Weiss Ratings: ‘Bitcoin Will Again Rise Up and Head for New All-Time Highs’

Siamak Masnavi

On Thursday (January 3rd), Juan M. Villaverde, who is a crypto-focused econometrician and mathematician at Weiss Cryptocurrency Ratings (a division of independent financial rating agency Weiss Ratings), published their "crypto forecasts for 2019 and beyond."

Villaverde started his report for forecasts report for Weiss Cryptocurrency Ratings by pointing out that although 2018 was a "disaster" as far as cryptocurrency prices are concerned, it was also "the year of major progress." Here are a few examples of the achievements made in 2018:

  • "Hashgraph, an innovative approach that takes us beyond blockchain, was developed."
  • "Holochain, also based on a non-blockchain approach, was introduced to the world."
  • "Bitcoin launched its Lightning Network to help speed up transactions."

Next, Villaverde explained that the analysis that resulted in these 2019 forecasts was based a combination of their cycles model (which "helps estimate the timing of major market trends") and their ratings model (which "identifies the coins with the strongest combination of risk, reward, technology and adoption").

Bitcoin Forecasts

  • "Bitcoin will be increasingly used as a store of value." Villaverde says that Bitcoin is on its way to becoming "digital gold" since no other asset offers its combination of security, easy/free storage, and efficient transport.
  • "The price of Bitcoin will rise again and head for new all-time highs." Villaverde argues that although Bitcoin has been pronounced dead by experts several times until now, after every bear market, Bitcoin has bounced back, and that "thanks to the 2018 price declines, most of the weakest hands in the market have departed" while "diehard believers have held firm or even accumulated more Bitcoin." And since adoption has also increased, he believes that we are ready for a "new bull market" in 2019, and that once again Bitcoin is poised to "rise up and head for new all-time highs."

Altcoin Forecasts

  • "Select altcoins will rise from relative obscurity to as much as 20 times their previous all-time highs." Unfortunately, these coins are not named!
  • "A select group of cryptos will compete to build a new kind of internet." Examples of coins aiming to create what he calls "Internet 3.0" are EOS, Cardano, and Holochain.
  • "Another select group of cryptocurrencies will disrupt the world of banking." The two main challengers for this task are XRP and Stellar Lumens (XLM). In particular, he says that if XRP "can manage to chip away at SWIFT’s market share and even replace it in some areas, there’s a chance that XRP could eventually become the world’s No. 1 cryptocurrency."
  • "Bitcoin me-too coins will fade away." Examples of coins that Villaverde believes have "no innovative use case" are Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Bitcoin SV (BSV).
  • "New coins will rocket to the top 10." Two examples of new coins that are fairly obsecure now but could break into the top 10 are Holochain (HOT) and Hedera Hashgraph (HBAR).

 

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pexels.com

$200 Million Stolen By Crypto Scammers in Brazil in Fraudulent Investment Scheme

A gang of criminals in Brazil have reportedly stolen more than $200 million from around 55,000 local residents. According to The Next Web, the criminals promoted a fraudulent crypto-related scheme which involved operating an unregistered financial services firm. The fraudsters promised unsuspecting investors around a 15% return on their invested capital, local news outlet Correio Do Povo confirmed.

Nearly $250 Million Allegedly Stolen

Brazil’s Federal Revenue Service revealed that the scammers raised approximately 850 million Brazilian Reals ($210 million) by February 2019 from unsuspecting investors. Notably, local police officials believe the fraudsters could have stolen up to R$1 billion (appr. $250 million).

Brazil’s Federal Police department and the nation’s Federal Revenue Agency have now managed to shut down the fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme. Referred to as Operation Egypto, the cryptocurrency scam is currently being investigated - as authorities have issued 10 arrest warrants.

Investing In Cryptoassets Is Not Illegal In Brazil

Brazilian law enforcement agencies have also executed 25 search and seizure orders across eight different cities in the South American country. As confirmed by local sources, the criminals had set up their fraudulent crypto business in the Brazilian city of Novo Hamburgo.

Clarifying that investing in cryptoassets is not illegal in Brazil, Eduardo Dalmolin, a senior official at the nation’s Office of Corruption and Financial Crimes, remarked:

The problem with this company is that it was acting without authorization.

Using Investors’ Money To Buy Luxury Items

After conducting an extensive investigation, Brazilian authorities reportedly found that the accused had not been making investing in cryptocurrencies. Instead, they were using the investors’ money to buy luxury items including expensive cars, real estate, and fancy jewelry. The scammers also reportedly invested small amounts in fixed rate, low-yield investments.

Brazilian police officials have managed to seize the scammer’s assets which include an undisclosed amount of cash, several real estate properties, 36 luxury cars, among other things.

Drug Trafficking And Money Laundering Using Bitcoin

Currently, the accused are also being investigated for their alleged involvement in financial misappropriation, money laundering, fraudulent management, and orchestrating a large-scale organized crime.

Earlier this year, Brazilian police officials arrested a man who was allegedly involved in operating a drug trafficking ring and engaging in money laundering using bitcoin. After investigating the matter, authorities managed to seize more than R$250,000 (appr. $63,000) worth of mining hardware used to mine the pseudonymous cryptocurrency.