A bitcoin mining company in Slovenia has been hacked for the possible theft of tens of millions of dollars, just days before the virtual currency, which hit a record above $15,000 on Thursday, is due to start trading on major U.S. exchanges.
NiceHash, a company that mines bitcoins on behalf of customers, said it is investigating a security breach and will stop operating for 24 hours while it verifies how many bitcoins were taken.
Research company Coindesk said that a wallet address referred to by NiceHash users indicates that about 4,700 bitcoins had been stolen. At Thursday’s record price of about $15,000, that puts the value at over $70 million.
There was no immediate response from NiceHash to an emailed request for more details.
“The incident has been reported to the relevant authorities and law enforcement and we are cooperating with them as a matter of urgency,” it said. The statement urged users to change their online passwords.
Slovenian police are investigating the case together with authorities in other states, spokesman Bostjan Lindav said, without providing details.
The hack will put a spotlight on the security of bitcoin just as the trading community prepares for the currency to start trading on two established U.S. exchanges. Futures for bitcoin will start trading on the Chicago Board Options Exchange on Sunday evening and on crosstown rival CME Group’s platforms later in the month.
That has increased the sense among some investors that bitcoin is gaining in mainstream legitimacy after several countries, like China, tried to stifle the virtual currency.
As a result, the price of bitcoin has jumped in the past year, particularly so in recent weeks. On Thursday it surged to over $15,000, up $1,300 in less than a day, according to Coindesk. At the start of the year, one bitcoin was worth less than $1,000.
Bitcoin is the world’s most popular virtual currency. Such currencies are not tied to a bank or government and allow users to spend money anonymously. They are basically lines of computer code that are digitally signed each time they are traded.
A debate is raging on the merits of such currencies. Some say they serve merely to facilitate money laundering and illicit, anonymous payments. Others say they can be helpful methods of payment, such as in crisis situations where national currencies have collapsed.
Miners of bitcoins and other virtual currencies help keep the systems honest by having their computers keep a global running tally of transactions. That prevents cheaters from spending the same digital coin twice.
Online security is a vital concern for such dealings.
In Japan, following the failure of a bitcoin exchange called Mt. Gox, new laws were enacted to regulate bitcoin and other virtual currencies. Mt. Gox shut down in February 2014, saying it lost about 850,000 bitcoins, possibly to hackers.
Ali Zerdin in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and Carlo Piovano in London contributes to this story.(VOA)
Updates and projections for the upcoming year feature all kinds of data based on the political and economic scenarios. Reviewing some of the projections and concerns raised in the latest video by Rob Booker, it is evident that in the forex trading market, several anomalies could tip the balance of the currency rate either way.
Twenty Twenty is a year that has opened up on the verge of considerable political turmoil creating a volatile market for investments, in particular, the Forex Trade. It is this turmoil and its impact on the value of three major currencies in the market that is the main focus of the Review for 2020, given by Rob Booker, recently.
According to Booker, the three major currencies that could behave unpredictably are the British Pound, the Canadian Dollar and the US Dollar. These three are the main currency pairs that attract investment. However, the profitability of investments will depend on the response of the market to the political instability and the turmoil that may or may not result as a result of three political and economic scenarios.
The main events that will have an impact on the currency pairs USD/CAD and GBP/USD are the Non-Formal Payroll Report (NFP) that is coming out in the context of the instability that may arise in the US as a result of President Trump’s impeachment, the potential for a war between USA and Iran, the Bank of Canada interest rates and Brexit.
As appropriately pointed out by Rob, the successful impeachment of the 45th President of the US by the House of Representatives has opened a trial in Senate for abuse of power and for blocking Congress, against Donald Trump. How the US economy reacts to this will become evident in the Non-Form Payroll Report (NFP), which will determine how the US Dollar trades in the Forex markets.
A second politically explosive situation is the threatened war between Iran and the US. Motivated by the airstrikes on the Iraqi airport that killed a significant Irani general, the tensions that emerged saw the Iranian head of state promising vengeance against the US. If this situation escalates, then it is evident, it would influence the value of the US dollar.
The second event, Rob, points out as key indicators of future investments is the interest rate set by the Bank of Canada. As these interest rates will determine how much money will flow freely in the market in the current scenario.
In this context, Rob Booker identified the trade between the currency pair USD/CAD is poised at a critical stage. He uses the shoulder-head analysis technique to determine the bullish-to-bearish trend reversal for the USD/CAD currency pair. The currency pair are exhibiting a traditional technical pattern, where the currency exchange is set to move potentially either showing a bearish trend down to the 1.26 level or on the other hand, the pair could climb up to the 1.34 mark, which is a climb of 500 pips and which could potentially act as a great point of resistance. Here, Booker advises a wait and watch strategy as soon as the rate climbs up to the 1.32 mark and then making a decision about securing your investment.
Finally, the third unpredictable situation that is set to create a volatile marketplace is Britain’s exit from the UK with no deal. If there is a smooth transition and confidence in the British pound remains unaffected, then there will be no effect on the currency pair USD/GBP. However, if there is some trouble or an unprecedented reaction, to Brexit, then it will affect the value of the British Pound.
The projection given by Rob Booker – how you can learn more about on the Rob Booker Trading Podcast – using the head and shoulder pattern to identify the future trend for the currency pair USD/GBP for the specified period is that if there is a strong job report and there is political instability regarding the no-deal Brexit, then the value will come down to the 1.22 mark. The counterbalance figure for this currency pair in the event of a weak job report from NFP and there is no impact resulting from the British political scenario, then the pair could go up to 1.35, and it could go on increasing for some time. However, Booker advises that investors should wait and see how it pans out in the coming weeks as there is likely to be less trade based on these currency pairs.
Analysing this information in comparison with projections made by two forex trading experts, we found that this analysis of the market for the two currency pairs USD/CAD and USD/GBP was generally held to be true and their projections of how the currencies would behave are quite similar. G10 Forex Index for 2020 predicts a bullish climb for USD/GBP to a 1.40 mark and a reversal mark at 1.29. For the USD/CAD pair targeting 1.30 as it continues its breakdown, and the risk is set at the 1.32 mark.
For a review of how the two currency pairs behaved in the first few weeks of January, we studied the data from a forex website. The 100forexbrokers.com highlighted the recent rise of the British Pound against the US Dollar by 10 points totalling it near 1.3100. However, they projected that “it may remain bearish because of the higher low printed in the recent upside move”. The price may also face a horizontal resistance around the 1.3144 and 1.3165 marks, and then the December 13, 2019 mark of 1.3514. Secondly, the support levels may help sustain its value with strong support around the 1.2919 and 1.2551 marks.
Presenting the data by 100forexbrokers.com in the analysis of the currency pair USD/CAD, the Forex market showed an increase in the price to more than 1.300. However, the website projects that this currency pair will also follow a bearish technical bias. USD/CAD current price is set at 1.3022 and the resistance levels marked near the 1.3052. The major support levels have been identified at the 1.2950 and 1.2727 point.
There is a lot of material on the internet claiming to give authentic reviews of the trading trends and markets usually accompanied by the disclaimer that history is not a predictor of future trends and most advisors analysis is based on these back trends. In any event, the data speaks quite clearly for the projections and the patterns of behavior observed. Both currencies have seen little trade, as investors have generally chosen to wait and see what happens at the political end.