Bitcoin traded as high as $10,218.01 in afternoon trading Thursday, Feb. 15, as traders appeared to slouch off warnings from regulators. Most cryptocurrencies were striding into the green Thursday, joining bitcoin in moving closer to important psychological barriers.
As traders keep a keen eye out for the next big price breakthrough, these are the important stories for Thursday.
CFTC Offers Warning
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission joined the SEC in warning investors about the possibility of cryptocurrency pump-and-dump schemes. The CFTC earlier this month offered a warning regarding cryptocurrency retirement accounts, following an SEC warning about the dangers of ICOs. The CFTC said in the warning that this is an "old scam, new technology" situation in which fraudsters are utilizing chat rooms, message board and mobile apps to further inflate prices before dumping their holdings on the market and crashing coins.
IBM Sets Record Straight
International Business Machines Corp. (IBM - Get Report) made it clear to investors that, for all its possibilities, enterprise blockchain does carry some risk. At a Decoded event, IBM Global Business Services senior managing consultant Adewale Omoniyi explained that blockchain has its hacking and security concerns, adding that "You're never going to build a Fort Knox," according to Coindesk. He noted that blockchain and related security measures are not one size fits all and that companies looking to utilize blockchain should know the risk and take appropriate protective measures ahead of launch.
Austrian Investors Scammed
Authorities in Europe are aiding Austrian law enforcement in investigating what looks to be an alleged bitcoin scam that could have affected as many as 10,000 investors, Bloomberg reported. The focus of the investigation is Optioment, a firm that reportedly promised investors returns as high as 4% on bitcoin deposits through arbitrage trading. The losses are estimated to reach as high as 12,000 bitcoin, or about $115 million.
Back to $20,000 by Summer?
Bitcoin could return to its former glory before the summer is out. That's the view of Fundstrat portfolio strategy analyst and noted bitcoin bull Thomas Lee. In a Feb. 15 note, Lee wrote that 73% of bitcoin bottoms are "V-shaped," suggesting a rally following the price trough. Lee's view implies the cryptocurrency could reach new highs by July based on the price moves that have followed the 22 prior bitcoin corrections of more than 20% since 2010. Based on consistency in gains, bitcoin remains in a bull market. During bull periods for bitcoin, recoveries take approximately 1.7 times the time it took for the entire decline, implying 85 days are needed to recover in this bitcoin market to prior highs. That means July 2018 could see bitcoin back at $20,000.