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AUB warns against dealing in crypto-assets – ‘Cryptocurrencies lack security’ – ARAB TIMES





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KUWAIT CITY, Nov 28: As part of its support for the second edition of the financial and banking awareness campaign “Let’s Be Aware”, Ahli United Bank (AUB) warns against dealing in crypto-assets, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, etc., especially that these currencies are untraceable and are not real, which make them pose a danger to their traders because they are not subject to regulation or supervision by any authority.

Thus, these cryptocurrencies lack security and do not receive the government support provided to official currencies issued by majorities of central banks. These crypto-assets pose a threat to the global financial system, particularly that dealing in them may be carried out through illegal / bogus wallets or organizations, which could lead and direct individuals’ funds beyond the guarantees of official trading guideline. Moreover, these crypto-assets can be used in money laundering, terrorist financing and other related criminal activities that cannot be traced as they are done under fictitious names over the internet.

Awareness
In this context, Ahli united bank ( AUB) , underlined in a press release that AUB draws attention to the importance of customers’ awareness of the risks of investing in high-risk products promoted via the internet, such as these crypto-assets, which are dominated by instability and high fl uctuation in their prices due to global unsupervised speculations. AUB added that real currency is issued by a lawful state as currency and as a symbol of sovereignty, and the state strives to protect it and employ policies that guarantee relative stability of the exchange rate against major world currencies.

A currency is considered and accepted as a store of value and legal tender, and serves as a reliable medium for exchange, which is not available for crypto-assets. AUB warned that the rapid developments witnessed by Fintech worldwide, with their pros which include the simple and resilient completion of commercial exchanges, conducting financial transactions, making remittances and buying online. They also have some cons, including multiple means of communication and their conversion into a primary channel for marketing, which may make them a window for promoting high-risk investments.

Jaragh said that issuing and marketing this cryptocurrencies by unknown entities poses a great risk to the assets and funds of investors and speculators and exposes them to heavy losses, given that these cryptocurrencies are not subject to any kind of supervision that guarantees the regulation of issuances and preserves the rights of investors, unlike real currencies that central banks or other monetary authorities supervise, evaluate and regulate their issuance.

It should be noted that “Diraya” campaign aims to inform customers about the role of banks as a financial intermediary, the importance of saving and investment, and how to benefit from the products provided by banks, and to educate customers about their rights related to personal financings, including consumer or housing loans, and the mechanism for filing complaints regarding banking services, in addition to various bank cards. The most important steps to be taken to avoid exposure to fraud and raise awareness of the risks of socalled “loan payment”, high-risk investments and other important topics. The campaign also includes various topics such as borrowing process, bankcards and awareness of the rights of customers with special needs. It also deals with advice related to cybersecurity and the protection of bank accounts, in order to clarify the mechanisms for filing a complaint and protecting customer rights, while defining the function of the banking sector and its role in stimulating and developing the economy so that all segments of society would be familiar with banking and financial transactions.








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Could blockchain security upgrades help to combat and prevent hacks?


Understanding blockchain network security

2022 has witnessed some of the largest hacks in the history of Web3, challenging previously held assumptions about blockchain infrastructure and highlighting the importance of robust engineering practices. A closer look at the majority of these hacks reveals serious architectural vulnerabilities, which fortunately can be addressed by ensuring greater diversification and decentralization within networks. 

Blockchain’s ethos: Economic freedom through decentralization, yet centralization is prevalent

The future of Web3 promises to be multi-chain, however many cross-chain applications like bridges have demonstrated significant security vulnerabilities to date. Proof-of-Stake (PoS) networks, DeFi transactions and blockchain bridges are generally governed by a series of validator nodes that require a certain number of signatures and a certain number of validators to approve and process transactions. 

For example, many DeFi projects and bridges follow an N-of-M validator setup, meaning at least N of all M validator nodes operating the network must sign a particular transaction for an ‘event’ (transfer, withdrawal and/or deposit) to occur. The problem is that for the majority of today’s PoS or delegated PoS projects, there is a small number of M and an even smaller N controlled by just a few central parties — such as investors, foundations or third-party staking providers — which defeats a large portion of the decentralization purpose. When a single entity is running a large number of nodes, the network becomes highly centralized and its security is compromised — resulting in a honeypotstructure.

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As of May of this year alone, over $1.5 billion has been hacked in nine of the largest DeFi cross-chain bridge attacks. In the case of the Ronin chain, which became the victim of one of the most notorious blockchain hacks to date with over $600 million lost, a total of nine validators controlled the bridge and utilized a 5-of-9 validator setup, meaning only five signatures were required to sign any deposit or withdrawal event. Not only that but four of those nine nodes were run by a single entity — in this case, Sky Mavis. 

What’s worse, a fifth node run by Axie Dao enabled Node Allowlist Permissioning (e.g., admin_addPeer) by the Sky Mavis nodes. Essentially, the fifth node handed over its ‘signature’ to the four nodes. And the IP from the admin_addPeer allowlist was never removed. Obviously, running four of nine is already problematic, but handing over effective rights to a single entity is even more concerning. 

So, once the attackers were able to exploit a backdoor in the four nodes through a gas-free RPC node, they acquired access to the fifth (now controlling the smart contract with 5-of-9). Therefore, not only was this not a decentralized setup, but it also was not even trust-minimized. Sky Mavis’ centralized control of the network meant that the Ronin bridge was an easy target for private-key leakage and subsequent attack.

Why then do projects opt for low validator and signature requirements? It is revelatory of an unfortunate trend: projects are prioritizing a quicker platform launch, lower fees and faster transaction speeds at the expense of network security. This has also resulted in poor smart contract design and cryptographic standards, as in the case of other recent attacks. While user experience plays an important role in the success of a project, the security of users and the assets they entrust to those platforms are absolutely vital. 

If the hacks have shown us anything this year, it’s that blockchain projects and their applications need to maintain core security principles and cryptographic standards at the forefront of their development roadmap. A fully decentralized network can take years to achieve and can become costly. Projects should, in the short term, institute minimized-trust setups with robust security standards. 

In the long-term, projects need to improve their engineering practices to maintain security. A large part of this is ensuring the nodes running on the system are distributed across a diverse base of users and entities, thus increasing network decentralization, and in turn network security. 

A second measure that can be taken is to invest in a number of different client implementations for diverse setups. Hackers exploit these accounts and gain access to the client’s private keys, allowing them to sign transactions on their behalf. If only three signatures are required, the hacker would only need to hack three nodes to approve their fraudulent transactions. However, if client implementation setups are all different, the same code manipulation would not work for them all, making the project much more difficult to hack. 

Projects should consider thorough smart-contract auditing and application stress-testing, such as implementing systems that monitor and alert the network during a hack in a timely fashion. It took Ronin almost a week to notice that the hack had occurred, meaning they were unable to react and remedy the situation immediately. 

While these additional practices may be more tedious and slower upfront, in the end, they set up projects for a massively decentralized, trustless organization in the long-term. Network security should always be kept top of mind for blockchain projects. 

There have been too many hacks involving losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars due to design failures and a lack of robust security standards. Projects can and should invest more time and resources in security practices, or it may very well come back to bite them eventually.

Anthony Georgiades is the co-founder of Pastel Network.

This article was published through Cointelegraph Innovation Circle, a vetted organization of senior executives and experts in the blockchain technology industry who are building the future through the power of connections, collaboration and thought leadership. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Cointelegraph.

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Crypto Is ‘Dangerous’ and Bitcoin Could Plunge to $10,000


  • Crypto is “too dangerous” to invest in right now, billionaire investor Mark Mobius said over the weekend. 
  • Mobius predicted bitcoin will plunge to $10,000, though he believes the industry will survive the fall of FTX.
  • “Crypto is here to stay as there are several investors who still have faith in it,” he told Bloomberg.

Crypto winter is set to deepen, and the price of bitcoin could soon plummet to $10,000, according to legendary investor Mark Mobius.

The billionaire and co-founder of Mobius Capital Partners gave his outlook for the world’s largest cryptocurrency in an interview with Bloomberg on Saturday, with the market still dealing with the aftermath of the fall of FTX, which filed for bankruptcy on November 11. 

Since then, bitcoin has fallen 21%, a loss layered on top of the steep sell-off in cryptocurrencies already seen this year. The coin is now down 66% from levels in January – and a fall to $10,000, as Mobius predicts, would mean another 40% plunge from current levels.

Mobius said he thinks the sector is “too dangerous” to invest his own or his clients’ cash, and has been a long-time crypto skeptic. He’s previously called crypto a “religion” rather than an investment, and warned that a sell-off in cryptocurrencies could end up dragging the S&P 500 lower. 

Despite the risks and volatility associated with the FTX drama, the industry is likely to survive the fallout, Mobius said, though he added it was “amazing” that bitcoin prices have held up as well as they have so far. 

“Crypto is here to stay as there are several investors who still have faith in it,” he told Bloomberg.

Other market commentators have remained bullish on the future of crypto, despite the turmoil and the potential for regulators to crack down harder on the industry. Ark Invest’s Cathie Wood reiterated her bitcoin price target of $1 million over the next decade, and said she believes the current rout would leave bitcoin “smelling like a rose.”



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MIT World Peace University inaugurates Centre of Excellence for Blockchain Technology


MIT-World Peace University has inaugurated a Centre of Excellence focused on Blockchain technology within the university’s School of Computer Engineering and Technology. The new CoE is a joint collaboration between Snapper FutureTech, Pune and MIT-WPU, an official release said. It added that the exercise has been initiated by the School of Computer Engineering and Technology and the Center for Industry-Academic Partnerships (CIAP).

According to the release, the CoE aims to foster excellence in the development of training programmes for youth and practitioners in Ethereum and Hyperledger Lab setup for software development, faculty training, and blockchain applications for pilot understanding. It will further include skill and capacity building, mentoring for blockchain entrepreneurship, blockchain software development training for faculty and students, among many other areas.

The CoE will play a critical role in implementing a cascading model of teacher training and skill development through modern lab facilities, career counselling, seminars and workshops, and internship and certification mentoring services—all under one roof, the release further said.

“Technologies such as blockchain are of immense value in today’s time when job dynamics are rapidly changing and evolving. We at MIT-WPU want every student to graduate with skills that will prepare them for new-age jobs of the future. We are determined to achieve the same objective through this unique Centre of Excellence, which will equip students with the applications related to the use and development of blockchain technology,” Prasad D. Khandekar, dean, engineering, said.

In line with MIT-World Peace University’s vision of fostering the growth and development of its students while contributing towards the larger goal of nation-building, all assistance provided by the CoE will be free of charge for students and faculty members of MIT-WPU. The CoE will be followed by the formation of a student-led Blockchain Club for students and faculty members by the end of this year.

Also Read: SC seeks replies of Centre, states on PIL for free sanitary pads for girls studying in govt schools

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FTX Crypto Implosion Doesn’t Make Bitcoin Untouchable, Fundstrat Says


  • There’s still hope for the crypto industry despite FTX’s collapse, said Fundstrat’s Tom Lee. 
  • Its crash flushes out bad actors, he said, adding bitcoin has historically delivered good returns. 
  • Strong crypto firms will emerge from the turmoil like some banks did after the 2008 crisis, he said.

There’s still hope for the crypto industry despite FTX’s implosion, and bitcoin continues to make sense for some investors, according to Fundstrat’s Tom Lee.

In a Friday interview with CNBC, Lee likened this year’s bear run in virtual currencies to the 2017-2018 sell-off from which they rebounded in the following years. He stayed bullish on a wobbly crypto sector for two reasons — the FTX blowout is potentially beneficial because it flushes out bad actors, while history shows bitcoin has delivered good returns, according to him.

“It’s an important moment for the industry. I think it is cleaning a lot of and cleansing a lot of bad players. But do I think crypto is dead? No, I think there’s a lot of people throwing gasoline in a crowded theatre and yelling fire, and it’s just going to be important for those who really like what decentralization and bitcoin are doing,” Lee said.  

He added that strong crypto companies that emerge from FTX’s collapse will be similar to those the banks that survived the 2008 financial crisis, like JP Morgan. “The mistake was to say that banks were untouchable and that’s what happened with crypto now,” Lee said.  

FTX filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy recently, saying its CEO Sam Bankman-Fried had resigned. It’s eye-popping collapse, triggered by a severe liquidity crunch, rocked crypto markets and wreaked havoc among other digital-asset firms such as BlockFi and Genesis Trading.

But according to Lee, there are still many crypto companies with good balance sheets, especially those that built their business around bitcoin.

He acknowledged the pressure on the crypto industry, saying it’s been a “terrible year” for the sector. Such damage to the digital-asset industry comes as the Federal Reserve ramps up its fight against inflation by aggressively raising interest rates. That sparked a crypto crash earlier this year as investor appetite for high-risk assets waned. 

“It’s been a horrific year for crypto. Nobody has made money in crypto in 2022,” Lee said. But that’s no reason to lose confidence in bitcoin, he continued, adding that he’s still advising clients to buy the token. 

“We first read about bitcoin in 2017, and we recommended people put 1% of their funds into bitcoin at the time. Bitcoin was under $1,000. That holding today would be 40% of their portfolio without rebalance,” Lee said.

Bitcoin fell 2.11% at last check Monday to trade around$16,200, per CoinMarketCap

“So, does bitcoin still make sense for someone who wants to sort of have some sort of ballast? Yes,” he added.  



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12 Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges in the US


In this piece, we will take a look at the 12 best cryptocurrency exchanges in the U.S. For more exchanges, head on over to 5 Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges in the U.S.

The cryptocurrency market is one of the most popular ones in the world, especially with Gen Z. Its growth has been meteoric, with only a decade in between the rise of the world’s largest cryptocurrency Bitcoin to the numerous other cryptocurrencies that are present in the market today. Cryptocurrencies have several factors of allure that ensure everyday investors keep on piling money into them, even as global interest rate shocks lead to institutional capital fleeing to the safe haven U.S. dollar. These factors include the promise of a non central bank regulated currency and the chance of making massive returns in a short period of time.

On the flip side, investing in cryptocurrency also comes with several risks. The largest of these is the volatility of the sector, as prices are determined purely by sentiment and not by the value of an underlying asset. For instance, while the share price of Apple, the world’s most valuable technology company, is also swayed by investor sentiment, it also represents the current and future projected value of the firm which sells gadgets to make a profit. The wild swings can leave investors who have gone “all in” or those that have used leverage to finance their bets with large financial losses.

Cryptocurrency exchanges are in the news these days due to the spectacular collapse of FTX – an exchange run by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) graduate Sam Bankman-Fried. Mr. Bankman-Fried’s FTX minted its own tokens and used these to balance out the liabilities of its trading firm Alameda Research. When word broke out, investors balked at an exchange funding its own trading partner, which then led to a massive flood of capital exiting FTX which was unable to produce sufficient capital to cover these transactions.

Apart from FTX, a research report from Spherical Insights that came out in the third week of November (relevant since it was published after the FTX collapse) estimates that the segment was worth $33 billion last year. From this, it will grow at a whopping compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30.08% to sit at an estimated $348 billion by the end of 2030. Cryptocurrencies flourished during the coronavirus pandemic, as major stock market crashes and stimulus checks led to ordinary, retail investors participating in large numbers into cryptocurrencies with the hopes of profiting off of price rises. Spherical Insights believes that mobile trading will help cryptocurrency exchanges to grow, and Bitcoin will continue to play a large part in the market.

Our Methodology

We studied the countless cryptocurrency exchanges operating right now to pick those that allow trading in the U.S. dollar fiat and meets the requirements to operate in America. They are ranked according to weekly visits, a crucial factor since higher visits are an indicator of the exchange’s technical strengths and are not influenced by higher value currencies such as Bitcoin.

Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges in the U.S.

12. Bitstamp USA, Inc.

Weekly Visits as of November 27th, 2022: 239,341

Bitstamp USA, Inc. is a British cryptocurrency exchange that is located in Luxembourg. The firm also has a U.S. division, which is headquartered in New York, New York. Its American arm has a separate chief executive officer, and the company as a whole, dubbed Bitstamp, is headed by a global chief executive officer.

Bitstamp USA, Inc. allows traders to trade in the U.S. dollar fiat, and it is also one of the seven firms that had sought approval from the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) to secure operational compliance that is granted only when an exchange can demonstrate that is capable of meeting liquidity requirements and has adhered to anti money laundering and other practices to discourage criminal activity on its platforms.

Bitstamp USA, Inc.’s main exchange Bitstamp operates in over 100 countries and has more than four million users.

11. Gemini Trust Company, LLC (Gemini)

Weekly Visits as of November 27th, 2022: 247,069

Gemini Trust Company, LLC (Gemini) is an American cryptocurrency exchange that was set up in 2015. At the time, its primary aim was to let users buy and sell Bitcoin, however, it grew to add other cryptocurrencies to its portfolio as well. Gemini Trust Company, LLC (Gemini) became the first licensed Ethereum Exchange in the U.S. in 2016, and it is also regulated by the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS).

Gemini Trust Company, LLC (Gemini) offers a wide variety of products to its customers. These include clearing services, a mobile wallet, a credit card, a mobile application and settlement services. Additionally, the firm also provides institutional solutions to hedge funds, fund managers, asset managers, and corporations among others.

As of November 27th, 2022, an average of 247,069 weekly users had visited Gemini Trust Company, LLC (Gemini).

10. bitFlyer

Weekly Visits as of November 27th, 2022: 402,066

bitFlyer is a Japanese firm that is headquartered in Tokyo and was set up in 2014. The firm is one of the most stable exchanges in the world, as it is yet to face an outage or a disruption to its trading platform. Additionally, bitFlyer also stores all of its crypto in cold storage, allowing it some security.

bitFlyer’s cryptocurrency exchange allows users to either trade with each other or trade with bitFlyer. The bulk of its transactions occurs in derivatives. These are financial instruments that allow investors to bet on whether the price of a commodity will rise or fall. The firm also allows users to buy cryptocurrency through credit cards or even loyalty programs that are similar to those that are offered by retailers. bitFlyer’s transaction volume stood at a massive $180 billion in 2021, and its average weekly users are 402,066.

9. Binance.US

Weekly Visits as of November 27th, 2022: 433,833

Binance.US is the American arm of Binance, which is the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. The firm was set up in 2017 after the U.S. government decided to ban its parent company. The new firm aims to comply with all regulations that are required for a cryptocurrency exchange to operate in America.

Binance.US is also a part of a cryptocurrency movement dubbed ‘stablecoins’. These look to back the value of a digital currency by having a U.S. dollar or other asset as a backup reserve. Binance.US’s stablecoin is called BUSD, and it is the third largest stablecoin in the world in terms of market capitalization as of January 2022.

Binance.US is an active participant in the U.S. cryptocurrency industry. It announced in November 2022 that it will join The Texas Blockchain Council, and also attempted to buy FTX but then withdrew the offer. The firm has also formed a Political Action Committee (PAC).

8. Bitrue

Weekly Visits as of November 27th, 2022: 439,247

Bitrue is a cryptocurrency financial services and exchange that was set up in 2018 and is based in Singapore. The firm offers more than 200 cryptocurrencies to its users and its other products include high interest yield farming, staking, and a futures trading platform.

Bitrue’s top traded currencies are Bitcoin, XRP, Ethereum, Cardano, Solana, and TRON. It lets users buy and sell cryptocurrencies through a bank account. The firm uses cold wallet storage for customer assets, and a dedicated insurance fund of 38 million XRP and 40 million BTR to compensate customers if its platform is hacked due to Bitrue’s negligence.

7. Crypto.com Exchange

Weekly Visits as of November 27th, 2022: 913,020

Crypto.com Exchange is the cryptocurrency exchange of Crypto.com. Crypto.com is based in Singapore, and it was set up in 2016. Alongside an exchange, Crypto.com also offers a wallet, a smartphone application, and a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace.

Crypto.com has partnered up with several companies to let them use cryptocurrency for their products. For instance, it teamed up with Time Magazine to allow its subscribers to pay in cryptocurrency, and with Shopify in 2022 to enable electronic commerce payments in digital currency as well. Crypto.com Exchange allows users to trade more than 40 different derivatives and more than two hundred pairs. The firm’s Cronos token bled market value in November 2022 after the FTX collapse, with its CEO assuring users that FTX and Crypto.com Exchange are different.

6. Coinbase Global, Inc. (NASDAQ:COIN)

Weekly Visits as of November 27th, 2022: 959,236

Coinbase Global, Inc. (NASDAQ:COIN) is an American firm that is headquartered in San Francisco, California. The firm was set up in 2012 and it offers several products and services.

Coinbase Global, Inc. (NASDAQ:COIN) lets its customers use a wallet, an NFT marketplace, an asset trading platform, a smartphone application, and an API for merchants to accept payments in cryptocurrency.

28 out of the 920 hedge funds polled by Insider Monkey during Q3 2022 had bought Coinbase Global, Inc. (NASDAQ:COIN)’s shares.

Coinbase Global, Inc. (NASDAQ:COIN)’s largest investor is Catherine D. Wood’s ARK Investment Management which owns 7.7 million shares that are worth $497 million.

Click to continue reading and see 5 Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges in the U.S.

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Disclosure: None. 12 Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges in the U.S. is originally published on Insider Monkey.





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Philippines’ seafarers go paperless with the help of blockchain tech


Seafarers in Asia will no longer need to go through the hassle of carrying their documents to their ships following an ingenious use of distributed ledger technology (DLT). A report by the Manila Times says that the Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific (MAAP) have launched an e-wallet to contain the credentials of cadets using blockchain technology.

The records of all cadets can be scanned using a QR code and will be used for the 2022-2023 academic year. The launch coincides with the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Nautical Institute, held on November 18.

“It is very difficult to hack. So, what we did is all our cadets now, their certificate will have QR codes. There’s a photo taken of [these], and they are loaded into the e-wallet of the cadet. The cadet will only show his e-wallet to show his certificates,” Vice Admiral Eduardo Ma R. Santos, president of MAAP, said.

As an added security layer, the cadets cannot tamper with the records in the e-wallet while details are backed up in MAAP’s central server. The institution confirms that seafarers can use the e-wallet for life, but ship owners and staffing firms can be charged to use the service.

MAAP’s president expressed optimism that the successes of the e-wallet could catalyze other maritime institutions to adopt distributed ledgers as one way to digitize their operations. Through the offering, the need for seafarers to bear the risk of damage to their documents by carrying them to the sea is eliminated.

Southeast Asia embraces DLT

Southeast Asia has emerged as one of the leading regions in terms of DLT adoption, with non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and the metaverse contributing to the metrics. In the Philippines, 89% of the working class population is pining for a switch of office operations to the metaverse, according to research from Ciena.

“85% of Filipino respondents can envision their organization introducing virtual reality space platforms into the existing work process, and over two-thirds (69%) think their organization will move away from today’s static collaboration tools to a more immersive or virtual reality-based environment within the next three years,” read the report.

A Blockchain Council of the Philippines has been launched to promote the adoption of DLT in the country with the lofty goal of being “the blockchain capital of Asia.” Tech firms are increasingly pivoting towards DLT, with Twala leading the charge with the offering of digital IDs.

Watch: The BSV Global Blockchain Convention presentation, Making Blockchain Easy for Real World Use

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New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.



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New BTC miner capitulation? 5 things to know in Bitcoin this week


Bitcoin (BTC) prepares to exit a grim November just above $16,000 — what could be on the menu for BTC price this week?

In a time of what analyst Willy Woo has called “unprecedented deleveraging,” Bitcoin is far from out of the woods after losing over 20% this month.

The impact of the FTX implosion remains unknown, and warning signs continue to flow in even after the first wave of crypto business bankruptcies.

In particular this week, eyes are on miners, who are seeing profits squeezed by falling spot prices and surging hash rates.

Upheaval is in the air, and should another “capitulation” among miners occur, the entire ecosystem could be in for a further shock.

As “max pain” looms for the average hodler, Cointelegraph takes a look at some of the main factors affecting BTC/USD in the short term.

Bitcoin miners due “capitulation” — Analyst

Like others, Bitcoin miners are seeing a major squeeze when it comes to selling accumulated BTC at a profit.

It remains to be seen exactly how much financial pain the average miner is in, but one classic metric is preparing to call “capitulation” once more.

Just months after the last such period, Hash Ribbons is warning that conditions are again becoming unsustainable.

Hash Ribbons uses two moving averages of hash rate to infer conclusions about miner participation in the Bitcoin network. Crossovers of the trend lines denote capitulatory and recovery phases.

For Kripto Mevismi, a contributor to on-chain analytics platform CryptoQuant, the time is approaching for the former to reappear.

“So right now bitcoin difficulty is really high for miners so that means; costs are getting higher and doing business in this kind of environment is getting harder,” he wrote in a blog post:

“That’s why miners do not work in full force. If they have efficient- new generation mining machines, they put them into work but that’s all. Inflation is high and people feels effect of living costs, bitcoin price is declining, mining cost and difficulty is getting higher. Tough environment for miners.”

Bitcoin Hash Ribbons chart. Source: LookIntoBitcoin

Kripto Mevismi added that a significant change in mining difficulty could help the situation.

Estimates from BTC.com for the next adjustment on Dec. 6 put the difficulty drop at 6.4% at the time of writing. Should it go to fruition, it will be the largest such drop since July 2021.

BTC.com and others likewise estimate that hash rate is now declining from record levels as miners wind down operations.

Bitcoin network fundamentals overview (screenshot). Source: BTC.com

BTC/USD eyes volatility into monthly close

BTC/USD managed to stave off significant weekly losses at the latest candle close on Nov. 27.

At around $16,400, the weekly close was a whisker higher than the previous week, with the pair still circling two-year lows, data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows.

BTC/USD 1-week candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: TradingView

With a lack of volatility characterizing intraday price action, traders and analysts remain cautious about the next step.

“It’s a long holiday weekend so expect things to get interesting as we move towards the Weekly and Monthly close,” on-chain analytics resource Material Indicators wrote in part of a tweet last week.

A subsequent post reiterated that the Nov. 30 close would likely spark fresh instability, with BTC/USD currently 21.25% down versus the start of the month.

This makes November 2022 Bitcoin’s worst November since its previous bear market year in 2018, data from Coinglass confirms.

BTC/USD monthly returns chart (screenshot). Source: Coinglass

On shorter timeframes, popular trader Crypto Tony, meanwhile, highlighted $16,000 as a key zone to flip for higher levels to enter next, while keeping mindful of the longer-term trend.

BTC/USD annotated chart. Source: Crypto Tony/ Twitter

“Lower highs along with consolidating below a major resistance zone. If you want to enter safely, wait for a flip of the lows,” he summarized at the weekend.

BTC/USD annotated chart. Source: Crypto Tony/ Twitter

As Cointelegraph extensively reported, Bitcoin’s next bear market bottom is the discussion point of the moment at present, and certain targets have become more popular than others.

One vocal commentator calling for further downside, Il Capo of Crypto, thus reiterated his opinion that $12,000 could be next for BTC/USD.

Highlighting the relationship between perpetual futures trading volume and spot price, he warned that the current market structure was not supportive of further gains.

“12000-14000 is likely. 40-50% drop for altcoins,” he stressed.

Under the Bitcoin sea, hodlers accumulate

Big or small, the population of the Bitcoin ecosystem is “aggressively” adding to its BTC exposure this month.

In a positive sign for a future supply squeeze — where demand comes up against a larger portion of illiquid supply — accumulation appears to be gathering pace.

According to on-chain analytics firm Glassnode, it is retail investors mostly responsible for the current trend.

The smaller investors, referred to variously as “crabs” and “shrimps” depending on wallet balance, are increasing in numbers.

“Bitcoin Shrimps (showed in a Twitter thread about the phenomenon.

Bitcoin shrimp net position change chart. Source: Glassnode/ Twitter

A further post noted:

“Crabs (up to 10 $BTC) have also seen aggressive balance increase of 191.6k $BTC over the last 30-days. This is a convincing all-time-high, eclipsing the July 2022 peak of 126k $BTC/month.”

Bitcoin “crab” net position change chart. Source: Glassnode/ Twitter

As Cointelegraph reported, part of the increase in smaller wallet numbers could be down to exchange users withdrawing funds to private storage.

Woo flags inbound “max pain”

For Willy Woo, the analyst behind popular statistics resource Woobull, on-chain metrics are pointing to Bitcoin’s next macro bottom being imminent.

Highlighting three of them this weekend, Woo showed that for all intents and purposes, Bitcoin is behaving exactly as it did in the pit of previous bear markets.

The portion of the BTC supply held at an unrealized loss, for example, is approaching macro lows, a phenomenon covered by the “Max Pain” model.

“Bitcoin bottom is getting close under the Max Pain model. Historically BTC price reaches macro cycle bottoms when 58%-61% of coins are underwater (orange). Green shading adjusts for the coins locked up inside GBTC Trust,” Woo explained alongside a chart.

Bitcoin Max Pain annotated chart. Source: Willy Woo/ Twitter

Continuing, he noted that the MVRV Ratio value for BTC/USD is also targeting a “buy” zone, which has historically given investors maximum profit potential.

MVRV is Bitcoin’s market cap divided by realized cap — the aggregate price at which each Bitcoin last moved. The resulting number has delivered buy and sell zones corresponding to price extremes.

“MVRV ratio is deep inside the value zone,” Woo’s commentary stated:

“Under this signal we were in already bottoming (1) until the latest FTX white swan debacle brought us back into a buy zone (2).”

Bitcoin MVRV annotated chart. Source: Willy Woo/ Twitter

Woo’s third chart, Cumulative Value Days Destroyed (CVDD), was recently covered by Cointelegraph.

“Use these charts at your own discretion, we are in an unprecedented time of deleveraging,” he added, cautioning that “Past cycles do not necessarily reflect future ones.”

Macro mood rocked by China protests

Some key economic data from the United States is due this week, but crypto analysts are more focused on China.

With an already fragile status quo hanging on inflation trends, unrest in the world’s factories could unsettle market performance, some warn.

China is in the grip of a wave of protests against the government’s policy on COVID-19, with multiple cities defying lockdowns to demand an end to “COVID zero.”

With this in mind, risk assets could be in for a rough ride if the situation spirals out of control.

“Crucial area of Bitcoin couldn’t break, so we’re still consolidating within that range. On support now,” Michaël van de Poppe, founder and CEO of trading firm Eight, explained:

“If this is lost, I’d expect new lows to be seen on the markets, probably depending on China & FTX contagion this week.”

Even mainstream media were warning of potential repercussions on the day, with John Toro, head of trading at exchange Independent Reserve, telling Bloomberg that “elevated contagion risk is being profiled into the cryptocurrency complex.”

Asian stock markets were modestly down on the day, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and the Shanghai Composite Index down 1.6% and 0.75%, respectively, at the time of writing.

Hang Seng Index 1-day candle chart. Source: TradingView

Bonus: Bitcoin bottoms in crude oil

On a related macro note, Bitcoin is now in line for “outperformance” in U.S. dollar terms, one well-known analyst has said.

Related: Bitcoin may need $1B more on-chain losses before new BTC price bottom

In WTI crude oil terms, BTC price action is already at a macro low — and history calls for a resurgence, which includes a significant appreciation trend against the USD.

“We’re finally at channel bottom,” TechDev confirmed over the weekend:

“Bitcoin’s crude oil (energy) purchasing power topped in April 2021. Now looks poised for another leg of outperformance (and rise in USD value).”

BTC/WTI annotated chart. Source: TechDev/ Twitter

An accompanying chart drew specific parallels to Bitcoin’s performance at the pit of the last bear market in late 2018.

As Cointelegraph reported, meanwhile, TechDev is far from the only voice calling for an upside to characterize BTC price action going into the new year.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the authors’ alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.