Hackers: A new wave of hacks targeting Ethereum holdings is still continuing despite the coin losing value and hitting 18-month lows. Research by the cybercrime monitoring firm Bad Packets LLC indicates the current downtrend that Ethereum is experiencing hasn’t done anything to hackers and scammers who are attempting to steal funds from miners and investors. When scanning the network, hackers are attempting to identify mining rigs and wallets with an exposed port 8545. This will essentially enable the hackers to gain control and redirect the funds in Ethereum to somewhere else. The co-founder of Bad Packets and security research Troy Mursch commented on the matter saying that “despite the price of cryptocurrency crashing into the gutter, free money is still free, even if it’s pennies a day.”
Bullish Key Players: Eric Dalius, a real estate and marketing professional turned bitcoin investor and cryptocurrency expert, says the next bitcoin bull run is a matter of when, not if. Many experts and people in the crypto industry believe bitcoin has already reached or is very close to its bottom. Dalius shares his thoughts, and recently stated he believes the bottom is near and it’s only a matter of time before bitcoin begins its next bull run. He even went as far to say the next bull run is coming very shortly.
Tom Lee, head of research at Fundstrat Global Advisors, is not discouraged by declining bitcoin prices. He reaffirmed and sticks to his optimistic expectations. To prove his point, he demonstrated that multiple factors, such as the number of active wallet addresses, usage per account and supply considerations point at a price between $13,800 and $14,800. He believes that Bitcoin mass adoption will be driven by a higher level of acceptance as an asset class. While Lee declined to give a target price for the year-end, he said that Bitcoin’s fair value would be $150,000 if the number of active wallets approached 7% of Visa’s 4.5 billion account holders.
Changpeng Zhao also sees the Bitcoin bulls ready to charge. In a recent tweet, he stated that the cooled market offers an ideal option to invest (again) in crypto currencies. In a tweet posted on December 13th he states, “While many VCs have “paused”, we are actually more comfortable investing now. Valuations are more reasonable, most have prototype/product, only strong teams left. Much better investment opportunities than at ATH.”
Banks & Institutions: The financial market analysts at Weiss Ratings currently see the best opportunity of the year to buy Bitcoin. On December 11th Weiss Ratings tweeted “Bitcoin is getting to such low levels that it’s becoming one of the best buying opportunities of the year. As a store of value, bitcoin is here to stay. We truly think it’s the least speculative investment a person can make in crypto right now.”
The Stuttgart, the second largest stock exchange in Germany recently partnered with Solaris Banks Blockchain team to move forward with plans for a cryptocurrency exchange that is scheduled to launch in the first half of 2019.
Amongst the traditional banking industry Revolut is abnormal, but among the fintech industry they’re the hottest start-up in the United Kingdom. The innovative start-up recently launched an in-app cryptocurrency exchange last year where customers could exchange their digital assets such as BTC, XRP, ETH, and more coins for fiat currency and vice versa. Revolut also debuted a crypto debit card which users could use to spend their cryptocurrency and earn cash-back rewards denominated in Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Ripple. Revolut is excitingly innovative and is making positive moves to push cryptocurrency adoption. As of Thursday, Revolut graduated from the fintech industry and now ranks among the big banks. They received the authorization to offer traditional banking services besides their innovative services to customers throughout Europe.
Adoption: Coinbase, the largest US-based cryptocurrency exchange recently announced its partnership with payments platform PayPal to enable instant, free crypto-to-cash withdrawals for US customers. This means customers can now move the crypto balances in their Coinbase accounts to their PayPal accounts immediately, at no charge. “These withdrawals are not only fast; they’re free and incur no fees,” project manager Allen Osgood wrote on Coinbase’s blog. “Now, moving your cryptocurrency to cash is easier and more affordable than ever.”
A Japanese lawmaker has proposed four changes to the existing tax system which are meant to ease the burden for crypto users. He also hopes that they will encourage adoption of cryptocurrencies in the country. Earlier this month, Takeshi Fujimaki a representative of Nippon Ishin political party claimed that the country’s tax system should not crush the future of virtual currencies and the blockchain technology. So, to avoid such a situation, he has suggested four amendments that are meant to promote the wider spread of virtual currency into society.