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FBI seeks victims of defunct Bitcoin mining platform as two arrested

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FBI seeks victims of defunct Bitcoin mining platform as two arrested

  • Two Estonians were arrested for allegedly committing crypto fraud worth over $575 million
  • The accused are the figures behind now-defunct Bitcoin cloud-mining service provider – HashFlare
  • They allegedly used the money to purchase real estate and luxury cars

The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) announced the arrest of two Estonians in the capital city – Tallinn. The department has accused them of committing crypto fraud and laundering money. The defrauders – Sergei Potapenko and Ivan Turõgin – were the minds behind now-defunct Bitcoin cloud mining service provider – HashFlare.

The Estonians are accused of defrauding investors off of $575 million in crypto schemes. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has taken over the investigation of this case and is seeking potential victims of HashFlare. Moreover, if found guilty of committing these crimes, the accused stand to face 20 years of prison time.


Read Bitcoin’s [BTC] Price Prediction 2023-2024


Defunct-Bitcoin mining service allegedly takes millions of dollar home

The crypto mining service provider was a subsidiary of HashCoins OU. The platform provided cloud mining services for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, DASH, and ZCash. It went under in August 2019, citing the crypto bear market and the unprofitability of Bitcoin mining as the reason. And, given that the platform functioned on a yearly contract, a lot of people stood to lose money as the firm’s T&C allowed it to end contracts without making any refunds.

The latest information provided by the DoJ alleges Hashflare of not having the mining equipments it claimed to have in the first place. The press release further read,

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“When investors asked to withdraw their mining proceeds, Potapenko and Turõgin were not able to pay the mined currency as promised. Instead, they either resisted making the payments, or paid off the investors using virtual currency the defendants had purchased on the open market—not currency they had mined.”

Notably, the accused were pulled up not only for their involvement in HashFlare but also Polybius, a platform that would function as a cryptocurrency bank. The accused raised nearly $25 million from investors over the promise of paying them in dividends for Polybius.

However, the dividends were never delivered. And, the raised money was transferred to other bank accounts and wallets controlled solely by the accused. Potapenko and Turõgin allegedly then laundered part of these funds to shell companies to purchase nearly 75 real estate properties and luxury cars.

Ser Suzuki Shillsalot has 8 years of experience working as a Senior Investigative journalist at The SpamBot Times. He completed a two-hour course in journalism from a popular YouTube video and was one of the few to give it a positive rating. Shillsalot’s writings mainly focus on shilling his favourite cryptos and trolling anyone who disagrees with him. P.S – There is a slight possibility the profile pic is AI-generated. You see, this account is primarily used by our freelancer writers and they wish to remain anonymous. Wait, are they Satoshi? :/

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Is Bitcoin Bottom In? This On-Chain Condition Hasn’t Been Met Yet

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Is Bitcoin Bottom In? This On-Chain Condition Hasn’t Been Met Yet

A Bitcoin on-chain metric still hasn’t formed the same condition as in the previous bottom, suggesting that the current low may not be in yet.

Stablecoin Exchange Inflows (Top 10) Hasn’t Shown Any Spikes Recently

As pointed out by an analyst in a CryptoQuant post, the top 10 stablecoin exchange inflows saw a rise during the July 2021 bottom.

The “stablecoin exchange inflows (top 10)” is an indicator that measures the sum of the ten largest stablecoin transactions that are heading towards exchanges. The metric includes data of all types of stablecoins.

Since the top ten transfers are usually from the whales, this indicator can tell us whether whales are active on exchanges or not.

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Usually, investors shift to stables when they want to escape the volatility associated with most other cryptos. Once these holders feel that the prices are right to re-enter these markets, they buy into other coins using their stablecoins, thus providing a buying pressure to them.

When the value of the top 10 stablecoin exchange inflows is high, it means whales could be sending large amounts of stables to exchanges for buying other coins. Such a trend could therefore be bullish for the prices of cryptos like Bitcoin.

Now, here is a chart that shows the trend in this on-chain indicator over the last few years:

Looks like the value of the metric has been muted in recent days | Source: CryptoQuant

As you can see in the above graph, the stablecoin inflows (top 10) to spot and derivative exchanges have been displayed separately, since spot platforms are what investors use for converting their coins.

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It seems like when the Bitcoin bottom formed back in July 2021 during the mini-bear period of the time, the spot exchange version of the metric sharply rose up.

This implies that whales participated in some heavy buying during that time with their stablecoin reserves, paving way for a bullish reversal in BTC.

In recent weeks, the top 10 stablecoin inflows to spot exchanges haven’t shown any significant movements, which means whales aren’t providing any significant buying pressure yet.

If the past trend is anything to go by, this could be an indication that the current Bitcoin bottom still hasn’t formed.

BTC Price

At the time of writing, Bitcoin’s price floats around $16.8k, down 2% in the last week. Over the past month, the crypto has lost 18% in value.

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The below chart shows the recent trend in BTC:

The value of the crypto seems to have declined during the last couple of days | Source: BTCUSD on TradingView
Featured image from Kanchanara on Unsplash.com, charts from TradingView.com, CryptoQuant.com

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Analysis

Biggest Movers: LTC, ATOM Extend Declines, Hitting 10-Day Lows 

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Biggest Movers: LTC, ATOM Extend Declines, Hitting 10-Day Lows 

Litecoin fell for a third consecutive session on Thursday, as the token continued to move away from recent highs. Cryptocurrencies have been mostly lower in recent days, as traders continue to fear a global recession. Cosmos also remained in the red during today’s session.

Litecoin (LTC)

Litecoin (LTC) dropped to a ten-day low on Thursday, with the token falling for a third straight session.

Following a high of $79.20 on Wednesday, LTC/USD moved to a low of $74.82 earlier in the day’s session.

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As a result of this, the token fell to its lowest point since November 29, when prices hit a bottom of $73.39.

LTC/USD – Daily Chart

Looking at the chart, it appears that litecoin bears are hoping to push prices towards a floor at $73.00.

This seems a possibility, especially with the 14-day relative strength index (RSI) fast approaching a floor of its own.

The index is currently tracking at 57.10, and seems to be moving towards a support point of 53.00.

Cosmos (ATOM)

Another notable token on Thursday has been cosmos (ATOM), which fell to a ten-day low earlier in the day.

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ATOM/USD fell to a bottom of $9.52 on Thursday, before bulls reentered the market and bought the recent dip.

Today’s bottom saw cosmos trade at its lowest level since November 28, which was the last time the token hit its floor at $9.45.

ATOM/USD – Daily Chart

As of writing, ATOM has mostly rebounded, and is currently trading at the $9.71 level.

In addition to this, the RSI has bounced from a floor of its own at 39.50, and is currently tracking at 41.40.

Should momentum continue in an upward direction, ATOM bulls will likely target a move above the $10.00 mark.

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Do you expect cosmos to move above $10.00 this week? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Eliman Dambell

Eliman brings an eclectic point of view to market analysis, he was previously a brokerage director and retail trading educator. Currently, he acts as a commentator across various asset classes, including Crypto, Stocks and FX.

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Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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Bitcoin

Bitcoin Whales Dump 20,000 BTC On The Market, Sell Side Strengthens

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Bitcoin Whales Dump 20,000 BTC On The Market, Sell Side Strengthens

The Bitcoin price action remains stalled as the cryptocurrency moves in a tight range; uncertainty is king in the current environment. Market participants are more optimistic after BTC climbed 12% from the yearly lows, but the possibility of a sustainable rally is declining. 

The sideways price action is affecting the sentiment in the market. As of this writing, Bitcoin (BTC) is trading at $16,800. Other cryptocurrencies in the top 10 by market cap display similar price action, with very few recording profits on these timeframes. 

BTC’s price moves sideways on the daily. Source: BTCUSDT Tradingview

Bitcoin Whales Jump Ship, What This Means For BTC

Bitcoin has been moving in tandem with legacy financial markets since the end of 2021. The cryptocurrency is responding as a risk-on asset to the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) monetary policy. The financial institution is hiking interest rates to slow down inflation. 

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As NewsBTC reported, the sentiment in the legacy financial market was bullish and robust, and it supported a 12% BTC rally. The sentiment in this sector was strong enough to drive the BTC price upwards in a hostile environment. 

The second largest crypto exchange in the world, FTX, collapsed. This event triggered a new capitulation event in the crypto market, pushing BTC to fresh lows. However, equities trending to the upside reverted the losses on the nascent asset class. 

The bullish momentum is fading as the FTX debacle impacted crypto investors’ confidence in the nascent asset class. Analyst Ali Martinez shared recent data about Bitcoin whales. These investors are selling into the current BTC price action. Martinez said: 

Bitcoin around 33 whales holding 1,000 to 100,000 $BTC have left the network, and these whales sold or redistributed around 20,000 $BTC in the last 96 hours.

BTC Whales dumping into the current price action. Source: Santiment via Ali Martinez on Twitter

The selling increased due to strong economic growth in the United States. The Fed has more room to continue with its tightening policy if the economy is resilient. 

Additional data from analytics firm Jarvis Labs indicates that $16,550 and $19,150 are critical. As uncertainty endures, leverage players take positions to benefit from a potential breakout. 

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These positions add liquidity below and above the Bitcoin price. The chart below shows that these levels hold the most extensive liquidity pools. Thus, if the market taps into them, whales can drive the price in a particular direction. 

BTC’s price with massive liquidity pools at $16,550 and $19,150. Source: Jarvis Labs via Twitter

For example, BTC whale can continue selling to tap the liquidity of around $16,550; this move will take out most of the leverage positions. Then, the price can attempt to take the upside liquidity at approximately $19,150. 

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