Bitcoin Rises; North Korea Continues Hacks

After dropping down below $10,000 during last week, Bitcoin, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, has rallied once again, gaining over $1,000 in value during the period. According to market charts, the rally was supported by an increase in trading which is clearly evident in the 24-hour trading volume stats. However, all is not safe as trading signals indicate that bulls have lost some steam.

As reported by Reuters, most analysists are ascribing the price gains to the tensions caused by the U.S. – China trade wars. The general consensus is that Bitcoin is again proving that it’s a safe-haven asset, but also an instrument for “quick gains” during times of turbulence in international relations. Moreover, supporters of the coin claim that this rally is another proof of Bitcoin’s immunity to impacts caused by “geopolitical tensions” or interferences caused by governments due to its decentralized nature.

For proof, one only needs to look at the numbers. As stocks in the U.S. dropped down by 3% since Monday, Bitcoin went the other way and rose by 7% during the period. Other traditional safe-haven assets like gold, the Japanese Yen, and government bonds also rallied during the past few days.

Market is Neutral

Whatever the cause behind it, Bitcoin has had another rally this week as the cryptocurrency moved from its lowest point of $9,948.74 last Thursday to hit a new 7-day peak of $12,257.39 yesterday afternoon. One look at the charts and it’s evident that the price increase was directly correlated to an increase in trading volume, which jumped from $14 billion to $24 billion in less than 24 hours. However, since today, the volume has begun to subside, showing a small drop in interest, although it’s still strong at $22 billion. The market cap, on the other hand, is at a healthy $207.4 billion.

Our technical analysis shows us that the market is currently looking for a direction as the overall signal is neutral. Out of 12 technical oscillators, only 5 are sending green signals, with 8 out of 12 moving averages also being pro-buy. The SMA 100 is above the SMA 200, indicating less resistance to the upside, however, Stochastic, Williams %R and RSI are in the overbought zone, hinting that buyers may be getting tired. With bearish pressure forming on the short-term charts, we suggest watching the signals as sellers may start looking for quick profits following the increase.

North Korea Still Stealing Cryptocurrency?

While in some corners of the globe people are buying Bitcoin to protect themselves from turbulent times, North Korea is stealing cryptocurrency to protect itself from sanctions. According to a new Mashable article, based on a U.N. report, the “Hermit Kingdom” was estimated to have stolen over $2 billion from cyberattacks on cryptocurrency exchanges and banks.

According to the report, the country that has been sanctioned heavily for years, has been using this tactic to steal money which is used for funding its weapons program. The report is based on the work of independent experts who have discovered at least 35 “increasingly sophisticated” cyberattacks in more than 17 different countries.

Reuters sent the North Korean government a comment request, but there was no official response on the matter. Previously, North Korean hackers were accused of stealing around $88,000 in cryptocurrency during 2013-2015 and just last year a North Korean spy was charged due to his reported hack of Sony Pictures servers back in 2014. However, there is still no evidence whether local hackers were responsible for the $40 million theft at Binance and the $32 million hack of Bitpoint this year.

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