Bitcoin, the largest digital currency by market valuations, traded slightly at this writing Monday, laboring above the $9,300 area. Some cryptocurrency market observers believe that if the king of digital currencies can breakthrough the psychologically important $10,000, exciting levels could be on the way.
“From a technical standpoint, there is some resistance that will put the asset [bitcoin] to the test,” wrote Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Think Markets U.K., reports MarketWatch. “But a move above $10K could be very explosive and that would open the floor towards the $15K mark.”
While bitcoin still has plenty of detractors, Aslam’s forecast is the latest in a string of bull calls on bitcoin. For example, some crypto market participants believe bitcoin can rise to $20,000 or even $25,000 before the end of this year.
From $9,300, bitcoin would need to surge more than 61% to reach the $15,000 mark.
An Impressive Run
Bitcoin’s recent run is undoubtedly impressive. On April 5th, the digital currency’s market capitalization was $113.55 billion, but at this writing Monday, that number was $158.92 billion. Bitcoin’s market value is more than double that of the second-largest cyrptocurrency ethereum. Detractors would note that bitcoin would still need to more than double just to reclaim its December peak around $20,000.
Recently, the 17 millionth bitcoin was mined, meaning there are just 4 million of the coins left to be mined. However, that is not worrisome because, at the current mining rate, it will take over a century for the remaining 4 million bitcoins to be mined.
“In the long-term, the digital currency has had an exponential growth but also presented important downturns. There is decent likelihood that the currency could stabilize between 7’000 – 12’000 in 2018. Bitcoin is trading slightly above its 200 DMA (8000 range),” according to FXStreet.
Bitcoin prices labored around $7,000 on April 1st, meaning the digital currency gained about 30% in the fourth month of the year.
Coinbase Will Reward You For Holding Your Crypto
Coinbase is for the first time allowing general users to earn rewards by simply holding cryptocurrency, starting with the Tezos (XTZ) token.
Tezos uses an alternative consensus mechanism to proof-of-work mining – the system built into the largest cryptocurrency by market cap, bitcoin. Called proof-of-stake, the alternative mechanism rewards network users for holding onto its coins and thereby helping protect the network.
Coinbase’s 5 percent estimate is based on Tezos’ last 90 days of staking returns. The firm also notes that there’s an initial holding period of 35–40 days, after which stakers will start to see rewards appear in their accounts every three days.
The exchange has also added Tezos to Coinbase Earn, a program aimed at educating the public about crypto, and will give out XTZ to participants completing educational videos.
Coinbase soft-launched staking for both Tezos and decentralized finance token Maker (MKR) this March on Coinbase Custody.
As Coinbase wrote at the time, Coinbase Custody primarily serves institutional clients holding large amounts of crypto. This latest initiative brings staking to even the smallest of Tezos holdings, however.
Coinbase also recently rolled out 1.25 percent interest on users’ holdings of the dollar-pegged stablecoin USDC.
$19 million worth of Bitcoin (BTC) seized in dark web drug probe
The U.S. government has seized $19 million worth of BTC from a drug trafficker, who allegedly laundered funds through the cryptocurrency on the original dark web marketplace known as “Silk Road.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced the news on Thursday, saying that the trafficker, Hugh Brian Haney, 60, was arrested near Columbus, Ohio. In 2017 and 2018, Haney allegedly transferred bitcoins representing drug proceeds he had earned through Silk Road to an account held at a company involved in the exchange of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. He claimed falsely that the source of these bitcoins was from mining.
Haney is charged with one count of concealment money laundering and one count of engaging in a financial transaction in a criminally derived property. The former count carries a maximum jail term of 20 years, while the latter a maximum term of 10 years.
Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agent-in-charge Angel M. Melendez said:
“HSI special agents employed blockchain analytics to uncover and seize bitcoins valued at $19 million and usher Haney out of the dark web shadows to face justice in the Southern District of New York.”
“Cryptocurrency is a great idea” – Ron Paul
During a recent “Squawk Alley” interview, Former Republican congressman and presidential candidate, Ron Paul- discusses how he is in favor of cryptocurrencies as well as block change technology. Apparently, he enjoys competing currencies and believes they are a good idea.
He also believes that the governments only have the right to step in to prevent fraud from taking place. In the interview, Paul states that, “the government has a role. And if somebody has a case that there is fraud, I think it should be investigated.” Paul then goes on to state that what he wants to do “is legalize the freedom of choice, absent blatant fraud.” Agreeably so, this is exactly the type of perspective that the crypto world needs.
Throughout the interview, Paul compares crypto to gold in many ways. He points out how both assets are competing with traditional fiat money. He discusses how our government has never been “very tolerant of competition, and they’re not even tolerant with using the Constitution to compete with the fiat dollar. Because gold and silver, you can’t use it.”
This isn’t the first time that Ron Paul has discussed his views on crypto. Back in 2014, the Former Republican Congressman displayed his concerns about the foundation of crypto and Bitcoin. However, he acquired a bearish pro-crypto outlook on the future of fiat money. Paul believes that the dollar won’t last long as “they all self-destruct.” According to Paul, the only competition for the dollar is the euro and yen- which “isn’t any good.”
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