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Following a rapid surge in the Bitcoin price from $3,614 to $4,000 within a span of three days, traders are expecting BTC to retrace by ...

Bitcoin, bitcoin price

Following a rapid surge in the Bitcoin price from $3,614 to $4,000 within a span of three days, traders are expecting BTC to retrace by around 7 percent to $3,700.
The cautious projection on the price trend of the dominant crypto asset comes after the failure of BTC to climb beyond the crucial $4,000 resistance level.
On February 19, BTC achieved $4,000 across major crypto exchanges including Bitstamp and Binance. Shortly thereafter, it fell to the low $3,900 region and today, below the $3,900 level.

WHAT DOES WILL BITCOIN PULLBACK MEAN FOR THE REST OF THE CRYPTO MARKET?

The price trend of BTC in the past four days is strikingly similar to its trend from February 8 to February 12.
In early February, in a span of four days, the same time frame as the recent price movement of BTC, the price of BTC surged from $3,337 to $3,711 and pulled back to the $3,500 region.
In the upcoming days, traders foresee BTC demonstrating a similar movement as before.
1-Day Bitcoin Price Chart, Source: TradingView
Edward Morra, a cryptocurrency technical analyst, said:
Now, when BTC tapped origin of supply, I’d expect it to pull back, my zones of interest are $3,675 – $3,725.
If you were looking to short, this is the closest point to invalidation (stop above that wick), if this was it – price has no business going above it, therefore clear invalidation place for you.
But, the near-term minor correction of Bitcoin could positively affect the trend of the crypto market in the weeks to come as it will provide more stability and a strong ground to initiate short-term rallies.
Following its initial drop from $3,711 to $3,500 in early February, BTC recorded an extended period of stability and initiated a strong rally to $4,000.
If the asset regains momentum in the upcoming days and potentially establishes a robust floor to cleanly break out of the critical $4,000 resistance level, it may benefit the market.
On February 20, as CCN reported, economist Alex Krüger stated that although $3,700 remains as a strong support level, breaking out of the $4,200 resistance level could trigger a rapid upside movement.
Krüger explained:
Short term, see BTC in the 3700-4200 range.
R: 4000, 4200, 4400, 5000, 5500
S: 3800, 3700, 3600/3550, 3450, 3350, 3150, 3000
Once price breaks 4200 it could move FAST. Matter of watching levels, just like 3700 yesterday.
The key for the short-term prosperity of the crypto market is for BTC to break out of major resistance levels with strength.
The daily volume of the market has largely recovered and the overall interested in the asset class has significantly increased.
CME Group, one of the largest futures markets in the U.S., reported that BTC futures saw a record high volume on February 19.
As the trading activity in the crypto market increases, the liquidity of both Bitcoin and small market cryptocurrencies will rise in the weeks to come.

EVEN BEST PERFORMING TOKENS ARE SEEING PAIN

Already, major crypto assets in the likes of Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, and EOS have recorded losses in the range of 2 to 4 percent against the U.S. dollar on the day.
The lack of momentum in the price trend of BTC has also started to affect tokens that have outperformed the majority of digital assets in the past 30 days.
Tokens such as Binance Coin, VeChain, Ontology, Status, and Waves have begun to decline and could see intensified downside movements in the next 24 to 48 hours depending on the performance of BTC.
But, even if the cryptocurrency market demonstrates a poor performance in the days to come, the strong fundamentals of major digital assets are expected to allow the market to regain momentum.
Click here for a real-time bitcoin price chart.
Featured Image from Shutterstock. Price Charts from TradingView.

South Korea has joined the cryptocurrency community when it comes to waiting for the US’ verdict on  Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETF)...

South Korea Cryptocurrency bithumb

South Korea has joined the cryptocurrency community when it comes to waiting for the US’ verdict on Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETF).
The nation’s sole bourse operator, Korea Exchange (KRX), admitted that it was carefully observing the constantly-unfolding crypto ETF scenario in the US. An official at the exchange – on condition of anonymity – told the Korean Herald that seeing the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) response to the bitcoin derivative products could assist KRX in understanding how they could move forward with similar investment offerings in South Korea. Excerpts from his statement:
“The US has been the front-runner on the cryptocurrency market and related derivatives, and there are strong voices supporting the launch of bitcoin ETFs within the market — which is why we are observing the progress and response of the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s decision on bitcoin ETFs.”

A SAFER BITCOIN ETF

The comments from KRX official appears at a time when blockchain craze in South Korea is touching an all-time high. The South Korean government allocated 1 trillion won, which is close to $880 million, for blockchain research and development. The investment led to the launch of new age projects that would bring blockchain to everyday lives.Bitcoin, South Korean Won, Blockchain                                         Bitcoin Price Performance against South Korean Won | Source: Investing.com
At the same time, the South Korean workers, while facing limited investment opportunities, ventured into cryptocurrencies as an alternative. As of July 2018, the crypto population in South Korea had contributed to 30% of the total crypto trading volume, per a Cindicator report.
At the time of this writing, trading the crypto assets is legal in South Korea. Nevertheless, regulators have bolstered their scrutiny against the crypto activities. For instance, traders cannot sell or purchase cryptocurrencies anonymously anymore per the law.
According to Lee Kyung-ho, a scholar at Korea University, research blockchain could also allow the government to introduce safer bitcoin derivates to the investors in South Korea. He said:
“With the government expanding its investment in research and development of blockchain technology, the projects are expected to minimize or eliminate the risk of integrating ETF transactions in the cryptocurrency market.”

MEANWHILE, IN THE UNITED STATES

The SEC is now reviewing two Bitcoin ETF applications: one from VanEck-SolidX with CBOE BZX Exchange and the other from Bitwise Asset Management with NYSE Arca. The US securities regulator expects to announce its verdict by April 5, 2019.
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Commissioner Jackson in an interview to be published next weeks is optimistic that a "fund based on " will eventually be approved, expresses concern about the proposed ETFs submitted to date.
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According to SEC commissioner Robert J Jackson Jr., there is a strong likelihood of SEC approving a Bitcoin ETF soon. At the same time, the commissioner expressed concerns about the ETF applications submitted to date.
“Getting the stamp of approval from the deepest and most liquid capital markets in the world is hard, and it should be. Once we put the stamp of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission on an investment; once we make it available to everyday mom and pop investors, we are taking risks that Americans can get hurt.”
So far, SEC has rejected nine Bitcoin ETF applications citing market manipulation as one of its main concerns. In response, the applicants had developed regulated bitcoin price indexes to ensure their ETFs derive bitcoin’s value from trustworthy sources.
The KRX official supported the SEC’s stance. He said that a regulated “solid index” was a missing point in all the bitcoin ETF applications. Excerpts from his/her statement:
“Providing a solid index required for the launch of such ETFs and of its role when it is commercialized and integrated into the market is being discussed expansively at the KRX because it would eventually concern investor protection issues.”

IF APPROVED

Investors believe a regulated Bitcoin ETF would allow big investors to pour millions of dollars in the space without worry. Should that happen, the value of the ETF’s underlying asset – the bitcoin – would increase massively. Gabor Gurbacs, the director of Digital Assets Strategy at VanEck, cited a Gold ETF to explain the bullishness. He said:
“Our gold ETFs are already in a few billion dollars range,” Gurbacs added. “There are gold ETFs in $10 billion range as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if a bitcoin ETF gets in a few billion dollars range.”
With the Korean exchange also looking into Bitcoin ETF, it could also prove bullish for bitcoin as a standalone asset, which is currently in its most extended bear cycle.
Bitcoin is trading at $3,937 at the time of the writing.

Cryptocurrencies seized by Belgian law enforcement from online drug dealers are to be put under the hammer by an Ireland-based auction h...

Cryptocurrencies seized by Belgian law enforcement from online drug dealers are to be put under the hammer by an Ireland-based auction house.
Wilsons Auctions announced Monday that it has signed an agreement with the federal government of Belgium to hold an auction of the crypto funds with no reserve, including 104.99 each of bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH) and bitcoin gold (BTG).
The total market value of the cryptocurrencies is around $431,660 at the time of writing.
“The bitcoins were seized by the Belgium police as a result of a drug trafficking case in which the criminals used the DarkNet to sell drugs,” Wilsons Auctions said.
The international auction will start at 12 noon (GMT) on March 1, with the cryptocurrencies divided into lots, the release states. The bitcoin will be sold in 0.5–4 BTC lots, while the BCH and BTG will be offered in larger lots.
This is not the first time Wilsons has held an auction of cryptocurrencies. Last month, it sold off 167.7 monero (XMR) tokens, which had been seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act by a U.K. law enforcement agency.
Aidan Larkin, Wilsons’ head of asset recovery, said at the time that the monero auction received interest from 69 countries and that “following over 700 bids from registered participants, the final value realized was above the market value of monero for that day.”
The U.S. Marshals Service has also previously held several major crypto auctions. Most recently, in October, it announced it would hold an auction to sell off nearly $4.3 million worth of bitcoins the following month.
Bitcoin and gavel image via Shutterstock 

Wilsons Auction House in the UK will be hosting a cryptocurrency auction for roughly 315 coins. The coins are spread across Bitcoin, Bit...

bitcoin auction dark web
Wilsons Auction House in the UK will be hosting a cryptocurrency auction for roughly 315 coins. The coins are spread across Bitcoin, Bitcoin Gold, and Bitcoin Cash. A full day long, the auction will begin on February 28. Originally seized by Belgian authorities, the coins were related to a dark web market. They have an estimated value of around 300,000 pounds sterling or close to USD$400,000.
Wilsons was previously the first to auction Monero, about 167 of them, which sold for less than 10,000 pounds.
The company says on its website that the contract attracted significant attention.
“The contract, which had significant interest from other companies across Europe, is the first of its kind awarded to an auction house and will see Wilsons Auctions facilitate the storage and sale of seized crypto assets managed by the Federal Government of Belgium.”
The coins will be split into lots, with a minimum of 0.5 BTC in a single lot. The Bitcoin forks will have larger lots, in terms of coin volume.
“The cryptocurrencies, which have a fluctuating total value of around £300,000, will be split into a number of Lots, appealing to wide global audience, with bitcoin ranging from 0.5 to 4 bitcoins each while bitcoin cash and bitcoin gold Lots will contain a larger number of coins.”

UK AUCTION HOUSE: WE’RE BETTER THAN CRYPTO EXCHANGES

Wilsons Auction house calls itself “a leading advisory service for worldwide law enforcement agencies.”
The Belgian and UK government approach to selling seized cryptocurrencies differs from the US approach. The Justice Department has conducted the auctions itself. The US made under $50 million selling over 140,000 BTC seized from the Silk Road, for instance. The government frequently sells seized property, including cryptocurrencies. Billionaire Tim Draper won one of the auctions of Silk Road coins, setting himself up to be a major holder during the coming price spikes.
justice department bitcoin price tether crypto
The US Department of Justice has held multiple Bitcoin auctions over the years. | Source: Shutterstock
Wilsons also claims that it’s better to buy cryptocurrencies this way. According to Aidan Larkin, head of asset recovery at Wilsons:
“This contract allows us to further expand our crypto currency offering and remove the risks that can be associated with trading with unregulated virtual currency exchanges. [W]e are making crypto currency obtainable to everyone, welcoming new buyers as well as experienced investors.”
While there are plenty of regulated exchanges to choose from, it would be difficult to find more than 100 bitcoins at a stable per-token price. The bidding should be interesting to watch. What if there was a price crash during the bidding? Clearly, that’s a risk the bidders must take.
Wilsons expects interest from people all over the world. They regularly facilitate online and in-person auctions in the UK.

Weighed down by countless accusations of user-data violations, crypto-curious Facebook has signaled that it could turn to blockchain tec...

mark zuckerberg facebook crypto blockchain
Weighed down by countless accusations of user-data violations, crypto-curious Facebook has signaled that it could turn to blockchain technology for some tasks.
In a video discussion, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg told Harvard Law professor Jonathan Zittrain, that the social media giant could integrate blockchain technology into the platform’s login and data sharing systems.
This would allow its billions of users to enforce control on the apps that access their data, profiles, and pages. Additionally, the technology would empower users with regards to the amount of data they share.

FACEBOOK INTERESTED IN USING BLOCKCHAIN TO BOOT INTERMEDIARIES – APPLE ARE YOU LISTENING?

According to Zuckerberg, blockchain technology could be used also assist Facebook in getting rid of intermediaries. This would allow developers to build applications and features without having to worry about losing access if they violated third-party policy:
“For developers, one of the things that is really troubling about working with our system, or Google’s system for that matter, or having to deliver services through Apple’s App Store is that you don’t want to have an intermediary between serving the people who are using your service and you. Where someone can just say hey, we as a developer have to follow your policy and if we don’t, then you can cut off access to the people we are serving. That’s kind of a difficult and troubling position to be in.”
Zuckerberg seemed to be alluding to the social media firm’s woes in the hands of tech giant Apple. Recently, the iPhone maker revoked Facebook’s Enterprise Certification, effectively banning the social media giant’s Research app from the App Store.

APPLE PUNISHES FACEBOOK THEN RECONSIDERS

In reaching the decision, Apple argued that Facebook had violated one of its policies. According to Apple, the app was only supposed to be used internally and was not meant for general users. The iPhone maker, however, later reinstated Facebook’s Enterprise Certification.
While noting the potential of decentralized systems to “empower individuals,” Zuckerberg pointed out that enforcing accountability would be much harder:
It’s a lot easier to hold accountable large companies like Facebook or Google rather than a series of third-party apps. You’d also have more cases of abuse, and the recourse would be much harder.
Though Zuckerberg, did not explicitly say the social media giant will integrate blockchain technology into its platform, Facebook currently has the talent required to do so if it wanted to.

FACEBOOK NOW AMPLY STAFFED WITH CRYPTO TALENT

Earlier this month, the social media titan more or less acquired Chainspace, a smart contract development firm. The purchase allowed Facebook to absorb most of the startup’s employees into its blockchain division making it more of an “acqui-hire.”
Facebook is also rumored to be eyeing other acquisitions in the crypto space. As previously reported by CCN, the company has met with blockchain startups such as Basis, Keybase, and Algorand.
Prior to the Chainspace acquisition, Facebook’s blockchain division was estimated to have around 40 employees. The division is headed by David Marcus who is an ex-board member of U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.
Mark Zuckerberg Image from Shutterstock