Cryptocurrencies resumed their slump on Monday, with Bitcoin piercing the US$5,000 mark for the first time since October 2017, in the wake of increased regulatory scrutiny of initial coin offerings and the split of one of the largest tokens.Bitcoin declined as much as 9 per cent to US$4,958, while so-called alternative coins slumped even more, with Ether tumbling as much as 12 per cent and Litecoin cratering as much as 13 per cent. XRP, the token associated with Ripple, was the lone gainer among major digital currencies. The Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index fell as much as 8.3 per cent to a one year-low on a closing basis.“The selloff is related to enforcement, which is almost certainly underway,” said Justin Litchfield, chief technology officer at ProChain Capital. “Projects are being made to return investor money, which, after having spent a ton of money marketing their US$100 million ICO on a lavish party-filled road-show that was the norm for this vintage of ICOs, will be tough.”‘I didn’t sleep well last night’: Bitcoin’s slide just the beginning as analysts brace for a 70% dropBitcoin is plunging again and crypto bulls are wondering how low it will go this time‘The mother of all scams’: Nouriel Roubini rips apart cryptocurrency in Senate hearingThe SEC announced its first civil penalties against two cryptocurrency companies that didn’t register their initial coin offerings as securities. Airfox and Paragon Coin Inc. will each have to pay US$250,000 in penalties to compensate investors, and will also have to register their digital tokens as securities, the agency said in a Nov. 16 news release.The issuers were asked by the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission to provide refunds to investors, raising concern that other companies that used the proceeds from sales to finance projects could be forced to do the same.Volatility has returned to cryptocurrencies, with the largest tokens shedding billions in market value since the hard fork of Bitcoin Cash debuted last week. That came as two software-development factions failed to agree on a way to upgrade the offshoot of the original Bitcoin, leading to a computing power arms race.The cryptocurrency industry has now lost more than US$660 billion in value from a January peak, according to data from CoinMarketCap.com. Bitcoin is down more than 70 per cent from its December 2017 high, the data show.Thomas J. Lee, managing partner at Fundstrat Global Advisors and a long-time crypto bull, slashed his year-end price target for Bitcoin to US$15,000 from US$25,000. The target is based on a fair value multiple of 2.2 times the breakeven cost of mining, which the firm pegs at US$7,000, according to a report last week.“Crypto-specific events have led to greater uncertainty in the crypto market, including the contentious hard fork for Bitcoin Cash,” Lee said in the note Friday. Bitcoin’s break below US$6,000 “has lead to a renewed wave of pessimism,” he said.Bitcoin bulls may be able to take heart in some technical measures. Based on the GTI Global Strength Indicator, Bitcoin is flashing oversold for the first time since August, and its most oversold level this year. In addition, it is testing its 23.6 per cent five-year look back Fibonacci level of US$4,727 as its next support.–With assistance from Todd White and Kenneth Sexton (Global Data).Bloomberg.com read more
Bitcoin’s nine-day rally has pushed it back above $6,000.The biggest cryptocurrency outperformed its closest peers again in the digital market on Thursday and has now rebounded more than 90 per cent from its trough last December.It’s the latest milestone as the wild ride continues for the decade-old token, which crashed last year from a peak of more than US$19,000 in 2017.“The only store of value in the space right now is Bitcoin,” said Michael Novogratz, co-founder and chief executive at Galaxy Investment Partners LLC. “It doesn’t need to change — it’s gold,” he said in an interview on Bloomberg Television from a conference in Las Vegas. Novogratz remains steadfast on cryptocurrencies, has high hopes for next year The mystery of the $2-billion Bitcoin whale that fuelled a selloff ‘The mother of all scams’: Nouriel Roubini rips apart cryptocurrency in Senate hearing The token gained 2.7 per cent to US$6,060 at 9:43 a.m. in London, according to Bloomberg composite pricing. The MVIS CryptoCompare Digital Assets 10 basket of the largest digital currencies rose just 1.1 per cent, having fallen the previous day.Bitcoin’s nine-weekday winning streak is the longest since May 2017. It shrugged off a brief sell-off Wednesday after Binance, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, said hackers withdrew 7,000 Bitcoins worth about US$40 million at the time.Security remains one of the key obstacles to mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies, given the industry’s history of hacks. At a gathering Tuesday in Chicago, some of the largest traders including DRW Holdings Inc.’s Cumberland crypto unit and Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital Holdings discussed creating a blacklist of counterparties known to renege on trades or engage in nefarious activities.“Bitcoin’s long-term technical profiles continue to point to a new up cycle,” said Fundstrat Global Advisors LLC technical strategist Rob Sluymer in a note May 8. He reckons the digital asset is continuing to rebound from support at its 200-week moving average, after telling investors last week to buy.Bloomberg.com read more
Kensington Palace has taken a rare step of commenting on Prince Harry’s relationship with Toronto-based actress, Meghan Markle.In hopes of curbing recent comments and coverage his office has dubbed as “abuse and harassment”, the Communications Secretary to Prince Harry released a strongly worded statement saying in part “Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her. It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm.”The statement says “a line has been crossed” and accuses the media of harassing 35-year-old Markle. “Some of this has been very public – the smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments.”Harry said he knows people will say this is ‘the price she has to pay’ and that ‘this is all part of the game’. The statement continues, “This is not a game – it is her life and his.” read more
Ontario Provincial Police is investigating after a 73-year-old woman was found in critical condition at a home in Wasaga Beach.Shortly before 9 a.m. on Feb. 9, emergency crews responded to a call about a woman in medical distress at a home on Illinois Cres. The senior was found unconscious, and was transported to a nearby hospital where she remains in critical condition. Police did not provide further details about the incident but say the OPP Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) is conducting a criminal investigation.Investigators say there is no concern for public safety and believe this was an isolated incident.
MILWAUKEE — The Latest on sentencing for a British cybersecurity expert who pleaded guilty to creating malware (all times local):12:50 p.m.A British cybersecurity expert credited with helping stop a worldwide computer virus in May 2017 won’t serve any additional time behind bars for creating malware years before he won international acclaim.U.S. District Judge J.P. Stadtmueller sentenced 25-year-old Marcus Hutchins on Friday in Milwaukee to time served, with a year of supervised release. Stadtmueller said the virus Hutchins helped stop was far more damaging than the malware he wrote.Hutchins pleaded guilty in May to developing and conspiring to distribute malware called Kronos from 2012 to 2015. Prosecutors dismissed eight charges in exchange for his plea.Hutchins’ arrest in Las Vegas in 2017 came as a shock. Just months earlier he was hailed as a hero for finding a “kill switch” to the WannaCry virus that crippled computers worldwide.He had faced up to 10 years in prison, but prosecutors had credited Hutchins with taking responsibility for his actions. Hutchins served just a few days in jail before being freed on bail, but had to remain in the U.S. while his case was pending.___MidnightA British cybersecurity expert credited with stopping a worldwide computer virus in 2017 is about to learn his sentence for creating malware designed to steal banking information.Marcus Hutchins appears in federal court in Milwaukee on Friday. He pleaded guilty in May to conspiring to distribute malware called Kronos from 2012 to 2015. Prosecutors dismissed eight charges in exchange for his plea.He faces up 10 years in prison but could receive a more lenient sentence for accepting responsibility. Prosecutors aren’t making a sentencing recommendation but say in a filing ahead of the hearing Friday that it “should be sufficient, though not greater than necessary.”Hutchins’ arrest in Las Vegas in 2017 came as a shock. Just months earlier he was hailed as a hero for finding a “kill switch” to the WannaCry virus that crippled computers worldwide.The Associated Press read more
SEATTLE — A federal grand jury has indicted a former Amazon software engineer on two counts related to a hack into Capital One bank and more than 30 different companies.Paige Thompson was charged Wednesday with wire fraud and computer fraud and abuse. She’s scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 5. Her lawyer did not immediately respond to an email request for comment.In addition to Capital One, the indictment identifies three other entities that were targets. They include a state agency and a public research university outside Washington state, and a telecommunications conglomerate located outside the U.S.The indictment says Thompson created scanning software that allowed her to identify customers of a cloud computing company that had misconfigured their firewalls, allowing someone to access their servers.Martha Bellisle, The Associated Press read more
MONTREAL — Flair Airlines chief executive Jim Scott says predatory pricing and scheduling by rival WestJet Airlines Ltd. placed his budget carrier in jeopardy, as a “David and Goliath” battle over the past six months has culminated in an investigation by Canada’s competition watchdog.On Tuesday, the Federal Court of Canada’s chief justice ordered a WestJet vice-president to appear before the Competition Bureau to explain the airline’s tactics, the latest development in a probe launched in the fall.Scott said WestJet and low-cost offshoot Swoop used anti-competitive practices to crowd out Flair from several smaller markets including Saskatoon, Thunder Bay, and Kamloops.Westjet says customers open to idea of premium faresAir Canada, WestJet cut ties to SeaWorld ahead of bill to ban whale and dolphin captivityToronto’s Billy Bishop airport ends free snacks for waiting passengers after upgrades to main lounge“Whenever we go into a market, WestJet or Swoop will go into the same market with a lot of inventory, low-cost,” he said in an interview.The ultra-low-cost carrier lost about $10 million between mid-June and mid-October as a result, he claimed.“This is a case of David and Goliath. We’re here trying to provide a service to Canadians, and the entrenched incumbent is basically trying to keep a new player out of the marketplace.“If the Canadian government didn’t step in in such a timely manner, it would have been very difficult for us to continue,” Scott added. “It has to end.”WestJet said in an email it is “compiling information” in response to the probe.The Federal Court has ordered the Calgary-based carrier along with Swoop to provide the Competition Bureau with detailed pricing and other records including emails.Interim competition commissioner Matthew Boswell states in a Dec. 5 motion that he “has reason to believe that the parties have engaged in a conduct that constitutes an abuse of dominant position,” in violation of the Competition Act.He states that WestJet and Swoop “are engaging in predatory anti-competitive practices, more specifically predatory pricing, by significantly decreasing the prices of their passenger tickets to a level that appears to be below their avoidable costs,” leading to less competition.The accusation applies to three routes that WestJet and Swoop “substantially or completely control” — Edmonton-Abbotsford, Edmonton-Hamilton and Edmonton-Winnipeg routes — according to the commissioner.Boswell notes that WestJet created an Edmonton-Hamilton route only after Flair did, and then ramped up capacity via Swoop’s 14 flights per week versus Flair’s seven. Swoop advertised all-inclusive fares for as low as $69 starting in June, compared to WestJet’s $149 fares the summer prior.Flair’s CEO said his rival’s pricing and scheduling practices forced his airline to drop all service at the Hamilton airport in October. On flights between Edmonton and Abbotsford, meanwhile, WestJet flight offers starting at $39 cost Flair $2 million between June 20 and Oct. 15, Scott said.WestJet vice-president of pricing and revenue management John Weatherill is slated to appear before the commissioner in 2019.Analyst Chris Murray of Altacorp Capital cited the “cost and distraction” of the investigation as a “negative.”“As well, any finding could create a monetary penalty or impact the company’s continued roll out of its Swoop ultra-low cost carrier division, impacting growth and earnings in 2019 and beyond,” Murray said in a note to investors. read more
A man has been charged with dangerous driving causing death in relation to a collision that claimed the lives of a Norfolk couple last summer.The fatal crash occurred the evening of July 25, 2018.Norfolk OPP say Maria Klassen, 25, and Abram Enns Klassen, 25, were in a vehicle travelling eastbound on McDowell Road West at about 7:30 p.m. Maria Klassen, who was driving, attempted to turn left into the driveway of a residence.A white pickup truck also heading east on the road attempted to overtake other vehicles travelling in the same direction when it struck the Klassen vehicle, police say.Both vehicles ended up in the ditch.Maria Klassen died at the scene. Her husband was air-lifted to a Hamilton hospital where he later died.On Thursday, Norfolk OPP arrested and charged John P. Driedger, 23, of Norfolk with two counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death.He will appear in court at a later date to answer to the charges. read more