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Basketball star for a crypto launderer? Alexander Vinnik’s lawyers considers prisoner swap: Report

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Basketball star for a crypto launderer? Alexander Vinnik’s lawyers considers prisoner swap: Report

Though political tensions may be high between the U.S. and Russia, authorities still negotiated a prisoner swap of Trevor Reed for drug smuggler Konstantin Yaroshenko in April.

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Basketball star for a crypto launderer? Alexander Vinnik's lawyers considers prisoner swap: Report

The legal team for Alexander Vinnik, a Russian national recently extradited to the United States for his alleged role at defunct crypto exchange BTC-e, has reportedly been urging officials to consider a prisoner swap. 

According to a Monday report from Reuters, a lawyer representing Vinnik called on Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov to conduct negotiations with U.S. officials to bring the accused Bitcoin (BTC) launderer back to his home country. Russian authorities currently have several U.S. citizens in custody under questionable charges, including basketball star Brittney Griner, educator Marc Hilliard Fogel and Paul Whelan, a former Marine detained for allegedly committing espionage.

“The only thing that can save Alexander is for the Russian Federation to enter into negotiations with the American authorities within the framework of the exchange of prisoners between the countries mentioned,” a letter from Vinnik’s lawyer, Frederic Belot, reportedly noted.

Vinnik allegedly helped launder roughly $4 billion worth of Bitcoin through his role at BTC-e, one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges at the time, with some of the funds possibly coming from the hack of Japan-based crypto exchange Mt. Gox. Authorities in Greece arrested Vinnik in July 2017, at which point, the governments of France, Russia and the U.S. fought for extradition.

The U.S. Justice Department reported that Vinnik had been extradited on Aug. 4 from Greece to the United States to face charges related to having an unlicensed money service business, conspiracy to commit money laundering, money laundering and engaging in unlawful monetary transactions. According to authorities, BTC-e “facilitated transactions for cybercriminals worldwide and received criminal proceeds from numerous computer intrusions and hacking incidents,” including ransomware attacks and trafficking in drugs.

Alleged Russian Cryptocurrency Money Launderer Alexander Vinnik was extradited to the U.S. to face charges stemming from allegedly operating an alleged illicit Bitcoin exchange company which received more than $4 billion worth of Bitcoins. https://t.co/mQx1Yrd7MT

— FBI (@FBI) August 5, 2022

If convicted of all charges, Vinnik, 43, could reportedly face up to 55 years in prison, making any sentence tantamount to life behind bars. Griner has also been detained since her arrest in February, with many U.S. officials suggesting the Russian government may be using the basketball star as political leverage in response to sanctions following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Related: Accomplice of ‘Cryptoqueen’ Ruja Ignatova faces extradition to US: Report

Russia has reportedly been engaging in “quiet diplomacy” with the U.S. following Griner being sentenced to nine years for allegedly holding vape cartridges containing hash oil at the Sheremetyevo International Airport on Aug. 4. However, reports suggested that the U.S. was considering swapping “Lord of War” arms dealer Viktor Bout — and not Vinnik — in exchange for Griner and Whelan. Amid the war in Ukraine, officials between the two countries negotiated the swap of former U.S. Marine Trevor Reed for Russian national Konstantin Yaroshenko, who had been convicted of drug-smuggling charges in 2011.

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4 On-Chain Metrics Show the Bitcoin Price Is Primed for Bullish Explosion

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4 On-Chain Metrics Show the Bitcoin Price Is Primed for Bullish Explosion

Amid recent macroeconomic extremes, Bitcoin has maintained a quiet stance, almost eerie for its HODLers. Nonetheless, its hashrate and accumulation are soaring — what could this mean for its price?

Bitcoin has been consolidating in a narrow range between $18,800 and $20,200 since the mid-Sept price fall. In volatile markets like cryptocurrency, similar quiet periods of consolidation are rare. 

Recent Glassnode findings show that the current BTC price action resembles both pre-crash November 2018 and pre-rally March 2019. Despite price downturns, mining and accumulation statistics are improving. Let’s look into what this means for the health of the network.

Bitcoin hashrate makes new ATH 

Last week, the Bitcoin hashrate made a new all-time high of 242 exahashes per second.

Source: Glassnode

In the chart below, we can see that Bitcoin’s longer-term, slower hash ribbon was once again overtaken by the faster ribbon, indicating improved mining conditions in late August. Since the price saw no major uptick during this time, the rise in hashrate was likely due to more efficient mining hardware and more mining rigs working in general.

Source: Glassnode

Historically, these hash ribbon moving average swaps precede price gains. Historically, when the hash-rate drops and subsequently recovers, major BTC price bottoms have been made. 

Is a price bottom in?

Apart from the hashrate, Bitcoin accumulation levels also reached a 7-year high. CryptoQuant data shows that 6-month-old and older Bitcoins now make up 74% of the realized cap. During the 2019 and 2015 bottoms, this score sat at 70% and 77%, respectively.

Source: CryptoQuant 

Lastly, for the first time in this cycle, the percentage of supply in loss has reached the 50% level.

CryptoQuant data shows that the price bottoms during previous cycles normally occur when the percentage of supply in loss reaches 50% or more.

Source: CryptoQuant

The current data shows the highest percentage of losses at 52% on the daily chart, 50.4% on the weekly (7DMA), and 48% on the monthly (30DMA). 

While quite a few metrics suggest that BTC should be near a bottom, the overall momentum will likely still depend on macroeconomic conditions as well as its correlation with the Nasdaq and S&P 500. 

Disclaimer

All the information contained on our website is published in good faith and for general information purposes only. Any action the reader takes upon the information found on our website is strictly at their own risk.

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Bitcoin price sees first October spike above $20K as daily gains hit 5%

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Bitcoin price sees first October spike above $20K as daily gains hit 5%

BTC price action sees a new October peak amid a declining U.S. dollar and a successful prior day’s trading for U.S. equities.

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Bitcoin price sees first October spike above K as daily gains hit 5%

Bitcoin (BTC) saw its first trip above $20,000 on Oct. 4 as traders expected familiar resistance to cap gains.

BTC/USD 1-hour candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: TradingView

Multi-week dollar lows fuel Bitcoin bulls

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView showed BTC/United States dollar climbing prior to the Wall Street open, up over 5% in 24 hours.

The pair had shaken off macroeconomic concerns at the start of the week, with trouble at Credit Suisse and the escalating Russia-Ukraine conflict failing to slow performance.

Now, the short-term analysis focused on a run potentially topping out closer to $21,000 — as was the case late last month, as sell-side pressure at that level remained significant.

“20500-21000 is a sell zone. If price gets there, which should, don’t be too bullish,” popular trader Il Capo of Crypto told Twitter followers on the day.

Razzoorn, an analyst at international trade group The Birb Nest, noted that the current charge was Bitcoin’s fifth attempt at escaping a major liquidity cloud in several weeks.

Despite the potentially limited upside opportunity, Bitcoin rallied in line with a broader risk asset tide which saw United States equities finish noticeably higher the day prior.

At the same time, the U.S. dollar suffered, the U.S. dollar index (DXY) extending losses to approach 111 points and threaten support in place since mid-September.

U.S. dollar index (DXY) 1-day candle chart. Source: TradingView

“Up the market goes,” a more optimistic Michaël van de Poppe, CEO and founder of trading platform Eight, continued:

“Flipping $19,500 for support. Now, if range-high at $19,600 holds for Bitcoin, I assume we’ll continue towards $22,400.”

Altcoins attempt to change sticky trend

Across major altcoins, it was Ether (ETH) and Ripple (XRP) leading daily performance at the time of writing. 

Related: CoinShares’ Butterfill suggests ’continued hesitancy’ among investors

ETH/USD traded above $1,350, still yet to break out of its sideways trend in place for several weeks since major losses entered during the post-Merge breakdown.

ETH/USD 1-day candle chart (Binance). Source: TradingView

XRP, on the other hand, faced a more stubborn band of resistance after prior gains, bouncing off multi-week support just below $0.45.

XRP/USD 1-day candle chart (Binance). Source: TradingView

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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McDonald’s starts to accept Bitcoin and Tether in Swiss town

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McDonald’s starts to accept Bitcoin and Tether in Swiss town

The global fast food chain is among the first to participate in a crypto-friendly experiment in the town of Lugano.

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McDonald’s starts to accept Bitcoin and Tether in Swiss town

Multinational fast food chain McDonald’s started to accept Bitcoin (BTC) as a payment method in the 63,000-populated city of Lugano in Italian Switzerland, which is becoming a hotspot for crypto adoption in Western Europe. 

A one-minute video of ordering food on McDonald’s digital kiosk and then paying for it at the regular register with the help of a mobile app was uploaded on Twitter by Bitcoin Magazine on Oct. 3. The Tether (USDT)  logo could be spotted next to the Bitcoin symbol on the credit cash machine, which is not surprising, as in March 2022 the city of Lugano announced it would accept Bitcoin, Tether and the LVGA token as a legal tender.

On March 3, 2022, the city signed a memorandum of understanding with Tether Operations Limited, launching the so-called “Plan B.” According to this plan, Tether has created two funds — the first one is a $106 million, or 100 million Swiss francs, investment pool for crypto startups, and the second is around $3 million, or 3 million Swiss francs, attempt to encourage the adoption of crypto for shops and businesses across the city.

In addition to allowing Lugano residents to pay their taxes using crypto, the project will extend payments to parking tickets, public services and tuition fees for students. More than 200 shops and businesses in the area are also expected to accept crypto payments for goods and services.

Related: Swiss Post’s banking arm developing in-house crypto custody platform

Speaking to Cointelegraph in June, Paolo Ardoino, chief technology officer of Tether and Bitfinex, claimed that Plan B “is going great,” announcing a two-week educational activity on blockchain and cryptocurrencies in the city.

In September 2021 El Salvador became the first country in the world to allow using Bitcoin as a legal tender. Since that time, McDonald’s has been accepting Bitcoin at all its 19 outlets in the country.

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