Home / Crypto Currency / Bitcoin Price Decline Caused by Hodlers’ Unprecedented $30 Billion Sell-Off: Research

Bitcoin Price Decline Caused by Hodlers’ Unprecedented $30 Billion Sell-Off: Research


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When the bitcoin price declined from nearly $20,000 in Dec. 2017 to below $6,000 during the first quarter of 2018, many observers blamed new investors whose shaky hands had never endured a true bear market.

However, new research from blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis suggests that it was long-term investors, hands calloused from years of hodling though they may have been, who triggered the decline and then continued to sell into the dip — to the tune of $30 billion worth of bitcoin between Dec. 2017 and April 2018.

“This was an unprecedented sell off and such an opportunity is unlikely to be repeated soon,” the firm wrote in its report.

According to Chainalysis, those former hodlers largely sold to new speculators — not other long-term investors, shifting the balance of bitcoin wealth away from those with a demonstrated ability to hodl through adversity and toward buyers who may not have the stomach for a multi-year bear market.

bitcoin price
Source: Chainalysis

That cuts against the conventional wisdom surrounding the decline, which said that fair-weather investors — many of whom had bought bitcoin close to its all-time high — had panicked at the first sign of a downturn and sold their coins while hodlers strengthened their grip in preparation for a bear cycle.

Moreover, the influx of new speculators has depressed the bitcoin price since these users are far more quick to sell their coins than long-term investors. In fact, the reports notes that the amount of BTC available for trading has increased by 57 percent since the sell-off began in December. At present, the supply of circulating bitcoins is split nearly evenly between investors and speculators.

However, this sell-off did not come without a silver lining. Since speculators tend to own fewer coins than long-term investors, bitcoin wealth is less concentrated than it was prior to 2017. Of course, they also tend to be less-inclined to hodling, which means that it will take more demand to move the price needle in a positive direction than in the past.

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FBI: “Call of Duty” Players Remotely Stole $3.3 Million in Cryptocurrencies

A group of “Call of Duty” players from Indiana are accused of stealing more than $3 million in cryptocurrencies after coercing an Illinois man to aid them in remotely hacking unsecured crypto wallets on more than 100 cell phones. Man Coerced Into Hack After SWATing Incident The episode began in Bloomington, Illinois, where a local man told the FBI he met the members of the would-be group of cybercriminals online playing Call of Duty. In the simulated warfare game, players are able to communicate with each other in real-time and with relative privacy. The group, based out of Dolton, Indiana, allegedly coerced the man from Bloomington into working for them using an intimidation tactic called “SWATing,” a nefarious, illegal, and dangerous phenomenon that has become increasingly popular in online gaming communities. SWATing is when police are called with a false report of a violent crime at someone’s home, which prompts a response from a SWAT team — oftentimes leading to door breaches, gunfire, and even the accidental deaths of unknowing victims. It’s often used as a decidedly dark method of payback, or, as in this case, to intimidate or threaten an individual. Afraid of further retaliation the man succumbed to the hacker’s requests, to which they handed over names, phone numbers, and other information that permitted him to remotely access the cell phones of their victims. According to the FBI affidavit, the man admitted to taking over the cell phones of more than 100 people. Once the group took over a phone, they were able to hack into a victim’s cryptocurrency account and drain their funds. The group is suspected of stealing at least $3.3 million in various cryptocurrency, including about $805,000 in Augur’s Reputation Tokens, according to the FBI. The suspects then allegedly moved stolen tokens through cryptocurrency networks, such as Ether or Bitcoin, to their own digital wallets. As of yet, the Chicago Sun-Times isn’t naming the suspects identified in the affidavit because they don’t appear to have been charged with any crimes. In an online interview the Bloomington man proclaimed his innocence — even going as far as to say that considers himself a victim: “I have done nothing but cooperate with Augur and the FBI,” he said. “I have never once profited from anyone [by] crypto-hacking, ever.” Crypto Thefts in First Half of 2018 Total Over $1.1 Billion According to recent study from cybersecurity firm Carbon Black, the total amount of cryptocurrency that has been stolen through cybercrime this year alone is over $1.1 billion — primarily through ransomware and exchange hacks. The firm’s report claims that many criminals are using the dark web to appropriate cryptocurrency from their victims, estimating that there are over 12,000 marketplaces with almost three times that number of crypto theft listings between them. Rick McElroy, security strategist at Carbon Black, spoke on the trend, noting how easy it is for cybercriminals to operate these days: “It’s surprising just how easy it is without any tech skill to commit cybercrimes like ransomware… It’s not always these large nefarious groups, it’s in anybody’s hands.” Part of the reason for this is the accessibility and user-friendliness of the tools of the trade. McElroy said that certain pieces of malware even come with customer service to aid would-be cybercriminals, adding that the malicious software costs an average of $224 but can be picked up for as little as $1.04. Many of the attacks against crypto users, companies, and exchanges originate from an organized group of criminals like those out of Indiana, however, McElroy says, they’re just as likely to be the product of a trained engineer who is out of work: “You have nations that are teaching coding, but there’s no jobs… It could just be two people in Romania needing to pay rent.” Image from Shutterstock The post FBI: “Call of Duty” Players Remotely Stole $3.3 Million in Cryptocurrencies appeared first on NewsBTC.

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