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Crypto Community Erupts Over Ethereum Foundation Member's Arrest

On Friday the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) announced the arrest of Ethereum Foundation member Virgil Griffith for allegedly “assisting North Korea in evading sanctions” by teaching “his audience how to use blockchain technology.” After the Manhattan U.S. Attorney revealed the news, the cryptocurrency community erupted in outrage.

Also read: German Banks Authorized to Store and Sell Cryptocurrency in 2020

US Attorney’s Office Arrests Virgil Griffith for Teaching Blockchain Technology to North Koreans

The U.S. Attorney SDNY and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced charges against Virgil Griffith on November 29 detailing that the American citizen violated the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA). Griffith is a well known member of the cryptocurrency community and worked with the Ethereum Foundation.

Crypto Community Erupts Over Ethereum Foundation Member's Arrest

U.S. law enforcement agencies allege that Griffith traveled to North Korea (DPRK) and gave “a presentation and technical advice on using cryptocurrency and blockchain technology to evade sanctions.” “Despite receiving warnings not to go, Griffith allegedly traveled to one of the United States’ foremost adversaries, North Korea, where he taught his audience how to use blockchain technology to evade sanctions,” Assistant Attorney General John Demers said. “By this complaint, we begin the process of seeking justice for such conduct.”

Crypto Community Erupts Over Ethereum Foundation Member's Arrest

Ostensibly Griffith also traveled to the DPRK to present at the Pyongyang Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference despite the Department of State denying him permission to travel to DPRK. “At no time did Griffith obtain permission from OFAC,” the SDNY press release stressed. U.S. citizens and businesses are not permitted to transact with persons and companies on the OFAC list. The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) list is a record of individuals and companies that are tied to targeted or sanctioned countries.

“At the DPRK Cryptocurrency Conference, Griffith and other attendees discussed how the DPRK could use blockchain and cryptocurrency technology to launder money and evade sanctions,” the SDNY statement stressed. Griffith was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport on November 28 and reportedly attended court the next day.

Crypto Community Erupts Over Ethereum Foundation Member's Arrest

‘A Government Corrupt at the Core’

After the cryptocurrency community caught wind of the news about Griffith’s arrest many people were angered at the U.S. government’s actions. “Teaching about blockchain technology is illegal now in the Land of the Free,” remarked Shapeshift’s CEO Erik Voorhees on Twitter. Some people mentioned how Griffith openly tweeted about getting a Visa to DPRK and that the U.S. government took notice. “Virgil’s situation was avoidable to be sure — But this may be a sign of things to come,” Coin Metric’s founder Nic Carter opined. “Ultimately anyone writing code or creating resources for crypto can be alleged to be helping hostile jurisdictions avoid sanctions under this loose standard, whether or not they intend to,” he added.

Crypto Community Erupts Over Ethereum Foundation Member's Arrest

The notorious U.S. presidential candidate John McAfee said that the American government was dishonest. “Virgil Griffith arrested for teaching North Korea how to avoid U.S. sanctions by using cryptocurrency and the Blockchain. See what our Government has become — A government corrupt at the core, declaring publicly available information a national secret,” McAfee exclaimed. Another person responded to McAfee’s statement and said: “Arrested for opposing the Wall Street/London Cartel.”

Crypto Community Erupts Over Ethereum Foundation Member's Arrest

The 36-year old Griffith is a resident of Singapore and citizen of the United States and his charges carry a maximum term of 20 years in prison if convicted. “The charge in the Complaint is merely an accusation,” explain the law enforcement agencies handling the case which include Counterintelligence, Export Control Section, and the Southern District’s Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit.

What do you think about the U.S. government’s charges against Virgil Griffith? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Image credits: Shutterstock, Twitter, U.S. Attorney SDNY, Wiki Commons, and Fair Use.

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Jamie Redman

Jamie Redman is a financial tech journalist living in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for Bitcoin, open source code, and decentralized applications. Redman has written thousands of articles for about the disruptive protocols emerging today.

Jamie Redman , 2019-11-30 06:05:12 ,

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NewsBlock © 2019 - 2020 All rights reserved.

NewsBlock © 2019 - 2020. All rights reserved.

While Bitcoin’s price seemingly moves without rhyme or reason — collapsing by dozens of percent and embarking on face-melting rallies on a whim — the cryptocurrency market is filled to the brim with fractals.

Related Reading: Analyst: Bitcoin Price Likely to Fall to Low-$8,000s as Chart Remains Weak

A brief aside: A fractal, in the context of technical analysis and financial markets anyway, is when an asset’s price action is seen during a different time. This form of analysis isn’t that popular, but it has proven to be somewhat valuable in analyzing Bitcoin.

One recent fractal popularized by a well-known cryptocurrency trader is implying that BTC is going to return to the low-$7,000s in the coming days.

Bitcoin Fractal Implies Retracement to Low-$7,000s

A well-known crypto trader going by “Tyler Durden” on Twitter recently posted the chart below, which shows that a Bitcoin price fractal may be playing out. The fractal has four phases: horizontal consolidation marked by one fakeout, a surge above the consolidation phase, a distribution, then a strong drop to fresh lows.

If the fractal plays out in full, BTC could reach the low-$7,000s again, potentially as low as $7,100. This would represent a 20-odd percent collapse from the current price point of $8,800.

It isn’t only a fractal that is hinting Bitcoin has the potential to visit its lows. As we reported on Saturday, Bloomberg believes that if the GTI Vera Convergence Divergence Indicator flips red, a downtrend could push the cryptocurrency back to $7,300.

Related Reading: Stephen Colbert Pokes Fun at Bitcoin in Monologue: Mainstream Gone Wrong?

Can Bulls Step In?

But again, many believe it is irrational to have such bearish interpretations of the cryptocurrency’s chart at the moment. As reported by NewsBTC earlier, Popular crypto trader Mayne recently noted that the “people waiting for $6,000” are irrational. He quipped that Bitcoin retracing and consolidating after its fourth-biggest bull move in history ($7,300 to $10,500, a 42% gain) is perfectly par for the course, but noted that it’s totally possible we can go lower from $8,800.

The medium-term technicals support this.

Trader and CoinTelegraph contributor FilbFilb found that by the end of November or start of December, the 50-week and 100-week moving averages will see a “golden cross,” which he claims is far more significant” for the Bitcoin market that other technical crosses.

Also, a Bitcoin price model created using Facebook Prophet machine learning found that the leading cryptocurrency is likely to end the year at just over $12,000. What’s notable about this model is that it called the price drop to $8,000 months in advance, and forecasted a ~$7,500 price bottom for BTC.

To put a cherry on the cryptocurrency cake, Crypto Thies observed that when Bitcoin bottomed at $7,300, it bounced decisively off the 0.618 Fibonacci Retracement of the move from $3,000 to $14,000, which correlates with the two-week volume-weighted moving average. He added that summer 2019’s consolidation was marked by Bitcoin flipping major resistances into support levels, implying that a bullish reversal and subsequent continuation is likely possible in the coming weeks.

Featured Image from Shutterstock

Nick Chong , 2019-11-10 12:00:38

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