This week on Planet Bitcoin - 26 August 2016

Friday 26 August 2016

TL;DR sedate summer trading, but autumn is just around the corner

It’s been another quiet one, which isn’t entirely surprising given that everyone’s still in holiday mode. Bitcoin hasn’t done a great deal since last week, staying confined to the $570-585 channel. It’s not been exactly stable - we have seen periods of greater boredom and lower volatility - but it’s certainly no kind of rollercoaster. Some of the volatility there has been can probably be explained by the lower summer volumes.


Zooming out to the month scale, the picture has been pretty much the same ever since things stabilised after the Bitfinex hack at the beginning of the month. Traders quickly moved on from the crash down to the mid-$400s, but are still pricing in some kind of risk to the bitcoins they buy: the market is valuing 1 BTC at around $80 lower than it was before the hack.

However, this kind of consolidation has happened before, and (this is not trading advice) as a general rule it has ended with a move upwards. Over the past year or 18 months, there have been a few periods of such extended stability, and each time it was paving the way for a leg higher. A 15-20% crash does seem to be an overreaction to the volume of coins that might - might - be dumped on the market by the digital bank robbers.

Around the bitworld

Elsewhere in bitcoinland, there has been plenty of speculation about the hack of the Equation Group’s server - the outfit apparently tasked with the NSA’s cyber-warfare programme. There has been speculation that it was not a hack in the end, but an inside job similar to Snowden’s leak, with the Shadow Broker statement a distraction technique to cover the operative’s tracks. Other notable security specialists have concluded that Russia is probably responsible. To date, no one has stumped up the million bitcoins required to induce the ‘hacker’ to release the full data, and the fact that Wikileaks has claimed they also hold it and will release it in due course, as well as the Shadow Brokers’ impossible terms, does suggest that those responsible weren’t entirely motivated by money.

Other notable movers among the alts: Steem and Ethereum Classic are down heavily this week, whilst Monero has posted impressive gains.

Finally, BitScan has announced its crowdfund for Incent. We'll be running our ICO through the month of October. Stay tuned!

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