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Fintech CEO: FBI Crypto Ransomware Seizure Brings Custody to Forefront

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The FBI seized a cryptocurrency wallet used by Aleksandr Sikerin, it says, which holds $2.3 million in assets which were tied to ramsomware attacks. Sikerin is associated with REvil, which is known for its ransomware malfeasance. Earlier this month, the Justice Department announced a similar seizure of over $6 million in ransomware payments to Yevgeniy Polyanin, who targeted law enforcement and municipal organizations, among others. It is said that REvil has been responsible for more than $200 million in extortion since 2019.

“While identifying these criminals, and seizing their assets, is a step in the right direction, many of them are resting safely in countries, such as Russia, without extradition treaties with the United States. That’s why it is important that governments ensure that exchanges and other companies working in concert with these bad actors are held accountable,” opined Richard Gardner, CEO of Modulus, a US-based developer of ultra-high-performance trading and surveillance technology that powers global equities, derivatives, and digital asset exchanges. Earlier this year, Suex was sanctioned for allegedly doing business with hackers.

“There are three kinds of companies in the digital assets space. Those who actively and knowingly provide services, including money laundering, which aid in the efforts of hackers and bad actors. Those who are complicit and provide aid with no direct knowledge, but, instead, because they fail to adequately vet their clients with the AML & KYC procedures which have become industry best practices and, in most jurisdictions, mandatory. Finally, there are those which take every precaution and employ industry leading technologies to thwart hackers at every turn. Those that fall into the latter group, those are the companies with long-term potential, and it is time that the industry recognizes that in a more substantial way,” said Gardner.

Modulus is known throughout the financial technology segment as a leader in the development of ultra-high frequency trading systems and blockchain technologies. Modulus has provided its exchange solution to some of the industry’s most profitable digital asset exchanges, including a well-known multi-billion-dollar cryptocurrency exchange. Over the past twenty years, the company has built technology for the world’s most notable institutions, with a client list which includes NASA, NASDAQ, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Barclays, Siemens, Shell, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Cornell University, and the University of Chicago.

“This isn’t just an issue with exchanges, of course. Even in the custody space, we’re faced with companies who are following the law but are still leaving massive vulnerabilities in their operation. It isn’t that they are trying to do a lackluster job. It’s just that they don’t appreciate how important the security aspect is in the digital assets space. Blockchain technologies, including digital assets, are a truly transformative innovation. We’re going to see them play out over the next decades. They will completely change how we interact with finance. In order to enhance the opportunities in front of us, it is incumbent upon us to do everything we can to ensure that the technology is safe and secure,” said Gardner.

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Bitcoin

The Fed’s Failure on Inflation is Bullish for Bitcoin: Nigel Green

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The U.S. Federal Reserve’s failure on inflation will help drive the price of Bitcoin skywards, predicts the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory, asset management and fintech organizations.

The assessment from deVere Group’s Nigel Green, a high-profile crypto advocate, comes as the U.S. consumer price index jumped 7% in 2021, the largest 12-month gain since June 1982. The widely followed inflation index increased 0.5% from November, exceeding forecasts.

He notes: “Last year, the Federal Reserve said that inflation in 2021 would be at 1.8%.

“However, U.S. prices soared last year by the highest level in nearly four decades, draining the purchasing power of American households.

“Inflation is everywhere, and it could be around for longer than anyone would like.

“So, why didn’t the Fed – the central bank of the world’s largest economy – not see what was coming?

“Could they seriously not see how supply chain bottlenecks and a shortage of qualified workers would drive up prices and erode people’s and firms’ spending power?”

He continues: “Surely, this must be the biggest miscalculation in the history of the U.S. central bank.

“It shows how the traditional fiat system, of which it is a key component as it is charged with maintaining price stability, is dangerously out of step with reality.

“I believe this will fuel the demand – and therefore the price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.”

Why is this so?

With Bitcoin’s fixed supply of 21 million, and institutional investors increasingly moving off the sidelines and into the crypto market, it’s going to continue to outpace gold as a safe haven for capital, says Nigel Green.

“Money flows to where it gets its best treatment, and with treasuries yielding negative in real terms, moving capital into the Fed is a clear liability for investors.

“In addition, in this current inflationary period, Bitcoin has outperformed gold which, until now, has always been almost universally hailed as the ultimate inflation hedge.”

Bitcoin is often referred to as ‘digital gold’ because like the precious metal it is a medium of exchange, a unit of account, non-sovereign, decentralized, scarce, and a store of value.

“Yet, the cryptocurrency, Bitcoin is superior to gold as a medium of exchange or form of payment,” says Nigel Green.

“Unlike gold, it is a fixed unit of account and easily divisible and transportable. Gold is not easily immediately divisible, and there are potential issues with purity and verification. Whereas Bitcoin is easily traced on blockchain technology and this is going to be a considerable advantage, especially in cross-border transactions.”

He concludes: “The Fed has lost control on prices and investors are looking for safe havens to protect their purchasing power.

“Bitcoin is primed to provide the inflation shield so many are now seeking, especially as our lives and the global economy is increasingly run on tech and digital solutions, and this megatrend is only set to become more dominant moving forward.”

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Dogecoin Gains 20% After Musk Announces Tesla Now Accept the Meme Coin as Payment

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Moments after Tesla and SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk tweeted that Dogecoin can be used to purchase Tesla’s merchandise, the digital currency’s value surged by 20 percent.

Musk, in a tweet, stated that the Electric Vehicle (EV) company Tesla from today, will accept the popular token as payment for some of its merchandise, such as belt buckles, chargers, and other merchandise.

Tesla’s online store displayed the prices for some of the merch in US dollars and Doge. The items include a whistle inspired by its highly anticipated Cybertruck model (300 DOGE), an electric quad bike for children ($12,020) and a belt buckle ($835).

After making the announcement, the token, which began originally as a joke from a meme, rose in value by 20 percent. CoinDesk data puts it that Dogecoin topped $0.20 a coin.

This isn’t the first time Elon Musk’s tweets have incredibly influenced the fall and rise of popular assets within the financial markets, especially cryptocurrencies. Last year, Dogecoin went from being just an ordinary altcoin originating from the Shibu dog meme to one of the world’s most valuable cryptocurrencies after Musk had tweeted that he was investing in the asset. In May 2021, after Musk’s statement, the token’s price peaked at nearly 70 cents. Its market capitalization also grew to a peak of approximately $90 billion.

According to CoinGecko, Dogecoin is currently the 11th most valuable token and has a market capitalization of over $26 billion.

It should be recalled that the EV maker in 2021 briefly accepted bitcoin, the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency by market cap, as payment for its electric vehicles. However, after citing concerns over Bitcoin’s high energy usage, Tesla noted that it would no longer accept the token as payment.

The Bitcoin network, through a process called mining, uses large amounts of energy. The announcement also impacted Bitcoin, plummeting its value.

As Dogecoin uses significantly less energy, Musk in December, last year mentioned that he would work with dogecoin developers to improve the efficiency of transactions. He had also revealed that plans to accept Dogecoin as payment had been in the works for a while.

The SpaceX Founder in December had tweeted that “Tesla will make some merch buyable with Doge & see how it goes.” The announcement also surged the price of the token by 20 percent last month.

 

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Bitcoin

New Analysis from AI Company Identifies Daily Bitcoin Volatility Peaks

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Bitcoin volatility peaks at 3pm before the New York Stock Exchange closes as well as spiking at 3am Eastern Standard Time, according to new analysis from GNY, the leading blockchain-based machine learning business.

Its analysis of trading data throughout 2021 found 3pm in the US – or 8pm in the UK – is the time to avoid for Bitcoin traders wanting to minimize volatility while 3am in the US – 1.30pm in India – is also a time for high volatility.

GNY’s analysis of 25 input data features found that trading data – whether volumes are high or low on average or whether Bitcoin prices are seeing major positive or negative moves – is the only mathematical relationship with volatility.

Factors such as LIBOR, gold prices, the Federal Funds rate or US inflation have no mathematical relationship with Bitcoin volatility.

GNY analysis reveals daily average Bitcoin volatility was 4.1% last year with daily volatility ranging between 4% and 10% when trading volume is above average and between 2% and 5% when volumes are below average.

GNY’s analysis of the most volatile days for Bitcoin trading in 2021 found August 2nd was the most volatile day with average daily volatility of 18.79% followed by May 19th with 13.83% and January 21st with 13.28%.

Its own research (2) shows one in five (22%) Bitcoin traders who trade at least $1,000 a month in the cryptocurrency expect the level of volatility to increase dramatically in 2022, and further 57% say it will increase slightly. Only 18% expect it to fall or stay the same.

Cosmas Wong, CEO GNY said: “Our mission at GNY is to bring machine learning tools to the crypto community to facilitate smarter business and trading decisions. Predicting Bitcoin volatility is the most impactful metric in blockchain right now.

“Our research has helped us understand the time based fluctuations in price and volume, as well as the patterns generated by market activity. Our nuanced machine learning models allow us to create a superior BTC prediction model.”

GNY recently launched the BTC Range Report, providing some of the most accurate forecasts around Bitcoin volatility of any platform or service available today. Extensive testing of BTC Range Report has delivered a mean absolute percentage error (MAPE) of between 3% and 7% making it one of the most powerful BTC prediction tools in the market. The average of the majority of competitor BTC prediction tools tested by GNY was 10%, but it was as high as 17% for some platforms.

GNY believes that today’s altcoin traders will be tomorrow’s bitcoin traders. So to launch the BTC Range Report GNY entered into an exclusive partnership with CoinSniper which is widely regarded as the #1  source for the best new cryptocurrency projects. Subscribers to the CoinSniper GNY newsletter providers traders with exclusive content and previews to measure the Range Report’s accuracy for themselves.

The BTC Range Report is available every Tuesday at 9am EST and spans a seven-day period. For the price of just $10, it can be purchased with ETH or GNY tokens, and access is provided directly through the user’s Metamask wallet. Version 1 of the GNY BTC Range Report offers:

  • GNY’s daily projected volatility range for BTC as a graph and a table
  • a forecast of which day will hold the weekly high and the weekly low
  • forecast of daily volumes
  • historical daily high and low prediction graph for the last two weeks VS BTC Actuals
  • mean absolute percentage error (MAPE) for GNY historical daily high and low predictions VS BTC Actuals for the previous two weeks

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