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North Korean Hackers May Have Been Behind Coincheck Hack, Claims South Korea’s Intelligence Service

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South Korea’s intelligence agency has said that North Korean hackers may have been behind the Coincheck hack that saw the theft of $530 million worth in digital currency.

While South Korea’s National Intelligence Service didn’t have evidence to back this claim up, it’s reported to have said to lawmakers that North Korea’s involvement was a possibility, according to a report from Reuters.

Last month, it was reported that Japanese digital currency exchange Coincheck had been hacked resulting in the theft of $530 million worth of XEM, the token for the NEM network.

Following the hack, Japan’s financial watchdog, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), ordered the exchange to submit a report on the measures it would take to prevent a repeat. The exchange has also vowed to reimburse 260,000 of its customers despite concern from authorities that it doesn’t have the money to do so.

Since the hack, the FSA has said that it will be conducting on-site inspections of the country’s exchanges to ensure that the correct measures are in place to protect customers and their funds.

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Ethereum Technical Analysis – Is a Floor in Sight for ETH/USD? 06/02/2018

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Key HighlightsEthereum fell through today’s $590.1 support level against the U.S Dollar this morning, following Monday’s 18.68% fall to a closing $697.95. A major bearish trend continues with the next major support level for ETH/USD sitting at $511.33. At the time of writing, ETH/USD is sitting close to its intraday low $555.56 at $568.82, with further declines through the day likely.Ethereum Price Support

Following a closing $697.95 on Monday, 5th February, it’s been downhill all the way for ETH/USD, with today’s first support level of $590.1 falling away as sentiment towards the cryptomarket continued to deteriorate in the early part of the day, with ETH/USD hitting a swing low $555.56 in the early hours.

Since touching an intraday low, ETH/USD has found a little upside, with the pair trading within tight ranges through the middle part of the morning.

The trend continues to look bearish for ETH/USD, with a fall through to the next support level of $511.33 likely to lead to more significant losses through the day.

There is some wiggle room, however, with ETH/USD first resistance level sitting at $802.15, though a 23.6% FIB retracement of $713.31 will likely stifle any moves towards $802.15.

A move back through $713.31 later in the day will likely have plenty of sellers, with ETH/USD unlikely to find too much support at $700 levels this afternoon.

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Former Finance Minister: Bank Indonesia Should Issue Central Bank-Issued Cryptocurrency to Monitor Circulation

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Indonesia’s former finance minister has said that the country’s central bank should issue digital currency as an official payment method to monitor its circulation.

Last month, Bank Indonesia (BI) issued fresh warnings about the risks involved with trading in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, arguing that they could present a potential threat to the financial system. As a result, the bank said that it didn’t recognise digital currencies as a legal medium of exchange, according to a press release. In December, the central bank issued a new regulation banning the use of cryptocurrencies by financial institutions.

Now, though, according to Chatib Basri, Indonesia’s former finance minister, he explained that the banning of the circulation of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ethereum wasn’t an effective solution, reports Kompas.com.

“BI needs to create something that can be monitored,” he said. “I am aware of BI’s concerns about bitcoin … but we can’t ban it.”

Despite initial interest from central banks around the world who have conducted research into issuing their own digital currency, no central bank has implemented one yet.

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Coinbase Plans SegWit Release ‘In A Few Weeks’

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Coinbase has stated its commitment to introduce SegWit compatibility in “a few weeks,” fulfilling a promise made to customers in late 2017.

Final Testing Confirmed

In a tweet Monday, the largest US exchange and wallet provider repeated claims made late last year that SegWit – as a “feature” – was less of a priority for developers than security and performance.

“Our engineering team has begun the final testing phase of SegWit for Bitcoin on Coinbase. SegWit compatible Bitcoin sends/receives will be available for customers in the next few weeks,” staff wrote, linking to the original announcement from December.

Damage Control?

In the face of volatile Bitcoin network fees and competitors already implementing SegWit, which reduces both fees and transaction times, Coinbase has faced increasing pressure from users to follow suit.

A petition in January to force an upgrade as the company’s “top” priority gained over 12,000 signatures.

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Bitcoin Believers Will Stay The Distance

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As markets continue to fall across the board today many are left wondering where the bottom will be. What is guaranteed is that there will be a bottom and things will rebound. Bitcoin is no stranger to crashes, it has had several worse than the current one during its nine year lifespan.

According to Business Insider many institutional investors are still wondering whether Bitcoin can bounce back. A lot of people newer to the crypto scene have taken to social media to share tales of woe and post images of smashed up Lamborghinis.

Despite the recent tsunami of MSM (mainstream media) fueled fear, crypto professionals hold a much longer term view of the entire ecosystem. Only those that jumped in at the end of 2017 trying to make a quick buck without understanding what they were investing in will be smarting now, and licking their wounds, especially if they have just sold in a panic.

Hodling with the pros

Patience and a lot of resolve is required from the hardcore hodlers that truly believe in Bitcoin and the philosophy of cryptocurrency.  Since Satoshi Nakamoto birthed Bitcoin in 2009 it has yet to fail to bounce back from a hard fall. Some industry professionals are still betting big on cryptocurrencies.

Former product manager at Facebook, Anthony Pompliano, is currently managing an early stage investment firm that intends to put its next $25 million in investments into crypto startups. He views Bitcoin’s crash as a natural part of the market cycle and stands by his prediction that BTC will reach $50,000 in 2018.

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Bitcoin’s Volatility Triggers More Regulatory Attempts in the US

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The US Senate shows a great interest in Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies all of a sudden. With the Bitcoin price tanking, the government feels the need to intervene. More specifically, top market watchdogs will be questioned regarding the futures market. Additionally, there will be a strong focus on potentially introducing additional regulation. It will be impossible to curb Bitcoin’s volatility, though. Right now, all markets are bleeding value and the end is not in sight just yet.

The Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing on cryptocurrency later today. During this meeting, they will speak with the chairmen of the CFTC and SEC. There are growing global concerns over the risks Bitcoin and similar currencies pose to investors. Especially during these volatile periods, a lot of money can be lost in the blink of an eye. Finding some way to curb the exposure of consumers seems to be the top priority in the US right now. How this will all go down, is anybody’s guess at this point.

One of the possibilities is regulating exchanges even further. It is not easy to sign up for an account and get your identity verified these days. Adding more hurdles for users to overcome seems like a plausible solution. A federal framework in the US would also help move things along accordingly. So far, individual states have their own requirements, whereas some don’t even have any specific restrictions. If there were to be one guideline for the entire United States, things may look different. Such legislation would also legalize cryptocurrencies, which isn’t necessarily what the government wants.

No one should expect any major decisions to be made later today. This hearing focuses on collecting facts and ideas to move forward. Neither the SEC nor CFTC can effectively oversee cryptocurrency exchanges. It is very likely that situation will come to change sooner rather than later. It’s unclear if that is a positive development or not. None of these decisions will help reduce the volatility of Bitcoin and other assets on the market.

It is evident the cryptocurrency market causes a lot of concerns right now. With so many markets crashing in quick succession, a global panic ensues. Regulation will not bring volatility to an end by any means. It is unlikely anything can effectively curb these wild price swings right now. Putting someone in charge of overseeing decentralized markets is an interesting idea. Whether or not it will work in the US, is a different matter altogether. Rest assured there will be lots of eyeballs on this meeting later today.

Original linkOriginal author: JP Buntinx
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Litecoin Price Analysis: LTC/USD Could Break $100

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Litecoin price is under a lot of pressure and declined below $120 against the US Dollar. LTC/USD may continue to decline and it could even break the $100 support level.

Key Talking Points

Litecoin price dived recently and failed to stay above the $120 support (Data feed of Kraken) against the US Dollar. There is a major descending channel forming with current resistance at $112.00 on the hourly chart of LTC/USD pair. The pair may continue to move down and it remains at a risk of breakdown below $100.

There were further losses in litecoin price during the past few sessions from $140 against the US dollar. The LTC/USD pair failed to hold the $130 and $120 support levels and traded below the $110 level.

A low was formed recently at $103.09 and it seems like the current decline is far from over. On the upside, an initial resistance is around the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the last decline from the $137.07 high to $103.09 low.

At the moment, there is a major descending channel forming with current resistance at $112.00 on the hourly chart of LTC/USD pair. The pair could correct a few points from the current levels, but it is very likely to face sellers near $110-112.

The most important resistance is near the $120 level. It was a support earlier and now it could prevent upsides. The mentioned $120 resistance is also near the 50% Fib retracement level of the last decline from the $137.07 high to $103.09 low.

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India to Stamp Out Degree Fraud With Blockchain Technology

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The Indian government is looking for a Blockchain based solution to rampant fraud in the higher education system starting with the class of 2019.

India to be bullish on Blockchain

In his 2018-19 budget address, Indian Minister of Finance Arun Jaitly discussed plans to clamp down on cryptocurrency trading while supporting Blockchain technology to solve a rash of governing problems in the world’s second most populous country.

“The Government will explore the use of blockchain technology pro-actively for ushering in digital economy,”

Its first implementation will be in education where fake certificates and degrees are a major problem. Companies looking to hire graduates often spend large amounts to certify the degree they are being handed is authentic. A fake degree that passes even vigorous inspection can be had for as little Rs 2,000 (about $30) and it can take weeks or months to certify a degree with it’s issuing institution.

It can cost as much as Rs 1000 per applicant to authenticate a degree which may not sound like much but large companies in India may be hiring up to 10,000 fresh employees at a time which makes the cost debilitating.

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Ethereum Classic Price Technical Analysis – ETC/USD Bearish Towards $10

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Key HighlightsEthereum classic price was crushed recently as it moved below the $15.00 support against the US dollar. There is a key bearish trend line forming with current resistance at $16.50 on the hourly chart of the ETC/USD pair (Data feed via Kraken). The pair may continue to decline and ETC could even test the $11.00 and $10.00 levels.

Ethereum classic price is under heavy selling pressure against the US Dollar and Bitcoin. ETC/USD is likely to extend the current decline towards the $10.00 level in the near term.

There was a monstrous decline in ETC price from well above $20.00 against the US dollar. The price followed other major cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, Ripple and Bitcoin cash to move down by more than 60%. There was a nasty downside move and the price traded below the $18.00 and $15.00 support levels. A low was formed recently at $13.89 and the price is currently attempting a minor upside correction.

An initial resistance on the upside is near the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the last decline from the $24.30 high to $13.89 low. Moreover, there is a key bearish trend line forming with current resistance at $16.50 on the hourly chart of the ETC/USD pair. The trend line resistance is important and it could prevent gains above $17.00. Above $17.00, the price may test the 50% Fib retracement level of the last decline from the $24.30 high to $13.89 low. The most crucial barrier for a major recovery in ETC is around the $19.00 and $20.00 levels.

On the downside, a break below the $13.50 level could push the price towards the $11.00 and $10.00 support levels.

Hourly MACD – The MACD for ETC/USD is placed heavily in the bullish zone.

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Visa and Mastercard Just Made Buying Crypto Much More Expensive

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The price of buying Bitcoin just went up! If you use your credit cards to buy cryptocurrency on Coinbase (or any other exchange) expect to pay at least 10% more in fees.

Using credit cards to buy cryptocurrency is over

Both Mastercard and Visa have decided in the past week to change the way cryptocurrency purchases are processed.

Most of us who use cryptocurrency exchanges pay with either a credit or debit card for which we are charged the standard 4% credit card transaction fee.

From now on though when doing business on Coinbase or whatever exchange you may use be prepared to pay a 5% fee to your credit card merchant as well as the 4% service fee to the exchange.

Transactions to purchase Bitcoin and all other cryptocurrency are now considered cash advances and therefore subject to the ‘varying fees’ that come with that.

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