The Bulls Are Back, Trump’s Petro Ban Backfires and Karmic Justice

Price Watch:

  • Bitcoin is up 15% this week after a slight gain last week and a nearly 20% drop the week before. After stabilizing at $7,100 earlier this week, the price rocketed above $8,000 in a dramatic green candle. The price has hit a sell wall over the $8,00 mark, but analysts are optimistic. For the first time in a few weeks, we’ve seen major personalities revealing huge price targets in a manner similar to the end of 2017. Despite the price rise, bitcoin dominance fell slightly marking a reversal of last weeks gains.
  • Ethereum is up 30% this week. The currency was flat last week and experienced several weeks of double-digit drops in the weeks prior. Technical analysts are optimistic that the rally will continue. Those more keen on fundamental analysis will point to Golem going live this week.
  • The entire crypto market gained 20% this week briefly bringing the total market cap over $325 billion. This comes after early gains of $20 billion earlier in the week and is no doubt due to bitcoins fantastic price rally earlier this week. The dramatic gains come after several weeks of the price staying sideways at the $250 billion level.

Crackdowns:

  • Trump’s crackdown on Petro backfires: A Venezuelan government representative thanked Trump for the free publicity that came from his ban on Petro. The representative further claimed that Trump’s executive order has even managed to raise investor interest in the U.S. These statements should be taken with some hesitation, as the Venezuelans are suspected of making false statements surrounding the “$5 billion” raised by Petro’s presale earlier this year. In any case, Venezuela has made some bold predictions for the future stating Petro’s impact would be felt within “three to six months“.
  • Pakistan banned banks from transferring cryptocurrencies this week in a move that closely followed neighbor and on-again-off-again enemy India’s ban last week. The move in Pakistan is expected to be just as controversial (and ambiguous) as India’s. The move follows similar actions by BoliviaChinaEcuadorColombiaRussiaVietnamBangladeshNigeria, and others although these bans have taken various forms.
  • JP Morgan sued over fees: In what has been called a form of karmic justice for J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon who called bitcoin a “fraud”, the firm he runs has been hit with a class action lawsuit surrounding hidden fees users incur when using credit cards to buy Bitcoin.
  • Bitfinex investigated over money laundering: Polish authorities have revealed that Bitfinex has been implicated in an investigation into the laundering of zł 1.27 billion Polish złotys (~$371 million). The laundered money is said to belong to Colombian drug cartels. Colombia bannedcryptocurrencies in late 2016 citing money laundering concerns.

Forks:

  • Nano lawsuit demands fork: A class action lawsuit filed by victims of a breach against exchange BitGrail aims to force the developers of Nano (XRB) to create a hard fork which would return lost assets to investors. Normally security is the asset holders responsibility, but the developers appear to have explicitly endorsed the exchange citing a close relationship with BitGrail founderQuestionshave been posed over whether or not the attack happened and many have pointed fingers exclusively at BitGrail. If this lawsuit is won by the plaintiffs it could set a dangerous precedent for future hacks.
  • Vitalik opposes hard fork that would stop ASIC mining: After EIP  that sought to slow down Ethereum centralization by stopping ASIC miners became wildly popular, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik urged the community to exercise some restraint. With the memory of Moner’s 5x hard fork , it’s completely reasonable to fear a split in the community and a detraction from “more important things”.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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AUTHOR: Jake Sylvestre

Jake Sylvestre is the founder of PhishTrain & a cybersecurity expert who consults for Fortune 500 companies on topics like cybersecurity, blockchain, and marketing. Follow me on Twitter: @jakesyl

 

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