Bitcoin is having a moment — just not the kind its boosters hoped for.
The cryptocurrency once again dropped below $10,000 today, and the timing of the latest dip has some faithful hodlers concerned. Specifically, the apparent sell-off came shortly on the heels of a Securities and Exchange Commission announcement warning about “potentially unlawful online platforms for trading digital assets.”
Oh, and the rumors of a major cryptocurrency exchange getting hacked didn’t help things either.
But first, the SEC. While it’s impossible to say if the statement contributed to the price dip, it’s not the most out-there conclusion to draw. After all, the SEC threw direct shade at the very exchanges people use to buy and sell their cryptocurrency.
“[Many] of these platforms give the impression that they perform exchange-like functions by offering order books with updated bid and ask pricing and data about executions on the system,” noted the SEC, “but there is no reason to believe that such information has the same integrity as that provided by national securities exchanges.”
In other words, the exchanges could very well be putting out bullshit in place of market data — a possibility frightening enough to stop even the most bullish investor in his or her tracks.
At the same time, users of the exchange Binance are taking to Reddit to complain that their altcoins were mysteriously sold en masse for bitcoin without their authorization.
“WTF is happening,” asked one such user. “Binance just sold all my alts at market rate and I have got just the Bitcoin now.”
“Yea all alt sold in a single minute n btc bought [VIA] at super premium,” replied another redditor.
My @binance_2017 account just sold my entire portfolio for very low market rates. I’ve lost thousands. No, I have never created an API key for my account. #binance #binancehack— Chewy Stock (@chewystock) March 7, 2018
In response, Binance posted to Reddit that it was indeed hip to the problems.
“We are investigating reports of some users having issues with their funds,” read the statement. “Our team is aware and investigating the issue as we speak. As of this moment, the only confirmed victims have registered API keys (to use with trading bots or otherwise).”
Meanwhile, the cryptocurrency community was busy crying “hack.”
A lot of users are reporting a hack on @binance_2017.
As a precaution, it's advisable to take whatever security measures you deem appropriate to protect your funds.— 21Cryptos Magazine (@21Cryptos) March 7, 2018
Crypto Drama in the past 2 hours:
>100x $VIA MarketBuy in a 1 min candle
>Binance hack rumours
>SEC US Crypto-Exchange FUD
>Japan banning Crypto Exchanges
>Bitmex goes down— Anondran (@anondran) March 7, 2018
The Binance statement, however, was very insistent that there was “no evidence of the Binance platform being compromised.” Even so, the exchange “temporarily disabled” withdraws.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao also chimed in on Twitter, saying, “All funds are safe.”
So, yeah, the one-two SEC/Binance punch has made for a rocky day for bitcoin — which, in the up and down world of cryptocurrency, might just be called another Wednesday.
BY Jack Morse @ mashable.com