Maitland/AMO Cryptocurrency Monitor – 29 April 2020
The Big Read
CoinTelegraph writes that the U.S government recently unleashed a $2 trillion stimulus package to help Americans offset the economic impact of COVID-19. That figure is more than double the amount of all the speculative capital locked up in the entire cryptocurrency market during its 2018 peak. Cryptocurrency at large — Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and everything else — collectively reached its all-time market cap high in January 2018, totaling $831 billion according to CoinMarketCap data. The U.S. stimulus bill in response to coronavirus is 240% larger by comparison.
CoinTelegraph reports that recent turbulence in the cryptocurrency industry has brought traditional tools such as circuit breakers to the forefront of crypto community discussions. Previously, liquidation auctions have been the answer for periods of market turbulence, however the prominence of the traditional marketplaces triggering the circuit breakers has led some cryptocurrency exchanges to implement similar measures.
Buoyed by an overall shift in risk sentiment, cryptocurrencies surged last week, with Bitcoin surpassing $7,500 for the first time since crashing in early March. Bloomberg writes that Bitcoin rose as much as 9.1% last Thursday, while the Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index — which tracks some of the biggest digital assets — rose as much as 6.3%.
CoinDesk reports that new data support the assertion that small bitcoin investors are multiplying rapidly. And anecdotal evidence suggests that much of the growth is taking place in the U.S. The number of network addresses holding at least 0.1 BTC has continued to hit new all-time highs, climbing to 3,010,784 on Monday, according to data from Glassnode. At the time of publication, 0.1 BTC is worth $770.
New Kid on the Block – The Technologies, Funds and ICOs you should know about
CoinDesk reports that a Chinese city in the world’s bitcoin mining hub is publicly encouraging the blockchain industry to help consume excessive hydroelectricity ahead of the summer rainy season. Ya’an, one of the many cities in China’s mountainous Sichuan province, a region that’s estimated to account for over 50 percent of Bitcoin network’s computing power, has recently issued a public guidance – likely in its first – to seize the “strategic opportunity of the blockchain sector” so that they can help consume the area’s excessive hydropower electricity.
LGO Markets is taking an unusual step for a cryptocurrency exchange by letting clients trade without pre-funding accounts, writes CoinDesk. The Hoboken, N.J.-based firm’s clients, mostly crypto hedge funds and market makers, can now get an intraday credit line and send cash to the exchange when the trading day is over.
Scams, Sanctions and Suspicious Activity
Blockchain firm Ripple sued Alphabet Inc’s YouTube last week, alleging the video-sharing platform failed to protect consumers from cryptocurrency “giveaway” scams that use fake social media profiles to dupe victims into sending money. Reuters writes that the company says scammers on YouTube have been impersonating Ripple and its CEO, Brad Garlinghouse, to bait viewers into sending thousands of dollars worth of XRP, a cryptocurrency championed by Ripple, according to a court filing.
City AM writes that last week’s jump in cryptocurrency prices has seen cryptoasset firms work hard to act against bad actors in the space, while analysts have made increasingly bullish price predictions ahead of Bitcoin’s upcoming halving event. Chinese decentralized finance protocol dForce has reportedly managed to glean data on the individual who breached the platform last week, and has successfully negotiated the return of all $25 million worth of cryptocurrency that had been stolen.
CoinTelegraph writes that a study carried out by SophosLabs in conjunction with cryptocurrency intelligence company, CipherTrace, revealed that sextortion scams are a profitable business. Between September 1, 2019, and January 31, 2020, nearly $500,000 in profits we gained by cybercriminals engaging in sextortion. According to the report, the modus operandi is that the scammers told victims through email that their computers were hacked and that they allegedly obtained information on their history of visits to pornographic pages.
Bulls & Bears of the week
“The BSN will catalyze the globalized digital economies of the future” – Professor Michael Sung, founder and chairman of CarbonBlue Innovations, on China’s National Blockchain
“As time goes on and people become more comfortable with digital assets, the average person begins to see Bitcoin as a legitimate viable alternative to gold” - Eric Pinos, America's ecosystem lead at the public blockchain and distributed collaboration platform Ontology