Stellar XLM Rises 8%: What It Means for TON, XMR, and ARB

Stellar (XLM) Experiences Over 8% Uptick

As of September 4, 2023, Stellar ($XLM) has seen an 8% increase in its price, indicating a potential mini breakout. This comes at a time when the asset has been consistently “shorted by the crowd,” according to data from Santiment. The uptick in price could be further fueled by liquidations.

Market Watchlist: TON, XMR, ARB

Based on data from Santiment, investors should closely monitor the cryptocurrencies TON, XMR, and ARB, as these assets are also being “shorted by the crowd.”

As of the latest data, XMR’s market value stands at approximately $21.3 million, a significant increase from $11.7 million on August 21. The long/short ratio for XMR is 1.44, indicating a balanced market sentiment. This suggests that XMR is less likely to experience liquidity issues in the long positions.

ARB’s Declining Open Interest

In contrast, ARB has seen a decline in open interest. It reached a high of around $60 million on August 28 but has since dropped to $48.7 million. Despite the decrease, the open interest remains substantial. However, ARB’s long/short ratio of 3.78 serves as a warning signal for long traders, indicating potential liquidity risks.

Image source: Shutterstock


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Bitcoin Volatility Fades Away; Analyst Who Predicted Bitcoin Drop to 35000 Points Out Top Most Promising Privacy Coins

In terms of seasonality, May is considered a relatively successful month for BTC. Given the current risk aversion among investors and the macroeconomic environment, this May may prove to be different. 


Those accustomed to Bitcoin’s extreme volatility are scratching their heads and looking forward to a rally similar to that of last year when the flagship cryptocurrency doubled in price from July to November’s all-time high. What happened to Bitcoin’s legendary volatility? The following are a few possible explanations. 


BTC Is Still Correlated, But to a Lesser Degree


As concerns grow over how aggressively the Federal Reserve should tighten policy to combat decades-high inflation, richly valued tech stocks have been experiencing historic volatility. Bitcoin, however, hasn’t been battered to the same extent.


The chart below measures systematic risk by looking at how Bitcoin’s returns correlate with the market. As of right now, its value is 0.0362, which indicates that it is moving in sync with the benchmark, but not as drastically.




Bitcoin Volatility Vanishes


I wrote in December that institutional investors might dampen the volatility of the crypto market and smooth out the market’s dynamics some time in the future, and it seems we are already witnessing that.


The Average True Range Index, a volatility indicator, shows that Bitcoin volatility has been falling and is currently at its lowest level since December 2020.




Top Performing Privacy Coins 


Over the past three months, the privacy coin sector with a combined value of $8.84 billion has posted an overall gain of 20.24% compared to weak or negative performance by other sectors during the same period.


Haven Protocol (XHV)


Haven Protocol posted the biggest gain over the last three months, rising 135.23%. With a market cap of $75,268,861, it traded at $3.04 at the time of writing.


Built on Monero and including xUSD, the world’s first private stablecoin, Haven aims to become an open, private, and decentralized offshore bank, with a mint-and-burn mechanism that allows users to convert between XHV, Haven’s native token, and its ecosystem of synthetic assets and algorithmic stablecoins.

Source: CoinGecko 


Monero (XMR)


Monero (XMR) is the most popular privacy-centric cryptocurrency based on the CryptoNote protocol, a secure and untraceable system. All of Monero’s transactions remain 100% unlinkable and untraceable thanks to a special kind of cryptography.


XMR was worth $221.24 when this article was written, with a market capitalization of $4,006,536,770. For the past three months, it gained 49.81% and outperformed Bitcoin by 40.49%.


Monero is nearing its tail emission on June 8, which is expected to appeal to the mining community and keep the price of XMR high.


Source: CoinGecko 

Railgun (RAIL)


Railgun provides privacy for trading on DEXs and lending due to its fully Eth layer-1 architecture, which does not use layer 2 nodes or cross-chain bridges to compromise security. It is a smart contract system that gives zk-SNARK privacy to any Ethereum transaction or smart contract interaction.

Railgun allows users to go untraceable when trading, using leverage platforms, or adding liquidity with any Ethereum dApp. 


Currently trading at $3.22 with a market cap of $184,773,805, RAIL is 23.5% away from its record high of $4.20 set in January 2022, so it’s likely it will soon retest the new high. 


Source: CoinGecko 


Zcash (ZEC)

Another privacy-preserving cryptocurrency, Zcash provides anonymous value transfer using zero-knowledge cryptography. The protocol provides the option of shielding transactions to ensure they are completely anonymous, or to make them transparent to show them on the Zcash blockchain. 


It has recently been revealed that Edward Snowden played a key role in the creation of Zcash privacy coin.


Source: CoinGecko 


In the past three months, ZEC gained 31.10% against the greenback and 23.04% against Bitcoin. With a market cap of $1,640,053,535, its price is currently $132.16, up 10% over the past 24 hours. 

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Ransomware Payments in Bitcoin and Other Crypto Hit at Least $600M in 2021: Chainalysis

In brief

  • For now, Chainalysis estimates $602 million in ransomware payments from 2021—less than for 2020.
  • But it expects the final number to rise substantially.

Chainalysis—a blockchain data firm—has found that value stolen through crypto ransomware attacks likely rose from 2020 to 2021—it just hasn’t accounted for it all yet. 

According to a preview of the company’s 2022 Crypto Crime Report, it’s identified $602 million in ransomware payouts for 2021, compared to $692 million for 2020. However, it believes the 2021 figure to be an “underestimate” given that it has revised its initial 2020 estimate upward by nearly 50%.

“Anecdotal evidence, plus the fact that ransomware revenue in the first half of 2021 exceeded that of the first half of 2020, suggests to us that 2021 will eventually be revealed to have been an even bigger year for ransomware,” the report states.

Ransomware is a type of malicious software that blocks access to computer files until the attacker’s requests are fulfilled. Hackers often ask for hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in funds—typically paid in cryptocurrency so it doesn’t have to go through traditional payment routes. There are various versions or types of ransomware, called “strains.” 

According to Chainalysis, the Russian-based group Conti was easily the biggest ransomware strain last year in terms of revenue. Using a ransomware-as-a-service model (RaaS), Conti operators extorted over $180 million from their victims. 

DarkSide was also listed. It’s the strain that perpetrated the infamous attack on the U.S. Colonial Pipeline, leading to fuel shortages in some areas. The company was forced to shell out $5 million in Bitcoin to their hackers at the time. Throughout the year, DarkSide seized at least $75 million in similar hacks.

Since cryptocurrency payments are peer-to-peer, hackers are continuing to abuse them as a method of escaping interruptions from third-party intermediaries. In traditional finance, banks and payment providers can not only reverse criminal transactions, but also easily identify those users and ban them from their platforms. 

Yet that doesn’t make Bitcoin a criminal paradise either. In fact, thanks to Bitcoin’s public blockchain, the U.S. Justice Department was able to track and seize almost half of the money DarkSide stole from the pipeline. That’s why some ransomware attackers choose to use privacy-based coins such as Monero to facilitate these transactions instead.  

The number of active strains in 2021 rose to 140, up from 119 in 2020, and just 79 in 2019. The activity of most of these strains “comes and goes in waves,” Chainalysis identified Conti as the only strain that stayed active throughout the year.  

Along with the number of strains, average ransomware payment size also increased in 2021, up to $118,000 from just $88,000 in 2020.

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Monero (XMR) Readies For A Breakout As It Touches Important Milestone

Privacy coin Monero (XMR) usually spends its time in the shadows, which is exactly the way its community likes it. Till date, it is still impossible to penetrate the privacy that the digital asset offers, making it the go-to choice for investors who are trying to keep their crypto transactions and holdings a secret. Recently though, the cryptocurrency is breaking out onto the radars of more investors as it shatters an important milestone.

As more crypto users are discovering their transactions are not as hidden as they might have thought, they are moving towards coins like Monero that offers the privacy they desire. This has seen the number of users rise on the blockchain and total transactions carried out has soared, more than doubling in just the first quarter of 2022.

Monero (XMR) Surpasses 20 Million Transactions

Monero is no doubt the leading privacy coin in the crypto space and it has once again proven this with its recent milestone. The coin seems to have exploded in popularity in just the first two months of 2022 as the number of transactions carried out has doubled from 2021. Last year, the number of transactions recorded was sitting at 8.65 million. With less than two months into the new year, the volume of transactions tells a new story.

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Related Reading | Bitcoin Hits Two-week High Imitating The Stock Rally

Growing almost 150% in just a matter of months, the number of Monero transactions has crossed 20 million. Data from Blockchair shows that there have been a total of 2,554,175 blocks mined over the lifetime of the privacy digital asset, landing on more than 20,023,000 transactions carried out in the same time period.

This number is important for a digital asset like Monero whose sole utility is being untraceable. It spells more usage from crypto users as they move towards keeping their crypto footprints hidden. It also points towards more adoption of the coin, and as the market rises out of the ashes of the last burn, it may mean significant growth for the digital asset in relation to price.

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Growing With The Market

Like most cryptocurrencies, the price of Monero (XMR) had suffered when the market had crashed. This saw the cryptocurrency crashing from its high of almost $525 to the low $140, around which its value has trended for the past week. However, with the recent market recovery going into last weekend, Monero has followed along and has posted a recovery, up 16% in the past 24 hours alone.

Related Reading | Cryptocurrency Wallet Phantom Marks $1.2 Billion Valuation Amid Recent Funding Round

This does not mean that the digital asset is out of the woods though. Sentiments around the cryptocurrency continues to skew greatly in the bearish territory, and sell signals continue to overpower the asset. According to data from Barchat, Monero’s sell indicators have taken hold with 88% pointing towards sell. The 50-day, 100-day, and 200-day MACD Oscillator also point towards sell.

Monero (XMR) price chart from

XMR recovers to $176 | Source: XMRUSD on

On the short term though, the 20-day moving average has turned towards buy. Coupled with the increased adoption and growing volume recorded, this trend is expected to continue and drive the price of the digital asset up in its wake. With a strong close above $180 by end of day, next significant support will be at $200, at which point, bulls will be able to sink their claws firmly into the asset.

Featured image from CoinJournal, chart from


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Litecoin (LTC) Whales in Longest Accumulation Streak Since 2017: Crypto Intelligence Firm Santiment

Leading crypto intelligence firm Santiment is revealing some bullish on-chain metrics that are developing for Litecoin (LTC) behind the scenes.

LTC is trading at $148 at time of writing, down 64% from its all-time high of $410 in a hard downtrend. Despite this, Santiment says crypto whales may have other plans for the early Bitcoin (BTC) competitor.

According to the firm, “smart money” Litecoin whales are on a 15-week accumulation streak, something that hasn’t been seen since 2017.

“Litecoin is showing some signs of life, up about +5% against BTC in the past two days. Whale addresses holding 10,000 to 1,000,000 LTC are in a 15-week accumulation pattern that is their longest since 2017. They have added 5% of LTC’s supply in just 15 weeks.”

Source: Santiment/Twitter

Santiment also says that privacy-focused blockchain Monero (XMR) is showing some under-the-radar signals that could be bullish. According to the firm, Monero is being discussed in forums at its highest rate in 10 months.

“Monero has decoupled from the crypto pack on a down Thursday. The asset has been quiet since hitting $513 back on May 7, 2021. But with XMR being one of the few pumping coins currently, it’s seeing the highest forum discussion rate in 10 months.”

Looking at BTC and the broader market, Santiment says that traders may be getting too confident in predicting further price drops.

Historically, the firm says that current conditions often lead to short squeezes, which is when an excessive number of traders attempt to short the market only to get hit with an unexpected price bump that leads to a cascade of liquidations that push the price up even further.

“Bitcoin and several other altcoins reveal a higher short-to-long ratio than usual, indicating traders are expecting prices to drop. Traditionally, when this funding rate ratio is extremely negative, shorts are primed to be liquidated and prices rise.”

Source: Santiment/Twitter

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Top crypto winners and losers of 2021

The year 2021 has undoubtedly been a bull market with Bitcoin (BTC) raising the all-time high price bar several times this year. But not all crypto assets have performed equally. There have been a number of losers in addition to the majority of winners in terms of price gains.

Since the beginning of 2021, total crypto market capitalization has gained 190% from just under $800 million to over $2.3 trillion today. It hit an all-time high of just over $3 trillion in early November.

Top 3 crypto gainers in 2021

The crypto top-ten in terms of market capitalization looked a little different on Jan. 1, 2021, as it contained Litecoin (LTC), Chainlink (LINK), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). These have dropped out and have given way to Solana (SOL), USDC, and Avalanche (AVAX) by the year’s end.

Dogecoin (DOGE)

Dogecoin has skyrocketed this year, driven primarily by Elon Musk’s surreptitious social media posts. On New Year’s Day, DOGE was priced at just $0.004 and largely ignored by the majority of crypto traders. DOGE had its first little spurt in February following the first of what would be a number of subsequent Elon pumps.

DOGE prices really went on a wild ride in April and May when they surged more than 1,100% to an all-time high of $0.731 on May 8, pushing it up the crypto market cap charts to the fourth spot.

Musk extolled the virtues of DOGE as a payments network in June, resulting in another round of FOMO for the memecoin.

DOGE has been falling from that epic pump since May, both against Bitcoin and USD. But all of the additional mainstream media it has got, in addition to major trading platform listings, has still given the Shiba Inu-inspired joke coin a monumental gain of 3,800% so far this year. In BTC terms, DOGE has gained 2,100% on the year from 168 satoshis to 3,696 sats in mid-December.


Starting position by market capitalization on Dec. 15: 26 — Final position: 11

Solana (SOL)

The native token for the enterprise blockchain Solana has also had a bumper year in terms of gains. At the beginning of 2021, SOL was priced at just $1.52, at the time of writing it was trading for a little over $150. This is an epic gain of more than 9,800% in less than a year.

SOL hit an all-time high of $260 in early November but has retreated as markets began correcting late in the year. The massive move has given SOL a fifth spot in the market cap charts after peaking at fourth. Against BTC, SOL has gained 6,473% over the year.

Major investments and increased adoption in the wake of surging transaction prices on Ethereum have driven momentum for Solana, which has also been touted as an “Ethereum killer.” In June, Solana Labs raised $314 million via a private token sale led by Andreessen Horowitz and Polychain Capital.


Starting position: 112 — Final position: 5

Terra (LUNA)

The native token for decentralized financial payment network Terra has also made it into the crypto top ten briefly. LUNA began the year trading at around $0.65 and was largely unknown to mainstream retail traders.

Prices were lifted in March and May, but they didn’t really take off until August when a massive pump took LUNA to an all-time high of $77.73 on Dec. 5. At the time of writing, LUNA was trading up a whopping 8,515% since the beginning of the year. In satoshi terms, LUNA has increased up 5,815% this year against BTC.

The rapid expansion of partners on the Terra ecosystem has been largely responsible for the bullish price action.


Starting position (CMC): 62 — Final position (CMC): 10

A few others are also worth a mention for making impressive gains this year and they include Avalanche’s AVAX up 2,330% on the year, Polygon’s MATIC, which has surged more than 12,000%, and Binance Coin (BNB) making 1,271% this year.

Top 3 crypto losers in 2021

Internet Computer (ICP)

Amid a world of hype, Dfinity’s Internet Computer project exploded onto the scene this year after 5 years of largely secretive development. It promised an internet revolution replacing the trillion-dollar legacy internet and IT industry by allowing developers to install their code directly on a “public internet” without having to rely on third-party hosting firms.

Speculators in a frenzy for the next big thing in crypto loaded up on ICP tokens when they were listed on major exchanges in mid-May sending prices skyrocketing to a very quick all-time high of $700 on May 10.

Since then, ICP prices have virtually collapsed sinking to an all-time low of $24.29 on Dec. 4, a painful 96% down from its peak just 7 months prior. It has also lost 93% against Bitcoin in terms of satoshis.


Starting/Highest position: 8 — Final position: 37


The once darling of crypto that many touted would kill Ethereum has actually done very little in terms of price movements this year while those around it have surged.

EOS had already fallen out of the market cap top ten on Jan. 1 and it continued to fall down the charts all year. EOS prices have only gained a paltry 15% over the year when others were in thre and 4 figures so we would consider that a loser in the grand scheme of things.’s once-hyped token was trading at $3.25 at the time of writing, having slumped to the 50th spot by market cap. It is currently 86% down from its April 2018 all-time high of $22.71 and has lost 22% against BTC over the year.

In early November, members of the EOS ecosystem voiced their dissatisfaction with the direction the network was heading.


Starting position: 15 — Final position: 50

Monero (XMR)

The privacy-focused cryptocurrency Monero has also fallen heavily down the market cap charts this year as a number of major exchanges delisted digital assets that offer anonymity.

XMR prices have mustered just 17% this year and have come nowhere near their January 2018 all-time high of $524. Currently trading at around $183, XMR has slumped 66% from that peak resulting in a fall to 49th in the coin cap tables. Monero has lost 30% against Bitcoin since the beginning of the year.


Starting position: 16 — Final position: 49

To put these gains and losses into perspective, Bitcoin is up 67.5% year-to-date (YTD) year while Ethereum gained 440%.