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Current State of The Crypto Market (March 3rd, 2019)

Hackers: Cryptopia has now announced on Twitter that it aims to re-open its platform “as read only” by March 4. It further said that co- founders Adam Clark and Rob Dawson are back at the company and their focus will be to set “a clear strategic direction moving forwards.”  New Zealand-based cryptocurrency exchange Cryptopia has given an idea of the losses arising from a hack on its platform last month. After being almost silent since the breach, the firm published a series of updates via Twitter on Wednesday. Most notably, Cryptopia provided an update on how much of the total assets held by the platform was lost in the cyber-attack, saying: “We are continuing to work on assessing the impact incurred as a result of the hack in January. Currently, we have calculated that worst case 9.4% of our total holdings was stolen.” It did not provide an idea of that amount in monetary terms. Cryptopia went offline on January 15th saying it had suffered a “security breach which resulted in significant losses.” The exchange did not provide any specific information at the time and has since said it cannot comment while an investigation by the New Zealand Police is underway.

Reports have been coming in about a new type of cryptocurrency hack in South Africa recently. However, this is completely different than traditional hacks.   The usual crypto hacks we are used to are basic “brute force” attacks on cryptocurrency exchanges.  The hack is directed to users’ Mobile Devices. After the break-in, the hacker then hi-jacks the device’s computing power to use it for crypto hacking or mining. Although it is not a direct theft of cryptocurrencies, it is still a hack and classified as “intrusion”. The police have already issued warnings to the general public, telling them about the signs of the hack. Usually, the Smartphone just slows down and heats up very fast. There is no clear way to find the mining process through the operation history, but some cases have come up where victims saw additional browsing histories in their Google Chrome apps.

 

Bullish Key Players:   Zachary DeWitt, a partner at Wing Venture Capital, recently sat down with 91 professionals in the crypto industry to get their thoughts on how they expect for this space to progress in the coming months and years.  In response to a query regarding where BTC will bottom, around 10% argued that the asset has already found a long-term floor at ~$3,150. But, on average, the industry professionals surveyed were overall bearish in the short-term, claiming that the asset is most likely to establish a long-term level of support at $2,400, just above the upper bound of where Murad Mahmudov says bears will have their last breaths.

Nerayoff, who apparently claims to be a co-creator of Ethereum despite some voices limiting his influence on the legal structure on the early days of the project, has displayed strong optimist forecasts for the project before.  On an interview with CNBC, just about a year ago, Nerayoff claimed that there could be a takeover of Bitcoin by Ethereum soon, much in the line of Ver’s opinion. He also stated that price could soon reach triple digits again.

 

Banks & Institutions:  The most recent victory of Bitcoin is that major Swiss bank Julius Baer has invested into the SEBA Crypto AG startup in order to offer its customers virtual assets.  Also, this week, the US Nasdaq exchange listed two crypto price indexes based on BTC and ETH while the platform is getting ready to offer its clients BTC and ETH futures.  A top market analyst from eToro, Mati Greenspan, said to customers in a note that currently big institutional customers are bringing back their projects targeted at crypto, which they had previously put away due to the crypto winter coming. Now this hard period seems to be ending soon, so they are preparing for the coming bull run.

According to the Coinbase blog, XRP/fiat pairs will be available in several jurisdictions initially and on the Coinbase app. These include non-New York US states, Canada, Singapore, Australia, the UK, and several other European countries. Coinbase’s decision to add XRP seems to have spurred trading.  Blockchain payment network Ripple did not influence United States cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase’s decision to list XRP, a senior executive claimed on social media on February 27th.  As part of a Twitter debate involving United Kingdom-based entrepreneur and investor Alistair Milne, Ripple’s head of markets, Miguel Vias, broke ranks with previous correspondence from Ripple about Coinbase.  Milne had written to the company asking for comment on rumors, which assert that Ripple either paid or offered an incentive to Coinbase in order to list XRP on its professional trading platform, Coinbase Pro.  In response, Coinbase’s director of communications, Elliott Suthers, refused to discuss the issue in public, offering only the option of a private conversation.  After Milne uploaded a screenshot of Suther’s email to Twitter, Vias weighed in, denying outright any allegations. “We’re happy to go on the record,” he wrote, contradicting Suther’s perspective, adding: “Coinbase’s listing of XRP was Coinbase’s independent decision – we did not give them anything to make it happen.”

 

Adoption:   The previous major bullish rally that took the BTC rate from around $1,000 to nearly $20,000 in December 2017 caused a major fall when Bitcoin shed about 80 percent off its peak price.  Over the last year, the market dropped $400 bln, so institutional investors and banks put their participation in crypto projects on pause. But now, it seems they are ready to return and enter the crypto industry.  Later this year, trading company Bakkt, in partnership with Starbucks and Microsoft, intends to start trading BTC futures too.

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