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FBI Claims Arrested Cyber Crime Syndicate Co-Founder Medvedev Worth $800M+ in BTC

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Accused Cyber Crime Syndicate Co-Founder Arrested in Thailand

Cyber Crime Syndicate Co-Founder Worth 100,000 BTC Arrested in Thailand
Sergey Medvedev arrested by Thai police

Sergey Sergeyvich Medvedev is accused of being the co-founder and second in command of the transnational crime syndicate, Infraud. The dark-web marketplace associated with the group was seized and taken offline by U.S. authorities.

Mr. Medvedev, a Russian national, fled to Thailand six years ago. Thailand’s Crime Suppression Division (CSD) identified the thirty-one-year-old as being located in Bangkok following an investigation prompted by American requests for cooperation with the FBI.

Maj. Nathapol Ratanamongkolsak of the CSD stated that “The United States […] requested assistance from Thai police, and the police commissioner ordered the Crime Suppression Division to work on this case in late 2017.”

Mr. Medvedev in Possession of Over 100,000 Bitcoins

Cyber Crime Syndicate Co-Founder Worth 100,000 BTC Arrested in ThailandMr. Medvedev was arrested during a raid on his apartment in the Sukhumvit area, conducted by 30 CSD officers. The CSD officers seized numerous documents and a notebook computer from Mr. Medvedev.

CSD investigators have claimed that Mr. Medvedev was trading illegal products online in exchange for bitcoin. Thai media outlet, Bangkok Post, has reported that “judging by the evidence obtained during

the Feb 2 raid, [Mr. Medvedev] had more than 100,000 bitcoin[s]” – at the time valued at approximately $800 – $900 million USD.

Thailand’s Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) chief, Thitiraj Nhongharnpitak, has confirmed that the raid took place. However, the CIB chief has declined to issue further details regarding the operation, stating that such is an international police matter and that more information will be made public soon.

FBI Cracks Down on Infraud

Cyber Crime Syndicate Co-Founder Worth 100,000 BTC Arrested in ThailandIt is alleged that Infraud was created during 2001 by Mr. Medvedev in partnership with Svyatoslav Bondarenko in Ukraine. Infraud has been described as a major hub for credit card fraud, with Deputy Assistant Attorney General David Rybicki stating that the site was “the premier one-stop shop for cybercriminals worldwide.”

Reports have indicated that similar operations designed to arrest 18 members of Infraud have been carried out in over a dozen different countries – expanding on prior efforts by the FBI to crack down on Infraud, which have previously seen the arrest of 32 individuals suspected of criminal involvement with the group.

Maj. Nattapol Rattanamongkol stated “This is an operation by the [US] Department of Homeland Security that involves spontaneous [raids] in 14 countries.”

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Bitcoin (BTC/USD) forecast and analysis on January 24, 2020

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Cryptocurrency Bitcoin (BTC/USD) is trading at 8563. Cryptocurrency quotes are trading above the moving average with a period of 55. This indicates a bullish trend on Bitcoin. At the moment, cryptocurrency quotes are moving near the lower border of the Bollinger Bands indicator stripes.

Bitcoin (BTC/USD) forecast and analysis on January 24, 2020

As part of the Bitcoin exchange rate forecast, a test level of 8420 is expected. Where can we expect an attempt to continue the growth of BTC/USD and the further development of the upward trend. The purpose of this movement is the area near the level of 9160. The conservative area for buying Bitcoin is located near the lower border of the Bollinger Bands indicator strip at 8400.

Bitcoin (BTC/USD) forecast and analysis on January 24, 2020

Cancellation of the

option to continue the growth of the Bitcoin exchange rate will be a breakdown of the lower border of the Bollinger Bands indicator stripes. As well as a moving average with a period of 55 and closing of quotations of the pair below the area of ​​8320. This will indicate a change in the current trend in favor of the bearish for BTC/USD. In case of breakdown of the upper border of the Bollinger Bands indicator bands, we should expect an acceleration in the fall of cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin (BTC/USD) forecast and analysis on January 24, 2020 implies a test level of 8420. Further, growth is expected to continue to the area above the level of 9160. The conservative buying area is located near the area of ​​8400. The breakdown of the cryptocurrency growth option will be the breakdown of the level of 8320. In this case, we should expect further fall.

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Billionaire investor advises people to stay away from Bitcoin

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  • Ray Dalio said that Bitcoin is too volatile to be a store of wealth, at present. Instead, he suggests a small allocation in gold.
  • He also noted that currently, “cash is trash” and that investors must look for a well-diversified portfolio.

The founder of investment firm Bridgewater Associates, Ray Dalio, has warned people not to get involved with speculative currencies like Bitcoin in 2020. Appearing on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Dalio said:

There’s two purposes of money, a medium of exchange and a store hold of wealth, and Bitcoin is not effective in either of those cases now.

He believes that Bitcoin is too volatile to be a

store of wealth currently. Instead, he suggests a small allocation in gold. 

Because of the volatility, you can’t go next to it. Someday, you know, I would say Libra or something with more stable value has got more potential. But also, who is going to do the buying? Central bankers and others? What are they going to hold as reserves?

What has been tried and true? Are they going to hold digital Bitcoin? They are going to hold gold. That is a reserve currency, and it has been a reserve currency for 1,000 years… A bit of gold is a diversifier, and that’s the advice I can give.

He also noted that currently, “cash is trash” and that investors must look for a well-diversified portfolio. 

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Visa continues to dwarf Bitcoin in this important metric

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Despite optimistic predictions, Bitcoin still has a long way to go before it can compete with companies such as Visa. The fiat currency giant reported transaction volume of over $11.2 trillion in 2018, while Bitcoin network only managed to transact around $2.2 trillion until 2019.

Visa dominates all payment processors with $11 trillion transaction volume

While the crypto industry as a whole seems confident that digital assets will ultimately replace traditional fiat currencies, the reality is that there’s a long way to go before the two can even compete in the same category.

The growing transaction volume of most high-market cap cryptocurrencies definitely shows that major improvements are made. However, most of that growth fades away when compared to the big players in the payment processing industry.

According to its annual performance report, Visa saw a total transaction volume of just over $11.2 trillion. The volume is the sum of both the payment volume and cash volume, with the payment volume being the total monetary value of transactions on Visa-branded cards and payment products, the company explained in the report.

This is a huge increase from the $10.3 trillion the company reported in 2017 and an even bigger increase from the $8.1 trillion in total volume

reported in 2016.

Image showing total volume recorded by Visa in 2016, 2017, and 2018
Image showing total volume recorded by Visa in 2016, 2017, and 2018. (SourceVisa)

Bitcoin still has a long way to go to catch up with Visa

Bitcoin‘s numbers aren’t nearly as impressive as these. However, it’s worth noting that digital asset data can often be misleading and can never be taken at face value. As a Fidelity Digital Assets research put it, one of the most commonly overstated measures is Bitcoin’s transaction volume.

Most data providers use an unspent transaction output (UTXO) system, which doesn’t distinguish between economic and non-economic transactions. Because of that, the difference between the adjusted and unadjusted transaction value figures are often very significant.

According to the report, Bitcoin’s total adjusted transaction value from inception to Dec. 11, 2019, was approximately $2.2 trillion. It’s unadjusted transaction volume, however, stands at approximately $7.5 trillion.

Chart showing the difference between cumulative raw transaction value and the adjusted value
Chart showing the difference between cumulative raw transaction value and the adjusted value. (SourceCoinMetrics)

While the $2.2 trillion is a significant achievement for a system as young and as novel as Bitcoin is, it’s still a long way behind Visa. Bitcoin’s transaction volume was amassed over a period of more than 10 years, while Visa recorded its $11.2 trillion from September 2017 to September 2018.

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