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Current State of The Crypto Market (March 31st, 2019)

Hackers:   South Korean crypto exchange Bithumb has had around $13 million in the EOS cryptocurrency stolen in a hack it suspects was an insider job.  The company confirmed in statement on Saturday that it first spotted an “abnormal withdrawal” of the cryptocurrency through its monitoring system at 22:00 Korean time (13:00 UTC) on Friday, March 29.  The exchange suspended asset withdrawals and deposits on the platform after noticing the breach.  Bithumb stated: “All the [stolen] cryptocurrency is owned by the company, and all members’ assets are under the protection of a cold wallet.”  According to a report from CoinDesk Korea, the exchange was hacked for a total of 3.07 million EOS, which was withdrawn from the exchange’s “hot” (internet connected) wallet through a series of transactions.  Based on the data from CoinMarketCap, EOS is currently trading at $4.22, making the total value of the coins lost around $13 million.  The company said in its statement that it suspects the hack was conducted by an insider, since no evidence of external exploit has been found.  Bithumb has already notified government agencies and is conducting an internal investigation. It said it’s also working with major exchanges with the expectation of recovering some of the funds.

 

Bullish Key Players:   Tim Draper is a billionaire venture capitalist, and he has earlier said that the price for bitcoin will reach $250,000 by 2022. If we look globally, this is very probable according to Draper. In a recent statement he sticks to his earlier prediction: “I am sticking to my original prediction – Bitcoin will hit 250k by 2022.”  Another industry expert is Ella Chang who is the head of Binance Labs. Binance is the biggest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, and during its release in Uganda, they got over 40,000 new customers the first week. She argues that 2019 will be a very exciting year since there will be many new products on the market. They are now reaching over five continents with their current offerings. Ella Chang adds: “The projects and teams who are focused on building and achieving product-market fit will bring more real use cases to our lives. It will open the gateway to the mass adoption of crypto.”

 

Banks & Institutions:  The coordination between banking institutions and cryptocurrency is still uncertain. Crypto exchanges don’t believe in creating connections with banks to avoid losing their identity, though sometimes it appears that they are inseparable.  According to Ron Karpovich, the head of the e-commerce department at JPMorgan, the crypto sector will depend on the banking institutions to transfer funds from place to place. In the same manner, blockchain can be employed in financial institutions to enhance and quicken the payment system happening in banks.   More than 2 billion people don’t use banking institutions and around 5 billion have access to smartphones, as per the report by Forbes. This means that it is very easy for these 5 billion plus people to make a transaction using their phones using the so-called digital currencies and blockchain technology. The technology is secure, transparent, cheap and fast.

 

Adoption:   Huobi Group CEO Leon Li met with senior Argentinian finance officials this week to discuss the role of blockchain and crypto in the country’s economy, according to a press release shared with Cointelegraph on March 29.  In a meeting in Beijing, Argentina’s Deputy Minister of Finance, Felix Martin Soto, claimed that the government should address crypto and blockchain tech as a way to promote Argentina’s financial inclusion and reduce state costs.  Soto, who leads Argentina’s international financial relations, explained that half of the country’s population does not have bank accounts and operate cash transactions by converting their savings to United States dollars.  Soto stated that he believes that promoting crypto industry in the country will help to reduce its demand for USD, which will eventually contribute to stabilizing the local market and attracting global investment.

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