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Serbian hacker denied bail in exchange for Bitcoin [BTC] or any other cryptocurrency

Ajay Narayan



Serbian hacker denied bail in exchange for Bitcoin [BTC] or any other cryptocurrency
Source: Unsplash

According to a report released on 15th August, Martin Marsich, a 25-year-old Serbian-Italian national was taken to Federal Court for a hearing. He was accused of allegedly hacking into the private network and getting access to 25000 accounts of customers who buy items at the store for use in video games.

Marsich was arrested for intentionally accessing a protected computer to get information of individuals for private financial gain. The hack began on 24th September, 2017, but Electronic Arts [EA] realized that its systems had been compromised only on 25th March, 2018.

Marsich was accused of using a developer software designed to let two apps communicate. He gained access to a secret key that only EA possessed, resulting in him tampering with EA’s systems and altering their databases. According to FBI’s affidavit, Electronic Arts informed the FBI that it suspects the hacker sold the stolen accounts over the dark web or online black markets. The Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation blamed Marsich for infiltrating Redwood City video game company, Electronic Arts in San Fransisco [SFO], California and stealing roughly $324,000 worth of digital goods, according to court documents.

Federal Judge Jaqueline Corley ordered Marsich to pay $750,000 in Bitcoin [BTC] or any other cryptocurrency as a compensation for his bail. Cryptocurrencies have become so prevalent online but Marsich, federal authorities, and the court were in a dilemma when they realized the difficulties in using digital currency in the real world. They were concerned about selling a large stash of small and lightly traded coins which could have caused the value of the currency to fluctuate dramatically.

Unfortunately, due to liability issues, the FBI could not take possession of the cryptocurrency even though part of it would be used for restitution to Electronic Arts. Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan Knight spoke about her conversation with the district council and that they had shown no interest in granting bail in exchange for cryptocurrencies.

The federal authorities shifted gears after setting up the bail which included creating a cryptocurrency wallet to facilitate the transfer. They reversed the following week’s decision and said it was not going to accept digital coins as collateral. Ultimately, the prosecutors and the defense came to a conclusion by demanding Marsich to sell $200,000 worth of his cryptocurrency with the help of a broker and secure his bail. According to court documents, it is not clear whether the transfer has occurred yet.

According to an audio recording of the proceedings obtained by MarketWatch assistant U.S. attorney Ben Kingsley said on the August 9th court hearing:

“My sense is that it’s happened before, but it’s not the most common thing, so it might take a couple of days to get set up, By then we should have the [cryptocurrency] wallet set up and we can do the transaction with the agents present.”

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Ajay Narayan is a full-time journalist at AMBCrypto. He has majored in Economics, Political Science and Sociology. His interests are inclined towards writing and investing in cryptocurrencies.


Bitcoin’s 2017 bull run was fueled by FOMO & hype; present run more fundamentally driven, claims report

Biraajmaan Tamuly



Source: Pixabay

Here we go again. Another bull run. Another “hype session” among investors as Bitcoin rises again. The cryptocurrency market is well known for its incredible shift in market sentiment, especially on the back of the world’s largest cryptocurrency surging again.

Bitcoin not only reached its 16-month high today, but it also recorded a growth of 15 percent over the week. This has contributed to several analysts and industry insiders speculating how high Bitcoin will go, with Anthony Pompliano claiming that the digital currency will soon cross its all-time-high valuation of nearly $20,000 and reach a massive $100,000 by 2021.

These predictions have definitely contributed to the coin’s growth as while the present surge is similar to the 2017 rally, it’s not driven by FOMO alone.

Source: SFOX volatility report

A recent comparison drawn out by the SFOX Volatility report compared the preset rally with the bull run of 2017.

The report suggested that the rally of 2017 was largely driven by ‘FOMO.’ When Bitcoin started climbing the valuation ladder, word got out and many investors discovered virtual assets for the first time. The rally of 2017 was mainly fostered through hype and speculation, since there were no major readings or past data to back the rising price.

Source: SFOX volatility report

The present run, while similar, is different in some aspects, one of them being that Bitcoin has a larger user base now than in 2017. While FOMO remains a major factor in driving the price up, the current surge is also backed by developments in the ecosystem, such as the entry of retail investors and huge financial/non-financial institutions joining the crypto-bandwagon.

Facebook’s crypto project, Libra, and Bitmain’s pursuit for a U.S IPO have validated Bitcoin and the rest of the cryptocurrency market, a luxury not available to the market of 2017. The present rally thus, is more mature than the 2017 rally as the present market’s fundamentals are more data-driven.

There remain some stark similarities in the trends however. For instance, in 2017, the push from $9000 to $11000 took place in a period of 7 days. The current push from around $8800 to $11000 came to be in 8 days.

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