SEC Subpoenas 80 cryptocurrency firms – Mar 4

Bitcoin price entered March by flirting with key resistance level on the technical charts and is at a make or break level. The price of the most popular cryptocurrency could either break higher towards $17,000 or dip once more below the $10,000 mark.

Having clocked a high of $11,599 earlier today, Bitcoin is now trading at $11,536 at a $194 billion market cap. The prices have continued to struggle with resistance clustering around $12,000. As prices aim downwards into Monday, however, the technical bullish case for Bitcoin remains strong.

After the full support for SegWit technology in its latest client release last month, Bitcoin Core now has more nodes in its network than at any time in history. Further ahead, the continued rapid growth of the Lightning Network points to the sentiment behind Bitcoin as a currency remaining.

The technology, which ultimately allows near-free instant Bitcoin transactions, now has almost 1000 nodes operating on its mainnet, despite reservations about its stability from some well-known Bitcoin industry figures.

Although sluggish trading volume could be a cause for concern. That said, an argument could be made that the market has merely normalized as the market euphoria seen in December and early January has faded. Volumes may rise sharply as soon as Bitcoin sees a convincing break above the key resistance.

Two weeks ago, the level to break was at $11,550. Now the scenario is more complicated because the bullish trend since February minimums is almost exhausted.

Technical indicators strengthen the idea that BTC/USD is not in a good shape to attack the resistance. The most likely scenario is a consolidation around $11,200 – $11,300.

Top Stories from the Crypto World

1. SEC Subpoenas 80 cryptocurrency firms

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has subpoenaed 80 cryptocurrency companies, including the $100 million cryptofund of TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington.

Arrington told CNBC Thursday that he has received a subpoena, as has every cryptofund he has spoken to. He said he has no problem with the subpoena and the government has to figure out its rules for the market to follow.

It remains undetermined whether securities laws apply to digital coins. While the SEC has said digital coins are subject to regulations, it has not indicated how digital coin developers can comply with the regulations. As a result, cryptocurrency firms have had to rely on lawyers to distinguish their companies from cryptocurrency scams.

Gottlieb, who is representing PlexCorps, a company facing SEC fraud charges, said the overall SEC investigation will continue throughout the year.

2. Uber co-founder unveils a new cryptocurrency

Garrett Camp, who co-founded ride sharing giant Uber, is behind a new cryptocurrency dubbed Eco, a decentralized global currency protocol, and he’s looking to the world’s top universities to run a verified node network.

He chose Eco for its connotation of “ecosystem, economics and e-commerce,” according to an article in Fortune. Eco is in it to win it and is designed to go head-to-head with bitcoin, gold and fiat money for daily global payment transactions. Camp told Fortune:

“I realized it might be better to release a new project from a different philosophical standpoint with cooperation from a lot of universities, scientists, and research institutes – like the internet.”

Similar to bitcoin, there’s a finite number of Eco being created. But unlike bitcoin’s 21 million, Eco set the cap at 1 trillion to make it possible for “billions of users to own many Eco tokens,”

Eco isn’t planning an initial coin offering to raise funds for the project, which is probably a good move in light of the recent crackdown by regulators, particularly the US SEC, on ICOs.

3. Paypal is seeking faster crypto payments tech

An application for an “Expedited Virtual Currency Transaction System” published on March 1 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) details a method by which private keys – the strings of numbers and letters used to transact or otherwise control one’s cryptocurrency holdings – are swapped from a buyer to a seller behind the scenes.

The aim of the concept is to narrow the amount of time it takes for payments to go through between a consumer and a merchant, avoiding the process of sending a transaction and waiting for it to be included in the next block on the network.

In order to do this, PayPal proposed a way to create secondary wallets with their own unique private keys for buyers and sellers. The system would transfer private keys corresponding to an exact amount of any given cryptocurrency.