Bitcoin’s Price Drops to $4,300 as Analyst Claims We're Approaching a Buy Zone

Bitcoin’s price has been dropping in the last few weeks, so much so that it fell below the $5,000 mark for the first time since October of 2017, and that miners are currently struggling to remain profitable.

Just as some believed a relief rally was in, bitcoin’s price started falling once again, and is currently down by about 3.7% in the last 24-hour period. One bitcoin is currently going for about $4,300, and the cryptocurrency’s market cap is now down to $75 billion.

Bitcoin's price performance in the last 2 weeks

The cryptocurrency’s sell-off has had various effects on its ecosystem. A recent report has revealed the value of bitcoin payments plummeted about 80% this year, although data on these is patchy as some trades with other currencies are often included. Nevertheless, the “Holiday 2018” consumer report revealed teenagers would rather receive cryptocurrency, or Fortnite “V-Bucks” over cash or gift cards.

According to MarketWatch demand for cryptocurrencies may not be down at all, as Jani Ziedins of CrackedMarket revealed a short-term bottom may be close. He was quoted as saying:

Look for the selling to continue over the next few days, but a bounce off of $3.5k-ish that returns to $5k is likely. While that doesn’t sound like a lot given the latest tumble, a bounce from $3.5k to $5k is a nearly 50% payout for just a few days of work.

Ziedins noted that making a profit off of the short-term bounce is “not for the faint of heart,” although he believes there will be “nice rewards for those willing to jump aboard the inevitable bounce.”

Other analysts have suggested that bitcoin may find support at the $3,500 and $3,000 levels.  eToro senior analyst Mati Greenspan tweeted out that he expects the cryptocurrency to indeed find support at these levels, although a bounce before reaching them could be a “very bullish sign.”

Altcoin Sell-Off Continues

The crypto market’s decline didn’t just impact BTC. According to available data most cryptocurrencies are currently down, with Ethereum Classic (ETC), Bitcoin Cash, and Dash dropping the most, as they’re down 8.8%, 7.1%, and 9.1% respectively.

Ethereum’s ether and XRP are both down, by 6.7% and 6.1% respectively. The cryptocurrencies that have been able to, to a certain extent, resist the sell-off are EOS, NEO, LTC, and BTC. These are down by between 3% and 4%.

The decline has notably also failed to affect the number of transactions being processed by blockchain-based cryptocurrencies. As CryptoGlobe reported, the total value transferred by cryptocurrencies is comparable to that of MasterCard, as BTC transactions average $8 billion a day, while MasterCard’s network processes roughly $11 billion a day.

Error in Time-Locked Bitcoin Contracts Allows for Miner 'Fee-Sniping'

Michael LaVere
  • Crypto researcher 0xb10c discovered an error in bitcoin "time-locked" transactions that could be used as an attack vector.
  • Miners can take advantage of the program to carry out "fee-sniping" and steal funds from one another. 

Users have discovered an error in bitcoin “timelocked” contracts that could potentially allow miners to steal BTC from one another. 

Anonymous crypto engineer 0xb10c reported discovering more than one million “time-locked” transactions made between September 2019 and March 2020. In a post, 0xb10c detailed how these special bitcoin transactions were not being accurately enforced by the network. 

As opposed to normal transactions, time-locked transactions prevent recipient bitcoin from being accessed after sending. Users must wait for a specific number of blocks to be added to the network in ten-minute intervals before gaining control of their bitcoin. 

0xb10c claimed the errant time-locked transactions provided an attack vector for miners to steal transaction fees  from one another via “fee-sniping.” According to the engineer, the backlog of time-locked transactions were being purposefully designed for a “potentially disruptive mining strategy” involving the theft of miner fees. 

In an interview with CoinDesk, 0xb10c said time-locked transactions represented a “low-priority” problem at present that could eventually balloon to involve the wider network. He explained that fee-sniping would become more lucrative in a few years as the majority of miner income shifts towards transaction fees. 

He continued, 

A fix for this has been released in early 2020. However, it will take a while before all instances of the currently deployed software are upgraded.

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