Cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex claims to have paid an additional $100 million to Tether as apart of its $700 million outstanding loan to the stablecoin maker.
According to an announcement made on the exchange’s official website, Bitfinex has paid $100 million to Tether in principal on a loan that was reportedly worth over $700 million.
The post reads,
Bitfinex is pleased to announce that on Friday, February 28, 2020, it repaid $100,000,000 of the outstanding loan facility to Tether. Bitfinex made this payment in fiat wired to Tether’s bank account.
Tether, the company behind the leading stablecoin USDT, reportedly loaned Bitfinex more than $700 million last year to make up for the exchange’s $850 million in losses. Bitfinex suffered the staggering debt as a result of its payment processor, Crypto Capital, having its funds seized by authorities in connection to a series of frauds.
Authorities arrested Crypto Capital’s president and principal on conspiracy to commit bank fraud, which led to the freezing of $850 million in Bitfinex funds.
The exchange had previously paid $100 million of the outstanding loan, according to an update made in July 2019.
Another week, another round of Crypto Tidbits. Wow, what a past seven days for Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and global markets overall.
Bitcoin saw a blood-red week, to say the least, falling from $10,000 on Sunday to a low of ~$8,480 within a few days’ time as buyers failed to keep the asset above the key $9,500 support. Altcoins saw an even worst performance, with Ethereum, XRP, Litecoin, amongst countless other top cryptocurrencies plunging 15% as they followed BTC lower.
Aside from the tumultuous market, the underlying cryptocurrency industry saw an equally as tumultuous week, with there being a number of news stories showing the growth and adoption of these technologies, though others casting light on issues within this space.
Bitcoin & Crypto Tidbits
Top Bitcoin Exchange Bitfinex Hit With DDoS Attack Just a Day After OKEx: On Friday morning, leading crypto platform Bitfinex began “investigating what seems like a distributed denial-of-service” attack (DDoS) attack on its exchange. Data from the site showed that the site response time and data throughput started to vary dramatically at 6:40 am GMT, eventually reaching a point where the site crashed around 8:00 am GMT, spurring the exchange to respond. About an hour after it began investigating the attack, services for the exchange came back online. This came a day after OKEx, one of the largest Bitcoin exchanges in Asia, reported a DDoS attack that didn’t affect any users. OKEx’s CEO accused a “competitor” of launching the attack.
Warren Buffett Bashes Bitcoin & Crypto Yet Again, Even After Tron CEO’s Dinner: In an interview with CNBC, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett said that he will never own cryptocurrency, adding that digital assets, Bitcoin included, has no inherent value: “Cryptocurrencies basically have no value and they don’t produce anything. In terms of value: zero.” This comment from Buffett regarding Bitcoin is reminiscent of his previous statements on the matter, such as when he called the cryptocurrency “rat poison squared” and saying that the asset has not much more value than a suit button. While Buffett’s words hold weight in public circles, not everyone in the crypto space is convinced that what he has to say about Bitcoin is relevant, despite him being a legendary investor. Industry investor Anthony Pompliano explained that “I really don’t take technology advice from somebody who uses a flip phone or doesn’t use email.”
Simpsons Talked About Crypto in Sunday’s Episode: On Sunday’s episode of The Simpsons — dubbed “Frinkcoin” because the episode’s A-plot centered around a cryptocurrency built by character Professor Frink — the show makers included a two-minute segment of a Simpsonified Jim Parsons, the actor behind The Big Bang Theory‘s Sheldon Cooper, discussing cryptocurrency. During Parsons’ explainer, a few key topics were mentioned: how blockchain underpins Bitcoin (and other crypto assets) and how the ledger works, including the distribution of nodes/ledgers and how blocks are added to the chain). This writer noticed some, say, shortcomings in the script, but he can give it a pass.
G20 Advises Crypto Crackdown: According to an official G20 communique published this week, the finance ministers and central bankers of the group want member countries to implement the “recently adopted FATF standards on virtual assets and related providers.” The guideline suggests that all entities dealing with cryptocurrency should be actively collecting the customer information of those involved in transactions. The FATF advises the collection of data including the name of the transactor, their location, and the name of the beneficiary of the transaction.
Ripple Secures Partnership: Announced in a blog post published Wednesday, Ripple’s partnership with Azimo will see the latter company use On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) as a “part of its remittance capabilities into The Philippines,” with plans to expand the use of the solution in the future.
Chainlink’s price action throughout 2019 and 2020 has been unprecedented, with the crypto incurring intense upwards momentum in spite of the turbulent price action seen throughout the aggregated market.
This firm uptrend has allowed the cryptocurrency to recently set fresh all-time highs against USD, with it just setting fresh all-time highs against its BTC trading pair yesterday.
Analysts are now noting that this uptrend is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon, as it was just able to flip a previous resistance level into support that could help usher in significantly further upside.
Chainlink Blasts to Fresh All-Time Highs Against Bitcoin
At the time of writing, Chainlink is trading up over 4% at its current price of $4.20, which marks a notable climb from daily lows of $3.90.
The crypto’s massive uptrend has come about in the face of immense bearishness within the aggregated market, with Bitcoin and most other major altcoins incurring intense downtrends over the past week.
This strength has allowed LINK to set fresh all-time highs against its Bitcoin trading pair, with it currently trading at 0.00048 BTC – marking a notable climb from recent lows of 0.00044.
Although the bullish crypto has been able to set fresh all-time highs against its BTC trading pair, it is still trading down slightly from its recently established USD highs of $4.77.
Nonetheless, its recent rally against Bitcoin has generated buzz within the crypto industry.
“LINK Daily – Fresh highs,” crypto analyst Big Cheds noted while pointing to a chart showing its tremendous rise against BTC.
The Crypto’s Bullish Technical Situation Likely to Lead it Significantly Higher
Importantly, the cryptocurrency’s recent rally against Bitcoin has also led it to flip a previous resistance level into a support level, which is something that could bolster it significantly in the days and weeks ahead.
Crypto Michaël, another prominent cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter and a former trader at the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, spoke about this bullish occurrence in a recent tweet, insinuating that further gains could be imminent.
“LINK: Perfect S/R flip on the previous highs for support and instant 36% bounce to ATH. Buy the dip,” he bullishly noted.
Because Chainlink’s bears have failed to incur any notable strength throughout the course of its recent downtrend, with each dip being met with significant buying pressure, it is probable that its uptrend will extend further in the days and weeks ahead.
After a brutal start to the week that saw Bitcoin crash from $10,000 to as low as $8,500, the crypto market has finally started to show signs of consolidation.
According to a well-known crypto trader who has predicted recent price action quite well, this consolidation is a potential sign that Bitcoin will soon re-enter the $9,000s. Such a move, other analysts have said, will confirm that BTC will continue higher, likely moving past its local high at $10,500 prior to the halving.
Meet the Trader Who Called Bitcoin’s January Price Action
Bitcoin’s strong surge to kick off 2020 has caught many traders on the back foot. Case in point: each leg higher in the price of BTC has been marked by dozens of millions of dollars worth of short liquidations on margin trading platforms like BitMEX.
While the majority seem to have been caught off guard, one trader called Bitcoin’s emerging uptrend: Financial Survivalism, also known as Sawcruhteez.
Just a day after New Year’s Day, the prominent trader claimed that Bitcoin was starting to show signs it was forming a textbook Wyckoff Spring pattern. The pattern, Sawcruhteez suggested, implied BTC was going to hit $9,200 in the middle of January.
And that it did. By January 17th and 18th, the leading cryptocurrency had passed above the key psychological and technical resistance of $9,000.
Now, Sawcruhteez is hinting that BTC may soon return higher past $9,000 after this week’s retracement.
Sawcruhteez is Leaning Bullish
In an analysis shared on Saturday morning, Sawcruhteez remarked that the 30-minute Bitcoin chart of the price action over the past five days is “starting to show some striking similarities to what we saw on the four-hour chart in December.”
For those who missed the memo, the price action in December saw Bitcoin bottom in a way depicted in the studies of technical analysis legend Richard Wyckoff (the aforementioned Wyckoff Spring).
What Sawcruhteez is suggesting is that BTC has over the past few days printed a price pattern similar to that seen in December, meaning that there’s a likelihood Bitcoin is bottoming and may soon explode higher past $9,000.
He isn’t the only one suggesting that Bitcoin has the potential to bottom around $8,500 to kick-start the next phase of the bull run.
Per previous reports from NewsBTC, LightCrypto, a prominent cryptocurrency market commentator, laid out a case for why BTC may be bottoming at $8,500 to $8,600, near 20% from the $10,500 high.
The case included the fact that Bitcoin has held up as gold has fallen under $1,600, the seeming impending rate cuts from the Federal Reserve and other central banks, the existence of the impending block reward halving in May 2020, and the fiscal policies being implemented by the world’s governments to respond to flagging economies.
With the Bitcoin and crypto revolution accelerating, interest in retirement-focused investment is growing. Whereas long-term savings is always a good idea for anyone seeking financial security, the unique nature of blockchain assets requires greater care and understanding to ensure success.
Do Your Research
With such a rapid pace of development and adoption, seeking to apply cryptocurrency to retirement investment must involve active management and research. Understanding blockchain technology is a must. Also, because Bitcoin is far from the only promising platform, steps should be taken to study the entire crypto space and make investment decisions accordingly.
As the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency space matures, the legal and regulatory status of this new asset class is all but certain to change. Thus, remaining abreast of laws surrounding the purchase, transfer, and holding of cryptocurrencies will be crucial to successfully save for retirement.
Choose a Well-Designed Bitcoin Retirement Plan
In most countries, choosing the proper investment vehicle can have significant tax and regulatory implications. In the United States, for example, almost all retirement savings are commonly placed in an employer-sponsored 401k, or an individual retirement account (IRA). This move results in significant tax savings but also restricts withdrawal until retirement age.
Investors should make forward-thinking decisions on how to maximize tax advantages long-term. IRAs can be easily set up, and Bitcoin can be placed in them via a number of index funds such as the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust. Nevertheless, this type of investment will involve yearly fees. Also, the funds, not the owners, hold the private keys.
A number of companies offer specific Bitcoin IRA services. These include Blockmint and BitcoinIRA. Choosing one of these services may appear less risky, yet still comes with yearly fees and generally the lack of key ownership.
Retirement investing while holding private keys is, without a doubt, a smart move. To do so and still reap the tax rewards afforded to retirement plans requires more work, yet is not especially complex. One move is to create a limited liability company (LLC). It can then purchase Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies which can be held in cold wallets. Taking these steps generally requires working with a professional.
Remain Consistent And Conservative
As previously discussed, steady and consistent investment strategies have yielded the best results for most crypto investors over the past decade. This plan should sit at the heart of any crypto retirement practice. A diverse portfolio of blockchain assets with a consistent monthly or weekly purchase has the potential to be remarkably profitable in the long-run.
Cryptocurrencies are, without a doubt, a permanent element of the global financial landscape. This fact makes investing in them a wise move, albeit one that is risky and requires proper planning. Taking proper steps now can ensure an impressive, and secure, return.
Do you want to retire on bitcoin? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
These Maps Will Help You Locate Merchants Ready to Accept Your Cryptocurrency
Getting into Bitcoin is a first step many have already taken, and with the generally positive start of 2020, more are likely to make the move. But then there’s the question of what to do with your coins. Regardless of how you obtained them – through purchase, faucet, airdrop, fork, business, or salary — it’s an important point to consider. Luckily, options to spend your cryptocurrency have been increasing. Here’s how to find places that accept decentralized digital money using online maps.
Merchant Maps Show You Where to Spend Your Bitcoin
Interactive online maps are the most intuitive way to find anything these days, including merchants that are willing to take your crypto for whatever they sell. And while Google Maps can help you locate a few businesses dealing with cryptocurrencies near you, other platforms are far more specialized.
Coinmap.org is one of them, as its website allows crypto companies to share their coordinates for free. The map displays around 16,000 venues around the world that accept cryptocurrency payments. Users can filter these entries by multiple categories such as shopping, café, food, grocery, lodging, transport, sports, and nightlife. It will also show you ATMs where you can withdraw digital coins.
The website is easy to use. Filtering options are displayed on the left side of the map. If you permit your browser to track your location, the map will be centered on it and will offer you nearby crypto merchants. You can also zoom in on a particular city or district and check the tab that shows all merchants in the same area. Clicking on an entry will give you more details about the place, and allow you to visit its website or explore the surroundings in Google’s Street View.
While Coinmap lists businesses processing payments in various coins, other platforms are focusing on merchants that accept specific cryptocurrencies. These can be coins that have established themselves as popular investments and others that are valued for the utility they bring to electronic payments, whether with fast and inexpensive transactions or through other features that facilitate genuine peer-to-peer interaction.
Coin-Specific Platforms Focus on Merchants Accepting Payment-Friendly Cryptocurrencies
Bitcoinmap.cash is a community project spreading the word about restaurants, bars, supermarkets, hotels, and other places that mostly take bitcoin cash (BCH) and dash, but many of the featured locations accept bitcoin core (BTC) as well. It has a desktop version of its map and a mobile application you can download and install. Bitcoinmap.cash provides you with basic information about the place you are interested in, including offered discounts for crypto payments. It also lets you check the location using Google Maps.
Bitcoin.com’s offering in the genre, Bitcoin Cash Map, updates users about the growing number of locations accepting BCH. It currently lists almost 2,000 stores across the globe where you can pay with bitcoin cash. The map, which is also available as a mobile app, can be used to obtain contact information for the merchants and links to their websites. Green Pages is another BCH-focused option which allows you to narrow the search to stores where, besides bitcoin cash, you can also pay with four other major cryptocurrencies – BTC, ETH, DASH and XMR.
A different approach to finding crypto-friendly merchants is to check payment processors that track their clients’ activity. For instance, point-of-sale provider Anypay maintains a map showing businesses using its services and other locations that accept cryptocurrencies. The platform supports a number of coins including BCH, BTC, LTC, DASH, DOGE, ZEC, XRP, and ZEN. Locations are displayed in different colors indicating when the last payment took place so that you know which stores process crypto payments regularly. Clicking on a marker also gives you information about that business, its address and accepted currencies.
Explore Merchant Directories That Maintain Online Maps
Coppay is another company that allows users to accept cryptocurrency payments through instant conversion to fiat. It has a map on its website that shows the physical locations where the payment system is being used. Copay provides services mainly to merchants based in the Baltic countries of Latvia and Lithuania, although the company is working to expand to other markets and has already entered Portugal. Salamantex is a payment solution provider that has its own merchant map. Most of its clients are based in Austria, with a couple of stores in Croatia and Malta.
There are other sources focusing on a specific region. Maltamap, for example, will suggest places where you can spend bitcoin in the Mediterranean nation. The country has branded itself as “The Blockchain Island” in the past few years, after adopting crypto-friendly legislation and welcoming many crypto companies to its shores. A growing number of businesses in Malta accept cryptocurrencies including hotels, real estate companies, auto dealers, and various other service providers.
Specialized merchant directories offer another opportunity to explore cryptocurrency-accepting locations. Аcceptcryptoz lists over 800 such places in several categories including food and drinks, hotels and lodging, shops and markets, arts and entertainment, other services, and even crypto ATMs. Clicking the tab of any of these will take you to the category’s page where you’ll find a map showing you the contacts of the merchants and a list with more details about each one of them on the left side of the screen. These businesses accept one or more of eight supported coins and tokens including major cryptocurrencies.
What other maps showing businesses accepting cryptocurrency payments would you recommend? Tell us in the comments section below.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
Do you need a reliable bitcoin mobile wallet to send, receive, and store your coins? Download one for free from us and then head to our Purchase Bitcoin page where you can quickly buy bitcoin with a credit card.
Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Bulgaria. Quoting Hitchens, Lubomir says: ”Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.“ International politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.
Wilshire-Phoenix Responds to SEC’s Bitcoin ETF Decision
Wilshire-Phoenix responded yesterday to the SEC’s decision this week which denied approval for their Bitcoin ETF application. Their criticism falls in line with SEC Commissioner Hester Pierce’s dissent with the SEC’s denials of several ETF applications.
Another Bitcoin ETF Application, Another SEC Denial
The SEC had until a February 26th deadline to make a decision on Wilshire-Phoenix’s Bitcoin ETF proposal, which was filed with the agency last year. The SEC issued an order disapproving the ETF application, and denying Wilshire-Phoenix.
This denial doesn’t come as a surprise, the SEC has denied 9 other applications in the last year or so, including the ETFs proposed by Van Eck, and the Winklevoss brothers.
Even though it isn’t surprising that the Wilshire-Phoenix ETF didn’t receive approval, Wilshire-Phoenix still expressed their disappointment with the SEC’s decision.
An ETF is an Exchange Traded Fund, and it is an investment vehicle that would allow institutional investors a fully-regulated way to get Bitcoin exposure without having to hold or custody the underlying asset, in this case, Bitcoin.
Wilshire-Phoenix feels that the SEC didn’t give the ETF application their full attention, as Wilshire-Phoenix has offered to provide key data and additional info to help facilitate the listing of the ETF.
They agree with SEC Commissioner Hester Pierce’s dissenting comments where she voiced her personal disagreement with the agency’s rejection of many ETF proposals. Both institutional and retail investors believe an ETF is critical for the advance of Bitcoin.
Another Example of the US Regulatory Regime Stifling Innovation?
The SEC’s denial of the Wilshire-Phoenix ETF application comes on the heels of Boerse Stuttgart’s introduction of the first-ever inverse ETP for Bitcoin. Earlier this week, Germany’s second-largest stock exchange introduced the 21Shares Short Bitcoin ETP.
The 21Shares ETP allows investors to short Bitcoin during declining price action. Wilshire-Phoenix contends that the US financial markets desperately need an ETF, or ETP to keep from falling behind.
Hester Pierce agrees and voiced her unhappiness with the SEC’s denial of the Winklevoss ETF by publishing a letter in which she expressed her disagreement. She also recently made headlines for proposing a “safe harbor” policy which would allow blockchain startups a “grace period” from enforcement actions from the SEC, against unregistered securities offerings.
Another SEC Commissioner Robert Jackson Jr. stated that an ETF for Bitcoin is inevitable, however, he added that it must meet the agency’s framework and guidelines. Wilshire-Phoenix believes that they have met the agency’s guidelines and were still denied.
When do you think we will actually see a US Bitcoin ETF? Let us know in the comments!
Ethereum (ETH) has been closely tracking Bitcoin over the past week, which has exposed it to significant downwards pressure that has erased nearly all of the massive upside it incurred throughout the early part of this month.
This downside appears to have invalidated the highly bullish market structure that the cryptocurrency formed throughout the early part of the year, and many analysts are now noting that it could be positioned to see significantly further downside.
One top analyst is now noting that an inability to break above key resistance is likely to lead it lower in the near-term, which comes as its technical strength begins degrading.
Ethereum Stabilizes Around $225, But Technical Weakness Grows
At the time of writing, Ethereum is trading up marginally at its current price of $225, which marks a notable decline from its weekly highs of $275 that were set last Sunday around the time Bitcoin ran to $10,000.
The firm rejection at this level, however, sparked an intense downturn that ultimately led the cryptocurrency to lows of $210, which is where it found strong support.
Because ETH is currently trading in tandem with Bitcoin, it is highly probable that where the crypto goes next will be dependent on Bitcoin’s price action, which means a failure for BTC to break above $9,000 could lead ETH and other major altcoins to see further losses.
Independent of BTC, however, Ethereum may also see some near-term downside, as it is currently trading within a so-called “bear flag” that could mean another leg down is imminent.
Jacob Canflied, a prominent trader and analyst, spoke about this in a recent tweet, saying “Triangle gang. ETH looking heavy.”
Failure to Break This Key Level Could Spell Trouble for ETH
In the near-term, analysts believe that ETH could also be exposed to further losses if bulls are unable to push it above $235, which appears to have turned into a strong resistance level.
Crypto Michaël, another popular cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter, spoke about this in a recent tweet, telling his followers that a failure to garner enough momentum to break through this level could lead it down towards $190.
“ETH: Not enjoying this one that much at this point. Couldn’t break back above $235 and flipped that level resistance. Might take the lows around $210 for bullish divergences before breaking up. If not, I aim $190/195 or flip $235,” he noted.
Assuming that Bitcoin continues ranging sideways or grinding lower, it is highly probable that Ethereum and other major altcoins will see further near-term downside.