Bitcoin Price Spikes to $6,600 as Crypto Market Finds Momentum

After a week of stability in the $250 billion region, the crypto market has started to demonstrate solid momentum, potentially eying a breakout to the $300 billion mark, supported by a rally initiated by bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash. On July 16, the price of bitcoin, ether, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, and EOS increased by 3 to … Continued

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Bitcoin is Great for Criminals. It’s Even Better for Law Enforcement

Bitcoin is Great for Criminals. It’s Even Better for Law Enforcement

When the indictment of Russian intelligence officers for interfering with the US election broke, the recriminations were swift. Not only had the 12 allegedly hacked the Democratic National Committee, but they’d had the temerity to do so using servers paid with cryptocurrency. When politicians and mainstream media began finger pointing, they had only one culprit to blame – bitcoin.

Also read: Russia Now Has a Registry of Whitelisted Crypto Companies

Bitcoin is Tried and Convicted in the Court of Public Opinion

Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II wasted no time in castigating the “crypto industry” for its role in the DNC hack. The fact that Russians had apparently used bitcoin to cover their tracks was of more concern than the numerous other failings that the indictment revealed, like the inability of Democrats to detect basic phishing attempts, or of DNC admins to detect the X-Agent malware that was installed. No, the biggest takeaway from all this was that bitcoin had facilitated one of the gravest nation state-orchestrated crimes in years.

Bitcoin is Great for Criminals. It’s Even Better for Law Enforcement

As the detailed indictment against the Russian dozen reveals, however, bitcoin didn’t exactly enable the accused to cover their tracks. In fact, despite the extraordinary lengths they had gone to, bitcoin left an indelible trail that led right back to Russia, which the blockchain had gift-wrapped and handed to US investigators. The dozen accused purchased BTC on P2P exchanges, as well as mining the cryptocurrency themselves to pay for web hosting of dcleaks.com, and a VPN with which to operate the Guccifer 2.0 Twitter account. But this didn’t stop US officials from reconstructing the attackers’ every move, aided by the permanent record that the blockchain provides.

Blockchain, Bitcoin and Cognitive Dissonance

Chainalysis is a blockchain forensics company that is detested by many bitcoiners for its willingness to work hand-in-glove with law enforcement, helping to convict cryptocurrency users of victimless crimes such as the purchase of narcotics for personal use. Its co-founder, Jonathan Levin, despatched a trademark anti-bitcoin soundbite for CNBC, stating: “The fact that cryptocurrencies are global and real time means that you might only find out about these things after the fact. We need to think about the responsibilities that we all have in a world where payments move seamlessly across borders in the blink of an eye.”

Bitcoin is Great for Criminals. It’s Even Better for Law Enforcement
Wired

Meanwhile, Wired, a publication that once mined 13 BTC and then inexplicably destroyed the wallet, issued a typical hit piece against bitcoin in its reporting of the hack. It began: “Bitcoin is a pain to spend. It is energy-guzzling, perilously slow and, with the prospect of dazzling returns (at least until recently), perhaps best to HODL ‘til you retire. But Bitcoin can count at least one group of spendthrifts among its users: Russian hackers accused of hacking in the 2016 election.”

Bitcoin is Great for Criminals. It’s Even Better for Law Enforcement

Wading through the hyperbole, one could be forgiven for thinking that bitcoin had single-handedly phished John Podesta, hacked the DNC, brought down the Democrats, and swung the election for Trump.

Is Bitcoin a Help or a Hindrance to Criminals?

Bitcoin is Great for Criminals. It’s Even Better for Law EnforcementAnyone reading MSM reporting of the event, or the screeching from various congressmen, may have been left confused as to bitcoin’s role in the DNC hack. Did it enable Russian agents to commit the crime or did it enable law enforcement to catch them? The answer lies somewhere in between. There is no doubt that bitcoin is used by criminals. It’s been used to purchase all sorts of things that from a legal, if not a moral, standpoint are illicit. Like all currencies, bitcoin is also used for money laundering.

Whether bitcoin helps or hinders criminals depends, to a large extent, on the nature of the crime. If you’re buying a bit of weed on the deep web, even the most zealous of Chainalysis apparatchiks isn’t going to concern themselves with tracing your transaction. Law enforcement won’t give a damn either. If you’re perpetrating the most notorious hack of the decade, however, too right you’re gonna have your BTC purchases forensically analyzed. Had the Russian hackers used a stolen Paypal account or disposable Visa to go shopping, law enforcement would have had much less data to go on, and would have encountered greater difficulty in reconstructing the hackers’ actions.

To answer the question then, bitcoin is a pretty good tool for committing low level crime, where a basic degree of anonymity is required. But when it comes to committing major crimes that are sure to be scrutinized, not only is bitcoin bad for criminals – it’s downright dangerous.

Do you think bitcoin is a help or a hindrance to criminals? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Swiss Stock Exchange Operator ‘Open’ to Cryptocurrency Trading on New Exchange

SIX, the operator and owner of Switzerland’s primary stock exchange, isn’t opposed to offering cryptocurrency trading on its new SIX Digital Exchange. As reported by CCN earlier this month, Swiss Exchange Operator SIX announced plans to launch a fully compliant crypto assets exchange by mid-2019, dubbing it the Six Digital Exchange (SDX). The platform, which

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India’s Central Bank Spells Out Crypto Objections as Panel Readies Regulations

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which admitted last month that it clamped down on cryptocurrencies without much discussion, has expanded on its objections, as a government panel considers a draft of regulations. The central bank instructed banks in April to close cryptocurrency accounts in the first week of July. The concerns include the currencies’ … Continued

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SA Purple Group Confirms Adding Cryptos to Its Online Trading Platform

SA Purple Group Confirms Adding Cryptos to Its Online Trading Platform

South African financial company Purple Group has confirmed the addition of two cryptocurrencies, bitcoin and ethereum, to its online trading platform. According to a representative, the decision came in response to strong demand from clients earlier this year. The move has expanded the trading options for South Africans, many of whom, according to a recent study, still believe a lot of money can be made from crypto investments.

Also read: Switzerland’s Main Stock Exchange Dives Deep Into Crypto

GT247.com Trades Bitcoin and Ethereum

Purple Group, a South African financial services provider listed on the JSE, has added cryptocurrencies to its online trading platform, GT247.com, allowing its users to buy bitcoin (BTC) and ethereum (ETH), local media reported. The decision came in response to strong demand from its customers. Barry Dumas, trading specialist at the group, emphasized that GT247.com allows clients to trade directly in South African rand. “Your rands aren’t converted into dollars like some offerings out there, which can expose you to exchange risks,” he told Business Day.

Purple Group’s representative also noted that despite the decline in cryptocurrency trading volumes over the past months, the platform has seen serious interest mostly from retail clients since the launch of the service earlier this year. “We are seeing a lot more engagement from international institutions like banks and international exchanges looking to regulate cryptocurrencies, as I suspect they want it to be a legitimate asset class in the future,” he pondered.

SA Purple Group Confirms Adding Cryptos to Its Online Trading Platform

Taking into account the current state of crypto markets, Purple Group also allows its clients to short the large cap coins, which means investors can benefit from falling prices as well. Barry Dumas pointed out, however, that according to the trading data and the strong buying interest, most clients are expecting higher prices. “We are seeing a decent spread between the bulls and bears but the bitcoin bias in the market is still to be long,” the trading specialist said.

Dumas also commented on the current trends and confirmed indications that the market is starting to stabilize. “We still see some volatility but it’s not at the levels we saw last year,” he noted. In his opinion, the reasons for that have to do with traders becoming accustomed to the crypto market and the developments towards regulating the space.

More Crypto Trading Options Offered

South Africans can also buy cryptos on local crypto exchanges like Luno and Ice3x, as well as via the local desks of international brokerage houses such as Saxo Bank. Another South African investment management company, Sygnia Ltd., announced a couple of months ago its plans to launch a crypto exchange in Q3, 2018. First National Bank is also exploring what it calls “sustainable options” to facilitate crypto trades with a growing number of its customers asking about them.

A recently released report suggests that the interest and the willingness to invest in cryptocurrencies remain relatively high among South Africans. According to the 2018 “Savings and Investment Monitor” survey, conducted by the Pan-African investment bank Old Mutual, 38 percent of the country’s residents, those aware of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, wish they had invested.

SA Purple Group Confirms Adding Cryptos to Its Online Trading Platform

A sizable majority, 71 percent, agreed that a lot of money can still be made from crypto investments. Only 43 percent of the respondents have negative attitude towards cryptocurrencies and liken them to pyramid schemes. Measuring the general awareness of cryptocurrency in South Africa, the survey shows that 19 percent have heard of bitcoin, 17 percent admit they “know a bit about it”, and 4 percent “know a lot” about the cryptocurrency.

The Republic of South Africa is the country with the highest number of crypto trading platforms on the continent. The popularity of cryptocurrencies has been growing steadily, and so have the efforts of authorities in Pretoria to come up with regulations. The South African Reserve Bank has recently set up a unit tasked to review its position on cryptocurrencies and a “self-regulatory” approach has been previously suggested by legal experts working in the sector. Speaking to reporters, a high-ranking official of the central bank said in May that SARB does not use the term ‘cryptocurrency’ but refers to cryptos as ‘cyber tokens’ because they don’t meet the requirements of money.

Do you expect South Africa to regulate the crypto space, including trading, in the near future? Tells us in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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PR: Changelly’s Partnered with Ledger Live App

Changelly’s Partnered with Ledger Live App

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

Changelly, a prominent instant exchange, has announced its partnership with Ledger, one of the leading security and infrastructure providers in the crypto industry, to bring a new user experience.


New Ledger App and Changelly

Ledger has released Ledger Live, a multi-asset complimentary wallet application that allows storing and managing cryptocurrencies in one place. Ledger Live is used for all models of Ledger’s hardware wallets, including the bestseller Ledger Nano S.

The app offers the list of exchanges where users can buy or sell the cryptocurrencies. Changelly is one of the first exchanges listed on Ledger that provides users with that option as a link that redirects to the Changelly website. Being integrated into Ledger Live, Changelly will enable Ledger users to switch their cryptocurrencies in an easy manner within the Ledger Live app.

This is the only tool available on Ledger Live, so far. However, the service has ongoing negotiations about providing new exchange options for Ledger users, so more details of the collaboration are coming soon.


Benefits of partnership

For Changelly, having such a popular and secure partner as Ledger will help build strong relationship with users, and provide the users of the wallet with seamless exchange options. For Ledger, in turn, Changelly can help broaden the audience and attract new customers.

Konstantin Gladych, CEO at Changelly:

“Ledger provides outstanding products that take security level in the crypto world to the whole new level and leverage the full potential of digital money. Changelly couldn’t be more excited to collaborate and have an opportunity to empower Ledger’s users with a frictionless exchange experience”.

Mattia Sarfati, Business development & Partnerships @Ledger:

Featuring Changelly in our new wallet app allows our users to buy cryptocurrencies easily and securely. Changelly offers an outstanding user experience and our community was pushing to see our companies working together. Ledger hopes that a lot of its users will discover and enjoy the Changelly experience!”


About Changelly

Changelly is a popular instant cryptocurrency exchange service with 100+ coins and tokens listed. The service acts as a mediator between a user and trading platforms. Changelly has trading algorithms integrated into leading exchange platforms, such as Binance, Bittrex, HitBTC and Poloniex that help to pick the most profitable rate. Operating since 2015, Changelly has attracted over 2M registered customers from around the world. The service offers its API and a customizable payment widget for any crypto service that wishes to implement exchange options. Key partners are Jaxx, Coinmarketcap, Coinomi, BRD, Coinpayments and others.

About Ledger

Ledger is a fast-growing provider of security solutions designed for cryptocurrency storage and management. The company offers a wide range of hacking-resistant products for individuals and financial institutions as well.

In 2017, Ledger sold over 1 million units of their flagship product, the Ledger Nano S, placing Ledger as the number one provider of Hardware wallets in the World.

Since a secure hardware wallet is the best technical solution to hold and protect assets, Ledger plans to make those solutions as open as possible to enable new use cases directly from the end user.

Press Contact Email Address
sasha@changelly.com
Supporting Link
https://www.ledger.fr/2018/07/09/ledger-launches-ledger-live-the-all-in-one-companion-app-to-your-ledger-device/

This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

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