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Colin Goltra | Binance | 2020 Year in Review

Colin: I am just more excited about the home grown PH crypto scene really coming into its own this cycle and having a much more collaborative tone than in prior bull market years. It’s a great community and I think it can do a great job spreading the word about crypto throughout the Philippines.

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January 15, 2021 — Every person you ask will say the same thing: 2020 is unlike any other year. 

The cryptocurrency industry felt the full brunt of the pandemic, as evidenced by the March 2020 crash. Nine months, one Bitcoin halving and a couple of institutions later, the industry sees a resurgence in interest brought about by Bitcoin hitting and breaking the psychological all-time high at $20,000 and reaching a new one of $42,000.

Table of Contents.

What is the 2020 Year in Review?

BitPinas sought the opinion of key crypto and blockchain leaders/influencers in the Philippines and abroad on what they think about 2020 in general and what they look forward to in 2021. Today, we feature Colin Goltra from Binance sharing his thoughts about cryptocurrency in the Philippines, crypto art, and leading and expanding the #CryptoPH ecosystem.

What does your organization do and what is your role in it?

Colin Goltra: As Director of Growth for Southeast Asia and Country Director for the Philippines, I am tasked with expanding Binance’s presence in Southeast Asian markets, including/especially the Philippines. Binance is the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange and CZ has given us the mandate that in order to expand into the mass market we must have strong local executives and teams in our key markets. I’m focused on building great teams and proliferating our products and services throughout the region.

Outside of my day job, I’m also very involved in the broader #CryptoPH ecosystem movement and an avid collector of Crypto Art.

Please share a personal highlight for you and/or your organization this year in the crypto and blockchain space.

Professionally in 2020, the big one for me was that I joined the team at Binance and have really focused on building out an excellent team. We are already starting to see some great wins throughout the region, including the success of our Binance P2P marketplace in the Philippines.

As a business, 2020 has been a huge year for Binance.  Due to market conditions, continued product innovation, and aggressive expansion into local markets, CZ seems to announce new records in volume, activity, and other all-time highs on a daily basis on Twitter now. Binance is really surfing well in the high tide right now.

In addition to the professional highlights, the other big ones for me were helping to expand the #CryptoPH community via Telegram and Discord communities and establishing a name for myself as a Crypto Art collector via platforms like SuperRare. I wrote a blog post in the crypto art community (“Unholy Unions“) that seemed to really resonate well with both the artist and collector community, and have continued to contribute my thoughts into that fast growing space.  

What do you think is the most important blockchain/crypto development in the Philippines and globally in 2020?

The big one I was a part of was the proliferation of Binance P2P as a top PHP crypto market, really competing well locally on price and ultimately allowing Filipinos to have better access to Binance’s global services.

In the local ecosystem (#CryptoPH), it was definitely the rise of crypto-based play-to-earn gaming here in the Philippines, with significant growth and coverage of Filipinos playing games like Axie Infinity. I think this is a true crypto-native use case and the Philippines is really at the forefront of a major crypto movement here, unlike with a lot of other prior crypto movements.

Globally, a lot has been said about DeFi, I think that has definitely been a huge story for 2020, but it’s also already been talked about at length.

How did the pandemic change how your organization operates? Or how you’ve changed your approach?

I joined Binance during the pandemic and I think they were very well adapted to the changes.  There’s a natural decentralized and remote-first ethos to the company and most people were already working from home to begin with.  I haven’t met most of my new teammates in person yet, which can sometimes make it hard to gel as a group, but overall I think we’ve taken it in stride as well as we could have. 

What is your fearless 2021 crypto prediction or forecast?

Overall, I’m fully aware that predictions are inherently fragile, but I do think there are common patterns that happen the year-or-so after the halvening and we are already seeing them play out big time.  We are well past the prior all-time high in BTC and it seems that ETH also has the momentum to pass its all-time high.  These big price movements will attract a broader interest base and likely lead to a continued frenzy in the market for some time.

Globally, some things I think we will see in 2021 as a result of this:

  • Continued price mania for a bunch of different coins
  • Continued exploration and investment by institutions into mainstream crypto assets
  • Continued exploration into other asset classes like NFTs, gaming items, and crypto art/collectibles
  • I think we will see multiple works of crypto art go for more than $1million USD

Locally, I think we will see:

  • Expansion of new crypto services in the Philippines by mainstream players like Binance and Coins.ph
  • The Philippines, via communities like #CryptoPH, will contribute leadership in the global crypto ecosystem in a way that it hasn’t previously.  Due to wages in markets like the Philippines, we will be right at the forefront of “use case” verticals  like gaming and art where extra crypto earnings go much further – and there will be individuals and companies from the Philippines that that are globally recognized as leaders in these spaces
  • I think we will see a lot of new PH crypto startups and projects that work more closely at the protocol level (as opposed to new exchanges and wallets) and break onto the scene as major players -> we already have The Yield Guild, and will hopefully see many others
  • I think we will see new individual Filipinos become leaders in our community and help us spread crypto to more varied and targeted Filipino audiences -> like Kookoo, Spock, and others

What do you personally look forward to in this space?

At Binance, I think there’s a lot more we would like to do to expand our presence in the Philippines and I hope to achieve many of those roadmap goals in the coming year.

Overall, I think I am just more excited about the home grown PH crypto scene really coming into its own this cycle and having a much more collaborative tone than in prior bull market years.  It’s a great community and I think it can do a great job spreading the word about crypto throughout the Philippines.

Follow Colin on Twitter. Check out Binance P2P and #CryptoPH Telegram channel.

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Source: https://bitpinas.com/feature/interview/colin-goltra-binance-2020-year-in-review/

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How to Protect Yourself from the Cryptojacking Threat

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Though fairly common in today’s age, for many, Cryptojacking might still be a brand-new term. What is Cryptojacking? Is this a threat for all computer and internet users? How can we prevent falling victim to Cryptojacking? And many more such questions are common. Some of the most common concerns have been addressed below.

What happens in Cryptojacking?

Cryptojacking is the latest, most innovative, shape of cybercrime. These jackers will use your computer to mine cryptocurrencies maliciously. This can happen on both personal and business laptops, computers, and mobile devices. Cybercriminals hack into any of these devices to install software that uses the computer/laptop/smartphone’s resources and power to mine cryptocurrencies or steal wallets of unsuspecting victims. This is a grave threat as it is hard to detect and easy to deploy and run in the background. The main idea is using another computer and device’s resources to do crypto mining work for them and whatever earnings or steals they make from the hijacked computers, they siphon it into their own digital wallets. 

Cryptojacking Methods

There are three main methods cryptojackers can opt for to maliciously mine for cryptocurrencies. Let’s skim through them so you know how to better protect yourself against them.

Browser-based Cryptojacking

This happens when the hacker uses IT infrastructure to mine and attack directly within the web browser. They create a crypto mining script that is embedded into different websites. These scripts can be embedded into out-of-date WordPress plugins or ads where they run automatically while the code gets downloaded into the user’s computer. 

File-Based Cryptojacking

File-based cryptojacking starts from downloading malware that runs an executable file. A Cryptomining script is spread through this file all around the IT infrastructure. The most common way to do so is to spread malicious emails with links or attachments that look fairly legitimate for the user to click on them. If they click, the code is executed and downloads the crypto mining script to work in the background on the user’s computer without their knowledge.

Cloud Cryptojacking

Cloud Cryptojacking is used when a hacker searches for API keys through an organization’s code and files to gain access to their cloud services. They then gather unlimited CPU resources for crypto mining and this resultantly increases account costs quite significantly. Hackers illicitly mine for currencies using this method as it helps them accelerate at a much faster rate. 

How to detect Cryptojacking?

The crypto mining scripts generated by hackers can be very tricky to detect and locate, which is why you need a highly vigilant IT team at work 24/7 for your organization’s operation. Here are some common signs that will tell you something’s wrong before it’s too late and practices that can help you detect cryptojacking, look out for these!

Overheating

Just like any other intensive task, Cryptojacking involves resource processing that can heat your computing device quickly. Overheating will shorten the lifespan of your device and damage it immensely. Moreover, overheating means the fans in your devices will run longer than they should to keep the system cool and running.

Decreased performance

One of the major signs of cryptojacking is a decrease in the performance of your laptop, PC, mobile device, or tablet. If you observe an unexplained decrease in processing speed, immediately call an IT technician and get it checked. If you’re running an organization, educate all your employees about their cybersecurity and about signs and symptoms they need to report. 

Regular Website Checks

Regularly monitor your website and all its web pages to make sure there are no changes to the files and webpages on the web server. This is a great way to prevent a Cryptojacking attack.

Monitor CPU Usage

Analyze your CPU usage regularly by using a task manager or activity monitor. An unjustified increase in the CPU usage means there’s something fishy going on. Especially for a website that has little to no media content that could drive traffic. 

Protection against Cryptojacking?

Following are some recommendations from security experts on the prevention of Cryptojacking.

Maintain good security hygiene

Establish solid security hygiene to lower the risk of Cryptojacking as all such attackers are opportunists and always on the hunt for wear, vulnerable venue. Hackers run numerous exploits on websites and get through whenever there is a patch.

Web filtering

Keep your web filtering tools up to date and make sure your users are blocked from accessing a webpage that you identified delivering Cryptojacking scripts. 

Anti-crypto mining browser extensions

To coin the cash and deploy the Cryptojacking script, crypto-miner hooks into web browsers. You can use browser extensions to block such crypto miners. Browser extensions such as No Coin, minerBlock, and Anti Miner can be used. 

Disable JavaScript and enabling Ad-Blockers

Disabling JavaScript when browsing online will protect Cryptojacking code from infecting your device. And, Ad-blockers will detect and block crypto-mining codes that are commonly placed in web ads.

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TA: Bitcoin Price Back Below 100 SMA, Why BTC Could Retest $45K

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Bitcoin price failed to stay above $50,000 and $49,000 against the US Dollar. BTC is now below the 100 hourly SMA and it is likely to continue lower towards $45,000

  • Bitcoin started a fresh decline below the $50,000 and $49,000 support levels.
  • The price is now trading well below $50,000 and the 100 hourly simple moving average.
  • There is a connecting bearish trend line forming with resistance near $49,000 on the hourly chart of the BTC/USD pair (data feed from Kraken).
  • The pair could extend its decline towards $45,000 as long as it is below $50,000.

Bitcoin Price Turns Red

After forming a short-term top near the $52,600 level, bitcoin started a fresh decline. BTC traded below the $51,200 and $50,000 support levels to move back into a negative zone.

There was also a break below a major bullish trend line with support near $49,500 on the hourly chart of the BTC/USD pair. The pair even broke the $48,000 support level. There was a clear break below the 50% Fib retracement level of the upward wave from the $43,050 swing low to $52,650 high.

It is now trading well below $50,000 and the 100 hourly simple moving average. It seems like the bulls are trying to protect the 61.8% Fib retracement level of the upward wave from the $43,050 swing low to $52,650 high.

Bitcoin Price

Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com

If they fail and the price trades below $46,500, there are chances of more losses. The next key support is near the $45,000 level, below which the bears might aim a test of the $43,000 support zone.

Fresh Increase in BTC?

If bitcoin stays above $46,500, it could correct higher. An initial resistance on the upside is near the $48,000 level. The first major resistance is near the $49,000 level and the 100 hourly simple moving average.

There is also a connecting bearish trend line forming with resistance near $49,000 on the same chart. To move into a positive zone, the price must clear the trend line resistance and then gain pace above the $50,000 barrier.

Technical indicators:

Hourly MACD – The MACD is now gaining momentum in the bearish zone.

Hourly RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI for BTC/USD is now well below the 50 level.

Major Support Levels – $46,500, followed by $45,000.

Major Resistance Levels – $48,000, $49,000 and $50,000.

Checkout PrimeXBT
Trade with the Official CFD Partners of AC Milan
Source: https://www.newsbtc.com/analysis/btc/bitcoin-btc-could-retest-45k/

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Analyst tells Tesla to dump Bitcoin for buybacks as shares plunge alongside MSTR’s

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A former equities CIO of Goldman Sachs drew an strong response on Twitter after suggesting Tesla should sell its Bitcoin and buy back company shares.

The price of TSLA shares have fallen 28% from $863.42 to $621.44, since news broke on Feb. 8 that Tesla had made a $1.5 billion BTC acquisition.

MicroStrategy’s shares have fared even worse in the short term. The company, which is headed by Bitcoin bull Michael Saylor and just completed its latest acquisition of $15 million in BTC on Mar. 3, is now down 50% from its all-time high of $1,315 from Feb. 9.

Tesla’s share market woes are likely due to a number of factors. In early February, it was reported that Tesla had been reprimanded by the Chinese government over quality control issues after receiving consumer complaints. The broader stock market has also experienced volatility, with the S&P 500 down 4.1% in the last 30 days. 

But the tweet from longtime Tesla analyst Gary Black, who has several decades of financial management experience, sparked a debate on whether Tesla’s purchase of $1.5 billion in Bitcoin last month had benefited investors.

“I don’t want them buying back stock,” said Twitter user Techgnostik. “I want them investing in growth, and making another billion on their BTC position.”

Black countered by suggesting TSLA would also draw inclusion by more fund managers with a share buyback program, considering it of greater value to the investor than buying BTC “with excess cash.”

Some users on Twitter agreed that a stock buyback seemed to be a more appropriate use of funds, while others felt too much attention was being paid to what Tesla did with 8% of their cash reserves.

It’s not easy to ascertain the impact buying Bitcoin has had on a company’s bottom line. While MicroStrategy’s share price has halved in a month, shares of MSTR are still up 340%, (from $146.63 to $645.66), since the company announced its first purchase of 21,454 BTC on Aug. 11, 2020. The price of BTC is currently up 310% from the same date.

Checkout PrimeXBT
Trade with the Official CFD Partners of AC Milan
Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/analyst-tells-tesla-to-dump-bitcoin-for-buybacks-as-shares-plunge-alongside-mstr-s

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