Bitcoin Down Slightly Amid Uncertainty of Russian Prosecution Against BTC-e

Bitcoin (BTC) is slightly down from yesterday’s levels, now trading at around the $930 mark on MtGox. Volume has picked

Bitcoin (BTC) is slightly down from yesterday’s levels, now trading at around the $930 mark on MtGox.

Volume has picked up significantly, averaging about 300 BTC an hour, a six-fold increase from yesterday’s 50 BTC/hr, the lightest activity observed in over a week and a reflection of the sparsity of noteworthy developments in the Bitcoin world.

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Though down only slightly, the duration and consistency of the decline combined with reinvigorated volumes, may be a warning signal of further downward pressure in the near term.

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Potentially contributing to the downdraft are what appear to be mixed signals emanating from Russian authorities as to possible criminal prosecution against the BTC-e exchange and metabank.ru. Originally, the Volgograd Prefecture’s website announced the filing of criminal investigations against these exchanges, only to later deny such a statement, saying the site had been hacked.

It would be odd for a criminal investigation to be announced publicly without first contacting those investigated, and likewise for suspected parties to defend against such allegations in the public forum without indication of any interaction with the authorities.

At first glance, the realization of such events should send investors scrambling for cover as doubt as to cryptocurrency’s long-term viability sets in. However, other recent news items of a similar scale, while occasionally delivering an initial shock, have failed to send investors streaming for the exits. Traders are either starting to see through these increasingly frequent developments and dismiss them as benign, or are anticipating the issue to reverse course in due time as has indeed happened on several occasions.

BTC is only down by about 2% from yesterday’s averages on MtGox- a fluctuation that is not uncommon even in the course of regular flat trading. More significant is trading on BTC-e, where BTC hasn’t declined at all- in fact, it has caught up with its value on Bitstamp, trading right at the $800 mark. The spread between the two and MtGox is about $130.

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