Current State of The Crypto Market (July 30th, 2019)

Hackers:  A city in Florida has decided to pay-out nearly $600,000 worth of bitcoin to hackers who jeopardized its computer systems at the end of May, according to a report by The New York Times.   Riviera Beach, a 35,000-person city north of West Palm Beach, agreed during a city council meeting Monday to pay the hackers to restore its computer networks, which were crippled by an email virus. It is the latest type of extortion of a municipality, which typically rely on out-dated technology, according to the report.   “The complexity and severity of these ransomware attacks just continues to increase,” Jason Rebholz, a principal for Moxfive, told The New York Times. As per the report, Rebholz says hackers are increasingly targeting municipalities.   “The sophistication of these threat actors is increasing faster than many organizations and cities are able to keep pace with.”

Bullish Key Players:   Earlier this week Coin Metrics released a report showing Bitcoin’s untouched supply reaching a new all-time high of 21%.  The amount of unmoved Bitcoin has increased significantly over the past five years and coins falling into this category have been held in the same wallet address for 180 days to 2 years. This suggests that Bitcoin is increasingly becoming a store of value rather than a medium of exchange. One could assume that if Bitcoin’s price continues to rise, so will the number of unmoved Bitcoin.  A few weeks ago popular crypto-analyst Filb Filb reached an identical conclusion. He is convinced that despite the current correction, Bitcoin price won’t revisit its 2019 low of $3,120.   Filb Filb explained that:  “Miners sell into market demand everytime the revenue per Bitcon rises above mining costs and he expects that they will ‘limit selling’ as the pre-halving event approaches to invoke the new halving bubble.”   Simply put, the basic rules of supply and demand determine Bitcoin price and Filb Filb believes that “what happened in 2018 was miners selling off their Bitcoins at marginal costs.”  “Only the most efficient miners survived, while their inefficient competitors got eliminated,” he added.

Banks & Institutions:  Blockchain.com, which has created more than 40 million digital-asset wallets, is moving into the trading side of cryptocurrencies with a new exchange.  The Pit, a London-based marketplace, will offer Bitcoin, Ether, Bitcoin Cash, Tether, Litecoin and Paxos. Customers can deposit funds immediately, with trading beginning soon. The idea came from the the boom-and-bust cycle of 2017 and 2018, when exchange performance was spotty at best, Blockchain.com Chief Executive Officer Peter Smith said in an interview.  “After that cycle we stepped back and said, ‘What do we need to do differently next time?’ That’s when you start reinvesting,” Smith said. “We wanted to build a Wall Street or a Chicago-level matching engine,” he said, referring to software that pairs buyers and sellers.

Additionally, The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is going after digital asset traders and has begun sending them letters asking that they report their cryptocurrency holdings and pay their taxes, CoinDesk reports. The IRS said the individuals targeted with the letters were identified “through various ongoing IRS compliance efforts.” Hide your Bitcoin people!

Adoption: Crypto will take center stage on Capitol Hill for the second time in as many weeks when the U.S. Senate Banking Committee convenes Tuesday to discuss current and potential regulations.  Jeremy Allaire, CEO of Circle, will testify as a representative of the Blockchain Association trade group. He will be joined by University of California at Irvine School of Law professor Mehrsa Baradaran and Congressional Research Service specialist Rebecca Nelson.  The hearing is set to examine the regulatory questions around the industry and should be fairly broad, unlike the hearings on Facebook’s Libra project earlier this month.  “It’s going to be a discussion about the broader industry and what are the regulatory challenges and what can the U.S. be doing better, so I’m pretty optimistic,” said Kristin Smith, head of the Blockchain Association.  In his prepared remarks, Allaire calls for Congress to treat digital assets as its own asset class, as current regulatory burdens may make it difficult for U.S. companies to conduct business.