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Los delincuentes huyen del Bitcoin y se refugian en otra criptodivisa más opaca, el Monero

Los primeros en aprovechar el potencial de las criptodivisas, y por tanto del Bitcoin, están abandonando la famosa moneda virtual para dar el salto a otras con mayor privacidad.

Las monedas como Monero, diseñadas para evitar seguimientos, subieron más en estos dos últimos meses, mientras los agentes de la ley adoptan herramientas de software para monitorizar a quienes utilizan bitcoins. Hay firmas de análisis como Chainanalysis que están adquiriendo más experiencia para detectar acumulaciones de monedas digitales relacionadas con el crimen o el lavado de dinero, alertar a las bolsas e impedir la conversión a dinero efectivo tradicional.

La Europol hizo sonar la alarma hace tres meses y redactó un informe según el cual “otras criptomonedas como Monero, Ethereum y Zcash están ganando popularidad dentro del submundo digital”. Los extorsionadores online, que usan ransomware para bloquear las computadoras de sus víctimas hasta que se desembolsa un pago, han comenzado a exigir, en cambio, dichas monedas. El 18 de diciembre unos hackers atacaron 190.000 sitios de WordPress por hora para conseguir que entregaran Monero, según la compañía de seguridad Wordfence.

Para los ataques con ransomware, Monero es ahora “una de las favoritas, quizá ‘la’ favorita”, dijo en una entrevista telefónica Matt Suiche, fundador de Comae Technologies, una empresa de seguridad con sede en Dubái.

Monero cuadruplicó su valor hasta 349 dólares en los dos últimos meses de 2017, según coinmarketcap.com, quedando entre una serie de monedas emergentes que avanzaron más que bitcoin, la moneda digital más valiosa del mundo. Bitcoin duplicó su valor durante ese mismo período, según datos de Bloomberg.

En el caso de Monero, los delincuentes recurren a ella porque la tecnología subyacente de Bitcoin puede actuar en su contra. La cadena de bloques o blockchain registra meticulosamente qué domicilios envían y reciben las transacciones, incluyendo la hora y la cuantía exactas –datos fantásticos para usar como prueba–. Si se relaciona un domicilio con un delito y luego se analiza atentamente el universo bitcoin, se puede ver cómo los fondos desaparecen y reaparecen en otros lugares.

Los investigadores han desarrollado bases de datos y técnicas que permiten procesar esa información para finalmente atrapar delincuentes. Supongamos que, por ejemplo, se sabe que un bar de Berkeley tiene determinado domicilio bitcoin, y un monedero usado por un extorsionador transfiere allí la misma cuantía cada mañana a las 9.00. La policía puede presentarse y proceder a un arresto.

Creada en 2014, Monero es muy diferente. Encripta el domicilio del destinatario en su cadena de bloques y genera domicilios falsos para ocultar al verdadero remitente. También esconde el montante de la transacción.

Las técnicas son tan potentes que el software que detecta monedas de las que se sospecha que han sido obtenidas por medio de un delito ahora señala prácticamente todo lo que se convierte en o a partir de Monero considerándolo de alto riesgo, según Pawel Kuskowski, máximo responsable de Coinfirm, que ayuda a las bolsas y otras compañías a evitar el dinero sucio. Esto se compara con sólo un 10% de bitcoin, dijo.

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Bitcoin News Today – Headlines for February 25

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  • Bitcoin plunged below $9,500 after it was rejected at $9,750
  • Bitcoin is testing a major support level
  • BTC has several hurdle points on the upside

Bitcoin News Today – The bulls have been struggling to push the price of Bitcoin higher over the past few days. Bitcoin has been hovering around the $9,800 mark and it just plunged towards the $9,500 support level against the US dollar. The price of the digital currency could plunge heavily if it settles below the key $9,500 support mark.

Bitcoin Is Down to Its Major Support Level

Recently, the price of Bitcoin (BTC) was rejected close to the $9,880 mark against the US dollar. The digital currency started a downtrend, plunged from the swing high of $9,847, and plunged below the $9,750 support level. Moreover, there was a break over the $9,680 mark and the 100 hourly simple moving average.

That move paved the way for more losses and the price of the digital currency plunged towards the key $9,500 support level, where the bulls showed up. The digital currency formed a swing low close to the $9,481 mark and the price is presently correcting higher. It broke over the 23.6 percent Fibonacci retracement level of the previous swing from the high of $9,841 to the low of $9,481.

Bitcoin (BTC) Price Today – BTC / USD

#NamePrice24H %
1Bitcoin(BTC)$9,366.23-2.26%

Nevertheless, there are several resistances on the upside, starting with the $9,640 and $9,680 marks. More importantly, there is a formation of a key bearish trend line with a hurdle close to the $9,640 mark on the one-hour chart of BTC against the USD. On the downside, the major support of the digital currency is close to the $9,500 mark.

If Bitcoin (BTC) breaks below the $9,500 mark, the bears are likely to take over. If that happens, there are chances that the world’s most dominant digital currency would incur more losses towards the $9,300 and $9,050 support marks. Nevertheless, many analysts believe the digital currency is strongly supported on the downside, and it is more likely to surge higher than to revisit the $9k range.

Bitcoin Faces Many Hurdles on the Upside

On the upside, Bitcoin is facing a series of hurdles. The first hurdle is close to the $9,640 level. Over that level, the next hurdle is close to the 50 percent Fibonacci retracement level of the previous swing from the high of $9,841 to the low of $9,481. However, the major hurdle of the coin is close to the $9,740 mark and the 100 hourly simple moving average.

Hence, the bulls need to break over the trendline hurdle and amass traction over the 100 hourly simple moving average to begin a fresh rally in the near term. If this does not happen, there is a chance of a downtrend towards $9,500.

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Bitcoin’s continuing growth may resurrect its narrative as transactional currency

While Bitcoin maximalism or favoritism toward any cryptocurrency generally appears toxic and closed-minded, a significant number of people simply don’t want to interact with a complex crypto-environment beyond the original cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin started it all in 2009 and it has facilitated the creation of thousands of altcoins in the years since. On an episode of Messari’s Unqualified Opinions podcast, River Financial CEO Alex Leishman spoke about how Bitcoin is “the one cryptocurrency that has the best chance of becoming global money and a worldwide, agreed-upon store of value.”

“The others just don’t really have the network effect and the technology that the Bitcoin network has,” Leishman said, explaining how River Financial primarily caters to ultra-high net worth investors that mostly don’t know anything about cryptocurrencies beyond Bitcoin.

However, according to Leishman, this isn’t about favoring one cryptocurrency over another. It’s about making things easier for large-scale investors. He added,

“Simplicity is key for attracting this demographic.”

As institutional investors begin trusting the decentralized technology behind cryptocurrencies, it is increasingly important that the crypto-space does not scare off individuals that are ready to invest large amounts of capital.

The financial system has, for aeons, functioned in a certain way and while there is a reason for that to change, institutional investors need to have access to the tools that have always been available to them in the traditional system, if they’re to dip their toes into this asset class.

Further, with most individual wealth in the United States held by family structures, being able to provide the tools to manage that wealth could be growingly important for crypto-adoption.

He added, “For anyone with real amount of money, these things are just par for the course,” he said, adding that the vision here is to bring Bitcoin to the world and to legitimize Bitcoin as money. Leishman also claimed that if people are going to use Bitcoin as money, people need Bitcoin banks.

The River Financial CEO also spoke about how even though the vast majority of people today just want to buy and hold BTC, a solid number of people also want to transact with it — especially institutions.

“As Bitcoin continues to grow, the reasons to use Bitcoin will move more and more from a speculative longterm investment to a transactional currency.”

And, it isn’t just institutions. Regulators also need to be steered through the right narrative and educated about how crypto and blockchain can actually work wonders. Leishman subsequently touched upon how turning every exchange into being part of the surveillance dragnet is “a huge mistake” which would not end well for the United States.

People view cryptocurrencies as a combination of complex finance and computer science, both of which are hard things to understand for the average user. Though a maximalist approach probably isn’t the best way to on-board new users, a simpler introduction to the space could facilitate an influx of users that are ready to invest, but aren’t entirely sure about where to start.

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Bitcoin’s collateral position in DeFi is not a threat to Ethereum’s throne

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After recently locking down over a billion-dollars worth of digital assets in DeFi, it is safe to say that Ethereum’s decentralized finance applications are making a name for themselves in the lending market of digital assets. Ethereum is currently the largest form of collateral in the DeFi medium, but with growing interest, other assets are now being taken into consideration for collateral.

Source: Skew

According to skew.com, the amount of WBTC or Wrapped Bitcoins has been increasing and at press time, it was closing in on Lightning’s capacity. WBTC is an ERC20 token which is based on Ethereum 1:1 pegged with Bitcoin. The main objective behind developing WBTC is to bring Bitcoin’s liquidity into the ETH blockchain, with the attached chart indicating that BTC collateralized for loans is steadily increasing in DeFi.

At the moment, 1.8K BTC was locked in DeFi through WBTC and Lightning, increasing from 1.45K in January.

MakerDao’s ‘multi-collateral’ or MCD system was also developed to increase the number of collateral assets, while reducing sole dependence on ETH. Such a scenario appeared relatively important as an increasing number of assets would allow the tokens of all measures to be used to generate loans.

However, according to Nick Cannon of ethereumprice.org, in spite of the integration of other collateral assets, Ethereum‘s dominance on the DeFi network will remain unrivaled. In a recent newsletter, Cannon explained that ETH’s stronghold on DeFi would not be competed against because Ether is Ethereum’s native asset which is directly ingrained into the protocol. All the other underlying assets need a form of smart contract between the protocol and blockchain, something that may lead to more potentially exploitable bugs, like the one which caused the bZx hack last week. He said,

“While many are excited for the introduction of Bitcoin on Ethereum, the same criticism will apply. Nothing can beat ETH’s monopoly on trust, making it the most desirable form of collateral on Ethereum.”

It can be argued that there is some truth to the statement as other collateral assets that are part of MCD haven’t made striking changes. MCD added Basic Attention Token and after 4 months in circulation, it only accounted for 1.36 percent of the loans created, while the rest were all generated by ETH.

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