Massive Hacks, Price Targets and a Bitcoin ETF: This Week in Crypto

Make sure you check out our previous edition here, now let’s go over what happened in crypto this week. Also, make sure you subscribe for this week’s edition of The CCN Podcast on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, Google Play Music, Spotify, Soundcloud, YouTube or wherever you get your podcasts.

Price Watch:

  • Bitcoin is up 2.69% this week to $6,700 surpassing $6,500 late last week after oscillating between $6,300 and $6,400 before flirting with the $6,600 level and the $6,200 level within days of each other. This week was remarkably similar but ended higher with this week starting off at the $6,500 level  and managing to hold it  coming into this week until Monday when the price hit $6,274 before coming back to the $6,500 level on Tuesday as some alts like Ripple surged. The next day was not quite as fruitful with prices falling back to the $6,200 level and oscillating between $6,200 and $6,400. Later in the week, the price managed to regain the $6,500 level showing several bullish indicators in CCN’s own Yashu Gola‘s analysis. The price finally ended at $6,700 as alts like XLM and Ripple continued to rally. The last time we were at this level was in the face of the 9 ETFs that were rejected.
  •  Ethereum is up 10% this week to $240 after a gain of 16% last week. The gains are a recent phenomenon with preceding week having a drop of 31% last week, 5% the week before and drops of 11%  and 24% in the preceding weeks with single and double-digit drops going back months. The recent drops have continued to be blamed on ICO sell offs and the recent price gains are seen by analysts as evidence that the price is coming back. It wasn’t until last Thursday that, despite negative statements by Vitalik, the price increased 9% and analysts said we’d finally hit ‘a’ bottom. This week wasn’t all gains with the price briefly dropping below $200 on Monday.
  • The entire coin market cap is up 8% as Ethereum, Ripple and Stellar recorded strong gains. Bitcoins comparatively small gains held the market back as it sought to regain the $225 billion level.
  • Targets:
    • Tim Draper Stands By Bullish $250,000 Bitcoin – Tech billionaire Tim Draper stands by his bitcoin price target of $250,000 for 2022. Despite the recent slump, Draper remains undeterred in his enthusiastic outlook for the largest virtual currency by market cap.
    • Novogratz Sets $10,000 Price Target for 2018 – Billionaire investor Michael Novogratz, a legendary ex-hedge fund manager, formerly of the investment firm Fortress Investment Group, has said that the Bitcoin price will likely see a 30 percent increase by the end of 2018.

Governments:

  • U.S. Rep. Emmer Introduces 3 Blockchain Bills – On Friday, Congraaaessman Tom Emmer (R-MN) announced that he will introduce three new bills aimed at supporting the development of blockchain technologies, as well as the use of cryptocurrency, within the United States. The first bill is a a house resolution to express support for cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. The second bill, the Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act, states that certain entities such as cryptocurrency miners and multi-signature providers, who never fully take control of consumer funds, will not need to be registered as money transmitters.  The third bill, the Safe Harbor for Taxpayers with Forked Assets Act of 2018, aims to address confusion surrounding how to report gains made as a result of cryptocurrency forks to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
  • SEC Begins Reviewing Physically-Backed Bitcoin ETF – The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced on Thursday that has begun a formal review process for the physically-backed bitcoin ETF proposed by VanEck and SolidX. The timing of the order comes as somewhat of a surprise. CBOE first filed to list shares of the VanEck Solidx Bitcoin Trust in June, and in August the SEC postponed ruling on the application, setting a new deadline of Sept. 30. Many analysts, including Canadian investment firm Canaccord, speculated that the SEC would likely delay ruling on the fund at least once (and probably twice) more, until March 2019. Read the Full Order: VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust Order by CCN on Scribd
  • Report: India’s Crypto Regulations Causing Exodus – According to a recent News 18 report, a substantial number of developers, service providers and other organisations within India’s cryptocurrency and blockchain sphere have already fled, or are in the process of fleeing from India to jurisdictions with friendlier regulatory dispositions such as Thailand, Estonia and Switzerland. The reports comes in the wake of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) filing an affidavit in the Supreme Court stating that under the provisions of the Coinage Act and the RBI Act, bitcoin is not recognized a valid payment system under the Indian constitution because there is no backing legal framework for it and India’s bank ban on crypto purchases.
  • Canada to Study Cannabis Cryptomarkets – The Department of Public Safety Canada is looking to commission a study that will shed light on the cryptomarkets – online drug marketplaces that rely on the TOR browser and cryptocurrencies – with regards to the North American country and its citizens. According to a tender notice published online, the study will focus on both buyers and sellers of cannabis on the cryptomarkets. The move comes in the wake of soaring prices of publicly-listed cannabis stocks.
  • U.S. Navy Explores Blockchain to Enhance Tracking of Aviation Parts – The U.S. Navy Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) is currently exploring the blockchain technology for tracking aviation parts throughout its lifecycle. The Navy has partnered with Indiana Technology and Manufacturing Companies (ITAMCO) under the Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, NAVAIR hopes to get “access to cutting-edge chain code” as well as innovative protocols that can “recall large data sets” swiftly and securely.
  • 5 Members of Congress ‘Strongly Urge’ IRS to Update Bitcoin Tax Guidelines -In a letter dated Sept. 19 and published on the House Ways and Means Committee website, five representatives — Kevin Brady (R-TX), David Schweikert (R-AZ), Lynn Jenkins (R-KS), Darin LaHood (R-IL), and Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) — “strongly urged” the IRS to issue comprehensive, updated guidance on federal tax obligations associated with disposing cryptocurrency assets, either through trading or other means. The letter follows a letter sent last May expressing concern over the agency’s decision to ramp up enforcement of cryptocurrency-related violations without also adopting a “comprehensive virtual currency strategy” to help taxpayers more successfully navigate the murky regulatory code.
  • Ex-FDIC Chair Sheila Bair: We Need A Federal Framework To Regulate Cryptocurrencies – Sheila Bair, the former chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), says the time has come for a formal federal regulatory framework to be established to regulate cryptocurrencies.
  • Kraken vs New York Attorney General – In the continuing feud between New York’s Attorney General and Kraken CEO Jesse Powell, another round of shots has been fired. New York released it’s report “Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative”. Powell criticized other exchanges for answering the questionnaire and proceeded to thank  taxpayers for funding the research and providing information about his competitors. The report specifically targeted Kraken among other exchanges that did not participate including Huobi, Gate.io and Binance. Powell went on to accuse the Attorney General of manipulating bitcoin futures. In the same series of Tweets, it appears a Bloomberg reporter who had used term “red flags” in reference to Kraken was mocked.
  • Japan Cryptocurrency Theft Cases Tripled in H1 2018, $530 Million Stolen: Police – In the wake ofthe news that Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Zaif had been hacked and slightly less than US$60 million stolen, the National Police Agency (NPA) of Japan has released a report highlighting the vulnerability of Japan’s crypto space.

Enterprises & Exchanges:

  • Japanese Cryptocurrency Exchange Zaif Hacked, $59 Million in Losses – Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Zaif was the victim of a major hack last week, local media sources have reported and the company has now confirmed. The hack, which occurred on Sept. 14 but was not discovered until Sept. 17, saw the hacker steal various amounts of bitcoin, bitcoin cash, and monacoin from the exchange’s hot wallet, collectively worth 6.7 billion yen (just under $60 million).
  • Bitcoin Mining Giant Bitmain Unveils ‘Next-Generation’ 7nm Chip – China-based Bitmain’s CEO Jihan Wu announced on Friday that it had developed a new 7nm application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) mining chip for the SHA256 algorithm used by bitcoin, bitcoin cash, and many other cryptocurrencies. The s announcement came just two days after competitor Bitfury unveiled a new SHA256 ASIC chip. The announcement also comes ahead of Bitmain’s rumored initial public offering (IPO), which will reportedly take place “very soon.”
  • UK’s Biggest Port Operator to Explore Blockchain Solution – The privately run UK port operator, Associated British Ports (ABP), has inked a Memorandum of Understanding with freight forwarder Marine Transport International to explore a blockchain technology application aimed at improving connectivity at the 21 ports it runs.
  • Coinsquare Lists Blockchain ETF On Toronto Stock Exchange – Coincapital, which is registered with the Ontario Securities Commission, has become Canada’s newest ETF provider following the introduction of the LDGR and the STOXX B.R.AI.N. Index Fund (THNK), the company’s first ETFs.  The ETF’s selections are based primarily on blockchain intellectual property patent filings, which enables the fund to identify blockchain adopters and innovators. The selections also make use of the iSTOXX Yewno Developed Markets Blockchain Index.
  • AntPool to Sponsor NBA’s Houston Rockets – A partnership agreement signed by AntPool and the Houston Rockets for the 2018-2019 professional season and will stand out as one of the significant moves by the China-based company towards achieving its expansion goals into the Houston area. At the same time, this joins in the increasing number of similar awareness and publicity programs being experienced by cryptocurrency in recent times, especially in associating with the sporting industry.
  • IBM: Blockchain for Drone Fleet Security – Computing giant and prolific blockchain researcher IBM has applied to patent a system that would use distributed ledger technology (DLT) to address privacy and security concerns associated with the increasing usage of drones in both commercial and recreational applications. The patent is similar to a a patent application from Walmart that sought to use blockchain technology to secure packages throughout a supply chain made up of robots and autonomous vehicles.

Crimes:

  • Darkwallet Dev Cody Wilson Arrested on Sexual Assault Charges – Cody Wilson, 3D-printed firearm pioneer and DarkWallet developer and anti-Bitcoin Foundation campaigner, has been arrested in Taiwan in connection with charges that he sexually assaulted a minor in Texas. Taiwan does not have an extradition treaty with the U.S., but local police have nevertheless cooperated with authorities in the U.S. to arrest Wilson, and — according to translated reports from Taiwanese media — potentially deport him to his home country.

Noteworthy:

These are a few pieces that were particularly popular this week.

  • Decentralized Crypto Exchange is Solution to Hacks, Will They be Ready? – Analysis of the development of decentralized exchanges in the wake of  the successful hacking attempts on crypto exchanges Bithumb and Coincheck and most recently Zaif.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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