Another week has passed in the life of the crypto industry, filled with ups and downs, victories and defeats. But, cryptocurrencies, and in particular Bitcoin, have opened new milestones in the history of the crypto space.
News digest of the past week
The week has been replete with positive news, which is increasingly entrenching the understanding that cryptocurrencies are the finances of the future, which is inexorably coming.
And so, let’s run through the most high-profile events of the past seven days.
- MasterCard will allow merchants to accept payments in cryptocurrency
In a blog post, MasterCard announced that it will “begin supporting certain cryptocurrencies directly on its network” in 2021.
These details shed new light on the commitment made by CEO Michael Miebach, who is integrating digital currency payments into the Mastercard network in the fourth quarter. He explained that this new service will provide customers and traders with maximum flexibility.
But what are these cryptocurrencies? In this regard, the statement is cautious, as the company is looking for “ cryptocurrencies that offer reliability and security.” Of course, these are stablecoins, which are crypto assets designed to hold their value against an asset like the dollar so that they can be used for payments.
MasterCard has already shown interest in stablecoins. In September 2020, the company launched a platform for central banks to test their own digital currencies called CBDC.
Race between the giants
At the end of January, Visa’s P.-D. G., Al Kelly, said at a meeting that his company was considering adding cryptocurrency to its network, although it made no commitment:
“As a particular cryptocurrency becomes a recognized medium of exchange, there is no reason why we can’t add it to our network supporting more than 160 currencies.”
The payment giants seem to be fiercely competing for quick ownership of cryptocurrencies on their networks. PayPal also intends to roll out a payment feature for merchants on its network in 2021.
- Cryptocurrency Fraud: Russia and the US Top the List
According to the above data from Chainanalysis, the United States is immediately behind Russia in terms of the degree of association with the darknet. However, in the field of cryptocurrency fraud, the United States has no equal.
China is another country involved in fraud, but this time with ransomware. According to the available information, Chainanalysis has linked the attackers in relation to the ransomware with cybercriminals who belong to the Lazarus group in North Korea.
Recently, the US Department of Justice identified two Chinese residents who spent cryptocurrency stolen by the Lazarus group. Further investigation revealed that the suspects were part of the Lazarus group.
In 2020, crypts worth about $ 1.3 billion were laundered, and the number of crypto-wallets involved in fraud was 270. Through the illegal use of deposit addresses, unknown cybercriminals were able to obtain coins worth about $ 80 million.
These cryptocurrency scams were neatly executed as they used over-the-counter trading in small groups to withdraw all the stolen funds. With the help of deposit accounts, these criminals were able to accumulate millions of cryptocurrencies.
These crypto scams have forced the Russian government to ban the use of digital currency. Now, it remains to be seen whether this action will stop crypto fraud in the country, as cybercriminals are increasingly polluting the entire crypto sphere.
As digital currencies seek to replace fiat currencies in the future of the world, it is necessary to put an end to cryptocurrency fraud.
- BTC: Where will the crypto asset go?
Bitcoin is known for recording sharp corrections immediately after a parabolic rally. In most cases, investors and traders tend to move their capital out of Bitcoin, and invest it in oversold altcoins, which leads to the so-called “alt season”. After the altcoins reaches new record levels, traders return to the Bitcoin market and update the bullish trend.
Bitcoin’s recent rally came as a surprise to many after the “Ilon Pump” that lifted BTC to a new all-time high of $ 48,000. Meanwhile, the world’s largest cryptocurrency has adjusted earnings and is trading above the $ 46,000 support line. If holding the price level above $ 48,000 proves challenging, the flagship cryptocurrency may even return to lower levels.
Bitcoin’s latest recovery coincides with a decline in the dominance index. The key metric calculates Bitcoin’s market share compared to other digital assets with a huge market capitalization, such as Ethereum, Binance Coin, Ripple XRP, and ADA. Back on February 9, the BTC dominance index was 64.7 percent, and today it is 61.4 percent. The reason for this decline can be explained by the surge in the altcoin market over the past week. For example, ADA increased by more than 20 against BTC, and AVAX performed better, increasing by more than 100%.
Liquidity wull remain low, and traders should expect several sharp price movements. Technical indicators, including the RSI and MACD, point to further bullish moves.
The price has recently reached higher marks. However, the current price movement consists of lower highs, including consolidation on short-term hourly charts. While buyers have high hopes for reaching $ 50,000 as soon as possible, there may be ups and downs on the way to new heights.
The recent news that Morgan Stanley is considering buying Bitcoin has revealed another possible traditional financial player in the cryptocurrency space. Morgan Stanley has a stake in MicroStrategy, which is already mentioned in the news about the increase in Bitcoin distribution this year.
MasterCard will also begin introducing cryptocurrency in 2021. Positive news about the cryptocurrency from Bitcoin and Tesla, make other altcoins charge, which also join the rally.
Bitcoin Price Forecast Conclusion: BTC Fundamentals Are At a Whole New Level
Public perception of the PTS has improved significantly since major companies announced their support for the king of cryptocurrencies. Last week, a number of news helped the forecast for BTC price to remain in the positive zone. From large institutional purchases to long positions created by day traders, a variety of factors have helped BTC overcome significant resistances.
More and more traditional financial companies are considering placing cryptocurrencies in their portfolios. Big names face pressure due to constant requests about their absence in the cryptocurrency sphere. Consequently, more and more banks and financial giants will look at cryptocurrencies as an investment tool, or a hedge against market headwinds.
Last week, the price forecast for the BTC, which will exceed $ 45,000, became a reality. The bulls rose steadily using consolidation phases. However, BTC / USD is in a positive phase as long as it remains above the $ 46K support level.
- The Joker’s Stash Darknet Site Closes after Cashing Out $ 1 Billion in Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies
This is one of the largest sites in the darknet, which will close on February 15, 2021.
Joker’s Stash-one of the giants of the darkweb, the founder of this site, specializing in the resale of stolen bank card numbers, has announced that he is withdrawing from this market, which would allow him to earn about a billion dollars in cryptocurrency, including $ 400 million from Bitcoin payments, as the site Elliptic estimates.
An impressive nest, reflecting the lucrative activity in the darknet. This marketplace allows you to buy databases of stolen bank card numbers, and you can filter the search by country, city, etc. The buyer can immediately pay with the crypt, and get any stolen data they want.
The darknet platform, launched in 2014 and its founder under the pseudonym JokerStash, also allows cybercriminals to exchange stolen identity documents, such as passports.
Thus, having accumulated a fortune, the founders of Joker’s Stash prefer to retire, so as not to risk being caught by the police in the future.
“The Joker is leaving for a well-deserved retirement. It’s time for us to leave forever”, the founder’s message reads.
The message was accompanied by the 1862 painting” Stanchik”, which depicts a court jester sitting alone in a room, with a party taking place in the background.
In the past, the FBI, along with Interpol, confiscated the domain names of the Joker Stash web platform, an action that had no concrete effect as the platform continued to operate in the darkweb.
The increased security of using bank cards makes it more difficult to trade stolen bank card numbers, so the Joker Stash business has become less profitable, which may also explain the closure of the trading platform.
The final shutdown of Joker’s Stash will certainly please the authorities, who see success in the disappearance of an important darknet site, even if the illegal trading that took place on this platform moves to another darknet site.
The authorities of many countries continue to monitor transactions taking place in the darkweb in order to gradually close these illegal trading platforms.