This week on Planet Bitcoin - 4 December 2015

Friday 04 December 2015

TL;DR: Some good, some bad, but signs of life are present.

It’s been another week of ups and downs. Having bottomed out somewhere below the $320 line, we saw a rally back to the $350s at the end of last week. In the last few days of November, bitcoin rose further, briefly topping $380 at one point.

Once again, it was a little too much, too soon - the rise of more than $50 in less than a week proving too fragile to continue. On this occasion, there was no attempt by buyers to cross the $400 mark - another psychologically important barrier that prompted the over-enthusiastic frenzy to $500 a few weeks back.

chart

Instead, it was a case of a choppy fall to $350, before recovering somewhat. $360 now appears to be the short-term level, which is hugely encouraging after so much volatility. The danger was always that after such a mini-bubble, the price would return to the mid $250s. That hasn’t happened. In fact, panning back out to the 2-month chart, there’s a slow, steady rise from $250 to $360 - ignoring the obvious aberration. The medium-term trend is in the right direction.

Elsewhere in Bitlandia

There’s been some good news for crypto out of America, which doesn’t happen too often. It turns out that what happens in crypto does not always stay in crypto.

Earlier this year a certain Homero Joshua Garza of GAW Miners and ZenMiner started selling shares in a cloud mining venture. At the time, various people called ‘Scam’ and ‘Ponzi’. Now, it turns out that the ‘hashlets’ he sold did indeed suffer very real problems, including in many cases a complete lack of existence. The SEC caught on and have charged him with fraud. God Bless America. Garza was also responsible for the anathema that was Paycoin earlier this year - a decidedly shady alt that sucked in vast sums of new money on promises it couldn’t back up, financial and practical, and then disappeared in a puff of scam.

More broadly, reports of hacks and bitcoin fraud are on the rise. Last week, no fewer than three Greek banks were hit by hackers, who demanded 20,000 BTC from each after staging DDoS attacks. No bank paid up, but it’s surely a sign of things to come. The ‘no chargebacks’ feature which is so attractive to merchants also mean that those who peddle less socially acceptable ‘warez’ find it a useful payment option as well.


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