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Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Bter Struggles With Certain Withdrawals

A new report has surfaced about potential trouble brewing over at the Bter exchange. While it is not the first time exchanges dealing with altcoins, face some sort of withdrawal delay, going a week without a payout is rather long. It’s not easy to keep up with all of these different altcoins and their wallets, but that is not an excuse not to pay out users. Considering how this exchange has very little trading volume in general, it looks like there are either a lot of issues or just no interest in using Bter at all. 

Bter Withdrawal Issues For Altcoins

Based on the information found in this Reddit post, it looks like the Bter exchange is going through a rough patch with certain altcoin wallets. The user mentions how a withdrawal was requested a week ago and has still not appeared on the blockchain. What is even more worrying is how the transactions looks to be processed by Bter, but neither the withdrawal address nor transaction ID show a matching record on the blockchain.

Granted, the XCR market on Bter is seeing absolutely no volume in the past 24 hours, and it looks like the exchange has given up on this trading pair altogether. With only two minor trades taking place over the past 48 hours, it looks like altcoin trading on Bter is on the verge of drying up completely, with the exception of Ether.

Any exchange platform taking its sweet time to process user withdrawals, and then providing information that cannot be verified on the blockchain, is dealing with some serious issues. Listing a wide variety of coins is one thing, but if the markets dry up, delisting should be enforced a lot quicker than just letting things be and running into issues like these.

Creating fake transaction ID’s is not a healthy sign for the Bter exchange, albeit there could be a legitimate reason as to why this happened. Perhaps the Crypti wallet failed or wasn’t properly synchronized to the network, creating a transaction that was never even picked up by the nodes and miners.

We can only hope the Bter exchange will address this issue – and any other potential issues they might be facing – shortly and ensure user funds ends up where it belongs. All of the popular trading pairs – Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and DASH – seem to be working just fine. However, exchange operators have the responsibility for ensuring all of their support coins and wallets work properly.

Bitcoin exchange Bter Withdrawal Issues

Friday, 11 March 2016

Industry Expert Opinions on The Ethereum Price

Ethereum is getting a lot of attention in recent times, and many people expect the price pet Ether to go well beyond its current price point. However, it remains to be seen whether or not that can ever happen, as the project is still in its very early stages right now. That being said, various projects built on top of the Ethereum blockchain are capturing the imagination of community members around the world. Most of the focus will remain on the Ethereum price though, as that it what most people seem to care about right now.

Heavy Focus On Ethereum Price Point

As exciting as the Ethereum technology may be – distributed autonomous organizations, smart contracts, and what else is yet to come – most people only care about the current price. This is not an uncommon scenario in the digital currency world, though, as everything seems to revolve around how to make money, regardless of innovation.

But it has to be said how the Ether currency has created an interesting paradigm across multiple exchange platforms. Before ETH started gaining any traction, most of the alternative currency exchanges were seeing very little trading volume. That situation has come to a change, which creates an exciting paradigm for nearly every exchange platform in the digital currency space.

Cryptocompare CEO Charles Edward Hayter seems to agree:

    “Ethereum trading has given second life to a number of exchanges with Poloniex dominating the Crypto Trading and Kraken the fiat trading. The interesting change has been the market share of fiat trading pairs to bitcoin with ethereum trading. Before the recent rises when volume was 5,000 BTC per day the market share of bitcoin trading was 94%. Fiat trading directly into Ethereum is rising to over 12% of the market.“
While all of this positive attention on the Ethereum price can create a lot of new investment opportunities, people should never throw their money blindly at a project that is doing quite well in recent months. Growth is a very beautiful thing where digital currency is concerned, but doing your own research is invaluable in this business.

CoinGecko Co-Founder Bobby Ong sees it as follows:

    “Ethereum seems to have found trading support at US$10/ETH. We at CoinGecko are watching Ethereum price very closely and are wondering if this will be the story of the year for 2016. We would put a non-trivial probability of Ethereum repeating Litecoin’s feat in late-2013 where it went from US$10/LTC to over US$50/LTC at its peak. There is also a non-trivial probability that all the early buyers of Ethereum would cash out from their 50x positions soon and precipitate a price collapse. As always, do your research, trade with extreme care and do not trade on money you are not willing to lose.”

Very solid advice to say the last. As mentioned by Charles Edward Hayter, there has been an exponential growth across exchange as far as Ethereum is concerned. However, the points made by Bobby Ong serves as a warning for traders to not get overexcited at this stage. These are exciting times for sure, but there are no certainties or guarantees in this world.

Industry Expert Opinions on The Ethereum Price

LocalBitcoin Exchange Claims to be Fastest Method to Purchase Ethereum

Cryptocurrency exchange LocalBitcoins is claiming to be the fastest method for purchasing ethereum on the market due to its different approach, which mimics the method of blockchain technology. LocalBitcoins is a peer-to-peer exchange, rather than a centralized company, which LocalBitcoins says makes it easy for people to find a trader that is online and to make a quick transaction. The method finds people who are selling bitcoin in the same country and offers 60+ payment methods worldwide.

Buying cryptocurrencies, from bitcoin to ethereum, has the potential to be time consuming. Converting from fiat to digital currency on exchanges normally requires customers to deposit money using a bank transfer, which can be international and require a number of days for the money to be transferred.

Bank transfers have been described as the fastest payment method within a country or within a bank using LocalBitcoins, removing the need to wait for international bank transfers. If this option is chosen the user will be connected to a trader who uses the same bank, or another bank in the same country, which LocalBitcoins hope will significantly reduce the time the exchange takes.

LocalBitcoins provided the following four steps for people interested in using the system:
1. Register for an account on LBC.
2. Search for advertisements using bank transfers or cash deposit. (The fastest payment methods)
3. Choose an advertisement and buy bitcoins.
4. Convert Bitcoins to Ethereum using

When using the service, LocalBitcoins highlighted its recommendation that customers use Specific Bank Transfer, National Bank transfer or Cash Deposit, as these payment methods tend to get the fastest trade. An account is not required to convert bitcoin to ethereum, so no password is required and exchanges can be made instantly. There is a video to demonstrate the process provided.

LocalBitcoin Fastest Method to Purchase ETH

Ethereum Price Forecast: ETH/USD Forming Double Top Pattern?

Key points for Ethereum price, ETH/USD and a possible double top pattern

  •     Ethereum price traded one again towards the $12.00 handle, but failed to gain traction above it against the US Dollar.
  •     It looks like ETH/USD is likely forming a double top pattern on the 4-hours chart, but we need a confirmation for it to be true.
  •     As long as the price is above the 100 simple moving average on the 4-hours chart, it remains in a bullish zone.

Ethereum Price Struggle to break $12.00

Ethereum price gave a lot of buying opportunities to the bulls, and they enjoyed nice gains on many occasions. Now can ETHUSD continue gaining?

The price recently moved closer to the $12.00 resistance area once again, but somehow sellers managed to protect an upside move above it once again. The current price action should be a concern for the bulls in the near term. Why?

There is a likely a double top pattern on the 4-hours chart around the all-important $12.00 levels. The price is currently correcting down. Can this be a correction or a change in the trend?

Well, it’s very hard to say that the price may move down, as there are many support levels on the way down. The neckline for the possible double top pattern on the 4-hours chart could be around the 100 simple moving average.

There is also a bullish trend line on the 4-hours chart of ETHUSD, which is moving along with the 100 MA. So, as long as the price is above it, there are chances of it gaining traction once again.

However, if there is a break below the 100 MA and the 50% Fib retracement level of the last leg from the $5.50 low to $12.00 high, then we can say that Ethereum price may start a larger move down.

So, watch carefully the highlighted trend line 100 MA support area if you are planning to buy ETH.

Support levels for ETHUSD - $9.80 and $8.50
Resistance levels for ETHUSD - $11.50 and $12.00

Ethereum Price Forecast

SwiftMail creators offer $10K bounty hack Bitcoin inspired messaging service 

In December last year, two shooters attacked a community center in San Bernardino, California. FBI Director James Comey told a Senate committee, earlier this month, that law-enforcement officials are still unable to get past the locking feature on an Apple iPhone owned by Syed Farook, one of the attackers.

Comey stood before the House Judiciary Committee in Washington, D.C., on the 1st March 2016, outlining the potential dangers of encryption and prevention of access for authorities: “We are seeing more and more cases where we believe significant evidence resides on a phone, a tablet, or a laptop—evidence that may be the difference between an offender being convicted or acquitted,” he stated. “If we cannot access this evidence, it will have ongoing, significant impacts on our ability to identify, stop, and prosecute these offenders.”

"The growing use of encryption both to lock devices when they sit there and to cover communications … is actually overwhelmingly affecting law enforcement."

- James Comey, FBI Director

According to a post made by Apple, the data requested by the FBI has been provided: “Apple complies with valid subpoenas and search warrants, as we have in the San Bernardino case. We have also made Apple engineers available to advise the FBI, and we’ve offered our best ideas on a number of investigative options at their disposal.”

The company has since revealed that the FBI requested that the tech giant make a new version of the iPhone operating system, which circumvents several security features: “The U.S. government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create. They have asked us to build a backdoor to the iPhone.”

“The FBI may use different words to describe this tool, but make no mistake: Building a version of iOS that bypasses security in this way would undeniably create a backdoor. And while the government may argue that its use would be limited to this case, there is no way to guarantee such control.”

- Apple
Anti-virus program pioneer and U.S. presidential candidate John McAfee, claimed that unlocking Syed Farook’s iPhone was a “trivial” exercise, stating that it should take the FBI just 30 minutes to complete. On live television, McAfee promised to eat his own shoe if he was unable to unlock the phone within two weeks.

The anti-virus pioneer stated that there was no real reason for tech companies to provide backdoors for devices: "The US public doesn't need a Digital Security Commission; they need the FBI to stop deceiving everyone and tell the truth that it wants to spy on Americans."

Inspired by these recent events, Team Daniel Bruno are baiting the best hackers in the world to crack what they’ve called John McAfee SwiftMail, and the cryptocurrency that powers the software, Swiftcoin.

SwiftCoin was first developed in 2012. It’s a peer-to-peer, proof of work based digital currency, that combines a Bitcoin style blockchain with Pretty Good Privacy (PGP). This data encryption and decryption computer program is able to provide high-level privacy and authentication for data communication.

Team Daniel Bruno applied this technology to their secure email system, SwiftMail, which uses an address that is similar to a bitcoin wallet. However, instead of storing funds or transactions, it stores messages. The software uses 0.001 SwiftCoin to send mail and attachments to any device running Android, Windows or Ubuntu software.

This application can benefit those concerned about the origin of an email received, or whether a third party is rifling through attachments.

 “Why on earth would we believe that if we're not doing anything wrong, we shouldn't care if someone has our information?”

- SwiftMail
There are a number of other services that have taken a similar approach. In 2012, Bitmessage was conceived by software developer Jonathan Warren, who also based his design on bitcoin’s blockchain.

Bitmessage embodies many of the characteristics found in Bitcoin, it’s a decentralized, encrypted, peer-to-peer, trustless protocol. It can be used by a single person to send encrypted messages to another individual, or to multiple subscribers.

Each user's’ message inbox is encrypted using public-key cryptography, and mixes the information with other inboxes to conceal the user's identity. According to the company, this prevents eavesdropping. The software experienced a surge of new users in 2013, after Edward Snowden released confidential documents revealing the National Security Agency (NSA) had been spying on Americans.

 “The US government, with assistance from major telecommunications carriers including AT&T, has engaged in massive, illegal dragnet surveillance of the domestic communications and communications records of millions of ordinary Americans since at least 2001.”

- The Electronic Frontier Foundation

Based in Israel, GetGems is another example of a messaging platform leveraging blockchain technology. CEO Daniel Peled established GetGems in 2014, as a social messaging app that allows users to send cryptocurrencies.

The GetGems team partnered with Telegram in July last year, which lent the ability to use features such as an end-to-end encryption function, leading to a feature called “secret chats.”

 “Data is encrypted with a key that only you and the recipient know. There is no way for us or anybody else without direct access to your device to learn what content is being sent in those messages.”

- Telegram

The secret chats are neither stored on Telegram’s servers nor logged. “After a short period of time we no longer know who or when you messaged via secret chats. For the same reasons secret chats are not available in the cloud — you can only access those messages from the device they were sent to or from,” states Telegram.

In addition, messages can also be ordered to self-destruct, “As soon as such a message is read (2 checks appear), the countdown starts. When the time is out, both devices participating in a secret chat are instructed to delete the message (photo, video, etc.),” reads the Telegram website.

Team Daniel Bruno have offered US$10,000 to qualifying hackers that can break their system. Applicants are required to identify themselves to the SwiftMail site. They can then execute the attack and either reveal the contents of SwiftMail or steal SwiftCoin and show how it was achieved.

John McAfee is also able to take the challenge. A running bet is taking place on the Bitcoin Free Casino on the probability of success. Payouts can be made in either bitcoin or SwiftCoin. The offer expires 1st April 2016.

$10K bounty hack Bitcoin inspired messaging service.

A 7-Yr Prison Term for Bitcoin Use, Says Russian Finance Ministry

A new amendment to the Criminal Code by the Ministry of Finance in Russia sees the regulator – for the use of bitcoin – propose up to 7 years in prison for management and executives of banks and financial services firms. For the everyday citizen adopting bitcoin, the proposed term for imprisonment is 4 years.

The latest amendment is one among a long list of proposals drawn up by the Ministry of Finance in Russia to crack down on bitcoin and other crypto and electronic currencies’ usage in the country. Regulators and those of influence in positions of government have frequently deemed bitcoin as ‘surrogates’ or money substitutes. One Russian official even deemed digital currencies as a threat to the Russian economy, in recent times.

The revelation came via a source for Interfax, a non-governmental news agency in Russia.

The latest amendment, prepared this month, March 2016, lays out the new terms for punishing those who engage in bitcoin trade or mining activities.

For normal citizens and individuals:

  •     A penalty of up to 500,000 rubles (approx. $7000 USD)
  •     If the ‘guilty’ is unable to pay the fee, he or she will have to pay with any salary or other income for the next three years.
  •     Alternatively, the convicted can be imprisoned for up to 4 years.

For organized groups of bitcoin enthusiasts/miners:

  •     A penalty of 1 million rubles. (approx. $14,000 USD)
  •     The transfer of any salary of income acquired between two to four years.
  •     Imprisonment up to 6 years.

For executives or managers at financial institutions such as banks, insurance companies, pension funds, traders etc., the punishment goes up by a few notches.

  •     A penalty between 1 million to 2.5 million rubles.
  •     The transfer of salary or any other income for a period of two to four years.
  •     Imprisonment of up to 7 years.

The latest proposal turns the screws further on the bitcoin usage and is significantly harsher compared to the previous version of the bill. The previous proposal suggested one year of prison sentence for individual bitcoin adopters and two years for organized groups.

The chief concern of the Finance Ministry, as revealed by the report, is the possible use of money surrogates like bitcoin in illegal activities such as money laundering.

The Finance Ministry’s latest amendment comes at a time when the central bank of Russia is actively looking to study bitcoin’s underlying technology, the blockchain, with the establishment of a new blockchain working group in Feb 2016.

A 7-Yr Prison Term for Bitcoin Use?

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Bitcoin Price Technical Analysis for 03/10/2016 – Ready for a Big Breakout?

Bitcoin price has barely moved from its range as traders reduce their exposure to event risks, but strong breakouts could still encounter nearby support and resistance.

Bitcoin Price Key Highlights

  •     Bitcoin price is still stuck in consolidation, waiting for top-tier market catalysts to determine a clearer direction.
  •     Price has been consolidating around the $410-415 levels and a breakout in either direction is bound to take place soon.
  •     An upside breakout could lead to a climb to the channel resistance at $420 while a downside breakout could let the impulse wave resume down to the channel support or previous lows.

Bitcoin price has barely moved from its range as traders reduce their exposure to event risks, but strong breakouts could still encounter nearby support and resistance.

Technical Indicators Signals

The 100 SMA is below the 200 SMA so the path of least resistance is still to the downside. However, the short-term moving average is inching closer to the longer-term SMA so an upward crossover might be possible, enough to indicate that further gains are in the cards.

In that case a test of the channel resistance might happen near the 61.8% Fib or the $420 area of interest. If this keeps rallies in check, bitcoin price could still resume its impulse wave back down to the bottom of the channel. On the other hand, increased bullish momentum could trigger an upside breakout and a move to the next ceiling at $440-450.

RSI is on middle ground but appears to be pointing down, which means that sellers are still in control of price action. Stochastic is making its way down from the overbought zone, providing a clearer signal of bearish momentum.

Market Events

A couple of major central banks have already announced their monetary policy decisions, with the Bank of Canada keeping their benchmark rate unchanged at 0.50% and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand lowering theirs from 2.50% to 2.25%. However, these weren’t enough to bust bitcoin price out of its current range, as traders are probably holding out for the ECB statement today.

The European Central Bank is likely to expand its quantitative easing program and lower deposit rates much deeper into negative territory. Based on the European stock market performance, businesses might welcome additional easing measures as this would mean cheaper credit and increased spending activity.

However, another disappointing announcement similar to their December statement could lead to a euro rally and a feeble stock market performance, as investors would like to see more stimulus efforts from the central bank. As for bitcoin price, it’s tough to determine how it might react to ECB easing scenarios.

Because of that, it would be best to simply observe price action during the actual ECB monetary policy statement and accompanying press conference to gauge how it impacts overall market sentiment. A return in risk appetite could mean gains for bitcoin price all the way up to the top of the channel while a bout of risk aversion could lead to a selloff to the support at $380 or perhaps even a breakdown.

If so, bitcoin price could head down to the next floor around $350 then at $300. However, this might be unlikely since traders are also careful of piling on their dollar long positions ahead of the FOMC statement later on this month.

Intraday support level – $380

Intraday resistance level – $420

BTC Price Analysis for 03/10/2016

Ethereum Price Technical Analysis 03/10/2016 – Another Buy Opportunity?

Ethereum price surged higher one more time. It looks like the bulls may get another chance to get in and join the ride. Intraday Support Level can be $11.00. Intraday Resistance Level may be $12.00.

Key Highlights

  •     Ethereum price broke higher once again and managed to clear a major resistance area.
  •     Yesterday’s highlighted bearish trend line on the hourly chart (data feed via Kraken) was cleared by the bulls to ignite an upside rally.
  •     The price is almost trading near the last swing high of $12.00, and there is a chance of a minor correction before the price resumes higher.

Ethereum price surged higher one more time, and it looks like the bulls may get another chance to get in and join the ride.

Ethereum Price – Buy Dips?

Ethereum price proved once again that the bears cannot be trusted at this moment. The bullish sentiment is so strong that it’s hard for sellers to take charge. The price moved higher Intraday, and traded back towards the last swing high of $12.00.

Yesterday’s bearish trend line on the hourly chart (data feed via Kraken) was broken during the upside drift. The most important point is that the price broke the 61.8% Fib retracement level of the last drop from the $11.98 high to $8.48 low as well. Overall, there was a solid uptrend that may continue in the near term. Moreover, the price is now above the 100 simple moving average (hourly chart, data feed via Kraken), which may now act as a support in the short term.

So, if the price corrects lower from the current levels, then one might consider buying dips. An initial support can be around the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the last wave up from the $8.50 low to $11.98 high. However, the most important support area can be around the broken trend line, coinciding with the 100 hourly SMA.

Hourly MACD – The MACD is in the bullish slope, signaling bullish signs.

Hourly RSI – The RSI is around the overbought levels, calling for a minor correction in the short term.

Intraday Support Level – $11.00

Intraday Resistance Level
– $12.00

ETH Price Analysis 03/10/2016

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