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New Zealand Christchurch Shooter Brenton Tarrant Made Money Investing in BitConnect

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A document, widely circulated online as the manifesto of Christchurch shooter Brenton Tarrant, hints how he made money from crypto investments.

Brenton Tarrant, the Australian man behind today’s ghastly attack at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, reportedly made money from BitConnect investments.

49 people were confirmed dead by New Zealand police commissioner Mike Bush as of press time.

The death toll could rise further as the shooting, believed to be the worst the country has witnessed in recent history, left many survivors seriously wounded.

An Unconfirmed Manifesto

A document claimed to be the manifesto of the Christchurch shooter surfaced online shortly after the attack.

Titled “The Great Replacement: Towards A New Society” the 73-page manifesto features various details regarding who Brenton Tarrant is and what prompted him to carry out the heinous attack.

Among other things, the document portrays Tarrant as an “ordinary White man, 28 years old” who was “born in Australia to a working class, low-income family.”

Tarrant, believed to have authored the so-called manifesto, also added that he never opted for higher education as he “had no great interest in anything offered in the University to study.”

Instead, he worked for a while and made some investments in BitConnect. The manifesto reads:

“I worked for a short time before making some money investing in BitConnect, then used the money from the investment to travel.”

For those out of the loop, BitConnect was an open-source cryptocurrency and a peer-to-peer payment protocol connected with the bitconnect.co, a platform claiming to be a high-yield investment program.

BitConnect found itself at the receiving end of US law enforcement after the Texas State Securities Board issued a cease-and-desist notice alleging that the company was operating a Ponzi Scheme.

The charges brought against BitConnect included failure to disclose earnings as mandated by the law and filing inaccurate/misleading statements.

On Jan 17, 2018, BitConnect was officially shut down, causing the price of the cryptocurrency to plummet over 90%.

Note that Blokt can not independently verify the authenticity of the document. Our editorial team has decided against covering the rest of the manifesto because of its distasteful and disturbing content.

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Crypto Firm Grayscale Sees Notable Institutional Inflows in Q2

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One of the common critiques that cynics use to bash the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency space is that this whole market is retail-driven. In 2017, this may have been the case. Then, Wall Street was still in the midst of learning about Bitcoin and its ilk and thus made no announcements on the matter.

For some reason, skeptics of this industry have taken this narrative and applied it to 2019. But, Nasdaq, CBOE, CME, New York Stock Exchange, TD Ameritrade, JP Morgan, Ernst & Young, and countless other big names in finance have launched or are working on cryptocurrency products.

And most importantly, a report from industry investment firm Grayscale suggests that institutions continue to siphon fair amounts of capital into this space.

Grayscale’s Crypto Fund Inflows “Dominated” by Hedge Funds

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Just like other investors, Grayscale’s clients have also been subject to the fear of missing out. As revealed in the firm’s latest Digital Asset Investment Report for Q2, it secured over $84.8 million in investment during the last quarter, marking the strongest inflows since the true start of the bear market in Q2 of 2018.

Per the report, much of the capital that Grayscale received in Q2 was allocated to its Bitcoin Trust, the firm’s flagship vehicle that trades on American over-the-counter markets. This may be one of the reasons why Bitcoin dominance has rallied in this uptrend, not declined as it did in early-2018. What’s also interesting is that a purported 84% of the $84.8 million inflow was sourced from institutional players, mainly “hedge funds”.

Bitcoin Dominance Rally a Clear Sign of Institutions

This seemingly confirms a report from FN London, which stated that Bitcoin’s rally from $3,150 to over $10,000 was supported by funds, not retail investors.

Fund managers and cryptocurrency executives speaking to the outlet explained that the rapid growth in Bitcoin dominance, which is up to 66% from 33% at the peak of 2018’s mania, is the perfect indicator of renewed institutional investment. Jamie Farquhar, a portfolio manager at NKB Group, said:

“My view of the recent rise in Bitcoin dominance is that much of this move was driven by institutional buyers. Macro managers and high net worth individuals are generally, in my experience, focused almost entirely on BTC.”

In other words, Bitcoin is effectively the favorite cryptocurrency for institutions.

Fidelity Investments’ involvement in this industry corroborates this. For years now, the Boston-based financial services giant has been laser-focused on Bitcoin, with reports revealing the company has been mining BTC for years. Aside from a mining operation, the company also has custodial services and a trade execution desk for Bitcoin, and Bitcoin only.

You can see a similar trend with the cryptocurrency-focused financial vehicles already on the market, or those that are looking to come to market. Look no further than the incessant stream of crypto-backed exchange-traded fund applications. Notice how nearly all of them are 100% Bitcoin, save for a few outliers such as Crypto Crescent’s Bitcoin and Ethereum fund announced earlier this month.

So again, the fact that Bitcoin dominance is shooting higher, even as some altcoin projects have begun to deliver impressive products, only gives credence to the “institutions are here” narrative

Binance CEO Begs to Differ

What’s weird is that Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, the chief executive of Binance, noted that the so-called “institutional herd” is not as present as some may say.

Speaking to Bloomberg, the Chinese-Canadian businessman suggested that Bitcoin’s move to $10,000 and beyond wasn’t mainly catalyzed by your average institutional player.

Instead, Zhao notes that it’s been a combination of retail and institutional investment. Backing this quip, the CZ cited data from Binance, claiming that 60% of all trading volume on Binance is a result of retail players — about the same percentage as it was last year.

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Libra branded ‘delusional’ as Senate Banking Committee unleashes hell on Facebook’s David Marcus

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Libra seems to be the new cuss word in Washington D.C.

After unveiling Libra and setting up the association to oversee its governance in Switzerland, Facebook probably thought they’d be taking more flights across the Atlantic. However, it looks like the layover in the US Captial is longer than expected.

On July 16, David Marcus, lead of the Libra project and VP of Messaging Products at Facebook, sat before the US Senate Banking Committee to discuss Facebook’s cryptocurrency project, and it wasn’t pretty. Senators from both parties unified with pressing questions about the privacy, security, and global concerns associated with Libra.

This is certainly not the first rodeo for Facebook executives in front of US Congressmen. But, the way the latest hearing went, it certainly won’t be the last.

Senators likened Facebook’s plan of entering the payments realm to a toddler burning the house down, calling Libra a “delusional” goal, and revisiting Facebook’s privacy problems. Arson comments and snide remarks aside, there were genuine concerns that the wide reach of the social media giant, coupled with its entry into the payments realm via a digital asset, would be a sovereign problem and not a case of a private company merely expanding its operations.

Senator Sherrod Brown, who during the Fed Chairman’s appearance before the House Finance Committee on Libra mulled big tech’s efforts to rival big banks, questioned the trust customers had in Facebook after its previous debacles and PR disasters. He opened his address by stating, “Facebook is dangerous,” and called out the social media company.

“Do you really think people should trust Facebook with their hard-earned money?…I just think that is delusional.”

He spoke out against not just Facebook’s payment plans, but also its nefarious advertisement algorithm, its ability to betray journalistic principles and create a facade of news stories. Brown also spoke of the Menlo Park company “manipulating our emotions.” The business model of Facebook, according to Sen. Brown, is to ‘intensify hate’ by the dichotomy of connecting people and making a buck. In short, the motto of Facebook is “Move Fast and Break Thing.”

Senator Brown added,

“We’d be crazy to give them a chance to experiment with people’s bank accounts, to use powerful tools they don’t understand like monetary policy to jeopardize hard-working Americans ability to provide for their family. This is a recipe for more corporate power over markets and consumers.”

Other Senators also reigned down on Marcus, visibly angry about last year’s privacy issues. Chairman of the Committee, Senator Mike Crapo, questioned the 2 billion strong “reach and influence” Facebook has, equating this to a global cause for concern. However, he appreciated Facebook’s endeavor to build a credit system that was cheaper and faster, despite criticizing the means.

The concept of cryptocurrencies coupled with a private company of Facebook’s reputation has made the Senators even more displeased. Senator Thom Tillis said that digital assets are still in the “wild wild west” phase due to a lack of regulations, while still maintaining that Libra could be a “good idea for us to explore.”

Other Senators including Senator Pat Toomey and Senator Mark Warner lauded the idea of blockchain-based payment system, adding that the regulatory backlash against Facebook and Project Libra was a bit “premature” and “misguided,” to some extent.

Throughout the accusations, Marcus maintained a pro-regulatory stance and added that Facebook would work with any governing body, both at home and overseas, to ensure that everything is by the book. Libra will not see the light of day, unless the “regulatory concerns” are addressed, stated Marcus after the hearing.

His post-hearing tweet reiterated the above sentiment,

2/3
The conversation was thoughtful and highlighted important issues we, and the @Libra_ Founding Members, will need to address. I want to reiterate here what I said before the Committee: We will take the time to get this right.

— David Marcus (@davidmarcus) July 16, 2019

Marcus is certainly adhering to the lawmakers’ repeated concerns; from the Fed Chair, to POTUS, to the Treasury Secretary and now the Committee, the Libra main-man seems to have his hands full at the moment. With the Senate hearing done, Marcus will sit before the US Financial Services Committee soon. And by the looks of things, his stint in Washington D.C. will go on for a while now. If I were Marcus, I wouldn’t book my flight to California just yet.

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Stellar, EOS and Binance Coin Price Prediction and Analysis for July 17th; XLM, EOS, BNB

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STELLAR PRICE ANALYSIS (XLM/USD)

On an hourly chart, XML/USD pair continues the downwards pressure.  The downtrend was buttressed by the 21 day MA that gravitated above the 7 day MA that signaled a bearish outlook.  XLM has down surged by 4.6%, having begun trading at $0.08982 and is currently at $0.08572 over the last 24hrs. 

The pair’s price experienced sideways price movements after a price fall that placed new resistance level at $0.08986 and support level at $0.08572.  Presence of a four-price Doji was also seen repeatedly. This showed that the market dealt with a small number of transactions.

The Relative Strength Index was also touching below level 30 at several instances that indicated an oversold market condition.  This also showed that the bears had dominated the market momentum in the last 24hrs.

The market is at the moment recovering as reflected by the RSI indicator that has upped from level 29 to level 42.  This also indicated the reluctance of traders to go short in anticipation of better prices.

stellar price chart

STELLAR PRICE PREDICTION

The 21 day MA is still trading above the 7 day MA that indicated a strong bearish signal.  This shows incoming bearish momentum in the next few hours. New targets should be set at $0.08200.  The support level is imminent to be broken.

EOS PRICE ANALYSIS (EOS/USD)

Like XLM, EOS/USD pair has also undergone a bearish outlook over the last 24hrs.  EOS is down by 3.7% with a circulating supply of 923,253,298 coins. It started the sell-off at $4.4622 and is currently at $4.3032.  The pair’s price faced a slight dip yesterday. The RSI X indicator that was seen trading below level 30, the oversold territory reflected this.

A sideways momentum that placed resistance level at $0.31635 and support level at $0.29914 followed the bearish momentum.  Notably, both levels were tested severally. The RSI indicator was later seen heading upwards as it had moved from a low of 20.13 to a high of 49.75 that reflected an increase in buyouts.

Like XLM, the pair’s price RSI indicator is currently heading north which shows the unwillingness of traders to go short hoping for better prices.

eos price chart

EOS PRICE PREDICTION

At the press time, the 7 day has crossed over the 21 day MA.  This indicates incoming bullish momentum. The resistance level is likely to be breached while the new target should be set at $4.5000.

BINANCE COIN PRICE ANALYSIS (BNB/USD)

BNB, on the other hand, is down by 5.7% over the last 24hrs.  It began trading yesterday at $29.36 and is currently at $27.70, which showed a significant fall.  The bearish pressure was supported by the 21 day MA that was seen gravitating above the 7 day MA.  

BNB/USD pair saw a short-term period of consolidation below $28.73 level that was later dropped below $27.35 that confirmed the downtrend.  The RSI indicator was also seen at 15:00 and at 0000h below level 30 that indicated the oversold market condition. 

The dip in BNB price has affected investors sentiments negatively that led to lack of confidence in the coin as reflected by the RSI indicator that is currently trading flat.  This also showed a lack of momentum in the market. Additionally, neither the bulls nor the bears have currently the upper hand.

binance coin price chart

BINANCE COIN PRICE PREDICTION

The 21 day MA is still above the 7 day MA that indicates a bearish signal.  A further downtrend is to be expected. New targets should be set at $26.1860.

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