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Weekly Crypto Round Up: Latest News on Cryptocurrencies & the Dark Web | Week 08 – 2019

Posted on the 23 February 2019 by Darkwebnews @darkwebnews

The week began with an upsurge on the crypto charts, with all major coins in the green.

The total market cap gained approximately $15 billion after Sunday's sudden price gains.

The biggest cryptocurrency according to market cap, Bitcoin (BTC), was struggling to stay above $4,000 and move in an upwards direction.

Although there is a noticeable improvement in Bitcoin's price that went up to 10.6 percent compared to the prior week, the coin is currently standing at a firm level of resistance.

Following the sudden value accession, crypto investors and analysts predict that Bitcoin's price will go down again in order to soar above $4,000 or higher.

Crypto trader and investor Josh Rager expressed his optimistic approach about the market upsurge through Twitter but also cautioned that there might be new lows arriving in the upcoming weeks.

Mati Greenspan, a market analyst at eToro, explained for MarketWatch that once Bitcoin reaches $5,000, things may start changing for the better in the market.

In other news, Ethereum (ETH), the second biggest digital currency, is also gradually recovering. The coin was trying to break the firm resistance level of $150 but is currently standing below it.

Ethereum is, however, firmly holding to the second place on the crypto charts after last week's ascension, leaving Ripple's XRP in the third place once again.

Coinmama Data Breach Compromises Data of 1.4 Million Users

Coinmama, a cryptocurrency exchange, was affected by a massive data breach for which the company estimates that 1.4 million user accounts on the platform were compromised.

The incident is a part of a much more severe data breach that affected 30 companies and personal data from a total of 841 million people.

Last week Coinmama in a statement confirmed the data breach that was thought to have hit 450,000 accounts at first. Later, after they conducted an investigation, the company disclosed that a total of 1.4 million accounts on Coinmama were compromised.

The data breach was revealed earlier this month, and it originally affected 16 companies, stealing information on 620 million accounts.

But the hacker did not stop there, and in the following days, the number of companies grew to 30, with Coinmama being among the platforms affected.

Coinmama does not store credit card information, but it does collect personal information about their customers such as their names, emails, addresses, even ID numbers.

The exchange advised its customers and possible victims of the data breach to change their passwords and monitor and report any suspicious activity.

Report Shows Tight Connections Between QuadrigaCX and the Dark Web

QuadrigaCX, one of Canada's largest cryptocurrency exchanges, exposed signs of illicit activity connected to the dark web.

Research conducted by Zerononcense revealed that transactions from the exchange's cold wallets were allegedly matched to dark web markets, identity thefts, child exploitation, human and drug trafficking, fraud and other criminal activity.

Allegedly, the company has been laundering the coins obtained from these illicit sources. According to Zerooncense's report, they deliberately mixed the funds with other transactions in order to obfuscate their actual origin and to make them hard to track.

The analysis was done by examining five of QuadrigaCX's cold wallets, all of which reportedly showed signs of illegal activities.

The connection to these addresses initially surfaced earlier in February, after the cryptocurrency exchange confirmed that they set over 100 Bitcoins by mistake to one of their cold wallets.

It's practically impossible for QuadrigaCX not to be aware that this was happening, which indicates that the cryptocurrency exchange has been performing as a front company in the crypto laundering scheme.

It's estimated that QuadrigaCX received tens of millions of dollars through their illicit actions.

Unknown Amount of Cryptocurrency Seized in Dark Web Drug Bust

Three people have been arrested in a dark web drug bust in Australia. Allegedly leading the operation is Cody Ronald Ward, a 25-year-old resident of Callala Breach.

Ward is allegedly connected to the notorious dark web handle "NSWGreat," which has been openly involved in hacking and drug dealing activities.

Two sisters were reportedly arrested with Ward-Patricia Koullias, 24, and Shanese Koullias, 20. Police claim they're accomplices to the operation.

Authorities seized an undisclosed amount of cryptocurrency, together with a large amount of drugs, three vehicles, $80,000 in cash, and other evidence items that were allegedly being used in the distribution of drugs to their buyers.

Investigators are trying to unveil the real amount of the seized cryptocurrencies, although the initial findings show that at least $17 million were transferred through crypto wallets in the past few years.

Drug Dealer Fights Court to Prevent Police from Forfeiting All of His Bitcoins

Matthew Phan, a Canadian drug dealer that was arrested last year, is now fighting the court to keep half of his Bitcoins that were seized by the Canadian police upon his arrest.

As the Toronto Star reports, Phan is the owner of a large amount of cryptocurrency, or more specifically 288 Bitcoins with a total worth of around CAD $1.4 million.

The 30-year-old drug dealer told the court that only half of the funds were used in the illicit activities he did, while the other half should be returned to him.

This was the first dark web-connected Bitcoin seizure for Canadian law enforcement. Phan purchased a firearm and silencer in exchange for Bitcoins and was caught while picking up his delivered package.

The court will decide upon the forfeiture of the 288 Bitcoins at the beginning of April this year.

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That's it for our summary of this week's major crypto news headlines. This is the 34h post in our crypto news series. Catch up on the latest installments here:

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