It was not meant to be, they would be telling the bulls, as Bitcoin held on to USD 10,000 for a mere few hours before falling back to new weekly lows.

It seemed very tightly measured yesterday during North American trading zones, when Bitcoin tiptoed between both sides of USD 10,000 for six hours, before finally letting go and recording USD 9,643 during the early hours of Europe around 9:30 am Shanghai time (CoinDesk). Altcoins followed suit, and themselves retreated further into their shells, as the bulls were nowhere to be found. Bitcoin now trades at USD 9,813 10 minutes away from noon UTC.

There was not much in the news that would have prompted any significant drop, although the statement made by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) against a US crypto company could not have been taken well by sentiment analysts.

The company, who managed escrow in Bitcoin, was deemed to have defrauded investors for up to USD 7 million, according to news reports. Two counts each on commodity and wire fraud were leveled by the US Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York against Jon Barry Thompson, principal of Volatnis Escrow Platform LLC.

An unsealed complaint revealed accusations of Thompson making misleading statements about investment risks and false representations of his custody and control of digital assets. In a statement,  US Attorney Geoffrey S Berman declared:

“As his clients soon realized, however, Thompson’s representations were false, and these cryptocurrency investors ultimately lost all of the money they had entrusted with him because of his lies.”

Large hacks at crypto exchanges can generate a lot of negative sentiment during and in the weeks after the discovery, as this typically involves large amounts of money and investor confidence in the security of these exchanges are shaken. However, with more direct theft, like what seems to have occurred in this recent DoJ case, it is an issue of broken trust, and that could have had a different impact on investor perceptions of businesses dealing in crypto.

As it is, any service that requires custody of digital assets to be handed over to centralized companies, be it crypto exchanges or bitcoin escrow, does mean that users have little or no control over their own funds. So it should be pointed out that all these hacks and fraud could be avoided simply by not choosing to place trust in another party, but keeping ownership of your own crypto.

In any case, the maximum sentence for Thompson is said to be 40 years in prison, so that should serve as a deterrent for future would-be crypto scammers! Also, it should at least tell people that the government, despite all its seemingly unfriendly attitude towards crypto, still ensures justice is meted out to crypto criminals and the rights of crypto investors are protected.

On the flip side, positive sentiment should find a boost from new findings shared recently by Digital Assets Data. It says that although the gains in the past few months have been trimmed down in July, it is still overall a 200% increase over the first half of the year, and this has given Bitcoin bulls a lot of confidence who are expecting a full eventual recovery.

Their research has shown that in countries with high inflation, people are now using Bitcoin as an alternative store of value, preferring it over local fiat. In countries with lower inflation, Bitcoin anyway is traded for speculative value. Both seem to be seen as catalysts for positive surges that could be eye-catching. Digital Assets Data co-founder Mike Alfred explained:

“We found that in developing countries and places where monetary policy and banks are less stable, bitcoin trading volume continued to rise even as the bitcoin price was falling. While this is currently happening in smaller economies, if there was instability in the developed world, perhaps through a major recession or spike in unemployment, there could be a significant surge in interest in bitcoin, resulting in a potential positive catalyst for the bitcoin price.”

Forbes theorizes that this could be the new influx of Bitcoin investors that people are waiting for. Take this into a joint account with yesterday’s findings of increased American interest in Bitcoin, and there are enough ingredients for a storm of retail investment.

The fate of Bitcoin for the month of July has not been decided, and there is still Friday trading plus the opportunity for more weekend drama before the month closes out, so this is what we will wait for before deciding which market forces is to be played to next week.

 

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