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$623M in Bitcoin From 2016 Bitfinex Hack Moved Under Cover of Coinbase Listing Hype

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Over $623 million worth of bitcoin (BTC, -0.74%) (BTC) stolen Bitfinex in 2016 was moved on Wednesday, according to Twitter account Whale Alert, coming on the same day the whole market celebrated a milestone in crypto history: Coinbase’s direct listing on Nasdaq.

Trade The Chain, a real-time crypto data service, confirmed the number of bitcoin moved and said it amounts to about 10% of the total 119,756 BTC stolen from Bitfinex in 2016’s hack.

The activity came as cryptocurrency exchange giant Coinbase went live with its direct listing on Nasdaq and analysts told CoinDesk that the timing may not be a coincidence.

“We believe that the BTC transfers started during the trading for Coinbase’s direct listing,” Nick Mancini, research analyst at Trade the Chain, told CoinDesk in an interview. “The media shields allow them to at least get less publicity, considering there are fewer people tracking their movements or reporting it … everyone’s focused on the Coinbase listing.”

As Decrypt previously reported, over 5,000 BTC was also moved on Nov. 30 from the same stolen fund.

The November move of the funds came as bitcoin’s price headed toward $20,000, a record high price at the time.
But some suggested that the move is unlikely to create any near-term risks to bitcoin’s price.

“The 2016 Bitfinex hack BTC are some of the most tracked and blacklisted funds in the world,” Adam Cochran, a partner with Cinneamhain Venture, wrote in a tweet. “No exchange will process them. They can basically never be cashed out.”

However, with the rise of decentralized exchanges, Mancini said that there might be ways for the “bad actors” from the hack to obfuscate the addresses of the stolen bitcoin through popular crypto fundraising methods such as initial DEX offerings (IDOs).

“Although it is time-consuming, difficult, and somewhat trackable, we have seen with the wallets of where the money was transferred, they are already trying to obfuscate everything as best as possible,” Mancini said. “I suspect that this is not the final destination for these coins but the first destination for a path of many ways that these bad actors will take to eventually extract value out of the bitcoin. “

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Institutions Keep Accumulating Bitcoin As It Dips Below $45K

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After failing to reclaim the $50,000 level, BTC faces renewed selling pressure in the short term. However, short-term headwinds don’t negate the bull market.

Bitcoin (BTC) price slipped below $45,000 on Sunday for the second time in four days, raising the specter of a deeper short-term correction for the flagship digital currency.

Bitcoin fell to a session low of $44,696.01, according to data from coinmarket cap. In the last 24 hours, the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization is down 7.65 percent over 22.87 percent in the last seven days.

The selloff in BTC contributed to a market-wide correction for crypto assets, as Ethereum (ETH) fell 10.40 percent, Polkadot (DOT) declined 13.84 percent and Binance Coin (BNB) dipped by 6.06 percent In the last 24 hours.

Market sentiment towards cryptocurrencies has soured in recent days after it was revealed that Tesla is no longer accepting Bitcoin payments for its automobiles. Headlines about a possible investigation into Binance by the United States Justice Department have also raised concerns about a potential regulatory backlash.

Meanwhile, Caitlin Long of Avanti digital bank believes that Tether’s first-ever reserve disclosure has spooked investors. In a Twitter thread posted on Saturday, Long said Tether’s “probability of default [and] loss severity in default just went up” because of its credit exposure. Namely, almost two-thirds of the company’s cash and cash equivalents are stored in commercial paper.

Despite all the noise in the market today, institutions are accumulating Bitcoin with ever-growing conviction, offering compelling evidence that the bull market is far from over.

Bitcoin Treasuries, which tracks corporate and institutional exposure to BTC, reported Saturday that institutions have accumulated 215,000 Bitcoin in the past 30 days. That’s equivalent to roughly $10 billion.

Corporations with Bitcoin on their balance sheets have generated a significant return on investment. As Bitcoin Treasuries reported on May 12, the value of MicroStrategy’s BTC reserve has grown by 2.3 times. The value of Square’s Bitcoin stash is up 2.1 times. Riot Blockchain’s holdings have increased in value by 9 times. These figures have declined slightly amid the latest market correction.

Institutions have been flooding Bitcoin for the better part of a year. These so-called smart money investors are one of the biggest reasons for BTC’s ascent from just $10,000 last summer to a high of around $64,000 in April.

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Tesla Suspension Won’t Derail Bitcoin, It’s Still a Buy- Says Bloomberg’s McGlone

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Elon Musk’s concern that bitcoin might be bad for the environment isn’t enough to derail the cryptocurrency’s potential for further price gains, said Bloomberg Intelligence commodity strategist Mike McGlone.

McGlone in a new report on Thursday wrote “Elon Musk saying Tesla is suspending purchases using bitcoin doesn’t shake our thesis that the crypto is in early price discovery days on its way to becoming the global digital reserve asset in a world of accelerating digitalization and electrification.”

The report follows a 13 percent drop in the price of bitcoin, the most in a single day in almost four months. The drop was prompted by Musk, Tesla’s CEO, saying late Wednesday the electric-car company was ending its bitcoin-for-cars offer made earlier in the year. That Feb. 8 announcement drove up bitcoin’s price so dramatically – by 19 percent – that it was lionized by some fans of the cryptocurrency as “Elon’s candle,” in a reference to the resulting pattern on price charts.

Now, bitcoin analysts are scrambling to adjust their price forecasts and respond to concerns about bitcoin’s energy needs contribute to fossil-fuel burning, making it a climate threat at a time when environmental, social and governance concerns are becoming more important to institutional investors.

McGlone is considered a hot hand in cryptocurrency markets because he accurately forecasts bitcoin’s price rise to $50,000 last year, at a time when it was trading at just a fraction of that level.

What matters the most, according to McGlone, is the source of the Bitcoin network’s energy.

“The source of electricity is increasing from solar and wind, which are cost effective,” according to the report. “On a global scale, electricity is going renewable.”

Musk’s remarks about the crypto’s electricity consumption are “odd” coming from an automaker whose product is “fed solely by electricity,” the analyst wrote.

McGlone wrote that bitcoin “shows comfort at the whole-number level around $50,000, which was our initial call on a 2021 target resistance value.”

“The rule of money flowing to where it’s treated best looks like an enduring tailwind for bitcoin,” he wrote.

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Bitcoin, Other Cryptocurrencies Decline as Elon Musk Pulls the Plug

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Elon Musk’s owned Tesla made a sudden U-turn on Wednesday to stop accepting Bitcoin for payment of its vehicles, citing rising use of fossil fuels in Bitcoin mining and transactions.

A situation that could have a negative effect on the environment, stated the Chief Executive Officer, Tesla Inc., Elon Musk.

Elon Musk had earlier asked if his over 54 million followers, which comprises of a huge number of cryptocurrency lovers, want Tesla to accept Dogecoin, a meme coin that has risen to global prominence on Musk’s support.

Over 78 percent responded positively to the poll on May 11 before Musk announced on Wednesday the decision of Tesla Inc to stop accepting Bitcoin.

Millions of Dogecoin investors and traders are now predicting that Elon Musk is likely to announce Dogecoin as a replacement for Bitcoin going by his latest tweet below.

Bitcoin plunged by over 17 percent from $54,800 to as low as $46,294 per coin before rebounding to $51.119.16 as at the time of writing.

Ethereum, XRP and Dogecoin also pared losses to 7.26 percent, 7.82 percent and 10.90 percent, respectively.

Musk, in a tweet, said Tesla has suspended vehicle purchases using Bitcoin.

 

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