Bitcoin Near $16.5K; North Korea Continues Ransom Attacks

The price of Bitcoin is moving close to $17,000 again after a weekend sell-off took it down to the $14,000 range from where it gradually recovered since week’s start. According to current stats, there might be another selling wave in the making as bears return to the market to capitalize on the recent price gains.

In other news, just as the price recovered from the weekend sell-off, Bitcoin exchanges Bitfinex and Coinbase reported to be having problems with their service on Tuesday, with Gdax.com also suffering service outages. According to Reuters, the service outage of all three exchanges might have been linked to DDoS attacks (Distributed Denial of Service).

The only exchange reporting a DDoS attack was BitFinex, who tweeted that it was suffering a heavy attack that caused its interface to shut down. During the same day, Coinbase also closed it service, saying the site was down for maintenance, while Gdax posted a message of a “minor service outage”. There is no confirmation whether all three exchanges suffered the same fate but the problems came only a few days after NiceHash – a Slovenian mining marketplace – lost $64 million in BTC in a hack attack, leading the media house to suspect a similar scenario.

Market Turns Bearish

In the past week since our last update, the price jumped from being near $12,000 to hitting its highest point of $18,302.40 on early Friday morning. The lowest point during the past week was hit on Sunday, when Bitcoin’s value briefly dropped to $13,309.80.

The price drop coincided with a surge in trading volume which at one point even reached $24 billion as the price began to roll back. As of now, the volume is at $14.1 billion and is slowly declining while the market cap is at an unbelievable $284.3 billion.

Our technical analysis shows that a bearish wave is forming on the short term charts, where 8 out of 12 moving averages and 8 out of 12 oscillators are sending a selling signal, hinting that the price correction might not be over yet. The SMA 100 is over the SMA 200 on this time frame, showing there’s still less resistance to the upward path.  If the bearish wave continues, it will lead to a further price decline as we have witnessed since early morning. So, stay vigilant and watch the market for any changes in direction.

North Korea Continues Thefts of South Korean Bitcoins?

According to recent reports, cryptocurrencies are causing a state-wide hype in South Korea, where everyone from students to grandparents is joining the trading boom. However, this surge in trading virtual assets has also drawn the attention of the neighboring North Korea, whose leader Kim Jong Un is reportedly organizing cyber attacks that target South Korean businesses and investing own resources into mining as well.

North Korea’s interest in Bitcoin has been reported several times so far, especially since the beginning of the year when the price began rising rapidly. According to a CNN Money report based on local information, in July and August alone four local exchanges in South Korea were targeted by North Korean hackers while more attacks are predicted to happen as the price keeps jumping to new highs.

Lee Dong-geun, Director of South Korea’s Internet and Security Agency, says that North Korea’s attacks of virtual currency exchanges are “a fact”. According to him, there’s no official information on how much was stolen so far but the police has confirmed the hacking attacks, some of which even involved sending malicious e-mails to trick exchange employees.

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