Category: Litecoin

Bitcoin Wealth Inequality Drops in 2019 Unlike Ether, Litecoin: Report

Bitcoin Wealth Inequality Drops in 2019 Unlike Ether, Litecoin: Report

Bitcoin (BTC) whales may have made headlines this month, but its wealth is more evenly distributed in 2019 — the opposite of major altcoins.

That was among the findings of research by Clovr, which analyzed wallets and transactions from various cryptocurrencies in November.

Bitcoin majority ownership requirement still top

The results showed that Bitcoin’s wealth distribution has improved versus 2018, but among the top altcoins by market cap, whales are controlling more and more of the supply. 

According to Clovr, which excluded wallets known or suspected to be attached to exchanges, Bitcoin’s Gini coefficient — a measure of wealth distribution — fell from 0.66 to 0.64 this year. 

By contrast, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) increased its Gini rating from 0.73 to 0.75, while largest altcoin Ether (ETH) went from 0.69 to 0.78.

Cryptocurrency wealth inequality

Cryptocurrency wealth inequality. Source: BitInfoCharts, Clovr

Combined with the lower number of accounts needed for whales to theoretically conspire to control the blockchain, altcoins show themselves to be much more vulnerable than Bitcoin.

For whales to group together and control more than half the supply, the minimum number of controlled wallets for Bitcoin is 4,545.

Contrast that with Ether, where requires just 322, and Bitcoin Cash’s 1,109. Litecoin (LTC), another major altcoin, could be cornered from just 189 wallets.

Clovr used the top 10,000 wallet addresses from each cryptocurrency, excluding exchange wallets.

Researchers: Avoid cryptos with sub-$100M market cap

Beyond the big players, the research also found wealth inequality to be much more severe among major tokens on the Ethereum blockchain, or ERC-20 tokens.

Chief among these were Huobi Pool Token (HPT), the native currency of exchange Huobi’s mining pool, which had a Gini coefficient of 0.99 where 70% of the tokens are owned by a single address.

Across ERC-20, the smaller the token’s market cap, the bigger the wealth inequality problem becomes. 

“If centralized wealth worries you as a cryptocurrency investor, then it may help to avoid buying tokens with a market capitalization of less than $100 million,” researchers recommend.

As Cointelegraph reported, major transactions continue to catch the attention of analysts, particularly those whose origin or destination is unknown.

In September, a 94,000 BTC transaction saw its recipient wallet become what appeared to be the richest not belonging to an exchange.

Whale movements can also impact the market, as was allegedly the case last week when one of Bitfinex’s biggest traders appeared to “prop up” BTC/USD with a transaction worth 800 BTC (at the time $5.7 million).

cointelegraph.com

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‘Strange’ Litecoin Network Activity Could Be Related To August Dust Attack

‘Strange’ Litecoin Network Activity Could Be Related To August Dust Attack

‘Strange’ Litecoin Network Activity Could Be Related To August Dust Attack 1

Product developer Franklyn Richards has witnessed Litecoin (LTC) network activity that reminds him of the Aug. 10 dust attack on Litecoin.

In a Dec. 14 blog post, Franklyn Richards, a product developer who has worked on Bitcoin (BTC) and Litecoin since 2013, describes a pattern emerging among active Litecoin network addresses.

According to the product developer an unknown entity is taking “large periodic automated actions” on the Litecoin network, resulting in “an almost sawtooth like pattern.” He explains:

“On average the network typically sees around 40,000 active addresses per day, however, according to data from bitinfocharts, every 7 days this value is spiking to over 70,000 before abruptly dropping back down. This has resulted in an almost sawtooth like pattern that’s pretty evident given a cursory glance.”

Related to dust attack on Litecoin in August?

Richards speculates that the current “strange” network behavior, which reportedly started on Aug. 20, appears to be related to the Aug. 10 dust attack that was announced through the official Binance Twitter account at the time.

On Aug. 10, the Litecoin community was up in arms as Binance announced news of a potential dusting attack. The firm explained that around 50 Binance Litecoin addresses received a fractional amount (0.00000546) of Litecoin, which the exchange’s security team identified as a part of large-scale dusting attack.

A dusting attack occurs when hackers send a tiny fraction of a cryptocurrency to a large group of addresses. These small fractions are referred to as dust, as they can be as small as 1 Satoshi, which most users don’t even notice or may think of as harmless. Since the balances are so small, they cannot be spent without being included in a transaction along with the victim’s other funds, which allows the hacker to trace and de-anonymize the victim behind the wallet.

However, Richards concludes his blog by pointing out that without proper “access to more data tools for the Litecoin network, it’s hard to properly analyse the actions behind the behaviour.”

Litecoin celebrated its eighth birthday

Litecoin celebrated its eight birthday on Oct. 13, an event highlighted by its founder Charlie Lee, who famously sold and donated all his LTC holdings back in Dec. 2017. He said at the time:

“Litecoin network has been up and running continuously for the past 8 years with zero downtime. And in that span of time, over $500,000,000,000 worth of LTC have been transacted. Looking forward to the next 8 years and more!”

cointelegraph.com

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BTC and These 9 Cryptos Set to Resume Downtrend

BTC and These 9 Cryptos Set to Resume Downtrend

Paris-based asset management firm Napoleon AM has announced the launch of a specialized professional fund under French law, the Napoleon Bitcoin Fund. The fund would replicate the price of the cash-settled Bitcoin futures listed on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. 

According to the company, this is one of the first regulated products giving exposure to Bitcoin, with which institutional investors can diversify their portfolio.

While the firms are launching crypto products for professional investors, not every investor is confident about the future of Bitcoin. Billionaire investor Mark Cuban believes that BTC could never become a reliable currency because “it’s too difficult to use, too easy to hack, way too easy to lose, too hard to understand” as well as too hard to assess and value.

However, he does believe that Bitcoin could become a financial asset as a collectible similar to gold and art.

Daily cryptocurrency market performance

Daily cryptocurrency market performance. Source: Coin360

While most firms are targeting the institutional investors, Swiss cryptocurrency financial firm Amun AG has received permission to offer various exchange-traded products to retail clients throughout the EU. 

With a slew of products being launched for both institutional players and retail investors, the interest in the crypto space is likely to pick up. So, should investors view the current dip as a buying opportunity? Let’s analyze the charts.

BTC/USD

Bitcoin (BTC) has dropped to the immediate support at $7,085.80. Both the moving averages are sloping down and the RSI is in negative territory, which suggests that bears are in command. 

If the bears succeed in breaking below $7,085.80, the next stop is likely to be the recent lows of $6,512.01. We anticipate the bulls to launch a strong defense of this level. Nonetheless, if this support also cracks, the sentiment will turn sour and a deeper correction to $5,533.90 is possible. 

BTC USD daily chart

BTC USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview

Conversely, if the bulls defend the support at $7,085.80, the BTC/USD pair might remain range-bound for a few more days. A break above $7,085.80 can carry the price to the downtrend line where we anticipate the bears to mount stiff resistance.

However, if the bulls can push the price above the downtrend line and sustain it, we anticipate a rally to $10,360.89. Therefore, the traders can initiate long positions as suggested in our earlier analysis. 

ETH/USD

The range in Ether (ETH) has tightened further. The bulls are attempting to defend the immediate support at $143.259 while the bears are defending the overhead resistance at $151.829. 

ETH USD daily chart

ETH USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview

Though it is difficult to predict the direction of the breakout from a range, the down-trending moving averages and the RSI in the negative zone show that bears have the advantage. If they succeed in breaking below the $143.259 to $140 support zone, a drop to $131.484 is possible.

Conversely, if the bulls push the price above the overhead resistance zone of $151.829 to $157.50, the ETH/USD pair could pick up momentum. The short-term traders can initiate long positions as suggested in our previous analysis.

XRP/USD

XRP has been holding above $0.22 for the past two days. However, the bulls have not been able to achieve a strong bounce off it, which is a negative sign. This shows a lack of urgency among the bulls to buy at these levels.

XRP USD daily chart

XRP USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview

Without ample buying support, the XRP/USD pair might dip below $0.22 and the uptrend line of the ascending triangle. A breakdown of a bullish setup is a bearish sign. Therefore, a break below the uptrend line can drag the price to $0.20946 and below it to $0.20041.

Our bearish view will be invalidated if the bulls carry the price above the overhead resistance at $0.23260. Such a move will indicate buying at lower levels. We might suggest long positions for the aggressive trader if the price sustains above $0.2326 for a few days.

BCH/USD

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) has dipped to its critical support at $203.36. The failure to rebound off this support indicates a lack of aggressive buying. The 20-day EMA is sloping down and the RSI is in the negative zone, which shows that bears have the upper hand.

BCH USD daily chart

BCH USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview

If the bears sink the price below $203.36, a drop to $192.52 is likely. This is an important level to watch out for because if it cracks, the downtrend will resume.

Contrary to our assumption, if the BCH/USD pair bounces off the current levels or from $192.52 and rises above $227.01, it will indicate strength. Hence, we retain the buy recommendation given in our earlier analysis.

LTC/USD

Litecoin (LTC) has gradually dipped closer to the support at $42.0599. Both moving averages are sloping down and the RSI is close to the oversold zone, which shows that bears are in command.

LTC USD daily chart

LTC USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview

If the bears sink the price below the support at $42.0599, the LTC/USD pair will resume the downtrend, with the next support at $36.

Alternatively, if the bulls defend the support at $42.0599, the pair might remain range-bound between $42.0599 and $50 for a few days. A breakout of $50 could carry the price to $66.1486. 

EOS/USD

EOS has declined to the immediate support at $2.5804. Failure to achieve a strong bounce off this level is likely to attract further selling that could sink the price below it. The next support on the downside is $2.4001. We expect a strong defense of this level by the bulls. 

EOS USD daily chart

EOS USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview

Nevertheless, if the EOS/USD pair bounces off the current levels or from $2.4001 and breaks above the overhead resistance at $2.8695, it will indicate strength. Above $2.8695, the pair can move up to the downtrend line. The short-term traders could try to benefit from this rise by initiating long positions as suggested in our previous analysis.

BNB/USD

After failing to rise above the overhead resistance at $16.50, Binance Coin (BNB) has dropped close to the critical support at $14.2555 in the past two days. While this is a negative sign, we are closely watching the developing bullish divergence on the RSI, which could signal a possible reversal. 

BNB USD daily chart

BNB USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview

A bounce off the current levels will keep the BNB/USD pair range-bound for a few more days. The first sign of strength will be a break above $16.50. Though the 50-day SMA might offer some resistance, we expect the price to climb above it and reach $21.80.

Therefore, the traders can initiate long positions on a break and close (UTC time) above $16.50 with the stop at $13.50. Our bullish view will be invalidated if the bears sink the price below $14.2555.

BSV/USD

Bitcoin SV (BSV) continues to trade near the support at $92.693. A consolidation near an important support level, without any meaningful bounce, usually increases the possibility of a breakdown.

BSV USD daily chart

BSV USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview

If the bears sink the price below $92.693, the decline can extend to the next support at $78.506. This is important support because if it cracks, the BSV/USD pair could drop to $38.528.

Contrary to our assumption, if the pair rebounds off the current levels and rises above the downtrend line, it could move up to $113.960. We will wait for the price to sustain above the 50-day SMA before turning positive.

XLM/USD

After failing to rise above the overhead resistance at $0.056, Stellar (XLM) has dipped towards the support at $0.051014 in the past two days. This is a negative sign as it indicates that the buyers are not confident that a bottom is in place yet.

XLM USD daily chart

XLM USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview

If the bears succeed in breaking below the support at $0.051014, the XLM/USD pair will resume its downtrend. The next support to watch on the downside is $0.041748.

Conversely, if the price turns around from the current levels and rises above $0.056, a move to $0.060 is possible. Above $0.060, the traders can initiate long positions as proposed in our previous analysis.

XTZ/USD

In an uptrend, the bulls provide support at the 20-day EMA. That is what happened with Tezos (XTZ) as the drop on Dec. 10 found buying support just below the 20-day EMA. However, today’s price action shows profit-taking at higher levels.

XTZ USD daily chart

XTZ USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview

The bulls will now try to push the XTZ/USD pair above $1.528758 while the bears will attempt a break below the 20-day EMA. 

If the bulls are successful, a rally to $1.6555 and above it to $1.85 is likely. We anticipate the bears to offer a minor resistance at $1.6555 and a stiff resistance at $1.85. If the bears succeed in breaking below the 20-day EMA, a drop to the 50-day SMA is possible.

We do not see a buy setup with an attractive risk to reward ratio here. Hence, we are not recommending a trade at the current levels.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Market data is provided by HitBTC exchange.

cointelegraph.com

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Litecoin-Funded Grin Developer Challenges Mimblewimble’s Privacy Issue

Litecoin-Funded Grin Developer Challenges Mimblewimble’s Privacy Issue

Litecoin-Funded Grin Developer Challenges Mimblewimble’s Privacy Issue 3

A Grin (GRIN) developer funded by the Litecoin Foundation has suggested a solution for fixing the “Achilles heel of Mimblewimble privacy.”

David Burkett, a developer at Mimblewimble’s (MW) privacy-centric coin Grin, started a thread on monthly updates detailing progress on both Grin’s development and the integration of MW’s privacy-focused technology into Litecoin (LTC). The developer announced the news on Twitter on Dec. 1:

“I’ll be posting monthly status updates detailing progress on the LTC MW EB (YAY acronyms). This is geared toward those interested in LTC development, but will also talk a lot about Grin++ changes, so it may be interesting to Grinners as well.”

Burkett challenges the “Achilles heel of Mimblewimble privacy”

In terms of Grin’s progress, the developer has purportedly performed the first-ever pre-broadcast MW CoinJoin that would allegedly make transactions more private by disabling broadcasting before transactions joined others in the CoinJoin block. Burkett noted that this issue is one of the most critical problems associated with MW’s privacy. He wrote:

“The Achilles heel of mimblewimble privacy though, has always been that transactions are broadcast before they’ve had a chance to be joined with other transactions. That means nodes monitoring the network can see the original input-to-output links of most transactions. Sending a transaction directly to a CoinJoin server before broadcasting is one of many different techniques we can use to combat that.”

Some researchers claim that there is no way to fix Mimblewimble’s privacy

The implementation follows a recent report claiming that MW’s privacy is “fundamentally flawed” as a developer managed to track 96% of Grin transactions before they came to CoinJoin, a block that collects all MW’s transactions to ensure their anonymity.

Published by Ivan Bogatyy at blockchain research firm Dragonfly Research, the report claims that there is no way to fix that issue for MW, and the protocol should no longer be considered as a “viable alternative to Zcash or Monero when it comes to privacy.”

Litecoin Foundation is funding Burkett’s efforts to integrate Grin’s privacy

Alongside Grin’s developments, the developer confirmed that the Litecoin Foundation will be funding his efforts to implement the MW extension block as well as to continue his work on Grin. Litecoin creator Charlie Lee announced the initiative on Oct. 30.

Burkett also noted that he has been working with Lee and Bitcoin researcher Andrew Yang (not the presidential candidate) for several months to design a Mimblewimble extension block to enable confidential transactions on Litecoin. As such, the authors published two draft Litecoin Improvement Proposals using the MW protocol on Oct. 22.

In mid-November, Grin received an anonymous 50 Bitcoin (BTC) donation to its General Fund, sparking a rumor that the donation was related to Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto.

cointelegraph.com

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New Files Allegedly Connect $450M in Lost Bitcoin to Russian Intelligence

New Files Allegedly Connect $450M in Lost Bitcoin to Russian Intelligence

New Files Allegedly Connect $450M in Lost Bitcoin to Russian Intelligence 6

$450 million worth of lost cryptocurrency from the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange WEX may have been transferred to a fund belonging to Russian intelligence agency the Federal Security Bureau (FSB), according to an investigation by the BBC’s Russian Service published on Nov. 15.

The BBC’s recent investigation into the BTC-e crypto exchange case, in which co-founder Alexander Vinnik stands accused of fraud and laundering as much as $4 billion in Bitcoin (BTC) over the course of six years, has revealed new details which allegedly connect lost customer funds to the FSB.

Demands to hand over crypto assets to the FSB

The BBC retrieved audio files that allegedly connect a person named Anton — supposedly former FSB officer Anton Nemkin — with Aleksey Bilyuchenko, a co-founder of BTC-e, and Konstantin Malofeyev, who was purportedly behind the sale of WEX, a spin-off of troubled BTC-e.

During a business meeting in 2018, Anton allegedly requested that Bilyuchenko hand the cold wallets containing crypto assets of WEX over to him. Following the purported handover, Bilyuchenko was delivered to an FSB department in Moscow, where several plainclothes officers questioned him about WEX operations.

The following day, Anton allegedly demanded that Bilyuchenko passed on all cryptocurrency stored in WEX’s wallets, stating that the assets will be given to the “fund of FSB of Russia.” At the time, the wallets contained $450 million worth cryptocurrency, part of which belonged to the exchange’s customers.

Bilyuchenko eventually agreed to transfer the aforementioned amount. The data from Blockchain.com and Explorer.Litecoin.net indicated that 30,000 BTC and 700,000 Litecoins (LTC) were transferred from the aforementioned wallets — equivalent to $350 million at the time.

Other allegations against associated parties

In July, Dmitri Vasilyev, former CEO of WEX, was arrested in Italy. In April 2019, Vasilyev became the subject of a criminal investigation by the police department in Kazakh city Almaty, as the alleged suspect was charged with defrauding a local investor in the amount of $20,000 through WEX exchange.

That same month, United States prosecutors filed a complaint against BTC-e and Vinnik. Per the filing, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) determined civil penalties for BTC-e and Vinnik last year, who face fines of over $88 million and $12 million, respectively.

The filing stated outright that BTC-e and Vinnik had not attempted to register with FinCEN, implement Anti-Money Laundering practices, or report suspicious activity generally.

cointelegraph.com

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Grin Receives Anonymous 50 BTC Donation, Sparking Satoshi Rumors

Grin Receives Anonymous 50 BTC Donation, Sparking Satoshi Rumors

Grin Receives Anonymous 50 BTC Donation, Sparking Satoshi Rumors 7

Privacy-centric coin Grin received an anonymous 50 Bitcoin (BTC) donation to its General Fund on Nov. 11, sparking a bizarre rumor that the generous soul behind it was Satoshi.

The donation, announced the same day by Grin on Twitter, was made via crypto exchange Coinbase by a donor who expressly wished to remain anonymous, according to a Nov. 11 forum post by Grin dev Daniel Lehnberg. 

“Work freely” without dependency

Lehnberg has revealed that he briefly interacted with the donor. While upholding his/her/their desired anonymity, he nonetheless shared some of the donor(s)’ edited remarks, including reported statements such as:

“Our motives are not economical! It’s about the technology and the protocol. Please put it to good use for the development of GRIN. You keep working as you did in the past […] This is what we are honouring right now with these donations so that you can work freely […] without economic dependencies.”

Apparently finding the unusual nature of the donation to be not quite enough, some cryptocurrency media outlets responded by confecting the theory that Satoshi Nakomoto — Bitcoin’s mysterious inventor(s) — was behind the donation. 

The theory was fed by an apparent Telegram group chat message from Litecoin (LTC) founder Charlie Lee revealing that the donated coins were mined in 2010, and transferred from a wallet that had been idle for almost 9 years.

Lee has since confirmed the message was “just a joke.”

Privacy innovations

As previously reported, Grin is a privacy coin that implements scalability- and privacy-focused Mimblewimble protocol  — named after a fictional tongue-tying curse from the popular Harry Potter novels.

Mimblewimble is in part a variant of the cryptographic protocol known as Confidential Transactions, which allows for transactions to be obfuscated yet verifiable so as to achieve both heightened privacy and the prevention of double-spending.

This summer, Grin underwent a hard fork — the network’s first since its launch in mid-January of this year — to introduce tweaks to its consensus algorithm in order to achieve greater resistance to ASIC miners.

This October, the Litecoin Foundation published two new draft improvement proposals designed to work toward establishing privacy features for the network by integrating Mimblewimble.

cointelegraph.com

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