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U.S. government goes to court over $11M USDT purportedly stolen by fake Coinbase rep

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U.S. government goes to court over $11M USDT purportedly stolen by fake Coinbase rep

In April, sharing their Coinbase account credentials with a fraudster had cost a California resident more than $11 million. Now, there might be recourse.

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U.S. government goes to court over M USDT purportedly stolen by fake Coinbase rep

On September 17, a group of officials led by U.S. attorney Tracy Wilkinson have filed a civil complaint in the United States District Court for the Central District of California claiming that they have identified four digital wallets holding more than 9.8 million Tether (USDT) that was involved in wire fraud, computer fraud and money laundering. According to court documents, the legitimate owner of the funds is a California resident who in April 2021 got swindled out of more than 200 Bitcoin (BTC) by someone impersonating a Coinbase employee.

Customer support goes awry

As described in the claim, the unidentified victim was contacted by what appeared to be Coinbase customer support shortly after purchasing some 200 BTC to their Coinbase Pro account on the exchange.

The alleged representative of the platform claimed that the victim’s account had been frozen due to the size of the purchase and that a transaction limit increase was needed for the funds to go through. The fraudster also suggested that the victim upgrade their account to Coinbase Prime.

Once the victim had granted the fake customer support representative access to their account via a remote desktop tool, the swindler initiated a transaction that saw approximately 206 BTC being transferred to what they purported to be the victim’s new Prime wallet.

Along with several smaller transactions that were executed within the next few hours, the value of digital assets stolen from the victim’s Coinbase account exceeded $11.5 million.

Follow the money

The claim goes on to detail how the digital assets transferred from the compromised account were “broken up and moved through multiple smaller transactions” before being concentrated in the four suspect wallets.

At this point, the government is asking the court to allow it to seize the assets for the time of the civil forfeiture proceeding.

Daniel Davis, a partner at law firm Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, explained to Cointelegraph that the federal government will have to prove that the funds are subject to forfeiture. If the plaintiff prevails, the proceeds will be forfeited to the United States before they can be returned to the legitimate owner. Davis further commented:

This action is one of a growing trend where the federal government is attempting to use its civil forfeiture authority to obtain custody of digital assets. […] One can expect that as interest and trading in digital assets grows, civil forfeiture actions like this one will grow if the government identifies assets it believes were part of illegal activity.

David Silver of law firm Silver Miller, who is involved in the Cryptsy class action that Cointelegraph covered earlier this week, believes that the Department of Justice utilizing a forfeiture action in a civil case should be exciting news for everyone in crypto who wants to see crypto hit the mainstream. Silver noted:

Stolen digital assets is one of the biggest problems in the space, and recovering stolen cryptocurrency is a much-needed solution. I would expect to see more actions like this both from law enforcement and civil litigants.”

As Cointelegraph reported in July, the U.S. Marshals Service, or USMS, tapped digital asset platform Anchorage Digital to custody and service the digital assets subject to civil forfeiture. Some estimates suggested that between 2014 and July 2021 USMS had seized north of 185,000 BTC linked to federal crimes.

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Price analysis 10/15: BTC, ETH, BNB, ADA, XRP, SOL, DOT, DOGE, LUNA, UNI

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Price analysis 10/15: BTC, ETH, BNB, ADA, XRP, SOL, DOT, DOGE, LUNA, UNI

Bitcoin (BTC) rose within a few steps of $63,000 today for the first time since April 18. The recent surge in the price may have been caused after various documents pointed to the eventual approval of a futures-based BTC ETF by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. According to these documents, the regulator may be close to green lighting the application to list Valkyrie’s Bitcoin Strategy exchange-traded fund ETF for listing on Nasdaq. 

Analysts pointed out that gold’s price had risen sharply leading up to the launch of the first U.S.-based gold ETF in 2004. Thereafter, the rally continued and gold’s price rose more than 300% since the ETF was approved, before forming a major top. The similarity between gold and Bitcoin being stores of value appear to have generated huge excitement for the launch of a Bitcoin ETF.

Daily cryptocurrency market performance. Source: Coin360

Traders seem to have aggressively accumulated Bitcoin before the announcement of a Bitcoin ETF. The Bitcoin futures open interest in the Chicago Mercantile Exchange hit a new all-time high on Oct. 14, surpassing the previous high of $3.02 billion made on April 14.

Could Bitcoin break above the all-time high and continue its northward journey and will altcoins also join the party? Let’s study the charts of the top-10 cryptocurrencies to find out.

BTC/USDT

Bitcoin formed a Doji candlestick pattern on Oct. 14, indicating indecision among the bulls and the bears above the $58,000 level. This uncertainty resolved to the upside today and the rally has resumed.

BTC/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The 20-day exponential moving average ($52,868) is sloping up and the relative strength index (RSI) is in the overbought zone, suggesting that bulls are in control. However, the all-time high at $64,854 may prove to be a difficult hurdle to cross.

If the BTC/USDT pair turns down from this resistance, the first support to watch on the downside is the 20-day EMA. A strong rebound off this support will suggest that sentiment remains positive and traders are buying the dips.

That will increase the possibility of the resumption of the uptrend with the target at $75,000. The first sign of weakness will be a break and close below the 20-day EMA, which could result in a decline to the 50-day simple moving average ($48,514).

ETH/USDT

Ether (ETH) bounced off the 20-day EMA ($3,479) on Oct. 13 and broke above the neckline of the inverse head and shoulders (H&S) pattern on Oct. 14. This completed the bullish setup which has a target objective at $4,657.

ETH/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

Both moving averages are sloping up and the RSI has broken above the downtrend line, suggesting that bulls are back in control. The ETH/USDT pair could now rally to $4,027.88 and then retest the all-time high at $4,372.72.

Contrary to this assumption, if the price turns down from the current level or the overhead resistance and breaks below the neckline, it will suggest that bears continue to sell on rallies. The pair could then drop to the moving averages. A break and close below $3,257 will indicate that bulls may be losing their grip.

BNB/USDT

Binance Coin (BNB) broke and closed above the neckline on Oct. 13, completing an inverse H&S pattern. This bullish setup has a pattern target at $554.

BNB/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The bears attempted to pull the price back below the breakout level but the long tail on the day’s candlestick indicates buying at lower levels. The moving averages have completed a bullish crossover and the RSI is in the positive zone, indicating that bulls have the upper hand.

If the price rises from the current level and breaks above $518.90, it will signal the resumption of the uptrend. The bears will have to pull and sustain the BNB/USDT pair below the moving averages to weaken the bullish momentum.

ADA/USDT

The bulls are attempting to push Cardano (ADA) back into the symmetrical triangle pattern but the bears are not relenting. They are defending the support line and the 20-day EMA ($2.21) with vigor.

ADA/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

If the price turns down from the current level and breaks below $2.07, the ADA/USDT pair could drop to $2 and next to $1.87. A breach below this important level may pull the pair down to the pattern target of $1.63

Alternatively, if bulls push and sustain the price above the 20-day EMA, the pair could rise to the resistance line of the triangle. A breakout and close above the triangle could clear the path for a rally to $2.47, followed by a move to $2.80.

XRP/USDT

XRP has been holding above the 20-day EMA ($1.08) for the past few days but the bulls have not been able to push the price to the overhead resistance at $1.24. This suggests a shortage of demand at higher levels.

XRP/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

If the price turns down and breaks below the 20-day EMA, the XRP/USDT pair could drop to $1. This level could again attract buyers but if they fail to push the price above $1.24, the bearish momentum could pick up and the slide could deepen to $0.85.

Conversely, if the price rises from the current level and breaks above $1.24, it will signal that the selling pressure may be easing. The pair could then rise to $1.41 and if bulls clear this barrier, the next stop could be $1.66.

SOL/USDT

The failure of the bears to sink Solana (SOL) below the 50-day SMA ($147) in the past few days indicates accumulation by the bulls. The buyers are currently attempting to sustain the price above the downtrend line.

SOL/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

If they succeed, the SOL/USDT pair could rise to the 61.8% Fibonacci retracement level at $177.80. This level may act as stiff resistance but if bulls overcome this hurdle, the pair may rally to $200 and then retest the all-time high at $216.

The first sign of weakness will be a break and close below the 50-day SMA. That could pull the price down to $116. This is an important level to keep an eye on because a break below it could intensify the selling.

DOT/USDT

Polkadot (DOT) skyrocketed and closed above the $38.77 overhead resistance on Oct. 13, suggesting that the consolidation has resolved in favor of the bulls.

DOT/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The bears tried to pull the price back below $38.77 on Oct. 14 and today but failed. This shows that buyers are aggressively defending the breakout level. If bulls drive the price above $43.22, the DOT/USDT pair could retest the all-time high at $49.78.

If the price turns down from the current level and breaks below $38.77, the pair could drop to the 20-day EMA ($34.84). A strong bounce off this support will suggest that sentiment remains positive and traders are buying on dips.

Alternatively, if bears sink the price below the moving averages, the pair could drop to $25.50. Such a move will suggest that the breakout above $38.77 may have been a bull trap.

Related: CFTC slaps Tether and Bitfinex with a combined $42.5 million fine

DOGE/USDT

The bulls are struggling to sustain Dogecoin (DOGE) above the 20-day EMA ($0.23), which suggests that buying dries up at higher levels. A minor positive is that bulls have not allowed the price to sustain below $0.22.

DOGE/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The 20-day EMA has flattened out and the RSI is just above the midpoint, suggesting a balance between supply and demand. This equilibrium will tilt in favor of the bears if the $0.21 support cracks. That may result in a decline to $0.19.

If the price turns up from the current level, the bulls will try to push the price to the downtrend line. A breakout and close above this level will suggest that the decline could be over. The DOGE/USDT pair may next rise to $0.32 and then to $0.35.

LUNA/USDT

Terra protocol’s LUNA token is finding support at the 50-day SMA ($36.24) for the past three days but the bulls have not been able to drive the price above the 20-day EMA ($38.86). This suggests that demand dries up at higher levels.

LUNA/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The 20-day EMA is sloping down marginally and the RSI is just below the midpoint, indicating a minor advantage to bears. A break and close below the 50-day SMA could pull the price down to $32.50 and if this support cracks, the correction could deepen to $25.

Conversely, if bulls drive the price above the 20-day EMA, the LUNA/USDT pair could pick up momentum and advance to $45.01 where bears may again try to mount a stiff resistance. A retest of the all-time high at $49.54 is likely if bulls overcome this obstacle.

UNI/USDT

Uniswap (UNI) rose above the moving averages on Oct. 13 and reached the neckline of the inverse H&S pattern on Oct. 14. The bears are currently attempting to stall the recovery at the neckline.

UNI/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The moving averages are on the verge of a bullish crossover and the RSI has climbed into the positive territory, indicating that bulls have the upper hand. If the price rebounds off the moving averages, the bulls will make one more attempt to propel the UNI/USDT pair above the neckline.

If they succeed, it will complete the inverse H&S setup, starting a possible rally to $31.41 and later to the pattern target at $36.98. This bullish view will invalidate if the price continues lower and breaks below $22. The pair could then drop to the strong support at $18.

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

Market data is provided by HitBTC exchange.

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Valve removes blockchain games, tells users not to publish content on crypto or NFTs

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Valve removes blockchain games, tells users not to publish content on crypto or NFTs

“Steam’s point of view is that items have value and they don’t allow items that can have real-world value on their platform,” claimed one game developer.

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Valve removes blockchain games, tells users not to publish content on crypto or NFTs

Video game corporation Valve has informed users no content related to cryptocurrencies or nonfungible tokens will be allowed through its Steam marketplace.

As reported by game developer SpacePirate on Oct. 14, Steam has updated its guidelines for what content creators are allowed to publish on the platform. According to Steam, no applications built on blockchain technology that “issue or allow exchange of cryptocurrencies or NFTs” are permitted in its onboarding process for partners. The rule appears alongside guidelines prohibiting hate speech, sexually explicit images, and libelous or defamatory statements.

Though the new guideline would seemingly ban all traditional games from including content on crypto or NFTs, it has also reportedly stopped blockchain game developers from publishing to the platform. SpacePirate said their Age of Rust game was being removed, with others likely to follow.

“Steam’s point of view is that items have value and they don’t allow items that can have real-world value on their platform,” said the developer. “While I respect their choice, I fundamentally believe that NFTs and blockchain games are the future.”

Related: The Metaverse, play-to-earn and the new economic model of gaming

The move could be financially disadvantageous to Valve as blockchain-based games grow in popularity. According to a recent report from DappRadar, unique active wallets connected to gaming decentralized applications reached a total of 754,000 for Q3 2021. Many blockchain games offer players the opportunity to earn real-world token rewards and trade in-game NFTs, providing a possible path to further crypto adoption.

However, Valve Corporation has previously targeted crypto and blockchain on its Steam marketplace. In 2018, the company removed a game that allegedly hijacked users’ computers to mine crypto. Valve originally announced it would accept Bitcoin (BTC) payments in 2016, but later stopped this practice, citing high fees and volatility.

Cointelegraph reached out to Valve, but did not receive a response at the time of publication.

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Privacy-focused altcoins soar after Bitcoin’s ETF news sparks a market-wide rally

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Privacy-focused altcoins soar after Bitcoin’s ETF news sparks a market-wide rally

Traders and the market are showing extreme optimism on Oct. 15 after rumors and an assortment of documents suggest that the path toward a Bitcoin ETF approval has fewer obstacles lying ahead.

Following the positive news, the price of Bitcoin (BTC) rallied to nearly $63,000 for the first time since April and multiple altcoins saw their prices book triple-digit gains.

Top 7 coins with the highest 24-hour price change. Source: Cointelegraph Markets Pro

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that the biggest gainers over the past 24-hours were NuCypher (NU), Keep Network (KEEP) and Orchid (OXT).

NuCypher partners with Keep Network

NuCyper is a protocol focused on creating decentralized encryption, access control and key management system services for public blockchains by offering end-to-end encrypted data sharing and decentralized storage solutions.

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that after hitting a low of $0.283 in the early trading hours on Oct. 15, the price of new catapulted 535% to an intraday high at $1.80 as its 24-hour trading volume skyrocketed by 19,440% to $2.152 billion.

NU/USD 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The surge in price and trading volume for NU come as the project helped facilitate the launch of tBTC v2 on the Keep Network with is designed to “extend the censorship-resistant properties of Bitcoin onto every network that can interoperate with Ethereum (ETH).

Censorship-resistance comes to the Ethereum network

Keep Network is a protocol designed to offer privacy-focused infrastructure on public blockchains through the creation of an incentivized network for storing and encrypting private data.

VORTECS™ data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro began to detect a bullish outlook for KEEP on Oct. 12, prior to the recent price rise.

The VORTECS™ Score, exclusive to Cointelegraph, is an algorithmic comparison of historical and current market conditions derived from a combination of data points including market sentiment, trading volume, recent price movements and Twitter activity.

VORTECS™ Score (green) vs. KEEP price. Source: Cointelegraph Markets Pro

As seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score for KEEP began to pick up on Oct. 12 and climbed to a high of 75 and the price increased 585% over the next day.

The spike in momentum for KEEP came along with the spike in the price of NU as the two projects collaborated to release tBTC v2 on the Keep Network.

Related: BREAKING: Nasdaq listing hints that the SEC may soon approve ETF application from Valkyrie

Blockchain-based VPN service boosts Orchid price

Orchid is a cryptocurrency-powered virtual private network (VPN) that describes itself as “the world’s first incentivized, peer-to-peer privacy network.

VORTECS™ data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro began to detect a bullish outlook for OXT on Oct. 12, prior to the recent price rise.

VORTECS™ Score (green) vs. OXT price. Source: Cointelegraph Markets Pro

As seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score for OXT climbed into the green zone on Oct. 12 and reached a high of 75 on Oct. 14, around 15 hours before its price spiked 82% over the next day.

A scroll through the project’s Twitter feed points to an increased focus on privacy concerns as the impetus behind Friday’s price surge, which lines up with the main goals of both Nu and KEEP suggesting that the sector of privacy-related projects could be starting to attract more attention.

The overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $2.482 trillion and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 46.6%.

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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