Bitcoin at $1,050; Ransomware Panic Spreads

We’re starting the week with the Bitcoin price back over $1,050 and the market stuck on a very low volume. Thanks to the US holidays, the market liquidity is down, which gives more strength to whichever side prevails at the moment. But whether the price will hold ground or we’ll see a break of support will be up to the upcoming market events, which can make or break the price.

We also mark off this week with yet another buzz-word for Bitcoins: ransomware. During the past 24 hours there has been plenty of talk about Bitcoin’s involvement in hack attacks and what companies are doing to protect themselves, and according to a report from the Sacramento Bee, many US companies are now stockpiling BTC for ransomware emergencies.

The logic, as official comments from company owners confirm, is that they are buying Bitcoins to pay the ransom rather than put down their foot and face the consequences and expenses of restoring their systems. The practice has already been taken up by a number of US-based digital business owners, despite not being the most effective one.

Bitcoin Trades at Low Volume; Bulls Take Over

Since our last update on Friday, the price of Bitcoin moved on to a higher range, over $1040, and is now looking to set a new level of support. The lowest point was on Friday, when the price dropped down to $1035.55, while the highest was hit yesterday morning, when Bitcoin’s value went up to $1053.86.

Coinciding with the US holidays, the market volume dropped down to $77,213,700, while the market cap is at $17.02 billion.  As the market is less liquid at this time, any strong push could lead to volatile swings, so keep your eyes on the price.

Our technical analysis shows that the overall market signal is pro-buy, with 11 out of 12 moving averages and 5 out of 12 oscillators being in the buy zone. The SMA 100 is well above the SMA 200 on this time frame, so the upside path is the most probable one.

Currently, the price seems headed for a further push up, albeit a not a safe one. Stochastic is already in the sell zone and the RSI is hinting buyers are getting tired. Since the volume is quite low, any major push can take the price in a different direction and cause yet another price swing.

Is Bitcoin a Catalyst for Ransomware Attacks?

During an RSA Security Conference speech last week, Intel Security CEO, Chris Young, once again focused on ransomware threats and their ties to the Bitcoin community, the Venture Beat reports. During his speech, Young talked about how ransomware was present since 1989 but it wasn’t as widespread as it is today because there was no Bitcoin to help it “take off”.

According to Young, the anonymity of Bitcoin has helped spread ransomware, which he believes to be becoming the next persistent threat to us all. Part of this growth was made possible by the introduction of new “attack surfaces”, which have spread from our smartphones and computers to a number IOT (internet of things) devices like webcams, security cameras, etc.

Thus, he believes that the expansion of connected devices can be used as a stepping stone for larger attacks, while Intel Security CTO, Steve Grobman, believes companies that paid Bitcoin ransoms are only helping the problem grow, as they (unwillingly) made it more lucrative.

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