Bitcoin Up by 7%; NSA Tracking Down Users?

Bitcoin’s rocky ride seems to be never-ending. While the world’s biggest cryptocurrency has always been prone to price swings, it seems that it is now that its instability hurts the most as it follows an investment hype where many bought on high prices but weren’t prepared for some expected volatility. Since last week, the price of Bitcoin climbed over $9,000, only to drop near $7,300 and shoot back up again. Currently, market signals show that the price climb will likely continue, although one can never be certain that the trends won’t change.

It seems that the latest price push was correlated to a recent G-20 closed-door meeting where positive opinions were shared about cryptocurrencies. As reported by CNBC, following a G-20 meeting where the central topic was cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin’s price shot up by 4.5% after reports came in that the world’s biggest economies are not yet putting a leash on “crypto-assets”.

Moreover, prior to the meeting, the FSB (Financial Stability Board) – the international watchdog that gives recommendations to G20 – has likewise sent a letter to the meeting’s attendants during the weekend explaining that cryptocurrency assets “don’t pose risks to global financial stability”.

Market in Buying Mood

As mentioned, the past week has proved volatile for Bitcoin as the cryptocurrency suffered another sharp drop before recovering back to where it was a week ago. At its lowest, on Sunday afternoon, Bitcoin’s price dipped down to $7,397.99 per coin. And yet, in the early morning hours today, only 3 days later, Bitcoin climbed back up to $9,125.68.

One notable trend during the past week was a drop in 24-hour volume, which went from being close to $7.5 billion to falling under $5 billion. But things have picked up since then as interest increased and the volume is back over $6 billion while the market cap is at $152 billion.

Our technical analysis shows that the market is predominantly pro-buy, as 9 out of 12 oscillators and 8 out of 12 indicators are in a green position and pointing upwards. However, the SMA 100 is under the SMA 200 on this time-frame, showing that there is less resistance to the downward course, and the RSI is showing overbought conditions, which signals that buyers might be getting tired. If the bullish trend exhausts, we will see a drop toward $8,500.

The NSA Had Prioritized Bitcoin Tracking?

In other interesting news, a batch of NSA (National Security Agency) classified documents released by whistleblower Edward Snowden reveal that the agency was working actively on tracking down Bitcoin users, the Intercept reports. According to a leaked internal report from March 2013, the NSA used a mysterious data source to track Bitcoin receivers and senders as well as unidentified software built to provide anonymity to users.

As detailed in the report, Bitcoin was a top priority for the agency and the search for Bitcoin users involved more than just analyzing Bitcoin’s blockchain. For the purpose, the NSA used a program named OAKSTAR, which was a selection of undercover corporate partnerships that allowed the NSA to track communications and extract data as it was exchanged through fiber optic cables.

More specifically, an under-program of OAKSTAR called MONKEYROCKET was used to tap network equipment and siphon data from Asia, Middle East, South America, and Europe. Per the document, MONKEYROCKET was an anonymity service for non-Western countries which had an important user base in China and Iran, most likely a VPN tool that was falsely offered as a privacy protection device but has instead been leaking data to the NSA.

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