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Over 10,000 blacklisted BTC from 2016 Bitfinex hack on the move

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A tranche of long-dormant Bitcoin seized in the 2016 hack of the Bitfinex cryptocurrency exchange are on the move today, an over $620 million sum that has some market participants spooked and may be contributing to a downward slide for Bitcoin. 

Blockchain analytics bot Whale Alerts was the first to raise the alarm, calling attention to a series of over five dozen transactions from wallets that have largely been inactive since the 2016 hack:

The largest transaction was for 1,241.3672 BTC, worth well over $78 million (for which the hacker paid a 0.00072910 BTC fee, or roughly $45), though other transactions were for as little as 1.5 BTC. Cointelegraph counted 63 transactions in all, moving just over 10,050 BTC worth over $620 million. 

While the hacker has a spotty history of intermittently moving their coins between wallets, the transfers today comfortably account for the largest transactions of hacked Bitcoin since the attack itself. Throughout the years the hacker has moved between 1 and 2% of their coins, and today they moved 8.3% of their nearly 120,000 BTC worth over $7.4 billion.

2016 Bitfinex hack summary as of June 2020. Source: Crystal.

The purpose of the transactions are difficult to augur. Some of the transfers were between wallets known to be associated with the hacker, though many were to newly-created wallets. Multiple observers have pointed out that it’s near-impossible for the hacker to sell their BTC, as no major exchanges will accept the tainted coins. The hacker tried to sell some 736 BTC in 2020 via a Russian darknet market, with some ironically ending up back on Bitfinex.

The hacker’s inability to sell their coins prompted some Twitter traders to speculate that the point of the transfers is simply to spook the market, possibly in tandem with a short position:

The hunt for the hacker is still ongoing, as in August last year Bitfinex offered up to $400 million as a reward for information on the attacker. The case seemed to have a breakthrough in 2019, when two Israeli brothers were accused of involvement in the attack, but police recovered wallets containing far less than the nearly 120,000 BTC lost in the hack. 

The Bitfinex whale breaching adds to an already tumultuous day for markets. After a surge to over $425 per share, Coinbase is struggling to find a price floor at $350/share. While still well above the reference price of $250 per share, traders have nonetheless interpreted the trading as a negative signal as Bitcoin has dropped to $61,000.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/over-10-000-blacklisted-btc-from-2016-bitfinex-hack-on-the-move

Blockchain

DOGE is Young People’s Middle Finger to the System, Says Mike Novogratz

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Mike Novogratz, in a research report, stated that Dogecoin is “the most honest shitcoin”, calling it a “store of value” for young people wishing to express a “little bit of a middle finger to the system”.

Dogecoin’s Recent Price Action

DOGE has entered a steep and stunning climb during the past few months, going from mere pennies to over $0.65. Young people betting on the speculative and volatile crypto asset have made staggering amounts of money thanks to the recent insane rate of return.

Many theorize that this rise has been fueled by Tesla founder and business mogul Elon Musk, who often refers to Dogecoin on his infamous Twitter profile, tweeting in a (usually) positive manner. Oftentimes when an “Elon tweet” comes out regarding Dogecoin, it gives a nice little boost to the price.

Most recently, Elon Musk revealed that he would be hosting SNL, dropping a single hint: Dogefather. This enigmatic message has spurred thousands of young people worldwide to invest in DOGE, which, although extremely risky, has been facing undeniably bullish price action as of late. Will Elon Musk’s SNL special provide the fuel needed for DOGE to power through to over a dollar, or will it be a ‘sell the news’ event?

Novogratz Draws Parallels to GME

Novogratz, in his interview, urged people to “listen to what Dogecoin is saying”, as he sees it as very comparable to the GameStop fiasco (where a group of young retail traders pushed GME to new heights, partially in an attempt to liquidate hedge funds that were shorting the stock).


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“There is nihilism and excitement to it,” Novogratz stated, adding, “there’s something really pure about it.”

Indeed, Dogecoin is not a successful ‘company’ in the traditional sense, and there is little to no innovative development work going on behind the scenes, but we’ve seen (in the stock market, for example) that the power of the masses if placed behind a single unifying idea, can work wonders.

It’s a massive game of tug of war — whether or not Dogecoin can sustain this dizzying momentum remains to be seen. One thing is for sure: millions of people will be tuning in to watch SNL this week.

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Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://cryptopotato.com/doge-is-young-peoples-middle-finger-to-the-system-says-mike-novogratz/

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Blockchain

Latin America’s Biggest Online Marketplace, MercadoLibre, Disclosed Bitcoin Holdings

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On a financial results report dated May 5th, e-commerce giant MercadoLibre dropped the bomb. The company is the latest institution to add Bitcoin to its balance sheet. It follows MicroStrategy, Square, and Tesla’s highly covered buys. Bitcoin’s institutional adoption is in its infancy, but advancing non-stop.

In the financial highlights for 2021’s First Quarter, the company wrote a succinct:

As part of our treasury strategy this quarter we purchased $7.8 million in bitcoin, a digital asset that we are disclosing within our indefinite-lived intangible assets.

A modest allocation, considering MercadoLibre has almost $4B in assets, a cash reserve of $1.1B. It also has a market capitalization of approximately $76B. However, the move might be part of a bigger plan. The company recently opened a section on their website dedicated to real state commerce in Bitcoin and Bitcoin only. The pilot program includes 75 properties and 7 real state agencies willing to accept the cryptocurrency.

Related Reading | JPMorgan Partners With Singapore’s DBS to Launch Blockchain-Based Payment Platform

The Bitcoin-on-the-balance-sheet club

The investment puts MercadoLibre in a pretty exclusive club. The institutional adoption pioneer was MicroStrategy, a company that then issued bonds to buy even more Bitcoin. Twice. At the time, Bitcoinist reported:

Microstrategy announced today that it purchased $15 million worth of Bitcoin. The company’s CEO, Michael Saylor, tweeted this morning that his company had bought approximately 253 BTC, bringing its total holdings to about 91,579 BTC.

After that, Square announced a moderate buy of $50M worth of Bitcoin, and months later another one of $170M. It’s worth noting that the company buys and sells BTC through their flagship product CashApp. And that it keeps buying more. Six months ago, Bitcoinist reported:

Ikigai Asset Management’s Hans Hague recently noted that per his analysis, Square and Grayscale alone have accumulated $2.3 billion worth of Bitcoin in the past quarter.

The biggest player of all, of course, is Elon Musk’s Tesla. Reports that the company made more money from that investment than for selling cars are all over the Internet. In any case, Tesla made a big splash when it entered the space. Bitcoinist reported:

Traders flocked into the cryptocurrency market a day after American carmaker Tesla announced that it had purchased $1.5bn worth of Bitcoin as “alternative reserve assets” to their cash holdings.

In its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Tesla said it plans to buy more Bitcoin in the future and—maybe—even enable its use as a medium of payment for its products and services.

MercadoLibre stock chart

MercadoLibre stock chart | Source: MELI on TradingView.com

Related Reading | Southampton FC Extend Partnership Deal with Blockchain Leader The Coingaming Group

More about MercadoLibre

It may not be a big name in the European and North American markets, but MercadoLibre is ubiquitous in Latin America. The company operates in:

  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Uruguay
  • Mexico
  • Spain
  • Bolivia
  • Venezuela
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • Peru
  • Costa Rica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Panama

In the quoted financial results report, they describe themselves as: 

Founded in 1999, MercadoLibre is the largest online commerce ecosystem in Latin America, serving as an integrated regional platform and as a provider of the necessary digital and technology-based tools that allow businesses and individuals to trade products and services in the region. The Company enables commerce through its marketplace platform which allows users to buy and sell in most of Latin America.

A question remains, will Bitcoin holdings make MercadoLibre’s stock rise?

Featured Image by Mark König on Unsplash - Charts: TradingView

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://bitcoinist.com/latin-americas-biggest-online-marketplace-mercadolibre-disclosed-bitcoin-holdings/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=latin-americas-biggest-online-marketplace-mercadolibre-disclosed-bitcoin-holdings

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Blockchain

Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital set to acquire BitGo for $1.2B

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Galaxy Digital is in the process of acquiring BitGo for $1.2 billion, which would be settled in stock and cash

Galaxy Digital, the firm owned by popular investor Mike Novogratz, is set to acquire BitGo, a leading independent digital assets infrastructure provider. The deal is worth roughly $1.2 billion and will be paid in both stock and cash.

In a press release yesterday Galaxy Digital said, “The acquisition will position Galaxy Digital as a leading global full-service platform for institutions seeking access to the crypto economy, offering an unparalleled breadth of industry-leading products and services at scale.”

Several reports surfaced last month, suggesting that the two companies are in advanced talks regarding an acquisition. Mike Novogratz, CEO and Founder of Galaxy Digital, said the acquisition of BitGo would turn his company into a one-stop-shop for institutions, boosting their efforts to institutionalise digital asset ecosystems and blockchain technology. Novogratz added, “The power of the technology, solutions, and people we will have as a result of this acquisition will unlock unique value for our clients and drive long-term growth for our combined business. We are excited to welcome Mike Belshe and the talented BitGo team to Galaxy Digital.”

Per the terms of the agreement, BitGo shareholders are set to receive 33.8 million newly issued shares of Galaxy Digital common stock. Furthermore, they will be paid $265 million in cash, which brings the total value of the deal to approximately $1.2 billion.

BitGo is one of the leading regulated custodians in the cryptocurrency sector. It currently provides services to over 150 exchanges and 400 institutional clients. BitGo controls over $40 billion in assets under management by supporting the custody of over 400 coins and tokens.  BitGo CEO and Founder Mike Belshe said joining Galaxy Digital is an exciting new chapter for the company, allowing their clients to access a wide set of financial solutions.

Galaxy Digital planning to go public in the US

Galaxy Digital is a publicly-listed company in Canada. However, the firm is planning to officially list on a US stock exchange this year. In that regard, the company’s board of directors approved a proposed reorganisation and domestication designed to help the company achieve its goal of going public in the United States.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://coinjournal.net/news/novogratzs-galaxy-digital-set-to-acquire-bitgo-for-1-2b/

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