Daily bitcoin transactions on darknet markets doubled throughout 2018 – Report

Daily bitcoin transactions on darknet markets doubled throughout 2018 - Report

Daily bitcoin transactions on darknet markets doubled throughout 2018 – Report

  • Bitcoin is a popular form of payment on darknet markets because users do not need to reveal their identities.

  • In 2017 bitcoin became wildly popular with speculators who trade it online against other virtual currencies.

  • Bitcoin’s price peaked in December 2017 at just above $20,000 and is now down more than 80 per cent from its high.

Overall bitcoin flowing into darknet markets fell to $600 million in 2018 from $700 million a year earlier.

NEW YORK: Use of bitcoin as a form of payment doubled in 2018 on darknet market sites, where users can buy anything from illegal drugs to fake IDs, even though the price of the cryptocurrency crashed, according to a study by data firm Chainalysis.

Bitcoin transaction volumes on darknet markets rose throughout 2018 to an average of $2 million daily, nearly double the activity measured at the start of the year, according to Chainalysis.

Overall bitcoin flowing into darknet market .

“The reason for that drop is more law enforcement activity,” Grauer said. “It would be misleading to think that this year it (the volume) will go down.”

Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency, is a popular form of payment on darknet markets because users do not need to reveal their identities.

In 2017 bitcoin became wildly popular with speculators who trade it online against other virtual currencies as well as hard currencies such as the US dollarNSE 0.45 %. Bitcoin’s price peaked in December 2017 at just above $20,000 and is now down more than 80 per cent from its high.

 

Reuters|Jan 19, 2019, 10.56 AM IST

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Heiko Closhen, Entrepreneur

You Can Now Buy Bitcoin at Some Grocery Stores in the US

You Can Now Buy Bitcoin at Some Grocery Stores in the US

You Can Now Buy Bitcoin at Some Grocery Stores in the US

The crypto curious will soon be able to dip their toes into bitcoin while grocery shopping.

Bitcoin ATM company Coinme is partnering with coins-to-cash converter Coinstar to allow bitcoin purchases through Coinstar kiosks in a number of U.S. states, the companies announced Thursday.

At launch, only customers at certain Safeway or Albertsons stores in California, Texas and Washington state will be able to purchase bitcoin through the kiosks, though there are “plans to extend this offering to additional U.S. markets and retailers following a successful launch,” a press release said.

Coinme cofounder and CEO Neil Bergquist said the new partnership would provide consumers “a convenient and easy way to buy bitcoin” while going about their daily lives.

This in turn should make it easier for consumers to “participate in this dynamic new economy,” he added.

In a separate statement, Coinstar CEO Jim Gaherity similarly highlighted the anticipated ease consumers with which should be able to buy bitcoin with, saying:

“Coinstar is always looking for new ways to offer value to our consumers when they visit our kiosks, and Coinme’s innovative delivery mechanism along with Coinstar’s flexible platform makes it possible for consumers to easily purchase Bitcoin with cash.”

Coins (the metal kind) not accepted

Though Coinstar kiosks are primarily known for converting coins into cash, Amazon gift cards or other equivalent balances, Thursday’s press release noted that at present, “coins cannot be used for bitcoin transactions.”

The kiosks will only accept U.S. dollar bills, with a $2,500 limit.

To purchase bitcoin, users would have to input their phone number to the kiosk and insert their paper bills.

They would then receive a code, which the customer would be able to use to redeem bitcoin by creating a Coinme account online.
 

Nikhilesh De

Jan 18, 2019 at 05:00 UTC

 

This sounds interesting, lets see how this works in practise.

Heiko Closhen, Entrepreneur

Why you should be patient for a big Bitcoin payoff

Why you should be patient for a big Bitcoin payoff

Why you should be patient for a big Bitcoin payoff

Cryptocurrency remains the subject of much speculation amongst investors and regulators, and the prices of major tokens remain volatile enough for traders to make decent profits trading at the right times.

Popular cryptocurrencies Bitcoin and Ethereum have shown significant growth recently, increasing by 16.26% and 67.77% respectively from 9 December 2018 to 9 January 2019.

These surges in value may have helped to placate investors following the dismal performance of the overall cryptocurrency market throughout 2018.

Hopeful investors – like those who purchased Bitcoin in 2017 to cash in on the currency’s meteoric price rise – should not hope for a similarly quick return on their buy-in, however.

Cryptocurrency expert Simon Dingle and South African exchange Luno have both cautioned against buying cryptocurrency for quick returns, and instead urge buyers to learn more about the technology behind it to better understand their investment.

Expert predictions

A collection of predictions for 2019 by industry experts compiled by Forbes also paints an outlook which focuses on the development of technology and its subsequent effect on cryptocurrency prices.

Some investors, such as venture capitalist Tim Draper, state that Bitcoin will skyrocket over the next few years – reaching up to $250,000 by 2022.

Those involved in the cryptocurrency industry have also expressed excitement surrounding the new products coming to market, and the subsequent increase in adoption and price.

“2019 will be an exciting year. We will see several great products shipped to market, especially from our Binance Labs incubation programme, now taking place on five continents,” said Binance Labs head Ella Zhang.

“The projects and teams who are focused on building and achieving product-market fit will bring more real use cases to our lives. This will open the gateway to the mass adoption of crypto.”

Most agreed that the age of ICO hype, scams, and get-rich-quick schemes had passed, with more long-term investments now becoming the focus of the market.

Technology and development

While the prices of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other digital currencies plummeted over the last year, the blockchain technology behind them has been under constant development.

This underlying trend of continued improvement will be the true driving force behind the steady increase of Bitcoin’s price, according to industry experts.

Luno recently stated in a blog post that one big challenge the cryptocurrency community still faces is that of instant gratification.

“The reality is that the existing financial system was built over hundreds – if not thousands – of years and we’re not going to build a new financial infrastructure overnight,” the company said.

“We need to be patient and take it one step at a time. The stakes are high and it would be irresponsible and potentially outright dangerous to rush things.”

The number of Bitcoin transactions taking place per month have been steadily increasing, showing that despite price decreases, the technology’s adoption continues to grow.

Luno said that despite criticism of the cryptocurrency industry and the falling price of digital tokens, it is optimistic about Bitcoin in 2019 – particularly its increased adoption and the development of blockchain scaling options.

Price movements

When it comes to price predictions, Dingle previously told MyBroadband that while he does not like to make them, he does not expect any more sudden surges to all-time highs this year.

Instead, he said that technological developments and positive changes would continue to steadily drive the average price of Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies higher.

He also stated that Ethereum was undervalued and may have a powerful recovery, after which the price of Ethereum increased by around 60%.

While it has deterred many investors, the recent long-term bear market has aided in forcing out scammers and flakey ICOs, and has allowed the cryptocurrency community to focus on creating value and developing technology.

Dingle expects cryptocurrency to continue its steady pace of growth throughout the year, although investors will need to be patient until they are able to take advantage of its potential for meteoric growth again.
 

 

Jamie McKane 17 January 2019

Heiko Closhen, Entrepreneur

Bitcoin Is Another Reversal on the Cards?

Bitcoin – Is Another Reversal on the Cards?

It’s slow and steady through the early hours, with Bitcoin needing to make a move to avoid a reversal later in the day…

Bitcoin fell by 2.53% on Tuesday, partially reversing a 4.41% gain on Monday, to end the day at $3,654.3.

An early morning intraday high $3,780.9 saw Bitcoin come up short of $3,800 levels and the day’s first major resistance level at $3,839.13, leading to a reversal through the day alongside the broader market.

Bitcoin fell to a late afternoon intraday low $3,623.1 to come within range of the first major support level at $3,619.73 before steadying, a return to $3,500 levels avoided on the day.

For the broader cryptomarket, it was red across the board through the day, with Ethereum amongst the biggest losers, falling by 6.5% to $120 to raise the prospects of a return to sub-$100 levels should markets not settle in the coming days.

Focus going into Wednesday had been on an Ethereum fork to which the recent cryptomarket volatility and slide in Ethereum had been attributed.

News of vulnerabilities being discovered in the Ethereum upgrade that could ultimately leave Ethereum exposed to a hack and theft weighed on sentiment. This was not the first time that the Ethereum network has experienced a hiccup. The DAO hack was the largest Ethereum attack and left developers with little choice but to create a whole new coin, Ethereum Classic.

Following the Bitcoin Cash debacle and increased volatility ahead of the Ethereum fork, news of an issue in the upgrade ultimately led to the late afternoon sell-off on Tuesday, with Bitcoin, Ethereum and the broader market only finding support following an announced delay to the planned Ethereum fork.

For the Bitcoin bulls, the good news will be that Monday’s rebound was less of a dead cat bounce, though for Bitcoin to avoid another sell-off, not only is a move back through to $3,800 levels needed going into the weekend, but the Ethereum team of developers will also need to restore some confidence .

At the time of writing, Bitcoin was up 0.49% to $3,672.3, with moves through the early morning seeing Tuesday’s late recovery continue into the early hours.

A move from a start of a day morning low $3,642.4 to a morning high $3,685.2 left the day’s major support and resistance levels untested, with Bitcoin continuing to face stern resistance on any attempted moves through to $3,800 levels.

For the day ahead, a move through the morning high $3,685.2 would support a run at $3,700 levels to bring the first major resistance level at $3,749.1 into play before any pullback. It’s been 5 consecutive days in which Bitcoin has stalled on a run at $3,800 levels, Monday’s high $3,999.4 as close as it’s got, following last Thursday’s sell-off. Investors will likely show some caution should Bitcoin fail to make up lost ground, range bound moves tending to end in tears for the cryptomarket.

Failure to move back through the morning high $3,685.2 could ultimately see Bitcoin slide back through the morning low $3,642.4 to bring sub-$3,600 levels and the first major support level at $3,591.3 into play.

 

Heavier losses could be on the cards should the broader market be deep in the red, with any hint of a possible fall to $3,400 levels likely to lead to some Bitcoin panic through the 2nd half of the week.

 

Bob Mason

37 minutes ago (Jan 16, 2019 5:10 AM G

Bitcoin – Is Another Reversal on the Cards?

Heiko Closhen, Entrepreneur

Bitcoin BTC Could Bottom At 1700

Bitcoin (BTC) Could Bottom At $1,700

Bitcoin (BTC) Could Bottom At $1,700

Murad Mahmudov, a Princeton graduate with dreams of launching his own crypto-centric hedge fund, has quickly become a leading Bitcoin (BTC) analyst, posting an array of in-depth, respectable bits of technical, historical, and fundamental analysis that have resonated with investors.

On Sunday, the industry insider took to Twitter to issue his latest analysis thread.

View image on TwitterMahmudov first drew attention to Bitcoin’s historical price action, drawing lines between the bear market of 2014/2015, specifically the “Baby Capitulation and Final Capitulation” events, and today’s market. Long story short, through a mashup of historical and technical analysis, BTC could fall to as low as $1,700-$2,200 by Spring 2019. So, in closing, the analyst wrote:

If the above dynamics are correct and history does indeed rhyme – which is a big if — We can expect a 1700-2200 bottom in the Spring (most likely April).

This recent quip comes just weeks after Mahmudov took to Tone Vays’ Youtube channel to talk cryptocurrencies. In the podcast-esque environment, the Princeton graduate drew attention to this $1,700 price forecast, explaining it from more of a fundamental level. As reported by us previously, he explained that a number of altcoins, like Ethereum (ETH), EOS, XRP, along with an array small-cap assets, are still drastically overvalued, especially considering their often misconstrued and sometimes non-existent value propositions.

Moon Overlord, a respected crypto trader, echoed Mahmudov’s thoughts. The pseudonymous commentator explained there’s a fleeting chance that Bitcoin has another “substantial draw-down” ahead of itself, also citing historical data. As the harrowing, yet also optimistic adage goes, “history does not repeat itself, but it rhymes.” So, if previous trends prove to be an accurate indicator, the flagship cryptocurrency could fall to as low as $1,700 before another “knock your socks off” rally.

In the same vein of “rhyme, not repeat” thought, other analysts have been more optimistic. Chris Burniske, a partner at Placeholder Ventures, recently claimed that if the crypto market truly moves in multi-year cycles, 2019 will be the year of crypto projects shipping product, echoing sentiment touted by Fred Wilson.

Another analyst, going by Filb Filb, once explained that BTC could surpass $333,000 by 2022, drawing parabolic lines in a somewhat nebulous sense.

Crypto Analyst Expects “New Bull Cycle” In Mid To Late-2019

In related news, another investor, who goes by the online moniker “GalaxyBTC (Galaxy),” claimed that the crypto market is currently entering an accumulation phase, meaning that lower lows are possible but somewhat unlikely. He/She noted that 2014/2015’s bear season lasted for 420 days. So, if history is any indicator, BTC could be nearing the end of its downturn, and will subsequently enter a “new bull cycle” in mid to late-2019.

Per previous reports from Ethereum World News, Delphi Digital, an independent market research consortium, also recently claimed that Bitcoin is currently entering a bout of accumulation.

The analysis completed by Delphi routed through The Next Web’s Hard Fork segment claims that there’s actually been an uptick in Unspent Transaction Outputs (UTXOs), indicating that investors are accumulating Bitcoin en bloc — which could potentially account for the increase in active accounts.

The independent research group noted that “older owners have exhausted much of their selling efforts,” drawing attention to UTXO data they compiled. Delphi’s team went on to write that this all indicates that a round of accumulation, purportedly similar to one seen at the end of 2014 (the previous drastic bear market), is occurring. Or in other words, a bottom could be in sight. However, considering the aforementioned calls, BTC may have quite further to fall in a relatively short period of time.

 

Heiko Closhen, Entrepreneur

Bitcoin CRYPTO:BTC Market Capitalization Hits 6252 Billion

Bitcoin (CRYPTO:BTC) Market Capitalization Hits $62.52 Billion

Bitcoin (CRYPTO:BTC) Market Capitalization Hits $62.52 Billion

Bitcoin (CURRENCY:BTC) traded down 2.5% against the dollar during the 1-day period ending at 23:00 PM E.T. on December 22nd. One Bitcoin coin can now be bought for approximately $3,576.61 on exchanges including xBTCe, OKEx, ABCC and IDAX. Over the last seven days, Bitcoin has traded down 12.1% against the dollar. Bitcoin has a total market capitalization of $62.52 billion and approximately $4.79 billion worth of Bitcoin was traded on exchanges in the last 24 hours.

 

BTC is a proof-of-work (PoW) coin that uses the SHA-256 hashing algorithm. It was first traded on January 3rd, 2009. Bitcoin’s total supply is 17,480,612 coins. The official website for Bitcoin is bitcoin.org. Bitcoin’s official Twitter account is @bitcoin and its Facebook page is accessible here. The official message board for Bitcoin is bitcointalk.org. The Reddit community for Bitcoin is /r/bitcoin and the currency’s Github account can be viewed here.

 

According to CryptoCompare, “Balances – block chain The block chain is a shared public ledger on which the entire Bitcoin network relies. All confirmed transactions are included in the block chain. This way, Bitcoin wallets can calculate their spendable balance and new transactions can be verified to be spending bitcoins that are actually owned by the spender. The integrity and the chronological order of the block chain are enforced with cryptography. Transactions – private keys A transaction is a transfer of value between Bitcoin wallets that gets included in the block chain. Bitcoin wallets keep a secret piece of data called a private key or seed, which is used to sign transactions, providing a mathematical proof that they have come from the owner of the wallet. The signature also prevents the transaction from being altered by anybody once it has been issued. All transactions are broadcast between users and usually begin to be confirmed by the network in the following 10 minutes, through a process called mining. Processing – mining Mining is a distributed consensus system that is used to confirm waiting transactions by including them in the block chain. It enforces a chronological order in the block chain, protects the neutrality of the network, and allows different computers to agree on the state of the system. To be confirmed, transactions must be packed in a block that fits very strict cryptographic rules that will be verified by the network. These rules prevent previous blocks from being modified because doing so would invalidate all following blocks. Mining also creates the equivalent of a competitive lottery that prevents any individual from easily adding new blocks consecutively in the block chain. This way, no individuals can control what is included in the block chain or replace parts of the block chain to roll back their own spends.”

 

Heiko Closhen, Entrepreneur

Tim Draper Paid 18 Million For His First Bitcoin Batch What’s it Worth Now?

Tim Draper Paid $18 Million For His First Bitcoin Batch, What's it Worth Now?

Tim Draper Paid $18 Million For His First Bitcoin Batch, What’s it Worth Now?

If someone was to ask about fervent crypto investors, who would come to mind? For most Bitcoin enthusiasts and investors, Mike Novogratz, the Winklevoss Twins, and Tim Draper would be the first mentioned. And for good reason too, as the aforementioned four have invested copious amounts of time, money, and mental capacity into the nascent blockchain world.

Tim Draper, often clad in a grey suit, white dress shirt, and purple Bitcoin logo-studded tie, recently divulged his hero origin story, if you will, taking to Coindesk.

Tim Draper — A Fervent Crypto Bull

To celebrate Bitcoin’s tenth birthday, Tim Draper, the world-renowned American venture capitalist and forward-thinker, wrote an op-ed piece for a recent Coindesk feature series. Draper, whose investor son also believes cryptocurrencies are also tantalizing, noted that it was fifteen years ago when he saw value in digital currencies

However, a viable digital medium of value didn’t appear in Draper’s scope until 2011, when Peter Vincennes, chief executive at Coinlab, met with the investor to introduce him to Bitcoin. Vincennes and Draper hit it off near immediately, with the latter asking for the former to purchase $250,000 worth of BTC on Mt. Gox.

Draper was satisfied with his investment, keeping the coins on the now-defunct exchange in a likely state of naivety. But of course, Mt. Gox collapsed, with Draper losing his thousands of BTC, which he never really got his digital hands on, as it were.

Yet, later, Draper was given an opportunity to purchase cryptocurrency again, when the U.S. Marshall’s office auctioned nearly 30,000 BTC. The entranced venture capitalist, still reeling from the Mt. Gox collapse, decided to attend the auction, purchasing 29,656 coins at $632 apiece — $14 above the going rate on spot exchanges. In all, he spent $18.74 million on Bitcoin.

And since that day, he’s been overly optimistic about cryptocurrency and related technologies. This shouldn’t be much of a surprise, especially considering his beefy vested interest. Regardless, many have seen his perpetual, seemingly undying support of this asset class as a positive sign.

Even during 2017’s market run-up, which sent Bitcoin to $20,000, he didn’t sell his stack for fiat. And while many common Joes chirp at Draper for this, claiming that he’s an irresponsible investor, the venture capitalist is doing just fine financially.
 

Draper’s Bitcoin Outlook

At current rates, Draper would be left unscathed if he liquidated his Bitcoin stash, as he would still be able to secure $107 million if sufficient liquidity/demand is present. However, Draper, seemingly not willing to sell his BTC, sees even higher highs for this industry in the future.

The zealot, now emotionally involved in this industry, noted that there’s still “great potential” in Bitcoin. He noted that not only could BTC become a global, decentralized, frictionless store of value and digital cash, but blockchain could get implemented in some of society’s most important facets. Summarizing his points into a short and sweet quip, he wrote, “[blockchain] is honest, incorruptible, secure, and fair.”
 

NICK CHONG | JANUARY 13, 2019 | 12:00 AM

Heiko Closhen, Entrepreneur

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Bitcoin: After this breakdown 3k is in sight again

Bitcoin: After this breakdown, $3k is in sight again

Bitcoin: After this breakdown, $3k is in sight again

  • Bitcoin breaks key levels again after breaching $4k.

  • Long term bottom is not in place yet.

Bitcoin, the poster boy of cryptocurrencies, has broken down of some key levels after breaking below $4,000 and is now at the risk of breaching $3,000 too as long term bottom is not yet in place for the largest crypto.

BTC/USD trading flat on day at $3,633 and in less than one percent range for the day – typical low volume and even lower volatility weekend trading that is. Earlier this week, Bitcoin and all the other major coins saw massive sell-off all over again, resulting in BTC breaking $4,000 again and as a result also broke some key levels on the short term (180-minute) as well as long term (daily) chart.

On the 180-minute chart, BTC broke off a key ascending trendline support that was forming after it made a temporary bottom around $3,100 and bounced quite a bit. In this bounce it did attempt to break past the descending trendline resistance on the daily chart – once in late Novemeber, then again around Christmas and last attempt on Tuesday this week. Failing all the time and finally bears got control of the battleground. There is every chance that bulls' resolve to hold on to November lows and $3,000 would be ferociously tested in the coming days.

BTC/USD 180-minute chart:

BTC/USD daily chart:

Manoj B Rawal

FXStreet

 

Heiko Closhen, Entrepreneur

Bitcoin Flash Crash – Fear And Panic Spread Through Crypto Currency Markets On 10 Losses

 

Bitcoin Flash Crash – Fear And Panic Spread Through Crypto Currency Markets On 10% Losses

  • There is a call of fear and panic again as the crypto market faces another big daily drop.

  • A large number of top tier cryptocurrencies have experienced major bull runs, a pullback was expected and warranted.

Cryptocurrency move lower is par for the course

Above: Bitcoin down over 10% during Thursday session.

Bitcoin, Ethereum and the broader cryptocurrency market experienced a significant flash crash during Thursday’s trading. Prices had been trading in a very congested range ever since Sunday’s jump. The move today, while certainly painful for any ‘hodling’ crypto investor/speculator, is certainly par for the course – and the behaviour and nature of the move is extremely common. Just as we saw a massive jump in price on Sunday, that same move happened today, except down. What was the distinguishing feature? A single entity pushing price in an extremely short period of time. If we look at the chart above, we see the initial push lower from 4001.73 to 3813.98 in a 5-minute span. Prices then consolidated – volume was almost non-existent. Price sat, literally, right on top of the upper trendline before it’s next drop. The next major dive lasted for a total of 10 minutes and dropped from 3777.14 to 3560. Price halted exactly on the 61.8% Fibonacci retracement level from the most recent swing high of 4239.39 to the most recent swing low of 3185.17. Note that I did draw the retracement all the way to the extreme swing low – that is the incorrect way to draw an accurate Fibonacci retracement.

It’s profit, not panic

Above: Cardano sheds almost 20% of its value in one day.

 

While the moves today do seem ugly – well, they are – it’s also not a surprise and shouldn’t be a surprise. A significant number of high market cap cryptocurrencies have moved up significantly in the past 30 days. Cardano, which has lost over -18% at one point during the day, is a perfect example of this. Cardano has been in an uptrend since December 15th, 2018 – nearly 30 days straight of a bull move. During that rise, Cardano has gained 101.72%. So a pullback of even 30% is warranted. Litecoin has also experienced a significant rise in both time and price. For over 25 days, Litecoin has rallied from 22.17 to the swing high of 41.27 – an 86.15 gain against the days -13.56% move lower. In any other major market, these moves would be scary – but for cryptocurrencies these moves are normal. It’s not surprising that some people may want to take some of their positions off the table during this most recent bull run. And the move today doesn’t mean that we will continue to sell off to create lower lows (or lows below the December 2018 low). It will be very interesting to see if traders buy this dip – or any dip lower. If that does happen, then we can assume we are in a new buyers market and a market where we can buy the dips instead of shorting the rallies.

 

Posted by Jonathan Morgan in Bitcoin, and modified 11 Jan 2019 05:05

Bitcoin Flash Crash -  Fear And Panic Spread Through Crypto Currency Markets On 10% Losses

Heiko Closhen, Entrepreneur