th of September when the SEC rule on the CBOE sponsored Bitcoin ETF.

What do you think is the next short term value of Bitcoin? Will the SEC approve an ETF and send its price soaring? Please let us know what you think in the comment section below.

Disclaimer: This article is not meant to give financial advice. Any opinion herein should be taken as is. Please carry out your own research before investing in any of the numerous cryptocurrencies available.

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IOTA (MIOTA) Expands Industrial Partnerships with VW, Bosch and Fujistsu

Many crypto enthusiasts believe that blockchain projects with a use case in real life problem solving, will be the ones to stick around in the long run. It is therefore not surprising that IOTA (MIOTA) fans are still enthusiastic about the project and the numerous possibilities it holds in revolutionizing the Internet of Things.

2018 will indeed prove to be one of the best years for the IOTA project for the foundation wants to expand on three major industrial partnerships with Bosch, Volkswagen and Fujitsu. The numerous applications of IOTA through its three partners has been demonstrated on numerous occasions at various fairs and events across the globe.

Bosch

Bosch describes the Internet of Things as:

The magic quality of the IoT is the connected world it makes possible: a world that’s getting bigger as the technologies linking devices become smaller, cheaper and faster.

At the end of last year, Bosch introduced its new sensor XDK or Cross Domain Development Kit which takes automation and its interaction with the IOTA tangle t a whole new level.

Volkswagen

On the other hand, VW, in conjunction with IOTA, presented a new proof of concept at the CEBIT 2018 event. VW wants to integrate the technology into its products to make sure all the cars get the data they need to run certain updates and functions as we advance into the future of technology.

With the future of driver-less cars not that far away, the transmission of data and software over radiowaves to vehicles on the IOTA tangle will be core to maintaining order on the roads.

Fujitsu

Fujitsu wants to offer its IOTA test project to its customers in the manufacturing and automotive industries. The company already sees IOTA as the new protocol standard in IT services and manufacturing IT products. Smart factories powered by the IOTA tangle, can make the manufacturing process more efficient.

Dr. Rolf Werner, who joined the board of the IOTA Foundation, describes the major applications as follows:

The possibilities of decentralized and secured applications based on IOTA Tangle as a Distributed Ledger Technology are immense. They go far beyond machine-to-machine payment and include, for example, tamper-proof monitoring of the supply chain and secure identity management, just to name a few. I’m delighted to join the IOTA Foundation Supervisory Council to provide a journey that will be meaningful for lots of industry sectors worldwide.

In conclusion, the IOTA project has very exciting times ahead in terms of solving real life problems. With respect to the market performance of the digital asset, MIOTA, the current bear market has left it valued at $0.52 at the moment of writing this. The decline in value is not limited to MIOTA, but is on a crypto-wide level with many anxious to see a market rebound before the end of the year.

Disclaimer: This article is not meant to give financial advice. Any opinion herein should be taken as is. Please carry out your own research before investing in any of the numerous cryptocurrencies available.

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Analysis: “Uncanny” Correlation Between The Long-Term Bitcoin And Gold Charts

“Uncanny Pattern Resemblance”

Since Bitcoin’s inception a decade ago, many have likened this decentralized digital asset to gold, with some dubbing Satoshi’s brainchild as a form of “digital gold.” This connection may be drawn due to the fact that the two individual assets are both stores of value, divisible, durable and secure.

Although there are similarities between the two assets that are as clear as day, as recently pointed by Nunya Bizniz, a lesser-known cryptocurrency proponent, there might be an “uncanny” line that can be drawn between the price action of gold and its digital counterpart.

On Thursday, Bizniz took to Twitter to bring up two separate charts, with the first being gold’s 43-year price history and the BTC’s price action throughout the entirety of its nine-year lifespan. Putting the charts (which are logarithmic/non-linear) side-by-side, it becomes apparent that there are clear parallels, or as Bizniz puts it, “uncanny,” even though the two stores of values may be inherently different at their core.

As seen in the tweeted image (above), the price action of both markets have seen similar bouts of exponential increases and subsequent ‘cooldowns’, leading some to ask if BTC is following in the footsteps of gold in some manner.

In a tweet posted just days after the original, the user brought up a zoomed-in chart of the two assets to back up the belief that they could be correlated. According to the tweet, if BTC is really following gold’s path, that could mean that the price of the foremost crypto asset could move under the ever so important $5,800 support level over the next few months.

However, as covered by Ethereum World News, Gabor Gurbacs, the director of digital asset strategy at VanEck/MVIS, claims that BTC could be worth upwards of $20,000 if it can succeed in a role as a primary form of digital gold. Gurbacs explained his prediction, stating:

Investors do refer to Bitcoin as a form of digital gold and gold today has around $7 trillion outstanding. If you take, say, 5 to 10 percent — I’ll let everyone do the math — Bitcoin has upside. Bitcoin is used as digital gold today. It’s a de-risk asset.

CryptoOracle Executive: Bitcoin Is Functionally Better Than Gold

Postulated price correlation aside, there are many that think that Bitcoin is actually superior to gold, as it has certain functions that make it an appealing investment, while also being functionally better than the yellow metal that humans have come to love over the course of written history.

As reported by Ethereum World News previously, Lou Kerner, co-founder and partner at CryptoOracle, “the first community-first crypto VC,” recently spoke with CNBC to reveal that Bitcoin may actually one-up gold in certain areas. Speaking on CNBC’s “The Coin Rush” segment, which holds a focus on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies, Kerner noted:

Gold has emerged as the global store of value and it has held that position for literally a couple thousand years — that’s an awesome run. So we now we have something (Bitcoin) that we think may be functionally much much better. So we expect that over time — not in a day, not in a week, not even in 5 years, — for some of the people using gold as a store of value to switch to Bitcoin.

While the crypto asset proponent didn’t mention any specific drawbacks of gold or positive aspects of Bitcoin, it could be assumed that he sees Bitcoin’s ease-of-use, immutability, digital nature as reasons why some forward-thinkers would see value in the use of BTC.

Image Courtesy of Michael Steinberg @ Pexels

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Crypto Market Continues Lower, ETH Falls Below $200, BTC at $6,150

Crypto Market Sees Violent Move To The Downside,  BTC Falls 4% 

After days of sideways price action, on Saturday, traders awoke to a horrific sight, with the cryptocurrency market continuing lower due to a fresh bout of sell-side pressure across the board. So essentially, when optimists thought it couldn’t get worse, it did, and a whole lot worse at that. Within the span of a single hour, BTC fell from $6,420 to $6,140, as selling volume ramped up on a variety of exchanges.

Chart Courtesy of TradingView

As with other recent bearish movements, altcoins actually underperformed Bitcoin, with a majority of crypto assets posting losses of 6% or more, while Bitcoin sat at 4% down on the day.

Image Courtesy of CoinMarketCap

In this move, however, there was one altcoin that stood out among the crowd of hundreds. As chart watchers are likely aware of, this sore thumb was Ethereum, or the price of ETH to be exact. For the first time in months, if not a year, ETH has fallen under the price of $200 and now sits at $192 and seems to be poised to move lower.

There wasn’t a clear catalyst for this continued bearish move, but many pointed out that the market weakness imposed by the previous move down likely incited Saturday’s drop. Analysts now have their eyes on the $6,000 and $5,800 support levels for BTC, which will both be points of interest if the market continues to post losses.

Some pessimists have pointed out that if Bitcoin closes under $5,800, that it could signal that this nascent asset class is ready to move into a multi-year bear phase. But for now, it remains to be seen whether this is just a baseless claim or a thought that holds credence.

Fundstrat’s Sluymer: “There Is No Strong Technical Setup For Bitcoin”

Following BTC’s drop from $7,100 to $6,300 on Wednesday, Robert Sluymer, a well-known analyst at Fundstrat Global Advisors, spoke with MarketWatch to discuss his opinions about how traders should deal with the market in its current state. The Fundstrat analyst stated:

That was a very damaging drop. There is no strong technical setup for bitcoin, we remain with lower lows and lower highs.

The analyst added that outside of day trading, it makes no sense to hold a long on ‘physical’ BTC tokens, as the indicators clearly show that BTC is evidently more bearish than it is bullish. However, there’s apparently even a risk for day traders, as Sluymer went on to point out, stating, “If you do [day trade], you have to have a tight stop.”

Oddly enough, the Fundstrat analyst’s sentiment is polar opposite from sentiment held by longtime Bitcoin bull Tom Lee, who is Sluymer’s co-worker. But this makes sense, as the former Fundstrat analyst is focused solely on technicals (which have been trending bearish), while Lee has his eye on fundamental indicators (which signal more positivity than technicals) and lesser-known and under-utilized technical indicators.

Photo by Alessia Cocconi on Unsplash

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Chinese Crypto Traders Find Ways To Skirt Government Crackdown

Rules Are Meant To Be Broken? 

To many in the crypto community, intense government intervention or regulation is not a problem, as a majority of nations across the globe are somewhat open to the use and propagation of crypto assets. However, as reported multiple times by Ethereum World News in the past few weeks, China-based regulators have been doing their utmost best to clamp down on the development, use, and trading of cryptocurrencies within the country’s borders.

Some of the measures the government took include, silencing crypto discussion on online forums, banning cryptocurrency-related events, restricting 124 foreign crypto exchanges, blocking access to eight crypto-centric news outlets on WeChat, and also banning Alipay accounts that have been suspected of facilitating crypto trades.

But as the old saying goes, “rules are meant to be broken.” Cryptocurrency firms and traders within the country have evidently taken this saying to heart, doing their best to skirt the bans by introducing ingenious solutions and workarounds.

As per a recent report from the South China Morning Post, despite Beijing’s attempt to shutter local exchanges, executives and employees within these firms have sought to avoid the ban by utilizing a series of domains to get their exchanges to the public via alternative means, albeit in less than ideal manner.

By moving their servers and legal operations outside of Chinese borders, these firms can essentially bypass a majority of the legal risks of propping up an exchange in China, which become classified foreign exchanges at that point. Speaking on the matter, Terence Tsang, the chief operating officer of TideBit, which maintains a series of crypto exchanges in Hong Kong and Taiwan, stated:

The latest warning and potentially increased monitoring of foreign platforms is targeted at a batch of smaller exchanges that had claimed to be foreign entities, but are in fact operating in China claiming they have outsourced their operations to a Chinese company… Those exchanges whose website landing pages are in Chinese have drawn particular scrutiny by regulators.

However, despite these updated exchange “website landing pages” drawing substantial amounts of scrutiny from regulators, industry leaders said that as long as an exchange’s server remains outside of China, that it would be a “huge challenge” for governmental bodies to stamp out all instances of cryptocurrency trades and transactions.

China’s Alternative Mode Of Crypto Trading

The South China Morning Post went on to describe how Chinese crypto investors have been trading following the ban. First prospective traders will need to find a way to purchase Tether tokens for Yuan, which can be done via exchange sites that offer Tether-to-yuan trading after the two sides of the trade submits fulfill the proper KYC requirements. The “exchange” oversees the trades, ensuring that both sides of the agreement get what they were asking for.

Sources told the SCMP that money will be transferred from bank-to-bank, or via third party payment networks, like AliPay or WeChat. Once the Tether appears in the wallet of the trader, he/she/they can trade these tokens on foreign exchanges through the use of VPNs and similar programs.

Photo by 郑 无忌 on Unsplash

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South Korean Official Proposes Greater Cooperation for Global Crypto Regulation

An official from South Korea’s Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) has urged for international cooperation between regulators on crypto.

An official from South Korea’s Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) has proposed greater international cooperation between regulators for crypto and Initial Coin Offering (ICO) regulation, local news outlet Asian Economic TV reports Friday, September 7.

Yoon Suk-heun, governor of FSS, made a statement about the potential for more cooperation during the opening ceremony of the 20th Integrated Financial Supervisors Conference (IFSC) held in Seoul Thursday, September 6, and attended by officials from 15 countries.

The South Korean official stressed that country’s main aim is to “improve transparency in transactions to prevent illegal activities.” As Asia Economic TV reports, Yoon Suk-Heun urged the need for international coordination, including information sharing among countries, in preparation for the risk of money laundering that could rise as new financial products or services emerge.

The FSS governor also mentioned that cryptocurrency regulation must include a consumer protection system and internal control of finance companies.

IFSC is an organization which supervies the financial industry including banks, security and insurance companies. South Korea, Japan, Australia, Singapore, Canada, the UK, Germany, Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Hungary, Iceland, Denmark, and Ireland are among ISFC members.

As Cointelegraph reported earlier, South Korea has previously expressed interest in integrating cryptocurrencies and blockchain to various services. The country’s officials have visited Switzerland’s Crypto Valley to gain an understanding of technologies, while South Korean lawmakers have also discussed creating their own “Blockchain Island”.

However, South Korean officials have also taken strict measures to regulate crypto market. In August, the government excluded cryptocurrency exchanges from legislation governing venture businesses, Cointelegraph wrote.

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IT Analyst Jason Bloomberg: What I’m Really Saying Is ‘Shut Down Permissionless Blockchains’

IT industry analyst Jason Bloomberg tells CT why he doesn’t believe in trustless systems and how he sees permissionless blockchains being “shut down.”

This interview has been edited and condensed.

Aside from occasional blisteringly anti-crypto commentary from the likes of Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, one of the crypto industry’s most consistent and vocal naysayers is IT industry analyst Jason Bloomberg.

Bloomberg is a published author, Forbes contributor and president of the firm Intellyx, which helps enterprises integrate new technological developments and trends into their business models.

Bloomberg also devotes a significant amount of his time to attending crypto and blockchain-related conferences and events, speaking and debating with industry leaders. His public stance, however, can be characterized as anti-crypto, but more accurately it is anti-decentralized, permissionless crypto — against the original dream of truly decentralized, peer-to-peer interactions laid out in the Bitcoin (BTC) white paper that captured the imaginations of early adopters.

Last month at BlockShow Americas in Las Vegas, Cointelegraph had a chance to speak with Bloomberg about why he wants to “shut down” decentralized crypto, what he sees as the threat of crypto-related crime and why he comes to blockchain industry events like BlockShow.

What’s wrong with permissionless blockchains

Olivia Capozzalo: So, you have a reputation for saying some pretty bold things about cryptocurrency. This spring you wrote an article in which there was a sentence stating something like “We need to make cryptocurrency as we know it illegal.”

Jason Bloomberg: Right. The challenge that most cryptocurrencies have is that they run on a permissionless blockchain infrastructure. By permissionless, we mean that there’s nobody in charge, right?

In a proof-of-work system, every transaction processor has to process the transactions. Because it’s permissionless, anybody can sign up as a miner, including criminals.

Now, not all miners are criminals, obviously, but criminals are welcome to be miners. There’s nothing stopping them from being miners. As a result, many criminal enterprises, including organized crime syndicates, have gotten into the mining business.

There’s really no way to stop this, aside from moving away from permissionless blockchain-based approaches.

So, when I say, “Shut all the cryptocurrencies down,” what I’m really saying is “shut down the permissionless ones.” If cryptocurrency is going to survive, we’ll have to move to a permissioned infrastructure.

OC: Just hypothetically, if people start taking you up on this call to action, what would that look like? Do you have a vision of how that would start to affect what we know today as the crypto industry?

JB: Well, in practical terms, it would be very difficult to shut down, say, Bitcoin, because it doesn’t exist in any one country. So each country would have to decide what laws it wanted to create in order to make transactions illegal, or whatever it would be.

What I would expect to happen is, over time, as various organizations and governments, as well as banks and Wall Street trading firms realize that permissionless cryptocurrency has these issues, then gradually the trend would be to encourage permissioned systems versus permissionless — and that would drive down the value of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that run on permissionless systems.

So if you drive down the value sufficiently, then it is no longer cost-effective to mine the cryptocurrency. And at certain point, then, essentially it will fall apart.

Nobody will be running transactions because there will be no money made in conducting transactions, and fewer and fewer countries will allow cryptocurrency. And hopefully, other cryptocurrencies that are based on permissioned systems will essentially take the line and investment is going to move to them.

But I would say that the permissionless ones will essentially fade over time. There will be less interest in them, they’ll be less valuable, and fewer and fewer people will want to mine them.

Watch the full interview with Jason Bloomberg here:

Against a trustless system

OC: For many, if not most people in the crypto industry, the fact that anyone can send money from one person to another directly — without intermediaries, without an enterprise, without a bank — is a core value.

What do you say to the people who really care about the decentralized aspect of cryptocurrency when you are talking about shifting the entire value system?

JB: You’re quite right, and this is a very astute point — the whole perspective on decentralized cryptocurrency blockchain versus the centralized permissioned approach. And for many people in this community, it’s all about decentralization, and some of them don’t even see permissioned blockchain as being blockchain at all.

In terms of decentralization, I still don’t see that there’s a way to implement decentralization without opening the doors to criminal enterprise.

And so, all of these people with these libertarian priorities, libertarian visions for a decentralized world with no government intervention — the problem there is that, if you don’t have sufficient regulation, if you don’t have sufficient permissioning of the transaction processors, then essentially, it becomes just a playground for criminal enterprise.

OC: What about the fact that not all cryptocurrencies are proof-of-work, you don’t need to mine all of them. You can have permissionless and proof-of-stake blockchains, right?

JB: Well, this is an important trend away from these permissionless systems to the more permissioned approach. And there could be a lot of different variations, whether it’s proof-of-stake…you know, Ripple is an example of a centralized, permissioned approach — and I would say that is really where the focus will be.

But whether or not there’s a way to solve the crime problem and still be decentralized, I just don’t see that because I think the whole point is that we need to have, essentially, a centralized entity that people put their trust in, who is now extending their trust to the participants in the infrastructure to the miners.

And without that, we are just allowing criminals in. And this has happened over the years with various approaches, right? This is nothing new.

Crypto and crime

OC: In the research that you’ve done, you see that the criminal involvement is increasing?

JB: The criminal involvement in cryptocurrency was one of the original reasons why cryptocurrency took off, so it’s one of the reasons why Bitcoin became as popular as it did in the earlier days.

And now, it’s only continuing to expand. I mentioned in my panel this morning that in 2017, the most active form of hacking of big business was ransomware. Ransomware is only practical when you can pay the ransoms in some sort of cryptocurrency. Before cryptocurrency, there was no ransomware, it just wasn’t feasible. So, cryptocurrency now gave the criminals a way to conduct ransomware.

That was 2017. Ransomware is no longer the most popular. In 2018, the most popular is cryptojacking — or illicit crypto mining — where the hacker puts crypto mining software either in a browser, but increasingly on servers, both in enterprise centers and cloud environments that essentially sucks up electricity and pays the criminal in some sort of cryptocurrency.

This is now the most popular, the most predominant way of hacking a big company.

So essentially, what cryptocurrency has become is not only a way for criminals to get into the mining, but it’s a way to conduct criminal transactions, it’s a way to conduct hacking.

If you look at the dark web, the whole economic context for the dark web is cryptocurrency. The dark web wasn’t really practical — because there was no good way of exchanging funds — until cryptocurrency came along.

OC: But one of the arguments that people make is that crime-related transactions are not the majority of the transactions happening with cryptocurrency.

There’s always going to be crime, so why would you fight the medium of exchange — cash, crypto, whatever it is — rather than looking for other ways to prevent or prosecute crime?

JB: Well, criminals have been using cash since the invention of cash, obviously. But that’s actually a false comparison. You’re saying, “Well, because criminals can use cash, we shouldn’t worry about criminals using cryptocurrency.”

It’s like saying, “Well, if I get stopped for speeding, my argument to the cop should be that other people are speeding,” or, “Other people were going faster than I was.” No cop is going to let you off of a ticket because you said that somebody else has committed a crime. That is not a justification for a crime.

OC: But here’s the comparison. Why can the car go faster than the speed limit? Why don’t they just make cars that can’t go faster than a certain speed?

If you start controlling the means, it restricts people’s freedom. And I think that is a really important thing for people in crypto — it’s like, I want the freedom to be able to send you, transact with you on a peer-to-peer basis. I feel like It’s sort of crushing the dream of a decentralized world.

JB: Well, I don’t think it’s a question of crushing the dream, it’s that the technology that people have come up with does not support the dream. The dream of being able to conduct a transaction as easily as giving you a dollar bill, but be able to do it internationally, electronically — okay, well that makes sense on the superficial level, so why come up with this huge technology infrastructure that is hugely valuable to the criminals and becomes a central element of organized crime, globally speaking.

And this has happened over the years. In fact, I’ve just read some research that came in a newsletter this morning, about how this notion of decentralized network communication — we’ve never come up with a way of doing it without it just ending up being a means for criminal activity.

Back in the 80s, hardcore pornography was hard to come by. The web wasn’t around. You’d go to your local store, you could get Playboy — but that wasn’t hardcore — so this was it. And it was mostly illegal until the Clinton administration relaxed the obscenity rules in the 1990s. Once the Clinton administration did that, mainstream pornography moved to the web, and it’s been there ever since.

Now along comes BitTorrent. We’re now using the internet, internet speeds are going faster, we’re now able to download videos. So, what do we do? We come up with a peer-to-peer, decentralized protocol that allows anybody to exchange big files with anybody else. So, what do you use that for? Well, pirated software, pirated videos and illegal pornography. Because that was the primary use. This is just human nature: If you have a way of exchanging information or files that is hidden from view, then it is going to be primarily used by criminals to conduct criminal activity.

The problem with BitTorrent was that BitTorrent itself was not particularly anonymous — you had to identify your IP address — so it wasn’t very good for organized crime. It became, sort of, a disorganized crime protocol. It also didn’t provide a payment mechanism. It was more about sharing that illegal porn with your buddies than building a business.

What do we need? We needed a way of greater anonymity in the payments and a payment infrastructure. And along came Bitcoin. That’s why Bitcoin exploded, it was because BitTorrent did not have those things.

Now, you add Bitcoin to BitTorrent and now you can build a global, professional black market for illegal contraband and that’s the dark web.

This is the history of distributed technologies — it’s been one of facilitating criminal enterprise. Bitcoin played right into that, and now we have the dark web and now we have hackers who are leveraging the technologies as well.

This is the story. This is the story of cryptocurrency.

And people are pretending or fooling themselves that it’s about some sort of a libertarian ideal, where people are going to behave. No, people will not behave. Criminals are going to come in, and they are going to take over, and it’s going to be the whole reason why we have this stuff.

The cryptojacking threat

OC: You have this arguably pessimistic vision of how this all will turn out. Let’s get back into the nitty-gritty of cryptojacking, that particular type of hacking. What’s the exact harm being done there?

JB: So, with illicit crypto mining or cryptojacking, the early days were all about the browsers — you have some sort of compromised website that would give you some Javascript you would run on your browser. And so, your own computer would spin for a while, and it steals a little bit of electricity and a little bit of processor power from you.

That software has gotten better and now, even when you close your browser, it will still run on your computer. So, it’s sucking up your processor on your laptop. That is relatively minor compared to crypto mining software on a server. You put it on a server, it’s getting more sophisticated, it’s now consuming electricity and processor power on the server. If it’s in the cloud, it’s running up the cloud bill.

So, companies are paying money for their cloud services, including any crypto mining that is running on there. If it’s on premises, it’s still consuming electricity and processor power, and will continue to do so until the miners proliferate and take the entire network down. It’s not just one hacker doing this. If a company is vulnerable, then multiple different bad guys are going to figure this out and put mining software, which is forming itself into botnets.

So, many different computers mining software, consuming electricity and processor power, unbeknownst to the other crypto mining software on the same servers.

Essentially, at certain point, it just uses up all the processing power, the server stops working and this could happen across the entire network. It could take down the entire company’s data center.

But because it is running behind the scenes, the way that criminals make their money is simply processing transactions and they get money from the Bitcoin or Monero infrastructure directly. The money isn’t going directly from the victim to the perpetrators. It’s indirect.

But as a result, it’s catching a lot of the CSOs, the chief security officers, unaware until such time that it takes down their entire network. So, this is already the biggest problem on corporate networks today, but it’s not going to take as much attention as perhaps it should because it doesn’t have the command-and-control link and, in the early days, it doesn’t have much impact.

OC: Okay, I see. And you think the solution, just to clarify, is not to deal with preventing that kind of an attack or mitigating it in some way, but actually shut down cryptocurrency because cryptocurrency is the problem here.

JB: Well, I don’t think this is really a practical solution. It would be great if I could say, “Well, we’ll just shut down cryptocurrency, that’s going to stop crypto mining.” And yes, it would, but I don’t think it’s practical for the reasons I listed: There’s no one country, it’s no one country’s laws.

So, it’s going to take a lot of time. And it’s going to be, really, the economic forces, right? It has to be less valuable to own certain cryptocurrencies over others. And once we shift the economy to the safer cryptocurrencies, then that is going to be a long-term, gradual solution.

In the short term, yes, it’s essentially traditional cyber security methods: malware detection and threat prevention. And this is where a lot of big companies are spending their cybersecurity dollars today.

Why we’re here

OC: Let me ask you a question that’s a little bit pointed, but what are you hoping to do by coming to BlockShow or any other crypto/blockchain-related events? Like, why are you here exactly?

JB: Why am I poking my stick into all these people? Well, I write for Forbes. I am a Forbes contributor, so I write five articles a month for Forbes. I’m always looking for good stories, and that’s a part of the story.

But I’m also, essentially, looking for the gems in the rough. I’m looking for those enterprise blockchain companies that have real solutions, at least in the works — obviously, it’s still early days, so it’s usually proofs-of-concept — but real solutions in the sense that they are solving business problems for companies who aren’t just other companies in the blockchain echo chamber.

Those are the stories that I think are the most important to tell. But yes, I can tell the stories about the flaws of cryptocurrencies or the problems with the libertarian perspective on things, but that only gets you so far.

Really, it’s more important to focus on the positive stories, right? The real business cases for real companies, who are solving real customer problems. And that’s really what I am looking for.

OC: Great, thank you so much.

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Crypto Market Stand Its Ground, Three of the Top 20 Coins by Market Cap See Gains

The crypto market stands its ground, with Bitcoin hovering around $6,400 and three out of 20 top cryptocurrencies by market cap in green.

Saturday, September 8: after a recent sell-off, the crypto markets is standing its ground today, with three of top 20 coins by market cap in the green and Bitcoin (BTC) hovering around $6,400 support.

Market visualization from Coin360

Market visualization from Coin360

After facing a sharp decline on the week, Bitcoin is holding its position on the market, down around 0.7 percent over the past 24 hours and trades at around $6,394 at press time. Yesterday, the major cryptocurrency dropped to as low as $6,354.

Weekly Bitcoin price chart

Weekly Bitcoin price chart. Source: Cointelegraph Bitcoin Price Index

Ethereum (ETH) keeps trading at around $210, down over 3 percent over the 24 hour period to press time.

Weekly Ethereum price chart

Weekly Ethereum price chart. Source: Cointelegraph Ethereum Price Index

Total market cap is standing its ground, currently at the $203 billion point having seen some slight fluctuations around the $204 billion point today. Total market cap had an intraday low of $202 billion and high of $205 billion.

Weekly total market capitalization chart

Weekly total market capitalization chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

After seeing a top dominance rate that surged to as high as 55.5 percent on September 6, Bitcoin currently holds 55.1 percent of the crypto markets, the total number of which constitutes 1,926 at press time.

Weekly percentage of Total Market Cap (Dominance)

Weekly percentage of Total Market Cap (Dominance). Source: CoinMarketCap

While the most of cryptocurrencies among top 20 coins by market cap are seeing slight losses, some coins have outperformed, seeing gains of over 5 percent over the past 24 hours.

Dash (DASH) is up more than 5 percent over the past 24 hours, trading at around $196 at press time. The altcoin is still down more than 9 percent over the past week, according to CoinMarketCap.

Dogecoin (DOGE), which has skyrocketed recently, is also among the leaders in terms of top 20 coins by market cap today. The digital currency is trading at $0.006 at press time, up about 5.5 percent over a 24 hour period, but at the same time almost 9 percent down over the week.

In contrast, Stellar (XLM) and Cardano (ADA) are seeing the biggest losses over the top ten crypto by market cap. The sixth top coin, XLM is down around 2 percent over the past 24 hours, trading at around $0.20. Cardano is down around 2.7 percent, trading at around $0.08 at press time.

Recently, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong predicted that the number of people in the crypto ecosystem will grow from the current 40 million to 1 billion in the next five years, claiming that tokens would operate together with equity as an alternative investment system.

Yesterday, Cointelegraph reported on a study by investment platform SharesPost revealing that a majority of accredited and retail investors plan to increase their crypto asset holdings over the next 12 months.

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Crypto is a ‘Poor Form of Money’ for Terrorists, Congressional Hearing Concludes

Cryptocurrency is a “poor form of money” for most terrorists, says director of analysis at U.S. think tank FDD’s CSIF Yaya Fanusie.

The U.S. Congress Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance has discussed various methods of terrorism financing with cryptocurrency, according to an official press release on the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee September 7.

In order to monitor threats and methods of terrorist financing, the hearing considered major means of transferring funds by terrorists, including traditional financial institutions and semi-formal methods, such as the hawala exchange system, as well as cryptocurrencies.

However, while al-Qaeda, the Islamic State, and other terrorist groups have all attempted to raise funds through crypto, they have not had great success, as Congress concluded in the meeting.

Yaya Fanusie, director of analysis for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance, stressed that most terrorists, especially those that serve on “jihadist battlefields,” are currently living in environments where crypto is not operable, which means that fiat use is preferable for buying goods.

Fanusie pinpointed fiat money as the most anonymous method for funding, claiming that it is very popular among terrorists.

While Fanusie stated that crypto is a “poor form of money for jihadists” and “cold hard cash is still king,” according to a Forbes article, he still acknowledged that “there are multiple examples of terrorist cryptocurrency funding campaigns.”

The expert further stated that in order to combat the potential successful use of crypto fundraising campaigns by terrorists, the U.S. government bodies that are responsible for terrorist finance investigation should become more skilled in analyzing cryptocurrency transactions. Fanusie noted:

“By preparing now for terrorists’ increasing usage of cryptocurrencies, the U.S. can limit the ability to turn digital currency markets into a sanctuary for illicit finance.”

At this point, Fanusie appeared to recommend that the authorities should focus on minor crypto exchanges that trade alternative tokens or “privacy coins” instead of major exchanges that have significantly boosted their anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) policies over the past few years.

Earlier this year, risk management giant LexisNexis partnered with crypto exchange Blockbid in order to introduce security solution for exchanges dubbed “Trade with Confidence,” which intends to prevent terrorism financing, among other illicit activities.

In January 2018, Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) of the House Financial Services Committee introduced a bill that aims to fight terrorism by offering rewards for information that leads to convictions of cryptocurrency-supported terrorism.

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What Next for Ethereum (ETH)?

Ethereum (ETH) has had a rough week in the crypto markets. On the 5th of September, right before the whole market lost close to $40 Billion in a day, ETH was valued at $280 and seemed to have considerable support at that level. Then the news hit that Goldman Sachs have decided not to proceed with plans for a Bitcoin (BTC) and Crypto trading desk. The entire market tanked. ETH fell in the markets to current levels of $219 as the news about Goldman Sachs have since been declared as fake news.

Fears of Further Decline and ICO’s Dumping ETH in the Markets

The Ethereum HODLers in the crypto community are concerned that ETH will continue falling to levels well below $200.The last time ETH went below this levels was back in mid September when it was valued briefly at $195.

With the constant rumors that ICOs are selling the ETH they raised last year and early this year to avoid further losses, the concern still lingers of the possibility of the digital asset continuing to depreciate in value. Although this claims have not been confirmed, the theory is plausible given the tonnes of crypto that was poured into ICOs from late last year to date.

Will it Go To Zero?

The extreme side of events is that ETH will plummet to zero as everyone ditches the digital asset for more stabler coins such as Stellar (XLM). There is also the theory that ETH can be replaced as the preferred ‘gas’ payment on the Ethereum network thus making the digital asset obsolete. However, the Ethereum community would not agree to such a radical overhaul of the network’s operations.

A Call for a New Ethereum Network

This then leads to a new discussion that the Ethereum network needs to evolve with the times or risk being obsolete as more efficient networks are created. These include the likes of Tron (TRX), Zilliqa (ZIL) and Neo (NEO). Of particular concern are the security vulnerabilities in Ethereum smart contracts as well as the network having congestion issues that need to be solved by increasing its throughput.

Waiting It Out

The good thing is that ETH still has fans and HODLers who are willing to wait out the current storm in the form of a bear market. There are also high hopes that the scalability issues on the network will be solved very soon further injecting the much needed life into the digital asset.

In conclusion, the digital asset of ETH is facing some trying times in the crypto markets as it has dropped 85% since its peak value of $1,400. With the bear market still in full force at the moment of writing this, there is some fear that its value could drop further. However, the long term future of ETH is still bright if its network can evolve with the times.

Disclaimer: This article is not meant to give financial advice. Any opinion herein should be taken as is. Please carry out your own research before investing in any of the numerous cryptocurrencies available.

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