17 Mar Current State of The Crypto Market (March 17th, 2019)
Hackers: An 18-year-old Japanese youth has been sent to prosecutors in the country’s first ever trial involving cryptocurrency cyber-theft. According to a report from The Japan Times on Friday, the unnamed minor from the city of Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture, allegedly stole about 15 million yen ($134,340) in the cryptocurrency monacoin. In Japan, you are legally considered a minor until the age of 20. From August 14th to September 1st, 2018, the youth is said to have repeatedly hacked cryptocurrency wallet Monappy by leveraging a glitch on its website, sending multiple transfer requests to himself and causing losses to about 7,700 users of the service. He later transferred the stolen tokens to an account with a different cryptocurrency platform where he exchanged the monacoin for another cryptocurrency. The stolen funds were spent it on items such as a smartphone, according to the report. Japanese police said the youth has confessed to the crimes
Bullish Key Players: It seems that the optimistic Bitcoin and crypto price predictions continue to pour in the crypto space. Now, crypto trader and author of An Altcoin Trader’s Handbook said that he believes we’re at the start of an altcoin bull run. The Daily Hodl revealed that Nik Patel who boasts about 70k Twitter followers expects altcoin to “experience a bull cycle, while BTC remains fairly stable and largely range-bound.” In his opinion, this is mostly because most altcoins have lost 90% of their value in the bear market. “BTC can be bought cheaply to finance altcoin movements, and prices against BTC can be driven up higher because of the smaller market caps, securing greater profits,” he says. He also said that the bull run for the altcoins would not be like the last one and he encouraged traders to make sure to take advantage of it.
Banks & Institutions: International banking authority the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) has issued a warning statement on crypto assets on March 13. The BCBS is a committee of banking supervisory authorities hosted and supported by the Switzerland-based Bank for International Settlements (BIS) — an organization made up of 60 of the world’s central banks. In today’s statement, the committee warned that the robust growth of the crypto industry could potentially “raise financial stability concerns and increase risks faced by banks.” The committee noted the risks were present despite the crypto market’s currently small scale in relation to the scope of the global financial system. The BCBS also argued that crypto assets are “unsafe to rely on” as a medium of exchange or store of value, two of the main functions of money, implying that “cryptocurrency” is a misnomer. The authority also stated that crypto assets do not represent legal tender and “are not backed by any government or public authority.” Pointing to a large number of risks associated with the interaction between banks and crypto-related businesses, including the risk of money laundering, terrorist financing, fraud and hacking, the BCBS provided a list of minimum requirements for a bank to operate crypto-related services. According to the committee, any bank that decides to work with crypto-related assets should first ensure it possesses relevant technical expertise to adequately evaluate the risks associated with the field. The bank should also guarantee a clear and effective risk management framework, providing regular relevant data related to the bank’s crypto-asset risk profile.
Adoption: Enterprise blockchain technology is beginning to enter the crypto world, with JP Morgan Chase’s newly launched JPM Coin and Facebook’s highly anticipated Facebook Coin that is supposedly launching in the first half of 2019. Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, CEO of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange Binance, recently addressed the crypto community regarding the controversial subject of JPM/FB coins. According to CZ, both JPM Coin and Facebook Coin will further the adoption of the cryptocurrency industry as a whole, and CZ welcomes this adoption. CZ also noted that in a decentralized world anyone can do as they please as long as they do not bring harm to others in doing so, and that ideological differences are no reason for JP Morgan or Facebook to not take advantage of blockchain technology. Therefore, the CZ sees it, tech giants and banks like Facebook and JP Morgan can do as they please, as long as their intentions are not harmful.