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Current State of The Crypto Market (April 17th, 2019)

Hackers:   A sergeant from the Silicon Valley-based Regional Enforcement Allied Computer Team (REACT) says 5 hackers, aged 18-26, who collectively stole $50 million USD in cryptocurrencies by taking over victims’ phones were arrested.  Two of the more infamous alleged culprits are 21-year-old New Yorker Nicholas Truglia and 18-year-old Boston-area high school valedictorian Joel Ortiz.  Ortiz is now serving a 10-year prison sentence for his crimes.  According to statements made by the original post: “Experts believe the crypto bandits’ crime spree is rooted in video games. Teens playing ‘Call of Duty’ communicated via a social site called Discord, setting up private chat groups that keep out predators and parents alike.”  The teens believed to have pioneered SIM-hacks originally conspired to steal crypto.  According to Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Erin West: “Gamers figured out that they could hack into people’s accounts to get this data and sell them for big bucks on a website.”  Some young hackers who adapted SIM-hacks to steal cryptocurrencies later became illicit millionaires overnight.  In a SIM-swap hack, attackers contact telephone service providers, impersonate their victims and ask the provider to activate a new phone.  Once the switch has been completed, the victim’s phone goes dark and a new phone controlled by the hacker is immediately activated.  From there, the phone can be used to access the email, personal information, and financial accounts of victims.

 

Bullish Key Players:   The Token Taxonomy Act has been reintroduced to the United States legislature. If approved, it would exempt cryptocurrencies from being regarded as securities while also providing clear regulations to the crypto space.  However, there are some who don’t believe that this bill would lead to proper regulation. One of such personalities is Jake Chervinsky, a leading cryptocurrency legal expert.  Chervinsky, one of the leading cryptocurrency legal experts argued against the approval of the token taxonomy bill. The legal expert pointed out that even though he is in support of crypto regulation, he believes this bill would create more regulatory uncertainty.  According to Chervinsky, the Securities Act of 1933 & the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 which the taxonomy bill is seeking to amend, requires security issuers to register with SEC before any public sale. The law stipulates that if a company issues a security without disclosing it first (or satisfying an exemption from registration), it would be prosecuted by SEC since it violates Securities Acts 5 & 12.

 

Banks & Institutions:  The recent incidents relating to Craig Wright’s claim of being none other than Satoshi Nakamoto has shaken the crypto space. A vast majority of crypto users, investors, and enthusiasts have staunchly criticized Wright’s claim, and have had enough with his fraud.  Leading the charge, once again, is Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, who has taken a strong stand against Wright. Last week, Wright’s lawyers sent legal notices to a few of his critics like Hodlonaut, who have started campaigns against him. This probably upset  Zhao, who has been a strong advocate for freedom of speech and expression in the crypto space.  When Hodlonaut made the news public via Twitter, Zhao retweeted it, warning Wright that he would delist Bitcoin SV, Wright’s creation from the exchange, if he doesn’t stop threatening his critics. Ultimately, Zhao announced that BSV had been delisted from Binance Exchange.  This move, was appreciated by a lot of crypto influencers and analysts, including Luke Martin, the famous crypto expert.  However, the biggest appreciation came from Ethereum’s ex-founder and Cardano founder, Charles Hoskinson, who did not hold his words back. Hoskinson praised Zhao and Binance Exchange via a tweet, stating that they stood up for the entire community against bullying and fraud. Charles said via a tweet “I’m really proud of CZ and binance. They stood up for the entire community against bullying and fraud. I hope more exchanges follow and we can end this dark chapter in Crypto’s history”

 

Adoption:   While all eyes have been on crypto’s price action as of late, adoption has continued to chug along, slowly but surely. According to a recent press release published by the Associated Press, Corporate Traveller, a leading travel agency in the U.K., has teamed up with the Atlanta-based BitPay to accept Bitcoin and other digital assets through its service. As Corporate Traveller’s U.K. General Manager explains:  “We identified an increasing demand from our clients for the option to pay in bitcoin for business travel bookings made by our travel consultants… The blockchain industry is growing exponentially and we are excited to be able to offer our clients the ability to pay in bitcoin, whilst having the reassurance of our settlement from BitPay being in pounds sterling.”  Corporate Traveller’s sudden acceptance of BTC only cements the growing themes of adoption in the cryptoeconomy today.

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