Europol Arrests Six People Allegedly Behind $27 Million Bitcoin Theft

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Germany: CDU and CSU Union to Integrate Blockchain Into Public Services

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Six Detained in Connection with $28 Million Crypto Heist in Europe

Six people have been arrested in Europe in relation to the theft of almost $28 million worth of crypto assets. There are thought to be around 4,000 victims of the scam.

Those arrested hail from both the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. They were detained earlier today on suspicion of their involvement with the crypto theft.

As Many as 4,000 Duped Out of their Crypto  Assets by Scammers

According to a report in Sky News earlier today, six individuals have been arrested in connection to the theft of crypto assets totalling almost $28 million.

The group detained earlier today consists of five men and a woman. They are believed to have been involved in a “typosquatting” scam. This involves spoofing a popular crypto asset exchange to trick people into depositing to a fraudulent version of a trusted trading venue or simply entering their login details to allow the scammer to raid the victim’s account at the official version of the site.

According to the authorities involved in the investigation, as many as 4,000 different victims from more than 12 different countries have been affected. Detective Inspector Louise Boyce of the UK’s South West cyber crime unit commented:

“The investigation has grown from a single report of £17,000 worth of bitcoin stolen from a Wiltshire-based victim to a current estimate of more than 4,000 victims in at least 12 countries.”

Boyce then added that the number of those impacted is only expected to grow and that the investigation this morning had already uncovered a “large number of devices, equipment and valuable assets”.

Three of the suspects have been detained in the UK with the other three taken in by Dutch officials. Those held in the UK are suspected of committing computer misuse and money laundering offences. The report identifies them as a 33- and 30-year-old-man from Bath and a 37-year-old-man from Wiltshire.

Meanwhile, the remaining two men and woman, aged 21, 26, and 29, are all being detained on suspicion of money laundering.

Bull Market Brings All the Scams Out

Although the crypto space is rife with scams most of the time, the efforts of those behind such dubious investment schemes and outright scams are taken up a notch when the price of Bitcoin and other crypto assets are rising. With lots of fresh money entering the market and many investors lured by the several thousand percent gains experienced by others in the market, the prospects of scammers increase significantly during such periods of market optimism.

When prices increase, scammers are attracted by the new money entering crypto.

In fact, recently two popular Bitcoin commentators warned their Twitter followers about the enhanced risk of falling victim to such scams during times of ever-increasing prices. Andreas Antonopoulos and Peter McCormack both provided details of two different scams relying on the community trust of both prominent personalities to dupe gullible newcomers to crypto.

 

Related Reading: Billionaire Entrepreneur Sues Facebook Over Bitcoin Scam Advertisements

Featured Image from Shutterstock.

Kraken Raises Over $13 Million In Its Latest Fundraising Round

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If you are at an office or shared network, you can ask the network administrator to run a scan across the network looking for misconfigured or infected devices.

Bitcoin Off-Chain Metrics To Improve Your Trading

They say it’s not what you know but who you know. Of course, when trading Bitcoin, what you know is kinda important too.


Following on from our rundown of on-chain metrics, here are a bunch of useful off-chain indicators that no trader should be without. And possibly a few more on-chain metrics too.

Again, these are compiled from a guide by crypto-analyst, Adam Taché.

Mayer Multiple

The ‘Mayer Multiple’ is one of the most popular metrics and derives from the current price divided by the 200-day moving average (200-MA). The average value is 1.39, and historically, when it becomes equal to or greater than 2.4 it will retrace to under 1.5.

Spent Output Profit Ratio

The ‘Spent Output Profit Ratio’ (SOPR) tracks profits or losses made on a spent output and can be used as a marker for local tops and bottoms.

Put simply, SOPR is the selling price divided by the price paid and oscillates around a value of one. In a bear market, values above 1 are rejected, as holders desperately try to sell for a profit, causing the supply to ramp up and a price drop. Conversely, in a bull market, values below 1 are rejected, because people are reluctant to sell at a loss, constricting supply.

Market Value Derived Metrics

‘MVRV Ratio’ is a measure of Market Cap/Value divided by Realised Cap/Value. Historically, an MVRV of less than 1 indicates capitulation, and a value of greater than 3.7 signals an over-valuation.

‘MVRV z-score’ is the number of Standard Deviations between the Market Value and Realised Value. Or how strongly detached from Realised Value the Market Value is. It is calculated by subtracting the RV from the MV and dividing by the Standard Deviation and tends to go parabolic just before a prolonged downturn.

‘MVDV Ratio’ is the Market Value divided by the Delta Cap/Value. Bearish divergences between MVDV and price at local tops have indicated global tops, and value of below one has signaled global bottoms.

HODL Waves

A ‘HODL Wave’ occurs due to new investors buying into Bitcoin during a rally, then holding through the downturn into the next market cycle. They measure the age distribution of Bitcoin’s UTXO set and can be used to detect HODLer accumulation and capitulation. Though not particularly useful for predicting future moves, they do make for a nice colorful chart.

Dormancy Derived Metrics

There are a number of market-health indicators based on dormancy.

The ‘Average Dormancy’ is defined as the ratio between CoinDays Destroyed (CDD) and Volume (per day). While measuring the time UTXOs remain dormant, it signals accumulation and distribution and tracks spending behavior.

‘Supply-Adjusted Dormancy’ is Average Dormancy divided by Supply, accounting for a larger potential CDD, the longer that Bitcoin exists.

‘DUA Ratio’ brings UTXO age into the equation using HODL Waves, whilst ‘Dormancy Flow’ compares price to spending behavior on an annualized basis. Dormancy Flow is the Market Cap divided by the 365-day MA of Dormancy multiplied by Price.

Median Spent Output Lifespan

‘Median Spent Output Lifespan’ (MSOL) measures the median lifespan in days for each spent output. It can signal long-term holders decreasing positions and be used to determine the supply of circulating coins recently for sale.

Network Momentum

‘Network Momentum’ is a measure of daily transaction value in BTC, thus eliminating noise from price. It has been used as a leading indicator for market price and cycle.

Puell Multiple

Finally, the ‘Puell Multiple’ is the ratio of the Daily Coin Issuance (in USD) divided by the 365-day Moving Average of this value. However, after next year’s halving, fees will make up a greater proportion of the miner’s reward. At this point, it may be better to use Mining Revenue (in USD), rather than Coin Issuance.

The Puell Multiple provides a health-indicator for network security and can gauge the market from a mining profitability/compulsory sellers perspective.

 

Of course, no list of Bitcoin metrics can ever be complete, as analysts devise new indicators all the time. But including some (or all) of these into research prior to trading could improve results dramatically.

Think you are ready to beat the Bitcoin market with these tools? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Unchained Capital

 

Ex-Trump Economist Joins ‘Crypto Central Bank’ After Failed Fed Bid

Stephen Moore, who recently rescinded his bid to join the Federal Reserve, announced plans to start his own cryptocurrency-based mini-Fed – billed as “the world’s decentralized central bank,” according to Fox Business.

A pitch deck sent exclusively to Fox allegedly said Moore has teamed with a group of unnamed entrepreneurs to develop a “central bank” – ironically called “Decentral” – aimed at reducing the volatility among digital currencies.

The bank will attempt to regulate the supply of crypto, just as the Fed controls monetary policy in the U.S. It will exchange its own dollar-backed token for other cryptocurrencies and use an algorithm to control the amount of stable tokens in circulation, Decentral officials told FOX. This stable coin is similar to Facebook’s Libra, and aims to promote uniformity and reliability among a fractured landscape of digital assets.

“I’m really excited about doing this,” Moore told the business media outlet. “I hope it makes me rich.”

Moore said he will officially join Decentral on July 1, as chief economic officer and report to Sam Kazemian, Decentral CEO. “These guys are super smart,” he said of his partners.

He also told Fox, he believes cryptocurrencies can circulate in the economy in such a way that they don’t conflict with the Fed’s monetary policy, adding, “This is an alternative way of making payments.”

Kazemian told Fox that Decentral isn’t trying to compete with the Fed, but plans to introduce their business model to Fed officials at some point.

“Decentral will solve the biggest problem facing regulators when it comes to the crypto space: The current instability of pricing,” he said.

“Our goal is to be collaborative, not combative,” he said. “The next big wave in the crypto space is a digital currency that is designed to be useful to consumers and keep stable prices instead of acting as volatile, speculative investments. Stable coins are the next big innovation in the crypto industry.”

It’s unclear how Decentral will convince holders to trade their crypto for this new token, or how the firm will act to prevent inflation – a core mandate of Fed – if the business does not have authority to act as a central clearinghouse.

Kedar Iyer will serve as chief technology officer, Travis Moore as director of software, and Henry Liu as chief operating officer —all of whom have backgrounds in crypto and technology startups. The remaining three partners have political backgrounds.

Mike Novogratz is cited as an investor in Decentral’s parent company.

Moore previously worked as an editorial writer for the Wall Street Journal, and was a member of the conservative Heritage Foundation. He is also a distinguished visiting fellow to the White House, following his advisement on President Trump’s 2017 tax plan.

Moore was picked by Trump in March to fill one of two vacant positions at the Fed, but had not been formally nominated. He withdrew his bid in early May after weeks of criticism about his political partisanship, shifting views on interest rate policy, and sexist comments about women.

His discussions with Decentral began at recent SALT conference, a hedge fund and investing confab in early May run by Anthony Scaramucci of SkyBridge Capital.

Federal Reserve seal via Shutterstock

Bitcoin Price Chart: Monthly Candle Pattern Shows Strongest Trend Reversal Ever

Bitcoin price is once again making headlines on mainstream media outlets, revisiting once forgotten memories of the crypto bubble of 2017, where Bitcoin’s meteoric rise captured the interest of the world and took it to its all-time high of $20,000.

Just this past week, $10,000 was reclaimed by Bitcoin – a price point that last time around created widespread FOMO and caused investors to flock to this space.

After the new level was taken, the monthly Bitcoin price chart is forming a “three white soldiers” candlestick formation that typically signals in financial assets a strong reversal. But Bitcoin isn’t any regular financial asset, and Bitcoin’s trend reversal may be the strongest ever witnessed by humankind, according to one crypto analyst.

Crypto Analyst: Bitcoin Price Bear Market Trend Reversal Is Strongest In Human History

Many people know by now that Bitcoin is the fastest rising asset in human history, with no other asset providing investors with more profits had they bought in at its inception than the first ever cryptocurrency. Everyone always wishes they bought more – even buying consistently through dollar cost averaging since the Bitcoin top would have led investors to profit.

Related Reading | Tom Lee: Bitcoin Price Nearing FOMO Trigger, BTC To Trade Between $20K and $40K 

But it’s also capable of extreme price crashes with each subsequent “bubble” pop, eliminating as much as 85%+ in value each time it happens. Each time it’s also pronounced dead, but makes a triumphant comeback that ultimate draws in more investors than the previous cycle.

After such a brutal bear market, that some believe included an over-correction below $6,000 to extreme lows and fear, an incredibly powerful reversal has occurred. Bitcoin, from its deepest, darkest lows, has surged over 250%, reclaimed important price levels such as $10,000 and is already setting its sights on reclaiming its previous all-time high – a price it’s already regained as much as 75% of in the recent months.

Related Reading | Crypto Analyst: After $10,000, Bitcoin Price Will Never Again Trade at Four Digits 

As the leading crypto asset by market cap shows no signs of stopping, if the current monthly candle closes in the green, Bitcoin will have printed a bullish chart pattern setup called “three white soldiers,” and one crypto analyst calls this and Bitcoin’s powerful rebound the “strongest trend reversal of an asset [the] human race has ever experienced,” and it may only just be getting started if the candle structure closes with a clean three white soldiers.

According to Wikipedia, the bullish candlestick pattern “unfolds across three trading sessions and suggests a strong price reversal from a bear market to a bull market.”

“The three white soldiers help to confirm that a bear market has ended and market sentiment has turned positive,” Wikipedia reads.

Published author and technical analyst Gregory L. Morris says that this sort of price pattern is so bullish, it “should never be ignored.”

Featured image from Shutterstock

The Guns N’ Bitcoin Scorpion Case Holds Your Shooter and Your Satoshis

The Guns N’ Bitcoin Scorpion Case Holds Your Shooter and Your Satoshis

Digital assets have become very valuable over the last few years, spawning a string of devices that protect cryptocurrencies from malware and mishandling. Now there’s a company called Guns N’ Bitcoin that offers a durable case called the Scorpion that holds not only a hardware wallet, but also three types of full to compact pistols and magazines for the gun. Guns N’ Bitcoin believes crypto enthusiasts should guard their “pocket-sized Swiss bank accounts” with a case that can protect people’s assets from the elements as well as physical attacks.

Also read: Tony Hawk Foundation Added to Bitpay’s 100 Crypto Supporting Nonprofits

Its a Jungle out There and Guns N’ Bitcoin Wants to Keep Your Crypto Safe

There’s a startup that believes people should protect their digital assets with a case that holds your firearm and your hardware wallet all in one place. Guns N’ Bitcoin has developed a case called the Scorpion that claims to do just that. It offers protection from unauthorized physical access alongside fire, water, compression and damage from dirt. The Scorpion’s manufacturers declare that the case forms a rugged compartment that’s waterproof, impact proof, dust proof, vibration proof, and can be immersed in water to 1 meter depth. The case can be purchased for $124 with additional accessories like an adjustable case lock.

The Scorpion compartment can carry a variety of the popular hardware wallets on the market today, as well as a folding pocket knife. Guns N’ Bitcoin’s case also can fit subcompact, compact, and standard size pistols inside. Moreover, the company says the case can house an array of hardware wallet cords and 2-3 magazine clips for the hand pistol.

“Adding a PIN and/or passphrase to you wallets makes it harder for a thief to steal your funds — As does using multi-sig transactions — But some wallets can still be hacked if an attacker can gain physical access,” explains the Guns N’ Bitcoin website. The startup’s message continues:

Even more frightening, a criminal can break into your house and demand you provide the passphrase or perform the multi-sig transactions so that he may steal your bitcoin, and will kill you or your family if you don’t comply. Having a gun next to your wallet increases your chances of defeating a violent attacker.

The Guns N’ Bitcoin Scorpion Case Holds Your Shooter and Your Satoshis

Is It a Good Idea to Keep Your Firearm and Crypto Together?

For another $26, Scorpion buyers can purchase a cable lock to ensure the gun and hardware wallet stays put. Essentially you thread the cable lock through the case padlock holes and around the case to prevent opening and can loop the cable around an immovable object. Guns N’ Bitcoin is a registered trademark of Piha LLC., a firm that “creates gear, clothing, and accessories for the vanguard.”

The Guns N’ Bitcoin Scorpion Case Holds Your Shooter and Your Satoshis

The Scorpion case is an interesting concept, but not an entirely new idea. There are plenty of manufactured compartments on the market that are made to house precious metals and firearms in a similar manner. Cases like these do have criticism surrounding them as some people don’t like the idea of keeping a gun and bitcoin all in one place. Guns N’ Bitcoin, however, disagrees and responded to critics this week who believe the case seems like an ‘all your eggs in one basket’ situation.

“If someone invades your home, they are already there to steal your assets, and perhaps specifically, your bitcoin — Your best strategy is to be armed and ready,” Guns N’ Bitcoin insisted.

What do you think about the Scorpion case? Do you think it’s a good strategy to store your firearm and cryptocurrencies all in one place? Or do you agree with Guns N’ Bitcoin that it’s better to be armed? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: This editorial is intended for informational purposes only. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the mentioned company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com or the author is not 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.


Image credits: Shutterstock, and Guns N’ Bitcoin.


Want to create your own secure cold storage paper wallet? Check our tools section. You can also enjoy the easiest way to buy Bitcoin online with us. Download your free Bitcoin wallet and head to our Purchase Bitcoin page where you can buy BCH and BTC securely.

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Jamie Redman

Jamie Redman is a financial tech journalist living in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for Bitcoin, open source code, and decentralized applications. Redman has written thousands of articles for news.Bitcoin.com about the disruptive protocols emerging today.

US CFTC Approves LedgerX’s Application for Designation As Contract Market

What can I do to prevent this in the future?

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From Tom Brady to Crypto: Interview with Diginex Americas CEO Will McDonough

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Will McDonough has one of the most interesting backgrounds in the crypto space. 

Running a management company which represented New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady, supermodel Gisele Bundchen and the estate of Nelson Mandela, he went on to the Investment Management Division of Goldman Sachs before launching Atlas Mara, a company that acquired banks in Africa which he took public on the London Stock Exchange in 2014. 

Moving into the crypto and blockchain industry in 2017 with the launch of iCash, the first ever smart contract adjudication protocol for blockchain transactions, Will is now Vice Chairman of Diginex Limited and Chairman and CEO of Diginex Americas, a digital asset investment bank.

I spoke to Will about his background before crypto, why he got into the space, what will bring the institutions to crypto, and what’s in store for Diginex in 2019 and beyond.

You’ve managed Tom Brady, worked for Goldman Sachs, and bought banks in Africa, is there a unique thread that runs through your career?

Luck.

Luck is when preparation meets opportunity and I’ve been very lucky throughout my career to work with interesting partners in interesting businesses. Each business I’ve had has been a product of my experiences and the ability to prepare for and pounce on an opportunity.  Opportunities don’t last long and when you see them you need to execute fast. When I was in high school I actually started my professional career with the New England Patriots. While working in the organization’s marketing group, I was tasked with bridging the gap between our players, our community and sponsors.  Being able to do this for the team exposed me to Tom Brady and gave me relationships that still benefit me today. Those experiences drove me to form my own management company, and that business continues today, managing the Estate of Nelson Mandela and building partnerships for many notable athletes and entertainers, including Tom Brady, and his wife Gisele Bundchen. 

While running MMG I came into contact with many incredible people in the world of finance, one of whom was the founder of Avenue Capital, Marc Lasry. At our first meeting we started to discuss building a fund of funds to leverage our collective access.  Within a year we set up a distressed debt and credit fund-of-funds, and I moved to NY to build it out. That was a once in a lifetime opportunity, I was prepared for it, and I pounced.

When I was in NY, I became close with Gary Cohn, the former President and COO of Goldman Sachs, who recruited me to the firm to manage the Partners’ Capital. It was Goldman where I learned first hand the importance of diversifying across the alternative investment space and how hard it is for many to get appropriate exposures to esoteric asset classes or geographies.  I further took an interest in the emerging markets of Africa and brought a business to Bob Diamond (former CEO of Barclays) and he and I co-founded Atlas Mara, a network of banks in Africa which we took public on the London Stock Exchange in 2014. After taking Atlas Mara (ATMA: LSE) public, I focused all of my attention on Financial Technologies, and dove in deep to blockchain, which brought me to Diginex with the sole intent of creating a regulation focused, compliant digital asset and blockchain company built on the rigors of the professional financial services world I come from, to deliver institutional grade offerings in this new world of business and finance. 

When did you first hear about Bitcoin, and why did you decide you wanted to be involved in the crypto ecosystem?

I first heard about Bitcoin after my attempt to buy MoneyGram International, the global payments company. One of the biggest threats to MoneyGram is the bitcoin protocol. That was when I fell down the proverbial “crypto rabbit hole” and quickly realized that digital assets have huge potential. Coming from traditional financial services, I saw first hand the many inefficiencies that blockchain technology and digital assets can solve. One of my first realizations is that to realize those efficiencies the proper infrastructure must be set up and I dove right in.

What led you to Diginex Americas and what makes it unique?

Diginex has a uniquely strong team of high-caliber financial services and technology professionals. The caliber and experience of this team is without rival. This, along with the global reach and clear vision, is what drew me to the firm. The opportunity to build out the American infrastructure as CEO of the Americas and join the larger firm as Vice Chairman allows me to contribute directly to the growth of the firm both on home soil and abroad. The adoption of blockchain and digital assets on the institutional level  will take place slowly and with experienced professionals on both sides of the table working together to tap into the benefits. Diginex Americas is uniquely positioned to do that. 

What do you say to Bitcoin maximalists who believe only in bitcoin and view blockchain outside of Bitcoin as an unnecessary solution?

Bitcoin is an amazing innovation and does exactly what it was designed to do. That is P2P decentralized and censorship-resistant transactions. Blockchain technology is revolutionizing the way data is secured and transferred. To state that the only way this technology should be levered is short sighted.  Blockchain can bring the efficiencies it brings to Bitcoin value transfers to lots of data transfer parallels and can drive massive efficiencies to legacy systems.  

How do you convince skeptics that crypto-assets and blockchain are worth getting excited about?

The volatility and growth of the value of Bitcoin and other digital assets over the last 2 years has brought a lot of attention to our technology and the associated currencies.  Many of these currencies are a direct correlation to the demand for and adoption of their associated blockchains, and are a great way for investors of all sizes to get exposure to that growth.  Usually when new technologies are implemented and adopted retail investors don’t hear about them or have access to invest in them until they’re much more mature. This is a gift and a curse because the earlier you invest the more volatile hypothetically the opportunity.  This also can provide participation to massive appreciation if you’re invested in whoever becomes the next platform for accessing blockchain technology. People investing in crypto assets associated with early technologies need to be aware of and prepared for risk and volatility, and understand this is not like investing in traditionally more mature public companies.

Do you think the frenetic bull run of 2017 and subsequent crash was a net positive or a net negative for the industry?

Definitely a net positive. It brought a lot of attention to a space that previously had little to no attention. 2017 also marked the exodus of smart and successful people leaving high-paying and comfortable jobs to jump headfirst into blockchain. This influx of high quality human capital has only led to more implementation of the technology and has been driving innovation ever since that run.  The institutional adoption of the technology and recognition of the asset class sped up adoption massively and is a great benefit to the community.

Do you think “the institutions are coming”? If so, what will be the key driving factor that will bring them to the space?

They definitely are. 

Many of them are already here, and have invested in blockchain-specific funds or in Bitcoin directly to gain exposure. I believe the days of institutions holding digital assets in their portfolios is coming soon as well, but that will take a maturation of their mandates to allow for this newly defined asset, so availing them of products they can hold, that expose them to those assets, will be a major opportunity.  Only helping that will be clear regulation from the SEC and CFTC and the digital asset custody infrastructure being developed to a point where there is virtually no risk of the assets being stolen, or at least those assets being insurable. 

What is on the Diginex Americas roadmap for the year?

The goal is to establish a compliant footprint throughout the world that will allow us to transact and benefit businesses. We are still early in the blockchain story and thus have the time and patience to do it right. This will ensure we will be a big part of the story of blockchain and it’s future. By approaching this opportunity in an institutional manner we are able to work with the world’s top companies and operate at an extremely high level.