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As he’s done with most everything else in his career, billionaire Elon Musk has turned the usual procedure of trying to take a company private on its ear.
Musk, the chief executive of Tesla Inc., casually tweeted Tuesday not only that he was “considering taking Tesla private” but also that he had…
Russian intelligence officers accused of meddling in the 2016 presidential elections in the US have used bitcoin to finance their campaign, cover the tracks and obscure their identities, a new federal indictment suggests. You can check the details in today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief. Also in the daily, billionaire Steven Cohen invests in crypto hedge fund, mysterious expert bets that 1 BTC will cost more than the Berkshire Hathaway’s share in five years, and a leading horse-betting platform now accepts BTC and BCH.
Russian Agents Used Bitcoin, Mined Cryptocurrency
This Friday, a federal indictment announced by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein turned another page in the story of the alleged Russian meddling in the last US presidential election, and it features cryptocurrency. According to the document, which was released just before a major summit between Trump and Putin in Helsinki next week, Russian agents used cryptos like bitcoin in their campaign to influence the outcome of the 2016 vote.
Authorities in Washington claim that hackers working for the Russian foreign military intelligence paid in crypto for servers in the US and Malaysia, website domains, and virtual private networks (VPNs) used to release information stolen from the Democratic camp and to obscure their identities and cover their tracks. They also laundered more than $ 95,000 through bitcoin.
The 12 GRU officers indicted by the United States special counsel Robert Mueller are said to have acquired bitcoin (BTC) in different ways, including through peer-to-peer crypto trading platforms, using other digital coins and prepaid credit cards as well. US investigators claim the Russians even mined their own cryptocurrency.
The indictment, the first to level criminal charges against Russian officials pertaining to the alleged election interference, suggests that crypto funds were used to lease servers in two US states, Illinois and Arizona, where the hacked information was stored, and pay a Romanian company through a US-based processor to set up a website used to spread it.
Billionaire Steven Cohen Invests in Crypto Hedge Fund
Billionaire Steven Cohen has reportedly invested in the crypto hedge fund Autonomous Partners. The investment was made through his Cohen Private Ventures, Bloomberg reported, quoting an unnamed source. The fund, founded last year, is focusing on cryptocurrencies and blockchain-based companies. It has already attracted investments from Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong and Craft Ventures cofounder David Sacks.
Autonomous Partners invests in major cryptocurrencies like bitcoin (BTC) and ethereum (ETH) but has stayed away from ripple (XRP) over concerns that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) may decide that the token is a security. Crypto advocate Arianna Simpson, founder of the hedge fund, commented that she is interested in investing in cryptocurrencies that serve as general purpose money and companies that are building the next generation of financial infrastructure.
The number of crypto hedge funds increased significantly with the rising prices of cryptocurrencies last tear. Recently released data suggests, however, that they have suffered a negative growth in the past months due to the bear market, as news.Bitcoin.com reported.
A Billion-Dollar Bet on the Price of Bitcoin
A crypto trader from Australia has requested to place a unique bet. According to famous Australian bookmaker Tom Waterhouse, the “well-known crypto expert,” who preferred to remain anonymous, wants to wager $ 8.5million AUD ($ 6.3 million USD) that by the end of 2023 the price of one bitcoin (BTC) will exceed that of a share in Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway. If the bitcoin punter is right, he is expected to win $ 1.2 billion AUD (~$ 890 million).
Waterhouse said in a tweet this week he had put the man in touch with a large syndicate. Judging by the shared numbers, the prospective crypto gambler is looking for odds of 1/141. Bitcoin is currently trading at $ 6,200 USD per coin, while the share price of the US-based conglomerate currently stands at almost 290,000 USD, which is over 45 times the price of 1 BTC. Bitcoin reached almost $ 20,000 in December last year, and Berkshire Hathaway’s shares have been trading above $ 220,000 since 2016.
Horse Betting Site Now Accepts BTC and BCH
Amwager.com, a leading website for watching and betting on live horse racing, is now accepting bitcoin (BTC) and bitcoin cash (BCH) deposits. The US-based online platform is arguably the first advance deposit wagering (ADW) company to obtain regulatory approval that would allow the implementation of cryptocurrency payments.
“Over the past several years we have witnessed Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies evolve from an esoteric concept to a widely recognized digital currency that is quickly making its way into the mainstream. With mainstream acceptance, cryptocurrencies have the potential to drastically transform our global payment systems, and we at Amwager seek to be on the forefront of that transformation,” said company CEO Nelson Clemmens.
Amwager’s executive added that the company has been working with the Oregon Racing Commission and Bitpay to bring cryptocurrencies to the ADW industry. According to a press release, bitcoin and bitcoin cash offer Amwager customers an attractive alternative to the traditional methods for adding funds to their wagering accounts. The platform notes that the crypto technology addresses the “inefficiencies that exist in our current banking system by verifying and finalizing transactions rapidly,” mitigating chargeback risks and eliminating delays in the availability of funds.
What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits? Tell is in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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The post The Daily: Russians Used Bitcoin to Hack US Elections, Trader Bets on the Price of BTC appeared first on Bitcoin News.
A handful of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies are canceling or reducing some planned price increases in the United States after California enacted a new drug pricing transparency law and amid political pressure over rising costs for medications.
The California law, which began to take…
Yukio Noguchi, a famous economist in Japan and an advisor to Waseda University’s Business and Finance Research Center argues we can’t expect Bitcoin’s prices to rapidly surge again. In his books and in recent articles, Noguchi makes his case eloquently. He wrote a recent article in Diamond Weekly clarifying his position but has been making his case since January of this year and published a book last December.
“Because It’s Now Possible to Trade on Bitcoin Futures You’ll Never See a Rapid Surge Again”
Noguchi points out that the price of BTC is now almost a third of what it was in December of last year. He believes that because it’s now possible to trade on Bitcoin futures people will never see a rapid surge again.
On one hand, he says that because the price of bitcoin has gone down, the costs of sending bitcoin are now back to a level that makes it cheaper than doing bank transactions and this is welcome.
He argues that the introduction of the futures market has driven down the price considerably. This year in January he persuasively argued that the cause of Bitcoin price collapse was the start of the selling of bitcoin futures. “Bitcoin prices were a bubble, to begin with, and now we’re seeing a return to normal values. The San Francisco Federal Bank, in a report, also suggested that the introduction of Bitcoin futures trading caused a price drop.
Additionally, the market is heading towards a situation in which it will be possible to short-sell bitcoin futures and that will also contribute to keeping the prices down.
Noguchi points to a paper published on May 7 by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, “How Futures Trading Changed Bitcoin Prices“, authored by Galina Hale, Arvind Krishnamurthy, Marianna Kudlyak, and Patrick Shultz. Here is the key passage:
“From Bitcoin’s inception in 2009 through mid-2017, its price remained under US$ 4,000. In the second half of 2017, it climbed dramatically to nearly US $ 20,000, but descended rapidly starting in mid-December. The peak price coincided with the introduction of bitcoin futures trading on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The rapid run-up and subsequent fall in the price after the introduction of futures does not appear to be a coincidence. Rather, it is consistent with trading behavior that typically accompanies the introduction of futures markets for an asset.”
Noguchi insists that actually, the majority of investors are predicting that prices of bitcoin will continue to fall, especially when some are able to make money from short-selling the cryptocurrency.
He also feels that allowing cryptocurrency to branch off, it makes people feel like they can get new cryptocurrency for free and that also drives down price.
Does he see that as resulting in a decline in the popularity of Bitcoin?
Surprisingly, Noguchi believes it’s a good thing. As the price of bitcoin drops, it becomes a more attractive means of sending money. He calculated that at current prices, if you had to use Mitsubishi UFJ Bank to send money, it costs you 432 yen for any amount above 30,000 yen. But with the current value of Bitcoin, it’s cheaper to send via a regular bank transfer than BTC, unless the value of BTC falls to 675,000 yen. When BTC returns to that level, it will finally be trading at what should be a normal value.
On December 20th last year, Noguchi’s book, “An Introduction To Bitcoin And Blockchain” was published and received rave reviews.
What do you think of Prof. Noguchi’s analysis on Bitcoin surge? Let us know in the comments section below.
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The post Japanese Economist Explains Why Another Bitcoin Price Surge Is Unlikely appeared first on Bitcoin News.
The countries of the OPEC cartel agreed Friday to pump 1 million barrels more crude oil per day, a move that should help contain the recent rise in global energy prices.
Questions remain, however, over the ability of some OPEC nations — Iran and Venezuela in particular — to increase production…
The Canadian province of Quebec has reportedly decided to charge cryptocurrency miners up to roughly three times the current price after they flooded utility Hydro-Quebec with requests for mining operations. In addition, several crypto-related proposals have been submitted including one that requires crypto firms to bid for power.
Price Hike for Crypto Miners
Quebec, a province in eastern Canada, offers one of the lowest power rates in North America. Its electricity is generated, transmitted, and distributed by the country’s largest electric utility, Hydro-Quebec, which was formed by the government in 1944, and currently has over 4 million customers.
The utility has been courting cryptocurrency miners for months to use its surplus electricity. However, due to an overwhelming number of requests for crypto mining operations, the province has decided that it “will make electricity prohibitively expensive for cryptocurrency miners until it figures out how to deal with a surge in demand from the energy-hungry industry,” Bloomberg reported this week, adding:
Provincial regulator Regie de l’energie authorized utility Hydro-Quebec to charge 15 cents per kilowatt hour to blockchain companies, about three times the price they have enjoyed up to now. The temporary pricing doesn’t apply to existing clients and their operations, which total about 120 megawatts.
“Blockchain companies will be required to bid for power and spell out the jobs and investment per megawatt that they will generate,” the utility further proposed. “The starting bid is 1 Canadian cent ($ 0.0075) per kilowatt hour above the rate the industry had previously enjoyed — roughly a 20 percent increase.”
Furthermore, Hydro-Quebec unveiled a plan Thursday, which requires approval from the regulator, “to allocate as much as 550 megawatts” for crypto mining on top of the 120 megawatts that are already in operation or approved, the publication detailed. A selection process will also be proposed which “will enable Hydro-Quebec to survey the industry on what it considers a fair price and to gauge what investment and jobs the applicants will generate,” a spokesman for the utility, Jonathan Cote, explained.
Overwhelming Demand from Crypto Miners
According to the publication, crypto miners flooded Hydro-Quebec with “requests that it says exceed its short- and medium-term capacity.” Cote told the news outlet on Thursday:
We don’t want to send a message to the market that this is the price for cryptocurrencies in Quebec…It’s more that requests are suspended until we have the proper framework determining conditions for that market.
“The temporary price is expected to be in place for several weeks until the regulator sets a tariff that will then be applicable to all,” the news outlet explained.
Quebec has been trying to attract crypto miners with its inexpensive electricity and cold winters, as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported. However, Hydro-Quebec indicated in January that it will not be able to meet the scale of power demanded by crypto miners. Prior to the rate hike decision, it started turning down new applications for crypto mining operations and considered halting mining operations during winter.
What do you think of Quebec hiking the electricity price for crypto miners? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Hydro-Quebec.
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The post Quebec Hikes Electricity Price: Crypto Miners to Pay up to 3 Times Current Rate appeared first on Bitcoin News.
Apple is developing production plans for its next iPhones that stress cheaper liquid-crystal displays, in a sign of consumers’ sensitivity to the price of smartphones.
WSJ.com: US Business
Tether, one of the most-traded cryptocurrencies, shows a pattern of being spent on bitcoin at pivotal moments, helping to drive the world’s first digital asset to a record price in December, according to research by a University of Texas professor known for flagging suspicious activity in the VIX…
There are a lot of members within the cryptocurrency industry who have tried to predict the price of digital assets like Bitcoin Core (BTC). Furthermore, there are also a ton of bigwig Wall Street types who also try to predict the price of cryptocurrencies — While some of their BTC forecasts predict the currency’s value will drop to zero, a few of them believe it will be $ 25-100K per coin by the end of 2018. Then there are organizations who use software and data analysis to predict the price of digital currencies and one research firm, Trefis Technologies, believes its year-end price prediction for BTC ($ 12,500 USD) will be accurate based on prior analysis.
Trefis Research Drop’s its Year-End Price Prediction Due to Data Based on Active Users and Daily Transaction Values
Trefis Technologies is a firm that uses data and analytics to measure risk, create a system of records, and forecast market trends. This week Trefis has updated its Bitcoin Core (BTC) price prediction that’s based on data aggregated from the number of active bitcoin users and daily transaction values. According to the company’s June research notes, the prediction has dropped around 17 percent from $ 15,000 per BTC to around $ 12,500 by year-end. The research firm Trefis also believes the current global regulatory climate towards cryptocurrencies has been affecting the overall value of BTC. The June analysis states:
The global cryptocurrency industry has seen a flurry of new developments since December. Many of these developments had a negative impact on the growth prospects of cryptocurrencies, like restrictions by banks on the use of credit cards to buy cryptocurrencies, and calls by financial regulators across the world for caution while investing in digital currencies.
The Trefis system or the ‘Bitcoin Price Estimator’ claims to be extremely accurate when it comes to trends and market forecasts. The company says while backtesting the Trefis Estimator for average monthly BTC prices the system had shown an accuracy rate of 94 percent.
Other Crypto-Price Predicting Software Oracles
Trefis is not the only cryptocurrency price estimator on the internet-block, as there are a few other online services that aim to predict prices at the end of 2018, and even five years out. Another web portal called Wallet Investor also uses analytics to forecast the price of a variety of different digital assets. For instance, the prediction site details that Ethereum (ETH) will spike to $ 1,221 by the year’s end and in five years the website guesses that the price will be $ 3,900 per ETH. The same web portal predicts the overall value of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) in one year, and estimates show the site anticipates the BCH value per coin will be $ 1922. In five years Wallet Investor shows a BCH price increase of around $ 5949.
The forecast for the popular ‘bank coin’ Ripple (XRP) sees its price jumping to $ 1.37 per token and the XRP five year prediction is only $ 4.60. These data prediction sites like Trefis Technology and Wallet Investor, show far more conservative projections than the number of investors predicting BTC will be $ 25K or higher by the year’s end. Moreover, some people may find that actual data may provide better estimates than some big shot venture capitalist who is merely guessing to cause media attention towards themselves.
What do you think about these websites that use aggregated data to forecast the price of cryptocurrencies in one year? Do you think these systems are as accurate as they claim? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comment section below.
Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com does not endorse these websites/products/services. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the mentioned company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.
Images via Shutterstock, Wallet Investor, and Trefis Technologies.
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The post Data Prediction Sites Show More Conservative Cryptocurrency Price Forecasts appeared first on Bitcoin News.
Mark Price spent almost all of his NBA career playing point guard for the Cleveland Cavaliers, earning himself the title of NBA All-Star and is in the prestigious 50-40-90 Club (50% from the field, 40% from the three-point line and 90% from the free…