Bitcoinist Weekly News Re-Hash: Bitcoin Pushes $400, Silk Road Mentor Arrested
We had yet another exciting week in the Bitcoin markets, with the price pushing ever-closer to the $400 mark. This week, the price moved into the $390s, and closed the week out in the mid $380s, making for an overall gain of 3.07%.
Daily Bitcoin Price Action
- November 30: $375.18
- December 1: $378.89
- December 2: $351.96
- December 3: $368.05
- December 4: $359.48
- December 5: $371.64
- December 6 Open: $392.31
- December 6 Close: $386.69
Total Change: +3.07%
The week started on November 30, 2015 with the Bitcoin price sitting at $375.18, maintaining the gains achieved late last week. This price range held for most of the day, hovering in the mid $370s, aside from two fluctuations. At 3 AM, the price spiked to $383, and dipped to $367.11 at 9 AM.
In Monday’s news, two interesting stories came across our desk. We reported that hackers attacked three banks in Athens, Greece, demanding a ransom of 15,000 Euros to be paid in bitcoin by November 30. The hackers are reportedly part of a group known as “The Armada Collective,” who have allegedly attacked and extorted businesses in countries like Greece, Switzerland, and Thailand. The Bank of Greece told press that this attack constituted a “serious threat,” and that counter initiatives would be deployed. In our second story, more drama hit the Bitcoin community, as Theymos and BitStamp butted heads over BIP 101. The popular bitcoin exchange publically stated its support for Gavin Andresen’s BIP 101 proposal, a change to the Bitcoin protocol that is strongly opposed by Theymos. Theymos, being the censorship-prone owner of the bitcoin subreddit, BitcoinTalk, and the Bitcoin wiki, threatened to remove BitStamp from all Bitcoin references under his control.
The first day of December opened at $378.89 — not much of a change over the start of the previous day. The bears were out during the 1st, though, sending the price into the $360s during the morning hours. At midday, bitcoin sat at $360.48; the price hit a low of $348.64 in the late evening.
Wednesday, December 2 began at $351.96, with the markets poised to pull bitcoin out of Tuesday’s slump. Activity started slow in the early morning, but the price began gradually rising at 9 AM. by noon, bitcoin had returned to $359.46. The price stayed between the high $350s and low $360s until a late-day push into the high $360s. The price briefly hit $370.53 at 11 PM, and then ended the day at $368.05.
The markets cooled off on December third, and the Bitcoin price fell back into the low $360s. Activity remained fairly flat for the entirety of the day, floating between the low $360s and high-to-mid $350s ranges.
Meanwhile, in the news, we reported on a massive data breach at United Arab Emirates-based Sharjah Bank. The hacker, under the moniker “Hacker Buba,” gained access to sensitive customer data, demanding a ransom paid in bitcoin. Since the breach, Buba has put bits of the information on social media, threatening to continue leaking customer data until he received his ransom. Twitter suspended the hacker’s account, but he made a new one the following day and uploaded the account statements of 500 Sharjah Bank customers. According to an XPRESS journalist, Hacker Buba wants $3 million USD in bitcoins.
Friday the 4th was another quiet day, but price activity was far from stagnant. For the entire day, the price crawled upwards, quietly entering $370s territory during the late night hours. This dull yet productive day set the stage for an explosive weekend, during which bitcoin would push $400.
Saturday started with the Bitcoin price at $371.64, and continued the previous day’s pattern of slow and steady growth until the early evening. Bitcoin hit $380 at 6 AM, and stood in the high $370s by noon. Then, at 5 PM, the price jumped into the high $380s, and spent the rest of the day rising towards $400, until it closed in the $390s.
Fairly big news accompanied the price rise on Saturday. We reported on a US Justice Department press release stating that Variety Jones, the infamous alleged mentor to Ross Ulbricht — the leader of the notorious Silk Road — had been arrested in Thailand.
From the press release:
“Manhattan U.S. Attorney Announces The Arrest And Unsealing Of Charges Against Senior Adviser To The Operator Of The ‘Silk Road’ —Roger Thomas Clark Was a Key Figure in the Development of Silk Road Who Helped Ross Ulbricht Run the Criminal Enterprise”
Sunday, December 6 opened at $392.31, gearing up for a long day of teasing Bitcoiners with the prospect of hitting $400. The markets spent the entire day in limbo between the high $380s and mid $390s, constantly flirting with $400 but never quite getting there. Overall market activity tapered off considerably during the night, staying flat and closing out Sunday at $386.69.
Where will Bitcoin go from Here?
Last week, I speculated that the price gains likely came from excitement over Bitcoin Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. While that still may be a possibility, as popular bitcoin-accepting company Newegg extended its Cyber Monday deals for several days, I now think that my speculations were mostly incorrect. Looking back, it seems as if some strong momentum built up behind last week’s rally, allowing the price to explode towards $400 in the final few days of this past week.
I think this movement could be an indication of the markets testing a genuine move to $400, since the gradual rise that characterized most of the week didn’t seem explosive enough to be dismissed as purely speculative. However, the rapid activity that occurred during the weekend may be mostly fueled by speculators getting excited over the thought of a return to $400 territory, and the price could settle at a lower point once that speculative activity slows down. However, I was wrong last week, and I can only hope to be wrong this week as well, since we would all love to see bitcoin return to $400 with stability.
What do you think will happen to Bitcoin in the coming week? Let us know in the comments below!
Image courtesy of Emirates 24|7