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Current State of The Crypto Market (June 11th, 2019)

Hackers:  Crypto wallet provider Komodo effectively hacked itself to prevent fraudsters from accessing its users’ funds, the company confirmed in a blog post on June 5. Security researchers had alerted the company to a vulnerability in its Agama wallet. Realizing that hackers could strike any moment, Komodo’s cybersecurity team decided to use the same exploit to move compromised crypto to safety.  Explaining to users what happened, Komodo said:  “We were able to sweep around 8 million KMD and 96 BTC from these vulnerable wallets, which otherwise would have been easy pickings for the attacker.”  Komodo’s actions mean that, at current market rates, funds worth $13 million were successfully shielded from a hack.  The crypto is now being held in two safe wallets, and owners are now being invited to reclaim their assets if their accounts have been swept. Those who may still have crypto in an Agama wallet are being urged to move all their funds to a new address as soon as possible.

Bullish Key Players:   Cryptocurrency analysts have renewed their price forecasts following bitcoin’s recent crash, with some prominent figures predicting it will still hit record highs before the end of the year.  Bitcoin’s record-breaking price gains over the last month came crashing to an end at the start of June, as more than $1,000 was wiped from its value.  It is currently trading below $8,000, less than half the value it reached in late 2017 when a major price rally saw it almost hit $20,000. Yet experts note that he recent dip does not necessarily mean a market turnaround.  “I believe bitcoin has the potential to hit $25,000 by the end of 2019 or early 2020,” prominent bitcoin analyst Oliver Isaacs said.  “There are multiple drivers behind the recent resurgence. There are geopolitical, technological and regulatory drivers. The net effect of the trade war between the US and China has led to the sudden interest in bitcoin as a hedge on investments.”

Banks & Institutions:  In crypto market news, margin lenders on American cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex reportedly lost around $13.5 million due to a flash crash on May 26. A blog post from the exchange outlined that a severe price crash in the clams (CLAM) market had led to margin loans losses amounting to roughly 1,800 bitcoin — approximately $13.5 million at the time.    Meanwhile, further alleged details continue to surface in regard to Facebook’s much-anticipated crypto project, with fresh reports claiming that there are now 100 people known to be working on the project according to profiles on the professional networking platform LinkedIn.

Adoption: Emilie Choi, VP of Business, Data & International at Coinbase, said the exchange giant’s next steps will take it to leveraged trading.  “Margin lend borrow is definitely going to be a next big step for us, especially on the active trader side,” said Choi.  Greater risk comes with trading with borrowed money, and while margin trading regulations in the U.S. protect the market from the worst of the fallout, it can be risky to trade on margin in unregulated markets.  The continued conversations surrounding crypto exchange regulation has kept Coinbase from fleshing out a plan and nailing down particulars like whether the exchange will trade futures and options.

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