Bitcoin at Record Price; HBO Ransomed

Bitcoin has broken yet another record in 2017 by climbing over $3,300 for the first time ever on Saturday. Following a week of uncertainty due to the expected “hard fork”, Bitcoin’s blockchain was officially split last week on August 1st into Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash. After several days of trading close to its previous range, the price broke off and went to set another milestone, nearly a year after it sold for close to $500.

According to CNBC data, Bitcoin’s value has now climbed to almost three times the price of gold during the past year, especially since March 2017 when it was trading at approximately the same price. However, when it comes to market capitalization, Bitcoin’s stats are nowhere close to gold, which has been trading for centuries before the cryptocurrency was even conceived and has a market cap that nears trillions.

Speaking to CNBC, Thomas Lee, founder of market strategy and sector research advisory firm Fundstrat, voiced his belief that in time Bitcoin will become a real alternative to gold. His firm was also the first to issue a report on Bitcoin on Wall Street that dealt with how to value Bitcoin as an alternative or substitute to gold.

Selling Mood On

In the past week since our last update, the price of Bitcoin gained nearly $500, following a few days of consolidation. The lowest point was hit on Thursday, when 1 Bitcoin traded for $2,692.45, while the highest point was hit yesterday, when the price reached $3,489.00.

Naturally, the market capitalization jumped up as well during the past few days and now amounts to $56 billion. The trading volume is likewise high, or at $1.7 billion, signaling high interest in Bitcoin but also that there is now more room for rapid price changes.

Our technical analysis shows the trading market is neutral and leaning towards a selling mood, with 8 out of 12 technical oscillators and 5 out of 12 moving averages sending a selling signal. However, the SMA 100 is over the SMA 200 on this time-frame, which shows that there’s less resistance to the upside.

Yet, if the selling mood prevails, we are likely to see further price drops towards the $3,000 bottom support, albeit it won’t be a smooth ride downhill as buyers still have a grip on the market.

HBO Ransomed for Bitcoin

In other interesting news, HBO network is now being ransomed for millions worth of Bitcoins. The individual or hack collective identify themselves only as “Mr. Smith” and to prove they are serious, they’ve just released personal phone numbers and e-mails of the Game of Thrones cast and internal company e-mails alongside other confidential data, The Guardian reports.

“Mr. Smith” sent a five-minute video to the network’s chief executive Richard Plepler, in which they claim they needed 6 months to break into the network, but also that they spend $½ million a year to buy zero-day exploits (bugs not known to the software providers) to break into different networks. The hackers are demanding a ransom worth of the six-month salary of HBO’s executives in Bitcoin, which amounts to a multi-million prize, or they will release upcoming episodes and other sensitive data.

The hack collective also claims they are earning around $12-15 million a year from ransoms to big organizations and they are giving HBO, which is reportedly their 17th target, only three days to pay. HBO is investigating into the matter and working closely with cybersecurity advisors, but if the ransom isn’t paid it is likely that upcoming episodes and data will appear online within the next days.

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