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Ethereum Founder Vitalik Could Be Worth $100M+, Crypto Investor Speculates

Vitalik Still Owns $50 Million In Ethereum

Crypto investors are curious folk. Almost every stakeholder wants to know who Satoshi really is. So, it should come as no surprise that some have delved into blockchain data to determine the net worth/asset value of some of this space’s leading figures. Alex Sunnarborg, who heads cryptocurrency hedge fund Tetras Capital, recently divulged a bit about the financial status of Vitalik Buterin, the creator of Ethereum.

In a six-part thread, Sunnarborg did his utmost to analyze the publicly-known wallets of the Russian-Canadian coder. It was explained that per Etherscan, Buterin currently owns the keys to the 24th most valuable Ethereum (not counting ERC tokens) account.

The wallet in question has custody of 350,003 Ether, 0.332% of the asset’s current circulating supply. At current valuations, such a cryptocurrency stash is valued at $50,000,000 by the market — evidently no small sum. 350,003 ETH is drastically less than the 500,000 coins he received during Ethereum’s genesis block, presumably for his work building the blockchain from the ground up.

Sunnarborg speculates that the disparity between the Ether amount Buterin initially received and his current balance is due to a series of cash outs, which were purportedly completed between June 2017 and February 2018. The investor adds that these sales likely netted Vitalik approximately $40 million, which has likely funded Buterin’s little-known living habits.

And with that, Sunnarborg concluded that Buterin’s finances can be broken down as follows: $50 million worth of Ether in primary address, $40 million in fiat reserves, and likely millions worth of Ether, ERC tokens, and project equity.

Long story short, Buterin is doing rather well for himself.

Bone To Pick With Ether?

While Sunnarborg did not divulge his reasoning for issuing the aforementioned thread, some have speculated that he has a bit of a bone to pick with Ethereum. One Twitter user with the moniker “Yanay” asked if this thread was meant to shame Buterin, who has been rather closed about his private life throughout his seven or eight years in the industry. And in the eyes of some, this may be the case.

In a recent Forbes interview, the Tetras Capital representative noted that recent layoffs at Consensus Systems, better known as ConsenSys, should have a negative effect on the broader Ethereum ecosystem.

He added that the fact ConsenSys is an integral part of this subsector and underwent purportedly drastic staff cuts should have some worried. Generalizing DApps and products on the platform, Sunnarborg explained that many promising offerings have yet to launch, and the ones that have are “pretty difficult to use” and have little-to-zero active users.

Case in point, the Tetras capital founding partner drew attention to the mere $40,000 currently staked on Augur, a multi-million dollar ICO. Thus, he claimed:

“There’s this massive disconnect between how much money is still tied up in these projects and how much people actually use them.”

Sunnarborg added that Ethereum may also become pressured by competition blockchains, like Dfinity or Polkadot, along with the fact that the chain’s development is losing momentum and steam.

The post Ethereum Founder Vitalik Could Be Worth $100M+, Crypto Investor Speculates appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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Vitalik Buterin: High Ethereum (ETH) Prices are Good For Development

Ethereum ETH price Vitalik Buterin

Vitalik Buterin, co-founder for Ethereum, has an interesting view on the price development of ETH.

While current investors would be happy to see the price of Ethereum return to its all time high of $1432 in the early days of Jan. 2018, Buterin believes that a high ETH price is healthy for both network security and ecosystem development.

Buterin made his comments in a crypto-focused interview held by Laura Shin at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism on Mar. 20, which was live-streamed for outside viewers. Shin asked the ETH co-founder whether project leads and designers–such as Buterin–should be focused on the price of cryptocurrency, particularly in light of the high volatility and the current “crypto winter” market conditions.

In response, Buterin pointed to what he called “earlier rhetoric” for ETH which downplayed the importance of cryptocurrency valuation in light of industry growth in development. In particular, Buterin explained that efforts to downplay price talk were both a way to distinguish ETH from other crypto pump and dump schemes, while also keeping the currency from treading in murky legal territory.

Buterin told Shin,

“In part, it was counter-signaling to distinguish ourselves [Ethereum] from other crypto projects that do pumping and lambo-ing way too much. But it was also about minimizing legal risk by basically trying to make the project seem more distant from something that would be covered by financial regulation.”

Since the release of Ethereum in July 2015, Buterin reports that the landscape of cryptocurrency has shifted dramatically. As opposed to earlier perceptions and conversations surrounding crypto, which hinged upon illicit use and other miscreant behaviors, regulators in today’s context are much more open to digital assets and blockchain projects. However, these regulators are unlikely to ignore coin projects just because developers claim they have no interest in the market price, with Buterin explaining,

“Even if people try to claim the price doesn’t matter at all, they are totally going to see through that.”

The cryptocurrency co-founder went on to share his view of ETH’s price, and how increased valuation would benefit the project as a whole instead of just pumping investor wallets,

“I can tell you what things are clearly important about why the price being higher rather than lower is good. One of them is obviously security. If the price is zero, then the network can’t be secure. That’s true in proof-of-work and proof-of-stake.”

Finally, Buterin outlined the value of incentives in cryptocurrency adoption and development, specifically claiming that coin developers and community members are better positioned both in terms of resources and rewards if the currency’s price can continue to grow higher.

The interview concluded with the audience being poised the question “Are Ethereum developers focused enough on the price of Ethereum?,” to which 21 percent reported “yes” with the largest pool of respondents at 38 percent responding “don’t care.”

The post Vitalik Buterin: High Ethereum (ETH) Prices are Good For Development appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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WSJ Claim of $9 Mln Laundered Via Shapeshift Based on Flawed Investigation, Analysts Say

Analysts have accused the WSJ of using flawed investigative methods when reporting on alleged laundering via crypto exchange ShapeShift.

Blockchain intelligence firm CipherBlade has accused the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) of using flawed investigative methods and thus overestimating the extent of alleged money laundering via crypto exchange ShapeShift. CipherBlade’s analysis of the WSJ report was published in a blog post on March 20.

As reported, the WSJ published a lengthy exposé in fall 2018 that alleged ShapeShift had facilitated the laundering of at least $9 million via cryptocurrencies — purportedly more than any exchange with offices in the United States in the course of the Journal’s investigations.

The WSJ had claimed that the exchange had processed millions of dollars in criminal proceeds, a high proportion of which were purportedly being converted into privacy coins such as Monero (XMR).

At the request of ShapeShift, CipherBlade undertook an extensive analysis of the WSJ’s investigation, concluding that the “$9 million ‘laundering’ claim was overstated by a factor of 4x” given that:

“By tracing alleged ‘laundering’ through ‘no more than two intermediaries before reaching an exchange’, the WSJ’s stated methodology was fundamentally flawed […] The tracing of any funds — illicit or not — over the course of multiple transactions is extremely difficult, and presenting the total contents of subsequent wallets as illicit is forensically unsound.”

CipherBlade thus states that the WSJ’s claims were necessarily distorted, and that a sound forensic method would instead entail a granular tracing of identifiably illicit coins, not a canopy extrapolation to the contents of all associated wallets:

“Of the ShapeShift addresses which receive ETH within three hops from the initial dirty addresses, less than half of the ETH traded through them are tainted. Using the most generous assumptions, this is still only 23.53 percent of the WSJ’s claimed $9 million.”

CipherBlade critiques not only the WSJ’s technical analysis, but also the data itself, which reportedly does not support their conclusions, even if taken at face value. In regard to the Journal’s claims over privacy coin conversion, CipherBlade notes that:

“Of the 5523 ShapeShift addresses in the WSJ’s spreadsheet that actually correspond to trades, 30.38% of the BTC and a mere 5.53% of the ETH that was sent to those addresses were exchanged for Monero.”

CipherBlade notably focused on alleged laundering using Ethereum (ETH) paths — in some cases involving conversion into privacy coins — and did not scrutinize the Bitcoin-related data used by the Journal.

As previously reported, ShapeShift founder and CEO Erik Voorhees rebutted the claims of the WSJ report shortly after its publication, claiming it was “factually inaccurate and deceptive,” and that its authors did not have a sufficient understanding of cryptocurrency technology.

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Redditors Call Out Reported Scam on Blockchain-Based Prediction Platform Augur

At least one scammer is reportedly gaming other users on the blockchain-powered event betting platform Augur by creating deliberately invalid markets.

At least one scammer is reportedly gaming other users on the blockchain-powered event betting platform Augur by creating deliberately invalid markets, according to a Reddit thread published on March 20.

Created by the non-profit Forecast Foundation, Augur is an Ethereum (ETH) mainnet-based predictions platform, which launched in July 2018. The platform allows users to stake tokens to bet on predictions of the outcome of a given event.

The reported scam entails a bad actor creating a predictions market that contains subtle contradictions or inconsistencies in its wording, which will ultimately lead to the market being declared invalid, and all staked funds thus being distributed evenly between betters.

Meanwhile, the creator of the purposefully invalid market bets on outcomes that are unlikely to win, having vouchsafed for him- or herself a guaranteed payout when staked funds are eventually redistributed.

In the discussion thread, a redditor has posted an example of one such ill-intended market — entitled “Ethereum price at the end of March 2019?” Whereas the title and the additional details state that the prediction market expires at “end of day March 31, 2019 UTC,”  there is a discrepancy with the actual listed expiration date, which is 1:59 p.m. UTC on March 31 — several hours earlier. This slight discrepancy virtually ensures the market will be flagged as invalid, while the subtle contradiction is unlikely to be picked up by most betters.  

David Gerard, author of the crypto- and blockchain-skeptic book, “Attack of the 50 Foot Blockchain,” has tweeted his sardonic response to news of the alleged scam, writing:

“Augur users shocked, shocked to discover that statements in words may have exploitable ambiguities when computerised, and that this opens their system to SCAMMERS!”

In a thread of tweets, Joey Krug — a co-founder of the Forecast Foundation and core developer at Augur — has claimed that the community has exaggerated the scale of the scam, which he argues is not broadly rife across the platform and is largely confined to a single user.

Krug has nonetheless conceded that the existing mechanism by which to safeguard against such exploitative activity is currently malfunctioning, outlining that:

“The system in Augur has a built in way to combat this: a validity bond. The more markets are invalid the higher the bond goes, augur targets 1% of markets as invalid. Right now it’s 10%. Why? There’s a bug on chain in the calculation of this bond which makes it too low.”

Krug has suggested that in forthcoming version 2 of Augur, the issue with validity bonds will be fixed, and that new means to detect such practices will be enforced, so that invalid will be separately tradable and will be used as an auto-triggering filter to identify bad actors.

As previously reported, Augur has sparked controversy before when so-dubbed “assassination markets” surfaced on the platform, in which users placed bets on the deaths of a number of high-profile public figures.

To press time, Augur’s native token REP is trading at $14.95, according to CoinMarketCap.

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Ethereum Price (ETH) Trading Near Crucial Juncture Versus Bitcoin (BTC)

Ethereum price failed to stay
above the 0.0355BTC resistance and recently declined against bitcoin. ETH/BTC is
now trading near a crucial support and preparing for the next break.

Key Talking Points

  • Ethereum price retreated from the 0.0357BTC
    level and declined below 0.0350BTC against bitcoin.
  • There is a major bullish trend line in place
    with support at 0.0342BTC on the 4-hours chart of the ETH/BTC pair (data feed
    from Poloniex).
  • The pair is likely preparing for the next break
    either above 0.0350BTC or towards 0.0334BTC.

Ethereum Price Chart Analysis

Recently, Ethereum price climbed higher above 0.0350BTC and 0.0355BTC. However, the price failed to hold gains above the 0.0355BTC level, formed a high near 0.0357BTC and later started a strong downward move.

Ethereum Price Analysis ETH BTC Chart

Looking at the chart, the price traded as high as 0.0357BTC and later traded below the 0.0355BTC and 0.0350BTC support levels. The decline was strong as the price even settled below the 0.0348BTC support and the 100 simple moving average (4-hours).

The price traded as low as
0.0341BTC and it is currently preparing for the next break. On the downside,
there is a major bullish trend line in place with support at 0.0342BTC on the
4-hours chart of the ETH/BTC pair.

Below the trend line support, the
next key support is at 0.0400BTC. If there is a bearish break, the price may
decline towards the 0.0334BTC or 0.0330BTC support level.

On the upside, there is a
connecting bearish trend line formed with resistance near 0.0345BTC on the same
chart. The 23.6% Fib retracement level of the recent decline from the 0.0357BTC
high to 0.0341BTC low is also near the trend line.

If there is an upside break above
0.0345BTC, the price may recover towards the 0.0350BTC level or the 50% Fib
retracement level of the recent decline from the 0.0357BTC high to 0.0341BTC low.
If the price gains traction, it could revisit the 0.0355BTC resistance level in
the near term.

Overall, Ethereum price is trading near a crucial support
above 0.0340BTC and it could rebound if ETH buyers gain pace above the
0.0345BTC resistance.

 The market data is provided by TradingView.

The post Ethereum Price (ETH) Trading Near Crucial Juncture Versus Bitcoin (BTC) appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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North Korean Dissidents Sell Ethereum-Based Post-Liberation Visas

North Korean political dissident group Cheollima Civil Defence is selling Ethereum-based visas valid for entering the country after its supposed liberation.

North Korean political dissident group Cheollima Civil Defence (CCD) is selling Ethereum-based (ETH) visas for entering the country once it is supposedly liberated.

The CCD’s website advertises a “Limited issuance of 200,000 anonymous blockchain visas to visit Free Joseon (previously North Korea) upon liberation” Free Joseon is seemingly a reference to the Joseon Kingdom, a five century long dynasty that was succeeded by the Korean Empire. The visas are emitted in the form of non-fungible ERC-721 tokens dubbed G-VISA on the Ethereum blockchain. The price, for the first one thousand visas, will be 1 ETH.

Per the announcement, the issuance will begin on Sunday, March 24 and all the visas will expire on March 1, 2029, and can only be used once for a stay of 45 days at most. One person can purchase unlimited visas and enter the country multiple times, while being subject to relevant customs and port of entry restrictions.

The website also explains that “each G-VISA is assigned an incrementing ID Number in the order it was purchased,” so no specific number can be requested or changed. CCD states that while ideally the visas could be used to visit a free North Korea:

“Ownership of one or more G-VISAs should be considered a contribution to the movement and should not be used for speculative or fiduciary purposes.”

While discouraging speculation, CCD also points out that G-VISAs may be available on ERC-721 marketplaces such as OpenSea, and recommends to look there for preferred issuance IDs. Notably, while the issuance of the visas will supposedly start on March 24, there are already 5 G-VISAs listed on OpenSea and the page dedicated to the token on Ethereum block explorer Etherscan reveals that already 7 of them exist.

The Bitcoin (BTC) address dedicated to donations has received over 14 BTC so far, ($56,000 at press time) while the Ethereum donation address only received one-hundredth of an ETH at press time.

Cable news network CNN attributed a recent attack on the North Korean embassy in Madrid, to CCD. Armed assailants reportedly restrained staff members before stealing a variety of items and fleeing the premises.

As Cointelegraph recently reported, North Korea has allegedly amassed $670 million in fiat and cryptocurrencies by conducting hacking attacks.

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Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, EOS, Bitcoin Cash, Stellar, Binance Coin, Tron, Cardano: Price Analysis, March 20

Another multi-million dollar token sale that sold out in minutes on Binance Launchpad shows that appetite for new coins with strong use cases is returning.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange.

Binance Launchpad completed the sale of $4 million in Celer Network (CELR) tokens within 17 minutes and 35 seconds. This is the third such successful launch by the company. This shows that the market appetite is increasing for new coins that strong use cases.

Avnet, Inc, distributors of electronic components and technology solutions providers and Swiss online retailer Digitec Galaxus will accept cryptocurrencies. We expect many other players to go down the crypto path in the future. This will help bring crypto to the masses and realize the potential of crypto as a medium of exchange.  

Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are path-breaking technologies. However, it is difficult to change the attitude of the people accustomed to using outdated systems and platforms. To give the nascent space a favorable push among the lawmakers, the number of lobbyists working on blockchain technology issues in Washington D.C. tripled in 2018.

Though fundamentals have been improving, the price of cryptocurrencies has been slow to respond. Nevertheless, a few major digital currencies have risen sharply from the yearly lows. Are they good for more, or will the rally stall? Let’s find out.

BTC/USD

Bitcoin (BTC) has been trading in a tight range between $3,950 and $4,035 for the past three days. Usually, a tight consolidation is followed by a range expansion. We expect the bulls to propel the price towards the overhead resistance of $4,255. This level will also act as a stiff resistance. But if the digital currency breaks out and sustains above $4,255, it will complete a double bottom pattern that has a target objective of $5,273.91.

Both the moving averages are sloping up and the RSI is in positive territory. This shows that the bulls have the upper hand.

Contrary to our expectation, if the BTC/USD pair turns down from the current levels and breaks below the uptrend line, it can dip to the 50-day SMA. If this support also breaks, a fall to $,3575 is probable.

The trend will turn negative on a breakdown to new yearly lows. Such a move will dent the sentiment and can prolong the existing bear market. Therefore, traders can keep the stop loss on the long positions below $3,236.09.

ETH/USD

Ethereum (ETH) is holding the 20-day EMA for the past two days. But it has failed to breakout and rally above $144.78. We anticipate a strong decisive move within the next few days.

If the bulls scale $144.78, a quick rally to $167.32 is likely because there is no resistance in between these two levels. On a close (UTC time frame) above $167.32, the ascending triangle pattern that has a target objective of $251.64 will complete.

Conversely, if the bears sink the ETH/USD pair below the 50-day SMA, a fall to $116.3 is probable. Traders can protect the remaining long positions with stops at $125.

XRP/USD

Ripple (XRP) continues to consolidate in a tight range. This shows a balance between buyers and sellers. The flat moving averages and the RSI close to 50 suggests that the range bound action might continue for a few more days.

The next trending move will start either on a breakout of the overhead resistance of $0.33108 or a breakdown from the uptrend line of the ascending triangle.

On the upside, the target levels to watch out for are the resistance line of the descending channel and above it $0.40. Above this level, the XRP/USD pair is likely to pick up momentum. On the downside, $0.27795 is an important support, below which the slide can deepen to $0.24508. Therefore, traders can retain the stops on the long positions below $0.27795.

LTC/USD

Litecoin (LTC) is trying to bounce off the support at $56.910. If the bulls can push it above $62.45, it will indicate strength. The next level to watch on the upside is $65.561 and above it $69.2790.

Both the moving averages are sloping up, which shows that the bulls have the upper hand. Still, we continue to watch the negative divergence on the RSI closely.

If the LTC/USD pair reverses direction and plummets below the 20-day EMA, it can drop to the 50-day SMA. Therefore, we suggest traders keep the stop loss on the remaining long positions at $52.

EOS/USD

The bulls again bought the dip below the 20-day EMA, which indicates demand at lower levels. However, EOS is facing resistance close to $3.8723. The price is largely stuck between these two levels. We expect the digital currency to break out of the overhead resistance or break down of the 20-day EMA within the next few days.

On a breakdown below the 20-day EMA, the EOS/USD pair can slide to the 50-day SMA and below it to $3.1534. We anticipate a strong support around these levels, hence, we propose a stop loss of $3.10 on the remaining long positions.

Conversely, if the bulls push the price above $3.8723, a rally to $4.4930 is probable. The up-sloping moving averages and the RSI in the positive territory suggest that the path of least resistance is to the upside.

BCH/USD

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) has been trading close to the overhead resistance of $163.89 for the past three days. This shows that the bulls are in no hurry to book profits. The moving averages have started to slope up gradually and the RSI is close to the overbought zone. This shows that the bulls are in command.

A breakout and close above the BCH/USD pair will carry the price to $175 and above it to $220. Eventually, we expect the pair to reach the stiff overhead resistance of $239. Therefore, traders can keep the stop loss on their long positions at $116.

Contrary to our assumption, if the digital currency turns down from the current levels, it can correct to the 20-day EMA and below it to the 50-day SMA.

XLM/USD

Stellar (XLM) rallied to the resistance line on March 18 but could not break out of it. Profit booking has again pushed the digital currency back into the range. However, the 20-day EMA is sloping up and the RSI is close to the overbought zone. This suggests that the bulls are at an advantage.

If the XLM/USD pair breaks out of the resistance line, it can rally to $0.13250273 and above it to $0.14861760. We expect the 20-day EMA to act as a support on any dip.

Our bullish assumption will be negated if the pair plunges below the 20-day EMA and slides to the 50-day SMA. For now, traders can retain the stops on the long positions at $0.08. We shall soon trail it higher to $0.10.

BNB/USD

Binance Coin (BNB) has dipped below $15.9100517 and is retesting the support at $15. The small uptrend line also lies at this level and the 20-day EMA is just below it. We expect this support zone between $15 and the 20-day EMA to hold.

Both the moving averages are trending up and the RSI is close to the overbought zone. This suggests that the bulls are in command.

If the BNB/USD pair rebounds from the support zone, it will again attempt to break out of the overhead resistance and move towards its target objective of $18. On the other hand, a breakdown of the 20-day EMA can sink the price to the 50-day SMA. Traders can, therefore, keep the stop loss on the remaining long positions at $14.

TRX/USD

Tron (TRX) has been trading close to the 20-day EMA for the past six days. The small trading ranges suggest a balance between buyers and sellers. However, this is unlikely to continue for long. We should see an increase in volatility within the next few days.

A breakout of the 20-day EMA can carry the TRX/USD pair to the critical overhead resistance of $0.02815521. If the bulls break out and sustain above the range, the pair is likely to start a new uptrend.

On the other hand, if the digital currency turns down from the current levels, it can drop to $0.02094452 and if this level also breaks, the slide can stretch to $0.01830.

ADA/USD

Cardano (ADA) has again risen above the overhead resistance of $0.051468. This is the second time the bulls have scaled the resistance within four days. Now, if the price moves above $0.05650, it is likely to start a new uptrend.

The first target on the upside is $0.066121, above which the move can extend to $0.080. Therefore, traders can initiate long positions above $0.05650 and keep a stop loss at $0.044. We shall soon trail it to $0.048.

Our bullish view will be invalidated if the ADA/USD pair falls back into the $0.036815 to $0.051468 range. Such a move will extend the consolidation for a few more weeks.

Мarket data is provided by the HitBTC exchange. Charts for analysis are provided by TradingView.