Current State of The Crypto Market (June 26th, 2019)

Hackers:  The Israeli Police cyber unit arrested two brothers, Eli and Assaf Gigi, for allegedly perpetrating a multi-year phishing scheme and participating in a 2016 hack of Bitfinex.  The infamous Bitfinex theft of 119,756 BTC shocked the crypto market with the largest loss of bitcoins by an exchange since the Mt. Gox breach in early 2014.  Earlier this month, some of the stolen bitcoin were recorded moving from wallets connected with the hack, after three years of lying dormant.  Israeli crime reported that several several cyber units across the globe are cooperating in an effort to retrieve the missing funds. The majority of compromised accounts were from users in the U.S. and E.U. In February, Bitfinex announced that some of the stolen bitcoin – 27.66270285 – were returned after being retrieved by the U.S. government.

Bullish Key Players:   ThinkMarkets chief market analyst Naeem Aslam predicts that bitcoin will hit somewhere between $60,000 and  $100,000 during its next bull run.  Aslam had previously predicted on June 17 that BTC would hit $10,000 in “a couple of weeks,” citing institutional involvement as a major driver. Bitcoin successfully reached the five figure mark on June 22, marking a record high that has not been seen in over one year.  According to Aslam, the major price points to look out for now are $20,000 and $50,000. He argues that by hitting $20,000, discussion will move from conservative estimates exceeding the number one cryptocurrency’s all-time high to forecasts of $50,000; from there, breaking $50,000 will move the price target to $100,000.   Aslam also discussed the use of BTC as a means to avoid risk, comparing BTC, which is often called “digital gold,” with gold. He remarks that in the last two months, there is a huge spike in price for these two assets, which he attributes to a lack of confidence in the stock market along with the ongoing U.S.–China trade war.

Banks & Institutions:  The potential interest rate cut by the United States central bank is apparently one of the reasons for the recent surge of bitcoin, Deutsche Bank exec Jim Reid said in an interview.  Reid, the head of global fundamental credit strategy at Deutsche Bank, stated:  “if central banks are gonna be this aggressive, then alternative currencies do start to become a bit more attractive.”  Reid referenced a recent speech by Fed’s chairman Jerome Powell, who said yesterday that the central bank is considering a cut of interest rates amidst the current economic uncertainty and inflation risks. Meanwhile, bitcoin has continued to hit new 2019 records of above $12,000, while its market cap surged above $220 billion with a dominance rate reached more than 60% for the first time since April 2017. 

Adoption: A representative of the Russian Ministry of Finance says the ministry is considering allowing cryptocurrency trading, Russian news service Interfax reported on June 21.  Per the report, the Deputy Minister of Finance Alexei Moiseyev told journalists on Friday that, while MinFin had reached no final decision, cryptocurrency trading may be allowed in the coming bill on the circulation of cryptocurrencies in the Russian Federation.  A bill prohibiting the use of crypto assets as a means of payment in the Russian Federation passed in May of last year.  Anatoly Aksakov, head of the Duma Financial Market Committee, called the pending decision a compromise and pointed out that the Financial Action Task Force recommended that Russia adopt a bill regulating the circulation of cryptocurrencies by the end of this year.