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Key Bitcoin price metric signals BTC may be near a local top

Bitcoin miners are selling at a level unseen since July 2019 when BTC price topped out at $14,000.

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According to data from CryptoQuant, miners appear to be selling large amounts of Bitcoin (BTC). Historically, heightened selling pressure from miners marked a local top and led to sharp, prolonged corrections.

BTC/USDT 1-hour chart. Source: TradingView.com

Why are Bitcoin miners selling?

In May 2020, on-chain analyst Willy Woo said that there would be two sources of unmatched selling pressure in the market after the block reward halving.

Woo pinpointed Bitcoin miners and cryptocurrency exchanges selling the fees they gain in the form of crypto assets as the sources of selling pressure. He said:

“There’s only two unmatched sell pressures on the market. (1) Miners who dilute the supply and sell onto the market, this is the hidden tax via monetary inflation. And (2) the exchanges who tax the traders and sell onto the market.”

Hence, in the short to medium term, miners could continue to serve as a major source of selling pressure on Bitcoin.

Based on data from CryptoQuant, the Miner Position Index (MPI) has surged significantly in the past few days.

Bitcoin Miner Position Index (30 day). Source: CryptoQuant

On Jan. 10, the MPI reached a level that is on par with July 2019, when BTC price quickly fell below $14,000. Ki Young Ju, the CEO of CryptoQuant, said:

“Miner Position Index looks enough to make a local top. They’re selling $BTC. I’m going to punt a small short to scalp $BTC in this short-term bearish market. Since December last year, they had been selling $BTC, but the correction was tiny due to institutional buying power.”

Ki later noted that he closed the scalp short, emphasizing that the correction was short-lived.

It is possible that the buyer demand coming from the U.S. is overwhelming the selling pressure from miners. This theory is supported by the recent trend of Bitcoin price trading at a higher premium at Coinbase than other major exchanges like Binance.

What traders expect in the short term?

Some traders expect Bitcoin to see a larger pullback in the near term. Edward Morra, a cryptocurrency trader, said that a possible scenario is a slow correction to around $36,000.

Morra noted that the scenario of Bitcoin falling all the way down to $36,000 is unlikely, but it would be a “typical bull market thing.” He wrote:

“I think unlikely scenario but I see some similarity to last week Sunday-Monday transition. By the way, this is very bullish to set low of the week on Monday and then expand, typical bull market thing.”

Philip Swift, the creator of LookIntoBitcoin, said that while Bitcoin is unlikely to see a 30% pullback, the rate of appreciation could decline. This could lead to slower momentum for BTC, especially as it retests the $42,000 resistance level in the foreseeable future. He explained:

“A point of clarification, as there seems to be some misinterpretation. I don’t think $BTC is about to crash +30%, I thought/think the rate of price appreciation may slow down in the near term.”

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/key-bitcoin-price-metric-signals-btc-may-be-near-a-local-top

Blockchain

Bulgarian Crypto Exchange Owner Sentenced To 10 Years in Prison for Laundering $5 Million

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A Bulgarian national was sentenced to serve ten years in prison after a major crypto-related fraud. Not long ago, the man was convicted in a transnational multimillion-dollar scheme to defraud over 900 American citizens.

An Auction Fraud That Victimized over 900 Americans

According to an official announcement by the United States Department of Justice, Rossen G. Yossifov, a 53-year-old man, had defrauded hundreds of American citizens during a well-masterminded illegal endeavor.

He managed and promoted the so-called RG Coins – a cryptocurrency exchange headquartered in Sofia, Bulgaria. Now, the US court has sentenced him for conspiracy to commit a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) offense plus a conspiracy to commit money laundering.

During the crime, Iossifov and his Romanian co-conspirators, part of the Alexandria Online Auction Fraud (AOAF) Network, engaged a large-scale online fraud. They organized a false auction that victimized at least 900 Americans during its course.

As CryptoPotato reported, Iossifov was officially charged with participating and dictating the international fraud a few months ago. 

Providing Favorable Crypto Exchange Rates To Victims

According to initial court documents, the scammers made everything seem legit, providing invoices with trademarks of reputable firms to their victims.

One of the primary ways to lure people into the scam was that the conspirators designed their scheme to cater to criminal enterprises by providing better exchange rates to the AOAF Network members.

The Romania-based fraudsters posted false advertisements to popularize online auctions for expensive goods and vehicles that did not exist. They had also established call centers to offer customer support to advise client questions and “alleviate concerns over the advertisements.”

When convinced, victims had to fulfill a payment. Domestic associates of the criminals would accept the money, convert them into cryptocurrency, and transfer them to foreign-based money launderers. As per the announcement, Iossifov was the final gear that facilitated the last stage of the scheme.

Some of the trial’s evidence revealed that, in less than three years, Iossifov had laundered nearly $5 million in cryptocurrency for just four of his partners.

“This represented over $7 million in funds defrauded from American victims. In return, Iossifov made over $184,000 in proceeds from these transactions”, read the official court publication.

Apart from Iossifov and the five co-operators, so far, 17 more members of the Romanian crime network will face court for their role in this scheme. Seven others have already faced sentences with verdicts between 30 to 96 months. Three of the members of the scam are fugitives.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/bulgarian-crypto-exchange-owner-sentenced-to-10-years-in-prison-for-laundering-5-million/

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Blockchain

Six-Figure Bitcoin Price Predictions Back on The Table

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This has resulted in the renewal of six-figure price predictions for this market cycle, with some suggesting a top of $300,000 this time around.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin was trading at $37,900 after reaching an intraday high of $40,000 according to Tradingview.com. The asset had started to fall back during the Asian trading session on Friday and had failed to break its previous high of $42,000 but the sentiment is still very bullish.

Total crypto market capitalization has topped a trillion dollars again as some of the altcoins, such as Polkadot, make monumental 24-hour gains.

When Will Bitcoin Top $100K?

Popular traders and analysts are back in the game of predicting prices and they’re largely in agreement that this market cycle will result in six figure Bitcoin prices.

Josh Rager said that he thinks Bitcoin will see a six-figure price by early 2022;

He added that at this peak, the name of ‘Bitcoin’ will be mentioned on every TV, phone, and tablet around the world.

“This could certainly be the cycle that leads to Bitcoin becoming a household name along with serious adoption from those who once mocked peer-to-peer digital money,”

Fellow trader ‘TraderKoz’, who has 28k followers on twitter added that at a guess he would say that this cycle takes us to $250k to $350k.

“From there, we have 3 years of accumulation in the $60-90k range before Bitcoin takes over the entire financial system. That bull run will take us to over $1,000,000,”

Michael Saylor, who’s institutional investment firm MicroStrategy has been buying up large swathes of Bitcoin, continues to post bullish tweets about the asset to his 330k followers;

The Institutional Effect

Aggregated derivative exchange data provider Bybit reported that Bitcoin institutional inflows are showing no signs of slowing down, adding that there may be a new round of buying by Grayscale.

Grayscale itself reported an assets under management (AUM) figure of $27.7 billion in its most recent update. The company has also just released its fourth-quarter report revealing that there was record investor demand in the period, with approximately $3.3 billion in inflows.

The story made such an impact that even Reuters picked it up.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/six-figure-bitcoin-price-predictions-back-on-the-table/

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Blockchain

$500K Bitcoin Donation Funneled to Groups Involved in US Capitol Riot: Analysis

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Blockchain intelligence firm Chainalysis has tracked simultaneous Bitcoin (BTC) donations to wallets associated with right-wing extremist groups in the U.S., which might have helped fund the recent riot at the U.S. Capitol. The news marks yet another pivot towards pseudonymous money transfer means by alt-right groups in the U.S.

Alt-Right Agitators Received $500K in Bitcoin Prior to US Capitol Riot

Publishing its findings on Thursday (Jan. 14, 2021), Chainalysis revealed that several notable alt-right personalities who were present at the Jan. 6 riot in the U.S. Capitol received substantial Bitcoin donations.

According to Chainalysis, a single donor funneled 18.15 BTC to addresses belonging to entities with right-leaning affiliations on Dec. 8, 2020. At the time, this figure was worth over $500,000.

In its report, Chainalysis also revealed that popular far-right political commentator Nick Fuentes received 13.5 BTC. There are a few photographic pieces of evidence placing Fuentes at the riot with a megaphone in hand though Fuentes has denied entering the building itself.

Apart from him, alt-right podcaster Ethan Ralph and VDARE — an anti-immigration organization — also received BTC sums from the donor. While Chainalysis did not reveal the identity of the person responsible for funneling the Bitcoin, the crypto forensics outfit did mention that there strong evidence that the donor is a French computer programmer.

An examination into the donor’s wallet shows that the person is likely an early Bitcoin adopter. Further investigation into the donor shows a history of donations to extremist causes with an alleged suicide note referencing known alt-right talking points.

Based on these findings, U.S. law enforcement officials are reportedly investigating possible links between the donations and the assault on the Capitol. Prosecutors also say that they are approaching the investigations from a counterterrorism and counterintelligence standpoint.

Financial Censorship Triggering Crypto Adoption

Alt-right groups receiving donations in Bitcoin is only the latest example of political and social groups with dissident ideologies embracing cryptocurrencies. Indeed, Bitcoin’s early history is somewhat intertwined with WikiLeaks especially after the establishment was cut off from mainstream funding sources.

Even countries facing economic sanctions are also adopting cryptocurrencies. Venezuela is a popular example, with the Maduro administration even creating its own oil-backed Petro “coin.”

Nations like Iran are actively supporting Bitcoin mining with tax breaks for BTC miners. As previously reported by CryptoPotato, the output from three power plants has been offered to miners in the country.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/500k-bitcoin-donation-funneled-to-groups-involved-in-us-capitol-riot-analysis/

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