Janet Yellen Clarifies Her Stance on Bitcoin — Promises ‘Effective’ Crypto Regulation

Janet Yellen Clarifies Her Stance on Bitcoin, Will Work With Fed Regulators on Cryptocurrency

Joe Biden’s pick to become the new U.S. Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, has clarified her stance on bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. This follows her remarks during a Senate hearing when she said that cryptocurrencies are mostly used for illicit financing.

Janet Yellen Clarifies Her Crypto Plans

Janet Yellen clarified her position on the regulation of cryptocurrencies in a written testimony published Thursday following the Senate hearing on her nomination as the Treasury Secretary. During the hearing, Yellen made some statements regarding cryptocurrencies which were heavily criticized as being inaccurate.

The finance committee began by briefly describing the benefits and risks of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. “Bitcoin and other digital and cryptocurrencies are providing financial transactions around the globe, like many technological developments, this offers potential benefits for the U.S., and our allies,” the written testimony reads. “At the same time, it also presents opportunities for states and non-state actors looking to circumvent the current financial system and undermine American interests. For example, the Central Bank of China just issued its first digital currency.”

“Dr. Yellen, what do you view as the potential threats and benefits these innovations and technologies will have on U.S. national security? Do you think more needs to be done to ensure we have appropriate safeguards and regulations for digital and cryptocurrencies in place?” the finance committee asked the Treasury Secretary nominee.

Yellen replied: “I think it important we consider the benefits of cryptocurrencies and other digital assets, and the potential they have to improve the efficiency of the financial system.”

She continued, “At the same time, we know they can be used to finance terrorism, facilitate money laundering, and support malign activities that threaten U.S. national security interests and the integrity of the U.S. and international financial systems,” elaborating:

I think we need to look closely at how to encourage their use for legitimate activities while curtailing their use for malign and illegal activities.

“If confirmed, I intend to work closely with the Federal Reserve Board and the other federal banking and securities regulators on how to implement an effective regulatory framework for these and other fintech innovations,” Yellen concluded.

Yellen’s clarification marginally softens her stance on cryptocurrency, contrasting her previous statements made during her confirmation Senate hearing. “Cryptocurrencies are a particular concern. I think many are used … mainly for illicit financing and I think we really need to examine ways in which we can curtail their use and make sure that anti-money laundering (sic) doesn’t occur through those channels,” Yellen said a few days prior.

Last week, the president of the European Central Bank (ECB), Christian Lagarde, also made a statement about bitcoin that drew much criticism. She said bitcoin “has conducted some funny business and some interesting and totally reprehensible money laundering activity.” Many were also quick to point out how wrong Lagarde was, including a famed economist who said her statement was “outrageous.” He stressed that “we all know that the vast majority of money laundering globally is conducted in fiat currencies, particularly in U.S. dollars and euros.”

What do you think about Janet Yellen’s follow-up remarks about bitcoin? Let us know in the comments section below.

Source: Bitcoinnews.com

Bitcoin Enters Consolidation Phase as Analysts Set Their Sights on This Major Crypto

  • Bitcoin has seen some mixed price action as of late, with bulls and bears largely reaching an impasse as the crypto consolidates
  • Following its recent plunge to below $29,000, the crypto has been seeing some sideways trading that has made it incredibly unclear as to where it will trend next
  • One analyst noted that Bitcoin is showing few signs of clear strength or weakness, which likely means that it is bound to see some sideways trading
  • This comes as one major altcoin begins showing immense signs of strength – especially against its BTC trading pair
  • Analysts are closely watching Ethereum, as it is currently on the cusp of breaking out

Bitcoin has been tempering the rest of the market’s bullishness as of late, with buyers and sellers both struggling to take a firm hold of the trend.

While BTC consolidates in the lower-$30,000 region, many altcoins are beginning to flash subtle signs of strength.

One such example is Ethereum, which has largely been tracking Bitcoin’s price action as of late. However, this trend has started shifting into ETH’s favor, as the crypto is holding up well compared to BTC and flashing a bullish technical pattern on its ETH/BTC chart.

Bitcoin Consolidates Following Recent Volatility

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading down just over 2% at its current price of $32,170. This is around the price at which it has been trading ever since its price plunged below $29,000 a few days ago.

After tapping lows of $28,800, the crypto rallied to highs of $34,000 before sliding lower and stabilizing around its current price.

This has caused the entire market to see only tempered growth, with a few altcoins rallying while many stagnate.

Analyst: ETH’s Strength Against BTC Suggests Massive Upside is Imminent

Bitcoin’s consolidation may be beneficial to the aggregated altcoin market, as one analyst is now noting that Ethereum could be poised to explode higher thanks to strength against its Bitcoin trading pair.

This could allow the aggregated altcoin market to rally higher independent of BTC.

“In my previous post I said that BTC looks like it’s going to go sideways. Meanwhile $ETH/BTC looks like this… This chart kind makes me wanna go all in. In fact a lot of alts look amazing vs BTC.”

Bitcoin

Image Courtesy of Byzantine General. Source: ETHUSD on TradingView.

The coming few days should shine a light on how altcoins like Ethereum will trend against Bitcoin, as any massive BTC rally or plunge could hinder its smaller counterparts’ momentum.

Featured image from Unsplash.
Charts from TradingView.

Source: Bitcoininst

Purging Today’s Freedom Activists: Why Big Tech’s Censorship Isn’t Directed Solely at Trump Supporters

Purging Today’s Freedom Activists: Why Big Tech’s Censorship Isn't Directed Solely at Trump Supporters

There’s been a lot of unrest in the U.S. and just before the presidential election’s electoral vote, Big Tech took action and censored a great number of individuals and even competing social media platforms. Moreover, even after President Biden’s first few days in office, social media apps continued to purge dissent. On January 22, Facebook deleted my social media profile, and a former co-worker’s account as well, for our libertarian views.

An Anti-War, Free-Market Libertarian Speaking Out Against Tyranny and Censorship

For many years now I’ve been an activist and years ago, Dr. Ron Paul helped me find libertarianism. At that time, I was a minarchist who believed in a minimalist form of government and the constitution. However, after traveling further down the rabbit hole, by reading the likes of Larkin Rose, Lysander Spooner, and others, I changed. Six months later, I considered myself an anarcho-capitalist. In 2008, I created my Facebook account and since then, even well before I began writing about bitcoin, I amassed a large following.

Years later, in late 2011 into 2012, I discovered bitcoin and three years later, I decided to write about the technology every single day for a profession. For over a decade, I had used Facebook to share my libertarian views, connect with others, and share my bitcoin articles as well. It was in 2020 when things really started to change on the platform. Censorship was taking place regularly, and the company had applied ‘fact-checkers’ that are used to flag alleged ‘fake media.’ I personally never advocated violence, hate, or anything that truly went against community standards.

Purging Today’s Freedom Activists: Why Big Tech’s Censorship Isn't Directed Solely at Trump Supporters
Well before the incident in Washington DC during the first week of January, throughout 2020, Big Tech has censored lots of dissenting opinions and certain views about Covid-19. After the Capitol breach, however, Big Tech has spread the purge further focusing on those who speak out against the current fascism.

I did, however, explain on a regular basis that the government is an immoral entity, one that is built upon violence. I was not a Trump fan or a Republican, however, I had shown distaste for Joe Biden, Donald Trump, Obama, Bush, and the rest of the presidential goons. Yes, I regularly told political followers that they had lost all decency by forgetting to be individuals and instead of towing R & D party lines. Many posts I had written also called for opening the economy, letting people decide on whether or not they want to wear a mask, and other topics involving the coronavirus and civil liberties.

Big Tech Censorship Is Not Just Targeting Trump Supporters, but Anyone Who Supports Free Thought and Liberty

Then during the first week of the year, after the Capitol breach in Washington DC, I wrote about the event. My editorial was a scathing critique of Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Google, and Amazon’s decision to censor not only Donald Trump but hundreds of right-wing supporters, conservatives, and libertarians. During that period of time, I had also predicted that my Facebook (FB) profile, in particular, would be axed in due time. I told an old friend from high school that week that I knew that I would be next in line, and two weeks later my prediction came to fruition.

Before my account was deleted, I managed 15 libertarian-based pages, had close to 5,000 friend connections, and moderated six cryptocurrency groups. On Friday morning, the account was completely disabled and was given no access to my FB profile data.

Purging Today’s Freedom Activists: Why Big Tech’s Censorship Isn't Directed Solely at Trump Supporters

Now, this editorial isn’t a complaint, but more of a documentation of events in order to showcase the fact that the current Big Tech censorship is not just focused on Trump conservatives, but literally anyone with a dissenting opinion against the state. I wasn’t the only one who was purged, as a number of other like-minded individuals who expressed distaste for the current oligarchic rule were also wiped off Facebook on Friday. Sterlin Lujan, a former news.Bitcoin.com contributor, was also purged by Facebook and just like my experience, we were given no reason and no chance to appeal the decision.

“I woke up in the morning and as usual I checked my Facebook page,” Lujan explained to me. “It was still active. I took a restroom break, sat back down at the desk, and my account was logged off. I tried to log back in and it said my account was disabled for violating community standards. I tried to appeal the decision, but I received an auto-response saying I could not appeal my account. This is nothing new for me. I have had issues with Facebook censoring my pages and accounts for a couple of years now. Back in 2018, my Facebook page Psychologic-Anarchist got purged. It had around 50,000 followers, and I have managed other pages that got censored as well,” Lujan added.

Purging Today’s Freedom Activists: Why Big Tech’s Censorship Isn't Directed Solely at Trump Supporters

Lujan said that many people think only ‘extremists’ are getting the ban hammer. But in reality, anyone who supports free thought and liberty has gotten caught up in their censorial campaigns. The libertarian further stressed that moderators and decision-makers of these social media platforms want people to be carbon copies of each other, uttering the same platitudes and gleefully discussing simple things like the weather.

“My own personal feed was filled with discussions on freedom from government intrusion, the importance of privacy and cryptography, and the power of compassion and love for transforming society into one based on voluntary action rather than coercion,” Lujan emphasized. He further added:

In this regard, I did not break any community standards as they claimed I did. Of course, they did not bother to point out any “wrongdoing.” Facebook, along with other Big Tech social media platforms, are on a crusade to purge people who don’t support big government, political correctness, and communist mentalities. It’s a tragedy, but what’s happening represents all the scary stuff that Orwell chronicled in his book 1984. We are actually living in a much worse dystopian nightmare by comparison.

The Ruling Elite Fears What We Might Say

Currently, the unrest in the U.S. is being suppressed by censorship and the whole principle of censorship is wrong and immoral. The experience has led me to agree with Lujan’s opinion, that this societal system is swelling into a grotesque dystopian nightmare. One where voices are silenced regularly for speaking freely and not adhering to the nation state’s propaganda.

For years now, and just a few weeks before this event, I had written extensively about people migrating to decentralized social media. I am still using Twitter, but have migrated my social media presence to places like noise.cash, Flote, Minds, memo.cash, member.cash, and Peepeth as well. This is the best I can do and we can do, which is just re-build and migrate to decentralized social media that allow free speech and censorship-resistant discussions.

Purging Today’s Freedom Activists: Why Big Tech’s Censorship Isn't Directed Solely at Trump Supporters

The worst part about the current censorship in the U.S. is the fact that the populace (even friends and family) is sitting idly by watching it all without protest. In fact, many are becoming apologists for censorship and giving excuses to those who produce the suppression. Just like Lujan and the others who have been purged, I was not a Trump supporter and I only spoke my mind about collective tyranny. Yet I was deplatformed because I will never stand down to collective tyranny, and I have promised myself to hold my principles dear.

My main goal is to let you the reader know that this Big Tech censorship is quite real and fascism in the U.S. is thriving. There’s no doubt that this current censorship agenda will continue and freedom activists should be prepared to fight it with whatever voice we have left. As Laurie Halse Anderson once said, “censorship is the child of fear and the father of ignorance.”

What do you think about my experience with Facebook censorship? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Source: Bitcoinnews.com

Almost 10% of US-Based Financial Advisors Bought Crypto for Their Clients in 2020: Survey

A recent report conducted by Bitwise and ETF trends concluded that the number of financial advisors who allocated funds to crypto-assets has increased by nearly 50% in a year.

Additionally, the percentage of investors expressing interest in purchasing digital assets has grown to 81%.

Financial Advisors Confirmed: Crypto Demand Is Rising

According to the 2020 study, financial advisors manage about half of the wealth of American investors and play a significant role in the distribution of funds. Consequently, the provider of index and beta crypto funds, Bitwise, and the ETF analysis monitor, ETF Trends, carry out yearly surveys among advisors to check their views on cryptocurrencies.

Most respondents were independent RIAs (45%), followed by independent broker-dealer reps (25%), financial planners (19%), and wirehouse reps (11%).

More than 80% of advisors reported that they had received at least one question from a client about cryptocurrencies in 2020. This is a slight increase from the 2019 results, where the number was 76%.

About three-quarters believed that their customers were allocating funds in crypto outside of their advisor relationship. Naturally, 26% were confident that the clients were not investing in digital assets yet.

Financial Advisors' Clients On Crypto. Source: BitWise
Financial Advisors’ Clients On Crypto. Source: Bitwise

Financial Advisors Warm Up To Crypto Investing

What’s even perhaps more bullish for the industry is that more and more financial advisors have started to purchase digital assets for their clients. Although still relatively low, the percentage has grown by 50% since 2019’s result of 6.3%.

“The percentage of financial advisors who report allocating in crypto in client accounts rose more than 50% last year, from 6.3% to 9.4%. Still, with less than 10% of advisors reporting allocations, this remains the domain of early adopters.” – reads the study.

The paper outlined that most of those who invested in crypto for their clients are independent RIAs. This could be expected to some extent as they face fewer restrictions regarding what types of investments to include in clients’ accounts.

In contrast, wirehouse representatives have reported the least amount allocated in crypto.

Despite the low percentage, 82% of the advisors that have invested for their clients have done the same for their personal accounts as well. 78% of them also plan to increase their cryptocurrency portfolio in the next 12 months, while 22% said they will “hold steady.”

The 2020 survey showed that most advisors listed “high potential returns” and “inflation hedging” as their most probable reasons to invest in crypto. Interestingly, the hedging argument had received only 9% of votes in 2019 while the percentage grew to 25% in 2020. This could be related to the fact that the US printed over 20% of all dollars in 2020, and the currency’s value started to depreciate.

Source: Crypto Potato

Crypto Crime Fell Sharply to Only 0.3% of All Cryptocurrency Activity in 2020

Crypto Crime Fell Sharply to Only 0.3% of All Cryptocurrency Activity in 2020

A study by blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis finds that cryptocurrency-related crime has fallen significantly. The criminal share of all crypto activity fell to just 0.34% in 2020. This contradicts recent statements by U.S. Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen and ECB President Christine Lagarde that cryptocurrencies are mostly used for illicit financing.

Crypto Crime Plummeted in 2020

Chainalysis shared some findings from its 2021 Crypto Crime Report this week. While acknowledging that “cryptocurrency remains appealing for criminals as well due primarily to its pseudonymous nature and the ease with which it allows users to send funds anywhere in the world instantly,” the blockchain analytics firm detailed:

The good news is that cryptocurrency-related crime fell significantly in 2020 … In 2020, the criminal share of all cryptocurrency activity fell to just 0.34%, or $10.0 billion in transaction volume.

In comparison, the firm explained that in 2019, “criminal activity represented 2.1% of all cryptocurrency transaction volume, or roughly $21.4 billion worth of transfers.” Last year, “One reason the percentage of criminal activity fell is because overall economic activity nearly tripled between 2019 and 2020,” the company noted.

Crypto Crime Fell Sharply to Only 0.3% of All Cryptocurrency Activity in 2020
A chart showing the total crypto value sent and received by criminal entities and the criminal share of all crypto activity. Source: Chainalysis

Chainalysis noted that darknet markets were the second-largest crime category. It accounted for $1.7 billion worth of cryptocurrency activity, which was an increase from $1.3 billion in the previous year. Ransomware accounted for just 7% of all funds received by criminal addresses, which was just under $350 million worth of cryptocurrency. While small, ransomware saw a 311% jump over 2019.

The findings by Chainalysis contradict the recent statements made by Joe Biden’s pick for the U.S. Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, and ECB President Christine Lagarde. Yellen said Tuesday that many cryptocurrencies are used “mainly for illicit financing.” Meanwhile, Lagarde said last week that bitcoin “has conducted some funny business” and some “totally reprehensible money laundering activity.”

Several people in the crypto industry have pointed out the error of their statements, including a well-known economist who called Lagarde’s statement “outrageous.” He emphasized, “we all know that the vast majority of money laundering globally is conducted in fiat currencies, particularly in U.S. dollars and euros.”

What do you think about the falling rate of crypto crime? Let us know in the comments section below.

Source: Bitcoinnews.com

Panamanian Lawmakers to Hold Discussions on Regulating Cryptocurrencies in the Country

Panamanian Lawmakers to Hold Discussions on Regulating Cryptocurrencies in the Country

Panamanian lawmakers will start to analyze a draft bill that seeks to regulate cryptocurrencies in the nation. Local deputy (MP) Rolando Rodríguez presented the bill to the Commerce Commission of Panama’s National Assembly.

Draft Bill’s Author: Panama Is Lagging Behind Other Countries in the Matter

According to La Estrella de Panama, the MP is advocating to pursue an agenda focused on digitalizing the Panamanian economy. He believes in the urgent need to regulate the country’s crypto environment, as the ecosystem “favors” the economy’s growth.

Rodríguez wants the bill to establish a legal framework for Panamanian companies that want to do business with digital assets, such as bitcoin (BTC). He warned how Panama is lagging behind other nations in the matter:

Panama cannot be left behind when many countries in the world have already started to regulate cryptocurrencies and are at the forefront of the digital economy, taking advantage of its benefits and creating legal mechanisms to protect its economy, its population and contribute to the development of this new form of doing business.

Incorporating Cryptos Into State-Backed Social Security Fund

Moreover, the MP clarified that the crypto bill aims to bring “financial freedom” to all the Panamanians who don’t have access to the traditional banking system.

He also expects to strengthen the nation’s social security fund and the disability, old age, and death fund (IVM) with cryptocurrencies.

The politician believes this is a pivotal time in Panama for the national legislature to adopt crypto-friendly policies. He backed up his comments by stating there is a “vast international experience” in regards to regulating the crypto industry:

We trust that the Committee on Trade and Economic Affairs of the Assembly will give due attention to this important preliminary bill. Hopefully, the parliament will make a necessary and wide discussion and that the country could update its regulations in the face of this globalization of the digital economy, which is here to stay, and we must take up the challenge.

What are your thoughts on Panama regulating cryptocurrencies in the future? Let us know in the comments section below.

Source: Bitcoinnews.com

90% Of Large Bitcoin Trades Comes From China: Report

Although Bitcoin is still officially banned in China, the country portrays the most significant chunk of BTC trading volume, new research says. Additionally, the world’s most populated continent, Asia, occupies the largest market share, whale activity, and larger trades.

China Dominates The Crypto Field

China’s government has repeatedly outlined that BTC is officially banned within the nation’s borders. Nevertheless, the country has remained one of the largest and most crucial players in the primary cryptocurrency’s development.

As previously reported, China is responsible for over 60% of the BTC hash rate – meaning that the majority of miners are situated within the country.

The analytics company Messari has compiled a report to put the country’s dominance in numbers. Apart from the most substantial pool of miners, the world’s most populated nation has massive crypto development communities and is home to “three of the world’s largest exchanges.”

However, the paper admitted that the government’s “hostile narrative” against the digital asset field has caused local investors to hold less BTC. Instead, they have focused on larger and more frequent trades.

“That has not stopped Chinese-based exchanges from having among the largest market share in the world” in terms of trading volume.

“East Asia (mostly China) is dominated by larger trades with 90% of all volumes above $10,000. East Asia engages in more short-term trades over a wider variety of assets, compared to North America where the focus is more on long-term holdings of bitcoin.”

Crypto Exchanges Trading Volumes. Source: Messari
Crypto Exchanges Trading Volumes. Source: Messari

It’s worth noting that the regulatory crackdowns on the industry and prominent individuals have continued. Reports emerged in 2020 that the China Merchant Bank had frozen bank accounts belonging to users engaged in cryptocurrency activities.

Furthermore, authorities reportedly took the founder of OKEx into police custody while investigating the popular exchange.

On the other hand, the Asian country has been significantly more accepting of blockchain – the underlying technology behind BTC.

President Xi urged the nation to enhance investment in the tech in 2019, which resulted in various new projects. Arguably the most well-known is the Blockchain Service Network (BSN). The paper outlined that it works as a “standardized development environment within a government-approved technical network” and has already integrated 24 blockchains.

40% Of HQ-ed Market Cap Comes From Asia

Messari’s document also took a broader approach to examine the behavior of developers, investors, and users throughout the entire Asian continent. Aside from the aforementioned Chinese dominance, other countries in the region, such as India, Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Singapore, have taken a substantial piece of the crypto pie.

“With Asia accounting for 60% of the world population, infrastructure companies across the world are interested in tapping the growing market. By the end of last year, six of the top ten largest crypto unicorns in the world were located in Asia.”

The paper also said, “of the top 20 token projects with headquarters, 42% of the market capitalization is based in Asia,” per data as of mid-January 2021.

Asia's Dominance On Crypto. Source: Messari
Asia’s Dominance On Crypto. Source: Messari

Asian companies also dominate the futures markets. The research concluded that such firms account for 98% of ETH and 94% of BTC futures trading volumes.

Source: Crypto Potato

Grayscale Breaking Records: Bitcoin Trust Adds Over $1 Billion in a Week

Grayscale continues to break records with its Bitcoin Trust as the company has attracted inflows of over $1 billion in BTC from institutional clients in a week.

Additionally, the company seems to be preparing to launch several new cryptocurrency trusts for Chainlink, Tezos, and more.

Grayscale’s BTC Trust Inflows To A New Record

CryptoPotato reported earlier that the leading digital asset manager registered its best quarter to date in Q4 2020 with the most substantial inflow quantities. Naturally, the Bitcoin Trust was responsible for the majority of those funds.

These record inflows from institutional investors drove Grayscale to accumulate massive quantities of BTC. As such, the company’s holdings account for over 3% of all bitcoins ever to exist.

Grayscale’s recently-appointed CEO, Michael Sonnenshein, exemplified the significant demand from institutional clients for the Bitcoin Trust. He shared a filing with the SEC, claiming that such investors have allocated almost $1.3 billion in GBTC in the span of just one week.

This is a record for the Trust, as the average amount raised on a weekly base stood at $217 million through the company’s best quarter – Q4 2020.

Interestingly, though, the premium on the Bitcoin Trust has fallen beneath 3% for the first time in over a year, shows data from Ycharts. This is a substantial decline from a month ago when the premium was over 40%.

Grayscale Premiums Chart. Source: YCharts
Grayscale Premiums Chart. Source: YCharts

This could suggest that some accredited investors have cashed out GBTC positions. As GBTC is an SEC reporting product, investors have their holdings locked up for six months. After this period expires, they have the right to dispose of their positions, which could affect the premiums.

Grayscale Looks Into New Assets

Apart from the Bitcoin Trust, the asset manager provides products for several other cryptocurrencies. These include Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, and more. Recently, the company decided to dissolve the XRP Trust following the SEC charges against Ripple.

However, the firm could be adding more products for its institutional customers soon. The Delaware Trust Company, listed as Grayscale’s “statutory trustee” for Delaware, has filed documents with the state’s corporations registry to establish trusts for five digital assets.

Namely, those are Chainlink, Tezos, Decentraland, Livepeer, and Basic Attention Token.

However, the documents haven’t disclosed when any of these cryptocurrencies will have their own Grayscale Trust.

Source: Crypto Potato

Japanese Police Arrest 30 People for Allegedly Having Exchanged Stolen Cryptos From the 2018 Coincheck Hack

Japanese Police Arrest 30 People for Allegedly Having Exchanged Stolen Cryptos From the 2018 Coincheck Hack

Japanese police charged 30 people for their alleged involvement in illegal transactions linked to the well-known $530 million Coincheck hack in 2018. Tokyo authorities traced all individuals’ transactions to different places across the nation.

Illicit Transactions Are Estimated to Have Totaled Over $96 Million

Initially, Nikkei reported that the suspects were either arrested or their cases have been referred to the prosecutors’ office. However, Kyodo confirmed that all 30 people were arrested and are now under police custody, citing sources familiar with the matter.

Police revealed that cyber-investigators traced accounts involved in the illicit transactions to “conventional” crypto exchanges. In fact, prosecutors stated that the suspects converted hacked NEM coins stolen from Coincheck, making it easy to identify all the individuals.

Kyodo also revealed that trading transactions from the 30 suspects are estimated to be worth over 10 billion yen ($96 million), using the exchange rate at the theft time. Moreover, authorities stated that the individuals knew such cryptos belonged to the hacking incident.

The Metropolitan Police Department of Tokyo didn’t disclose the suspects’ identities, as they’re still in the investigation phase. Sources cited by Kyodo provided more details about how the individuals handled the transactions:

Some of the suspects exchanged NEM for other digital currencies through the website and cashed their holdings at cryptocurrency exchanges at home and abroad to make handsome profits.

Latest Developments on the Coincheck Hack Case

In March 2020, two hackers, identified as Masaki Kitamoto and Takayoshi Doi, were arrested by Japanese police. Kitamoto admitted wrongdoing; he claimed to have stolen over $19 million from Coincheck’s hack. Additional charges were filed by the authorities later.

The hackers pocketed 523 million NEM from Coincheck on Jan. 26, 2018. At the time, the coins’ estimated value totaled $530 million, which has since declined. Today, the stolen tokens are worth just $38 million.

Coincheck’s theft remains the biggest in the cryptocurrency industry, together with the Mt. Gox’s $460 million hack of 2014. In August 2020, news.Bitcoin.com reported that a court in Tokyo seized crypto assets traced back to the crypto exchange’s heist.

What are your thoughts on the Coincheck heist? Let us know in the comments section below.

Source: Bitcoinnews.com

LINK Soars 25% To New ATH As Bitcoin Recovers $5000 (Weekend Watch)

After a few consecutive days of price drops, bitcoin has regained some value and has jumped to around $33,000. However, most alternative coins have outperformed their leader with massive gains and have reduced BTC’s dominance over the market to 64%.

Exploding Alts, New ATH For LINK

The past several days have been rather harmful to the altcoins as the cumulative market capitalization lost about $200 billion to beneath $900 billion.

However, most alts have bounced off hard in the past 24 hours with impressive gains.

Ethereum has surged by 8.5% to above $1,270. Ripple has added 4% of value and has neared $0.28. Bitcoin Cash (4%), Binance Coin (4.6%), and Litecoin (2.5%) are also well in the green.

Cardano and Polkadot have increased by approximately 10% to $0.35 and $18, respectively.

However, Chainlink is the best performer from the top ten with a surge of 20%. Thus, LINK surpassed its previous ATH marked earlier this month. As of now, LINK’s new price records stands above $24 (on Bitstamp).

crypto_heatmap
Cryptocurrency Heatmap. Source: Quantify Crypto

More gains are evident from lower and mid-cap altcoins. Decentraland leads with a 42% increase to $0.20. Curve DAO Token (30%), Basic Attention Token (23%), NXM (23%), The Graph (22%), THORChain (20%), Market (19%), Tezos (16%), and NEAR Protocol (16%) follow.

BTC Recovers Some Value But Losses Dominance

The primary cryptocurrency was also slipping in value since it failed to breach above $38,000 earlier this week. Moreover, bitcoin even dropped below $30,000 for the first time since the first week of January.

Some of the price losses could be explained with the FUD that emerged following false reports that there was a double-spending on the Bitcoin network. However, these rumors were debunked by some of the industry’s most prominent names.

As such, the asset managed to reclaim some ground in the past 24 hours and reached a high of almost $34,000. Since then, BTC has retraced slightly and currently trades just below $33,000.

The skyrocketing altcoins, though, have reduced bitcoin’s dominance over the market. The metric that compares BTC’s market cap with all alternative coins has fallen to 64%. This means a 6% decline in about a week.

BTCUSD. Source: TradingView
BTCUSD. Source: TradingView

Source: Crypto Potato