The bitcoin space is a constant battle of truth versus untruth, rumor versus fact and optimism versus pessimism. With market manipulators up to their usual tricks and salty altcoiners crying FUD, it can be hard to tell what’s real and what’s fake. This week truly had it all: keks, lies, and videotape beamed live from the U.S. Senate. Throw in the obligatory multi-million dollar hack, and you’ve got all the makings of another seismic week in bitcoin.
The Rumor Mill Goes Into Overdrive
The week started with rumors that China was banning bitcoin – yes, again. Not only that but they would be cracking down on mining too and laying the banhammer in Hong Kong into the bargain. It turns out the story was actual fake news, but that didn’t stop a couple of lesser publications from running with it. It was an elaborate hoax that showed much more sophistication than the average Nigerian phishing email, and was clearly an attempt at shorting the markets for monetary gain. As we reported:
"The objective of the bogus email’s senders was to spread rumours and panic, in the hope of manipulating the price of bitcoin, after taking short positions on bitcoin futures and betting that the price of bitcoin will fall, said Leonhard Weese, president of the Hong Kong bitcoin association."
Discrediting fake news is one thing, but what about news that’s yet to occur? Who do you believe when it comes to predicting bitcoin’s future movements? Two very different sources gave their views on where bitcoin’s headed this year, one pessimistic, the other largely optimistic. While a central banker was trotting out the usual apocalyptic proclamations about bitcoin being a Ponzi and a disaster, a group of luminaries were predicting more positive price movements for the year ahead.
Bitcoin Gets The Hero It Deserves
Tuesday saw the Senate hearing on cryptocurrencies, which was interpreted as mostly positive for bitcoin, despite SEC chairman Jay Clayton opining that every ICO to date has issued tokens that constitute a security, not a utility. The hearing was also noteworthy for the first recorded usage of the word “HODL” in the U.S. Senate, a feat which made an instant hero of CFTC chairman Chris Giancarlo, whose Twitter follower count “did a bitcoin” and grew exponentially in the aftermath of the hearing.
Other major stories that got heads talking this week include Forbes’ Crypto Rich List which is either harmless fun or a gross invasion of privacy depending on your perspective. Weiss Ratings defended its decision to give bitcoin a C+, and there was good news from Korea, where the PM confirmed that crypto exchanges are in no danger of being shut down provided they play by the rules.
Bitcoin Springs a Bear Trap
It looked like bitcoin was back on track after a glorious green candle sent it scurrying above $9k, but the joy was to be short lived. Possibly feeling the effects of the global slump induced by the sliding stock market, bitcoin was dragged back into the low $8k territory, where it’s been floundering every since. Eric Wall sees a clear correlation between the crypto markets and the U.S. stock market. Watching the bitcoin price ticker rise and fall can be heart-stopping stuff; you can’t blame Steve Wozniak for tapping out and selling the bulk of his BTC.
This Week in Bitcoin: Who Do You Believe?
Finally, Ripple came in for scrutiny after Bitmex Research revealed just how centralized the XRP is, and the IOTA mafia were out in force after Andreas Brekken dared to deliver a few home truths in his latest shitcoin review. Still, better to be an irate IOTA holder than a Nano holder with your XRB in Bitgrail. $170 million of cryptocurrency lost due to a withdrawal bug that was mercilessly exploited for months. Next week can we please have no hacks, no phishing attacks, no bulls, and no baseless cries of “FUD”?
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