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Ethereum ‘March 2020’ fractal hints at price bottom — But ETH bears predict 50% crash

Ethereum market analysts desperately search for the bottom but ETH price technicals aren't excluding further downside below $700.

Ethereum's native token, Ether (ETH), eyes a strong bullish reversal after losing 25% from its November high of $1,675, according to a bottom fractal spotted by independent market analyst Wolf.

Can Ethereum price co its March 2020 fractal?  

Wolf compares Ethereum's multi-month downtrend between May 2018 and March 2020 with a similar but relatively shorter correction after July 2022. If the move repeats, that means the price of Ether has bottomed in November 2022, according to the analyst, as shown below.

ETH/USD 2019-20 and 2022 price performance comparison. Source: TradingView/Wolf

Wolf draws cues from March 2020's Ethereum price crash triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic — a black swan event. Similarly, ETH price was pushed down in November 2022 due to another black swan — the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX.

But ETH/USD rebounded aggressively after the March 2020 crash, boosted by the Federal Reserve's rate cuts that injected more money into the economy, part of which flowed into the crypto market.

Similarly, in November 2022, Ether's modest recovery post-FTX "black swan" coincides with growing expectations of the Fed slowing its rate hikes. Thus, Ether has a good chance at repeating the March 2020 fractal to new monthly highs.

Moreover, independent market analyst, Cold Blood Shiller, sees a "clear breakout point" on Ethereum's daily chart, namely its Awesome Oscillator (AO) and Relative Strength Index (RSI). Both indicators appear to have been flipping bullish recently, as shown below.

ETH/USD daily price chart. Source: TradingView/Cold Blood Shiller

Bears anticipate ETH losing another 50%

Nevertheless, Ether is currently down 75% from its record in November 2021 with the market seeing multiple bull traps since. 

Market analyst Aditya Siddhartha Roy notes the possible formation of a similar bull trap in the current miniuptrend, which he argues risks exhaustion near a multi-month descending resistance trendline.

ETH/USD daily price chart. Source: TradingView/Aditya Siddhartha Roy

A decisive pullback from the descending trendline would push Ether toward $700, which may be a "possible bottom," Roy explains. 

Related: Ethereum derivatives look bearish, but traders believe the ETH bottom is in

Roy's analysis aligns with Ethereum's symmetrical triangle setup, best visible on its longer-timeframe chart shown below, whose technical downside target is around $675.

ETH/USD three-day price chart. Source: TradingView

In other words, the ETH/USD pair is still at risk of dropping another 50% in early 2023.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.

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A prominent cybersecurity firm says that the North Korean government is raising money by using hacking groups to perform crypto heists. According to a new article by internet security company Mandiant, the hermit nation has shifted its focus from stealing coronavirus vaccine research to pilfering digital assets. Mandiant says that the nation is now going […]

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Many ETHDenver attendees report positive COVID-19 tests and few masks

The conference did not enforce a vaccine mandate or social distancing and said that only “some public locations” required participants to wear masks.

The transmissibility of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 seems to have affected many attendees at the ETHDenver developer conference, who reported symptoms and positive test results following the event.

Many social media posts from ETHDenver attendees after the conclusion of the Feb. 11–20 conference claim they tested positive for the virus. A local news outlet reported that more than 12,000 people from 100 countries attended the event, which resulted in many infections among both the vaccinated and unvaccinated.

According to ETHDenver’s COVID policies, attendees and staff were required to “take a rapid [antigen] test, on-site, prior to picking up their badge” and requested not to visit any of the event’s in-person venues if showing symptoms. However, the conference did not enforce a vaccine mandate, said that only “some public locations” required participants to wear masks, and did not mention social distancing.

Despite these measures, many attendees posted photos of positive COVID-19 tests or otherwise reported experiencing symptoms. The line for testing had ETHDenver guests waiting outside in the winter weather and photos from the event seem to suggest people wearing masks were in the minority. The event is also currently wrapping up a three-day skiing retreat to Breckenridge.

“None of this is surprising,” said Time staff writer Andrew Chow, who tested positive for COVID-19 after leaving the crypto conference. “Thousands of people from around the world descended upon a few indoor spaces [...] and proceeded to talk loudly in each other’s faces for hours on end. People wearing masks were few and far between, and social distancing was nonexistent.”

Many U.S. states have dropped mask mandates in recent weeks as the number of daily COVID cases fell from more than 1 million in January to a seven-day average of roughly 80,000 at the time of publication, according to data provided by the New York Times. The number of cases in Denver County seemed to have followed this nationwide trend, with a weekly average of 177 as of Feb. 23.

Chow added:

“Attendees joked that ETHDenver 2020 had been one of COVID-19’s initial superspreader events. The 2022 edition was a reminder that the pandemic is still fully in swing, no matter how much people want to put it behind them.”

The CDC recommends both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals wear a mask in “areas of substantial or high community transmission.” In addition, it suggests that “everyone ages five years and older” should receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

Related: Web Summit returns in-person event to delve into crypto, DeFi and NFTs

Though vaccines have been largely available to most U.S. residents for more than a year, other large gatherings in the crypto space have produced similar results. Some media outlets called the Bitcoin 2021 event in Miami a “super spreader event” after many attendees reported testing positive for COVID-19 upon returning home — more than 12,000 people were at the Florida conference.

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Crypto community condemns Canada for freezing dissidents’ Bitcoin wallets

Kraken’s CEO admitted that the firm could be forced to freeze some wallets by the police, advising to move crypto out of exchanges.

Global cryptocurrency enthusiasts have expressed concerns over Canadian authorities freezing bank accounts and crypto wallets involved in funding local COVID-19 protests.

On Thursday, Ontario Superior Court Justice Calum MacLeod issued an order freezing all the digital assets and bank accounts associated with “Freedom Convoy,” a series of ongoing protests against COVID-19 vaccine mandates and restrictions.

According to a report by the Toronto Star, the amount of funds frozen so far in bank accounts and digital wallets with Bitcoin (BTC) and other assets is estimated at more than $1 million.

“The names of both individuals and entities as well as crypto wallets have been shared by the RCMP with financial institutions and accounts have been frozen and more accounts will be frozen,” Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland reported Thursday.

She also argued that the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Center of Canada (FINTRAC) “lacked the necessary authorities to oversee the new world of cryptocurrency.”

Major crypto advocates have subsequently reacted to the news, with Kraken CEO Jesse Powell condemning Canadian authorities. “Due process is for plebs. Might makes right in Canada. If someone dissents, you just confiscate their wealth, revoke their licenses, exclude them from the financial system and kill their pets. No need to debate the law, policy or even rights when you have a monopoly on violence,” he wrote on Twitter.

Powell also expressed concerns over crypto holders, admitting that it could be possible that Kraken could potentially be forced to freeze assets by police without judicial consent, stating:

“100% yes it has/will happen and 100% yes, we will be forced to comply. If you’re worried about it, don’t keep your funds with any centralized/regulated custodian. We cannot protect you. Get your coins/cash out and only trade p2p.”

Anthony Pompliano, co-founder and partner of Morgan Creek Digital, noted that the ongoing events in Canada very much resembled a situation in China, which is commonly referred to as an authoritarian capitalist state.

Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele also took to Twitter to condemn Canadian authorities for making the country fail as a top-ranking country in the “democracy index.” Bukele argued that the widely reported supposed Ukraine–Russia crisis is a distraction, while the “real war” against freedom is happening in countries such as Canada.

As previously reported, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act on Monday, which allowed local regulators to freeze Freedom Convoy protesters’ bank accounts and monitor “large and suspicious transactions,” including crypto.

Related: ‘Keep Your Coins’ bill introduced to restrict government control of crypto

The order specifically extended the scope of Canada’s Anti-Money Laundering and anti-terrorist financing rules to cover crowdfunding platforms and the payment processors they use. “This change covers all forms of transactions, including digital assets such as cryptocurrencies,” FINTRAC said on Tuesday.

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The virus killer: How blockchain contributes to the fight against COVID-19

Blockchain-powered solutions have been on the front line of the battle against the virus, yet their potential has been underutilized.

On Jan. 30, the South China Morning Post reported that one of the largest Asian pharmaceutical companies, Zuellig, had launched a blockchain-based system to track the quality of COVID-19 vaccines. Called “eZTracker,” it allows any user to “instantly verify the provenance and authenticity” of vaccines by scanning the QR code on the package. Somewhat surprisingly, throughout the pandemic, there have not been many reports of blockchain-based products adopted by big pharma or global healthcare organizations to bolster the anti-COVID effort. Here is a rundown of the major cases of such adoption, along with possible reasons for the limited interest in blockchain among healthcare officials. 

South Korea: Blockchain vaccine passports

In April 2021, the South Korean government became the first to introduce blockchain-based vaccine passports amid the COVID-19 crisis. Putting proof of vaccination on a distributed ledger ensures the authenticity of the document as many people around the world tend to counterfeit such “Green Passes,” which sometimes can secure access to restaurants, public spaces and travel.

The app, which goes by the name COOV, was developed by London-based Blockchain Labs and is available on the App Store and Google Play Store. It generates a QR-code for each user and ensures that all personal data is stored on the user's device, exchanging it with the app host through blockchain only.

Brazil: The National Health Data Network

The blockchain-based National Health Data Network is not being built specifically to fight the coronavirus — it constitutes a vital part of the ambitious plan to digitize Brazil’s entire healthcare system. Yet, the system has been used to respond to coronavirus-related challenges since late 2020.

The main use of the Brazilian network, like that in South Korea, is vaccination tracking. The system registers every jab immediately, creating a database that allows for a “continuity of care in the public and private sectors.” The national healthcare digitization project is expected to be completed by 2023.

Mexico: COVID-19 test certificates

In October 2021, private healthcare provider MDS Mexico launched a rapid COVID-19 testing service, backed by blockchain. The digital platform allows patients to get their test results in real-time via a QR code and to safely store their vaccination history. Once again, the company cited the fight against counterfeit vaccinations as the key mission of the platform:

To avoid the falsification of negative results, we began to certify the SARS-CoV-2 detection tests with blockchain technology and cryptographic signature, which protects the information in a unique, immutable and unalterable QR Code that can be verified worldwide.

The private initiative followed the earlier announcement of Mexico’s National Chamber of Commerce that it plans to digitize vaccine passports with the use of blockchain technology.

Other ideas

These examples represent only a small fraction of all blockchain-related projects that are being developed to combat public health threats. Distributed ledgers can help to manage supply chains, ensure the quality of drugs, hold medical records, process insurance claims and increase the efficiency of systems performing a range of other tasks.

Besides safe data management and vaccine tracking, healthcare researchers see opportunities to use blockchains in an even greater variety of areas. A group of American medical scholars proposes a blockchain-based movement pass that relies on smart contracts and tokens to facilitate social distancing. A Scottish research group came up with a project of a blockchain platform, synchronized with the Internet of Things (IoT), that can trace contacts without compromising user identities.

Promoting cross-border compatibility

Enabling cross-border data sharing that could preserve patients’ privacy is a humongous task. To solve it, two scientists from the National Institute of Technology Raipur (India) designed a consortium blockchain to identify and validate COVID-19-related reports through the comparison of the perceptual hash of each report with existing on-chain perceptual hashes.

Reporting COVID-related data to healthcare authorities can get problematic in a pandemic. Jim Nasr, CEO of Acoer — the company that launched the first decentralized COVID-19 tracker back in 2020 — shared his U.S. experience with Cointelegraph:

Every state has its own requirements and mechanism for collection of state-level COVID data. In turn, the states have mandatory infectious disease reporting obligations to federal government entities that largely fund them. The quality and timeliness of data reporting is at best inconsistent, inefficient and publicly non-transparent.

The problems that remain

Currently, the vast majority of COVID-19-related projects still live only on paper. As the most acute phase of the pandemic is arguably over, healthcare innovators seem to be less inclined to focus specifically on the coronavirus. Meanwhile, the number of medical blockchain startups remains on the rise in a variety of more general areas, such as patient consent, clinical trial recruitment, IoT device management, clinical goods supply, finished goods traceability and many others.

Nevertheless, the larger problem of the relationship between blockchain innovation and healthcare officials persists. As Nasr notes, ​​many traditional public health institutions are not ready to embrace blockchain-powered innovation:

In my experience, many of their KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) are under-informed about DLTs and largely [concerned] about the noise in the space (e.g. scamming, cryptocurrency volatility, dealing with keys & wallets, etc).

It is not solely the lack of information that affects adoption. At the end of the day, both public and private healthcare sectors could lack the incentives to innovate in the direction of transparency. Nasr believes that some current problematic aspects of the healthcare industry — “particularly siloed data and opacity of pricing and process” — maintain its profitability and support a thick layer of intermediaries who all benefit along the way. The missing component here is patient pushback that could arise from a better understanding of their rights of data transparency and privacy.

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Singapore firm uses blockchain to battle counterfeit COVID-19 jabs

Zuellig Pharma’s eZTracker platform is using the SAP blockchain to track and verify COVID-19 vaccinations.

Singaporean healthcare services provider Zuellig Pharma is using a blockchain-based network to track COVID-19 vaccinations to prevent practitioners from administering expired vaccines.

Zuellig Pharma says that its new “eZTracker” management system can help prevent improperly stored or counterfeit vaccines from being used by allowing its clients to instantly verify the provenance and authenticity of their vaccines via a mobile app.

“Accidents involving expired or improperly stored vaccines can be avoided,” said Daniel Laverick, vice-president and head of digital and data solutions at Zuellig Pharma.

eZTracker uses the SAP blockchain to capture, track and trace multiple data points to improve supply chain transparency. The eZTracker website explains how it works:

“Simply scan the QR code on the packaging to instantly verify if your product comes from an authorized distributor.”

“Patients can scan the 2D data matrix on the product packaging to verify key product information like expiry date, temperature, and provenance through its app powered by blockchain,” added Laverick.

The SAP Blockchain executes operations as a Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS), allowing its clients to develop customized blockchain extensions for their existing applications. According to SAP, 77% of the world’s transaction revenue touches one of their systems.

Back in 2020, Zuellig partnered with pharmaceutical company MSD to deploy eQTrakcer in Hong Kong, where it was used to trace vaccines for Human Papilloma Virus, Gardasil.

"As the vaccines move through various handover points in the supply chain, the products' data points are loaded into eZTracker's secure blockchain ledger, and this ensures it can't be tampered with,” Laverick explained at the time.

“Users such as healthcare professionals and patients are able to verify the authenticity of the vaccine by scanning a unique data matrix code on the product pack."

Related: Fake vax certificates renew calls for blockchain-based solution in Australia

Founded 100 years ago, Zuellig is one of Asia’s largest healthcare service provider groups. Zuellig also has a product called eZVax, which specifically provides governments, local health authorities, and the private sector with end-to-end vaccine management.

Southeast Asia is a hotbed of fake meds with between $520 million and $2.6 billion spent on counterfeit medicines every year, according to a report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

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Crypto-loving anti-vax group seeks like-minded talent to live in African ‘paradise’

It's unclear what role crypto may play in the community, given Tanzania's central bank banned digital assets in November 2019.

A group of people who have claimed they refuse to take any of the COVID-19 vaccines — at a time when the number of cases around the world is at an all-time high — is reportedly looking for a cryptocurrency expert to join them in Africa.

According to a Friday report from Vice, the group of anti-vaxxers is building a “community” off the coast of southeastern Africa and plans to hire private chefs, television presenters, and crypto experts. The company behind the group, Liberty Places, is a self-described real estate firm based out of the archipelago of Zanzibar. It has previously posted to social media regarding its plans to use “the latest technologies from blockchain to solar energy” in addition to criticizing the use of masks in fighting the pandemic.

Vice reported the group had praised Zanzibar for not implementing “mask mandates, social distancing measures or lockdowns, nor has it enforced any requirement for mandatory vaccines,” describing the island as “free from meddling bureaucracy.” The comments come at a time when the 7-day average number of new cases of COVID-19 is more than 3 million, and many public health officials and lawmakers continue to call for the use of social distancing, wearing masks, and getting vaccinated and boosted when possible.

Many countries around the world are still closed to short-term visitors, with others that aren’t requiring a combination of proof of vaccination, quarantining at a hotel, and a negative COVID-19 test. For visitors from the United States, Tanzania stands out as a country that allows tourists to enter with only a negative test — no mandatory quarantine or vaccination requirement. There is inconsistent data on the number of new cases in the country, but the limited size of Zanzibar makes it unlikely to be able to accommodate millions of anti-vaxxers so locals concerned about the virus could still practice social distancing.

Related: Tanzania’s Zanzibar reportedly exploring ways to adopt crypto

Tanzania's central bank banned crypto in November 2019, but it has reportedly explored overturning its decision following comments from President Samia Suluhu Hassan in June urging the central bank to prepare for Bitcoin (BTC) and digital assets. The country is also reportedly planning to introduce a digital shilling after neighboring countries announced initiatives exploring CBDCs.

Cointelegraph reached out to Liberty Places, but did not receive a response at the time of publication.

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Fish food? Data shows retail investors are buying Bitcoin, whales are selling

The number of Bitcoin addresses holding less than 1 BTC has been rising in the face of a 30% price correction from $69,000.

Bitcoin (BTC) staged an impressive recovery after dropping to its three-month low of $42,333 on Dec. 4, rising to as high as $51,000 since. 

The BTC price retracement primarily surfaced due to increased buying activity among addresses that hold less than 1 BTC. In contrast, the Bitcoin wallets with balances between 1,000 BTC  and 10,000 BTC did little in supporting the upside move, data collected by Ecoinometrics showed.

"Bitcoin is still stuck in a situation where small addresses are willing to stack sats [the smallest unit account of Bitcoin], while the whale addresses aren't really accumulating," the crypto-focused newsletter noted after assessing the change in Bitcoin amounts across small and rich wallet groups, as shown in the graph below.

Bitcoin on-chain data featuring fish and whale BTC wallet clusters. Source: Ecoinometrics 

Ecoinometrics further asserted that the situation for Bitcoin is "not ideal," suggesting that the BTC price may end up resuming its decline in the absence of influential buyers.

Bitcoin's downside target sits near $42K

Ecoinometrics' bearish outlook appeared as Bitcoin grappled with the Federal Reserve's policy decision on Wednesday to reduce its bond purchases by $30 billion every month to unwind them down by April next year entirely.

The $120 billion a month stimulus program was instrumental in sending the BTC price from below $4,000 in March 2020 to $69,000 in Nov 2021. And now that the liquidity threatens to go away, with lending to become costlier as the Fed prepares for three rate hikes next year, many fear that it would hurt investors' appetite for risk assets like Bitcoin.

Mike Novogratz, chief executive officer of Galaxy Digital Holdings, admitted that Bitcoin might feel "pain ahead" but anticipated that its price would not fall anywhere beyond the $42,000-support.

“$42,000 is at a pretty important level, and low 40s should hold,” the crypto billionaire told Bloomberg TV in an interview Tuesday, adding:

"So much money is pouring into the space, it would make no sense that the crypto prices would go much below that. If you’re long, it feels painful, but it’s probably healthy."
BTC/USD daily price chart showing $40K-42K support. Source: TradingView

Bitcoin accumulation stronger among retail

In reality, unique wallets holding more than or equal to 1,000 BTC have been declining all across 2021, with data from Glassnode showing its number dropping to 2,147 from 2,475 since Feb. 9.

The total number of Bitcoin addresses with at least 1,000 BTC balance. Source: Glassnode

In contrast, the number of unique wallets holding at least 0.01 BTC (around $485 at current exchange rates) rose in 2021, from 8.46 million to 9.39 million year-to-date.

Meanwhile, addresses holding at least 0.1 BTC (~$4,855) surged from 3.12 million to 3.30 million in the same period, indicating that "fishes" played a key role in pumping the Bitcoin price from around $30,000 to as high as $69,000 this year.

The total number of Bitcoin addresses with at least 0.01 BTC and 0.1 BTC balance. Source: Glassnode

One more piece of evidence showing that retail investors have been bullish on Bitcoin, came from addresses that hold at least 1 BTC.

Related: Analysts expect Bitcoin trend change after Fed lays out its 2022 roadmap

These wallets decreased in quantity in the first half of 2021 as the BTC market grappled with the China ban and other negative news, but started increasing the second half as El Salvador adopted Bitcoin as its legal tender.

The total number of Bitcoin addresses with at least 1 BTC balance. Source: Glassnode

The number of Bitcoin wallets with at least 1 BTC also kept rising during the BTC price correction from $69,000 to $42,333 in the November-December session, signaling accumulation. It reached a seven-month high on Wednesday just as Bitcoin underwent a rebound to $50,000 from its weekly low near $46,000.

On-chain analyst Willy Woo also spotted retail accumulation rising to levels seen after the March 2020 crash, which led to Bitcoin's two-year-long bull run.

Accumulation among wallets holding less than 1 BTC. Source: WIlly Woo

Additionally, Bitcoin's momentum indicator that preceeded its price breakout to $69,000 earlier this year is also hinting at a potential BTC price breakout ahead.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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