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  • 29.05.2019 | Top 8 Decentralized Exchanges in 2019




    In the cryptocurrency world, there are many different ways to obtain and trade cryptocurrencies. As more time progresses, there is a growing focus on decentralized exchanges and trading platforms. It would appear the following companies are making a meaningful impact in this regard. Despite the growing popularity, users are still advised to conduct their own research first and foremost. IDEX Focuses on ERC20 Tokens It is not entirely abnormal to see most of the decentralized exchanges focus on tokens and assets which are not always available on major exchanges. The ERC20 token industry has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years, yet most of the tokens can still not be traded outside of DEXes. As far as IDEX is concerned, the platform is trying to list as many tokens as possible, which can be traded against Ethereum. So far, it has not generated the highest trading volume by any means, but it would appear some of its pairs are hitting $100,000 in daily trading volume without too many problems. The platform does seem to require some personal information from users who want to sign up. Waves DEX is More Mainstream It may take quite some time until all of the decentralized exchanges and trading platforms generate sufficient trading volume to remain relevant. In the case of Waves DEX, the overall volume is still rather low. Considering how the WAVES/BTC pair generated most of the volume, it is evident the rest of the markets are not too popular just yet. Surprisingly, the platform allows users to trade major currencies for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Waves, Euro, and US Dollars. An interesting collection to start with, albeit there is still a lot of work to be done. The desktop client will undoubtedly be of great interest to a lot of users. Kyber Network Inches Higher When looking at the Kyber Network trading platform, it quickly becomes apparent trading any of the supported currencies against Ethereum is the main bread and butter. Its most popular pair is DAI/ETH, as it is the only one which generates over $100,00 in daily volume. Users who are not necessarily interested in trading can also become a liquidity provider, which could be worth checking out. With support for hardware wallets as well, Kyber Network is trying to inch ahead of the competition. EtherDelta / ForkDelta Most cryptocurrency users are all too familiar with the EtherDelta platform. It is one of the more popular decentralized exchanges, although its focus still lies on just Ethereum and ERC20 tokens. For novice users, this platform might not be ideal, as it is a bit rough around the edges. Additionally, its overall liquidity is still on the low side of the spectrum. The forked version of this platform, known as ForkDelta, generates even less volume and supports very few coins at this time. CryptoBridge Offers Multiple Masternode Coins It is always interesting to see how different decentralized exchanges try to differentiate themselves. That is easier said than done in this day and age. For CryptoBridge, its listing of masternode coins has made it popular, albeit it seems the overall trading volume is dropping off quite regularly. Most currencies can be traded against Bitcoin, although users still need to deposit their funds. The signup process is rather straightforward, and it is still a worthwhile DEX to look at for both novice and advanced traders. TRX Market is Still Relatively new Many people were somewhat surprised to learn Tron has its own decentralized trading platform, known as TRX Market. It does not stand out yet in the world of decentralized exchanges, albeit it is not necessarily a problem at this time. Just two official markets are available, although there are dozens of “unverified” markets as well. Its overall trading volume still needs some work, but the addition of these extra markets should allow for interesting changes to occur in the coming months and years. EthFinex Starts to Move up When it comes to high-performance decentralized trading platforms, EthFinex may have a leg up over some of its competitors. It is convenient to use, offers basic trading indicators, and focuses on ERC20 tokens. Users are not required to sign up or deposit tokens, as everything can be done from one’s compatible wallet. Being able to retain funds at all times is something more decentralized exchanges should offer at this time. In terms of trading volume, it seems EthFinex is leading the pack, although the competition will continue to step up its game as well. Binance DEX Needs to Meet High Expectations Whereas all of the platforms above have built up some sort of reputation, there is a good chance they will all be trumped by Binance DEX in the very near future. This platform has tremendous expectations to live up to, although it may take a while until that effectively happens. Considering how the project has the backing of the Binance team, there are a lot of potential developments to look forward to. So far, it seems the number of trading markets remains limited, but one never knows how things may look later in 2019. Disclaimer: This is not trading or investment advice. The above article is for entertainment and education purposes only. Please do your own research before purchasing or investing into any cryptocurrency or digital currency.   Image(s): Shutterstock.com   https://quantsalus.com/rules/ ...

    In the cryptocurrency world, there are many different ways to obtain and trade cryptocurrencies. As more time progresses, there is a growing focus on decentralized exchanges and trading platforms. It would appear the following companies are making a meaningful impact in this regard. Despite the growing popularity, users are still advised to conduct their own research first and foremost.

    IDEX Focuses on ERC20 Tokens

    It is not entirely abnormal to see most of the decentralized exchanges focus on tokens and assets which are not always available on major exchanges. The ERC20 token industry has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years, yet most of the tokens can still not be traded outside of DEXes. As far as IDEX is concerned, the platform is trying to list as many tokens as possible, which can be traded against Ethereum. So far, it has not generated the highest trading volume by any means, but it would appear some of its pairs are hitting $100,000 in daily trading volume without too many problems. The platform does seem to require some personal information from users who want to sign up.

    Waves DEX is More Mainstream

    It may take quite some time until all of the decentralized exchanges and trading platforms generate sufficient trading volume to remain relevant. In the case of Waves DEX, the overall volume is still rather low. Considering how the WAVES/BTC pair generated most of the volume, it is evident the rest of the markets are not too popular just yet. Surprisingly, the platform allows users to trade major currencies for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Waves, Euro, and US Dollars. An interesting collection to start with, albeit there is still a lot of work to be done. The desktop client will undoubtedly be of great interest to a lot of users.

    Kyber Network Inches Higher

    When looking at the Kyber Network trading platform, it quickly becomes apparent trading any of the supported currencies against Ethereum is the main bread and butter. Its most popular pair is DAI/ETH, as it is the only one which generates over $100,00 in daily volume. Users who are not necessarily interested in trading can also become a liquidity provider, which could be worth checking out. With support for hardware wallets as well, Kyber Network is trying to inch ahead of the competition.

    EtherDelta / ForkDelta

    Most cryptocurrency users are all too familiar with the EtherDelta platform. It is one of the more popular decentralized exchanges, although its focus still lies on just Ethereum and ERC20 tokens. For novice users, this platform might not be ideal, as it is a bit rough around the edges. Additionally, its overall liquidity is still on the low side of the spectrum. The forked version of this platform, known as ForkDelta, generates even less volume and supports very few coins at this time.

    CryptoBridge Offers Multiple Masternode Coins

    It is always interesting to see how different decentralized exchanges try to differentiate themselves. That is easier said than done in this day and age. For CryptoBridge, its listing of masternode coins has made it popular, albeit it seems the overall trading volume is dropping off quite regularly. Most currencies can be traded against Bitcoin, although users still need to deposit their funds. The signup process is rather straightforward, and it is still a worthwhile DEX to look at for both novice and advanced traders.

    TRX Market is Still Relatively new

    Many people were somewhat surprised to learn Tron has its own decentralized trading platform, known as TRX Market. It does not stand out yet in the world of decentralized exchanges, albeit it is not necessarily a problem at this time. Just two official markets are available, although there are dozens of “unverified” markets as well. Its overall trading volume still needs some work, but the addition of these extra markets should allow for interesting changes to occur in the coming months and years.

    EthFinex Starts to Move up

    When it comes to high-performance decentralized trading platforms, EthFinex may have a leg up over some of its competitors. It is convenient to use, offers basic trading indicators, and focuses on ERC20 tokens. Users are not required to sign up or deposit tokens, as everything can be done from one’s compatible wallet. Being able to retain funds at all times is something more decentralized exchanges should offer at this time. In terms of trading volume, it seems EthFinex is leading the pack, although the competition will continue to step up its game as well.

    Binance DEX Needs to Meet High Expectations

    Whereas all of the platforms above have built up some sort of reputation, there is a good chance they will all be trumped by Binance DEX in the very near future. This platform has tremendous expectations to live up to, although it may take a while until that effectively happens. Considering how the project has the backing of the Binance team, there are a lot of potential developments to look forward to. So far, it seems the number of trading markets remains limited, but one never knows how things may look later in 2019.


    Disclaimer: This is not trading or investment advice. The above article is for entertainment and education purposes only. Please do your own research before purchasing or investing into any cryptocurrency or digital currency.

     

    Image(s): Shutterstock.com

     

    https://quantsalus.com/rules/



    29.05.2019 | Multiple Hansa Darknet Drug Vendors Face 6.5 Years in Jail




    Ever since government agencies aggressively began cracking down on darknet places, a lot of arrests have occurred. It now appears some of those individuals getting arrested will know their jail sentence relatively soon. Three male Hansa darknet marketplace drug vendors will face up to 6.5 years in prison. One female suspect is also looking at up to 16 months in prison. Hansa Drug Vendors are in a Pickle Anyone who willingly sells illegal products on a darknet marketplace knows all too well there can be some serious consequences down the line. Although not every vendor is arrested in the end, most of the “bigger fish” appear to find themselves in a tough situation sooner or later. For three of Hansa‘s top drug vendors, their arrests may have come as a rather big surprise. Even so, all of these individuals are looking at rather lengthy jail sentences. Three male suspects are currently under investigation in The Netherlands. All of them face 6.5 years in jail due to their role in the Hansa marketplace vendor scheme. Since all of these suspects have allegedly completed over 20,000 orders of drugs and other narcotics, it is only normal the potential jail sentence is rather steep. Among the drugs they sold and shipped globally are XTC, ketamine, MDMA, cocaine, cannabis, and methamphetamine. All of the usual suspects are present in that regard. Among the suspects is also one female, albeit her role is rather unclear at this time. She too will face a jail sentence, albeit a far more lenient one. The prosecution wants to leverage a 24-month jail sentence, of which 16 months would have to be effectively spent behind bars. Official sources have not disclosed her exact role in the process, albeit it seems there is a lot of evidence to confirm this person played a role in these illegal business activities.  All of the drugs sold by these vendors were shipped in 3D-printed containers, which allowed the materials to pass through customs undetected. The official investigation seemingly confirms all of these individuals have been active on Hansa since 2016. It is possible their accounts are even older, although that has not been officially confirmed at this stage. Ever since law enforcement agencies gained control over Hansa last year, it quickly became evident who played which role exactly. This would also indicate a lot more arrests pertaining to this marketplace can occur in the months and years to come. It is not the first time Hansa vendors are arrested either. Several alleged users were arrested months ago, but there are still quite a lot of individuals roaming free. Moreover, it seems the majority of Hansa vendors closed up shop before the marketplace was controlled by law enforcement. As such, they are now active on other markets. Which markets those might be, has yet to be unveiled to the public at this time.  It is evident the activity on the darknet is not slowing down regardless of how many arrests take place. The Dutch prosecution also wants to confiscate roughly 1 million euro worth of funds from all individuals combined. Most of this funds will pertain to cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin. More details are expected to be unveiled on June 12 of this year, when the final verdicts will be rendered. For law enforcement agencies, these arrests are considered to be a big victory. However, for every vendor who gets arrested, it seems at least two new usernames pop up on various darknet marketplaces. There is still a lot of work to be done in this regard.   Image(s): Shutterstock.com   https://quantsalus.com/rules/...

    Ever since government agencies aggressively began cracking down on darknet places, a lot of arrests have occurred. It now appears some of those individuals getting arrested will know their jail sentence relatively soon. Three male Hansa darknet marketplace drug vendors will face up to 6.5 years in prison. One female suspect is also looking at up to 16 months in prison.

    Hansa Drug Vendors are in a Pickle

    Anyone who willingly sells illegal products on a darknet marketplace knows all too well there can be some serious consequences down the line. Although not every vendor is arrested in the end, most of the “bigger fish” appear to find themselves in a tough situation sooner or later. For three of Hansa‘s top drug vendors, their arrests may have come as a rather big surprise. Even so, all of these individuals are looking at rather lengthy jail sentences.

    Three male suspects are currently under investigation in The Netherlands. All of them face 6.5 years in jail due to their role in the Hansa marketplace vendor scheme. Since all of these suspects have allegedly completed over 20,000 orders of drugs and other narcotics, it is only normal the potential jail sentence is rather steep. Among the drugs they sold and shipped globally are XTC, ketamine, MDMA, cocaine, cannabis, and methamphetamine. All of the usual suspects are present in that regard.

    Among the suspects is also one female, albeit her role is rather unclear at this time. She too will face a jail sentence, albeit a far more lenient one. The prosecution wants to leverage a 24-month jail sentence, of which 16 months would have to be effectively spent behind bars. Official sources have not disclosed her exact role in the process, albeit it seems there is a lot of evidence to confirm this person played a role in these illegal business activities.  All of the drugs sold by these vendors were shipped in 3D-printed containers, which allowed the materials to pass through customs undetected.

    The official investigation seemingly confirms all of these individuals have been active on Hansa since 2016. It is possible their accounts are even older, although that has not been officially confirmed at this stage. Ever since law enforcement agencies gained control over Hansa last year, it quickly became evident who played which role exactly. This would also indicate a lot more arrests pertaining to this marketplace can occur in the months and years to come.

    It is not the first time Hansa vendors are arrested either. Several alleged users were arrested months ago, but there are still quite a lot of individuals roaming free. Moreover, it seems the majority of Hansa vendors closed up shop before the marketplace was controlled by law enforcement. As such, they are now active on other markets. Which markets those might be, has yet to be unveiled to the public at this time.  It is evident the activity on the darknet is not slowing down regardless of how many arrests take place.

    The Dutch prosecution also wants to confiscate roughly 1 million euro worth of funds from all individuals combined. Most of this funds will pertain to cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin. More details are expected to be unveiled on June 12 of this year, when the final verdicts will be rendered. For law enforcement agencies, these arrests are considered to be a big victory. However, for every vendor who gets arrested, it seems at least two new usernames pop up on various darknet marketplaces. There is still a lot of work to be done in this regard.

     

    Image(s): Shutterstock.com

     

    https://quantsalus.com/rules/


    29.05.2019 | Fruit-Picking Robot Will Outperform Human Workers Soon




    When the world learned humans could one day be replaced by robots, a lot of doom scenarios were created. While some of those fears may be justified, one cannot deny robots are far more efficient than human workers could ever be. In the world of raspberry picking, one robot is making a lot of headlines as of late. Fruit Picking Without Humans As far as most people can remember, fruit picking has always been done by humans. While the involvement of machinery is not all that strange in this day and age, the actual picking requires a gentle touch. Raspberries are, just like other types of fruit, very fragile. As such, one wouldn’t necessarily expect a robot with metallic pincers to be able to perform this job quite admirably. Nothing could be further from the truth in this regard. Initially developed by Fieldwork Robotics, their fruit-picking robot has a lot of future promise. The team has come up with a robotic solution which can not only alleviate this tedious labor but even ensure it never has to be performed by humans again. It is evident this solution may end up costing a fair few jobs in the process, albeit there isn’t necessarily anyone who would object to that development. While the initial cost of this robot is quite staggering at nearly $900,000 it seems there is a good reason for bringing it to market. Not only will it automate the process of picking raspberries, but it should be able to process as many as 25,000 raspberries per day. That is quite a step up from how many human workers can pick on an average day. Do keep in mind this is a theoretical figure first and foremost, as the current process yields about one raspberry per minute. Another reason for this particular development is how the UK notes a lack of seasonal workers as of late. It is possible the looming Brexit has made people less eager to seek work in that country. Additionally, both Romanian and Polish workers tend to get better offers working in their home country thanks to the surging economies in both regions. As such, exploring robot workers seems to be the only viable option left on the table, unless something changes dramatically. Under the hood, the robot is composed of sensors, grippers, 3D cameras, and machine learning. This latter aspect is quite interesting, as the machine is set up in such a way it can distinguish between ripe and unripe raspberries. Additionally, through its native learning process, the robot will become more efficient in terms of picking raspberries. It is expected a speed of one berry per 10 seconds is more than attainable, albeit it may take some time to achieve that goal. All plucked fruit is then sorted by its “maturity”, which is a crucial process prior to sending the fruit to supermarkets. Over time, the robot will become more advanced and use up to four grippers at the same time. It is not just a unit capable of dealing with raspberries. In fact, field trials in China have confirmed the unit is capable of handling tomatoes and cauliflower. That in itself is a rather interesting development which shows the unit has a very bright future ahead. It may meet some resistance from human rights activists, as this machine is more than capable of taking people’s job in rather quick succession.   Image(s): Shutterstock.com   https://quantsalus.com/about/...

    When the world learned humans could one day be replaced by robots, a lot of doom scenarios were created. While some of those fears may be justified, one cannot deny robots are far more efficient than human workers could ever be. In the world of raspberry picking, one robot is making a lot of headlines as of late.

    Fruit Picking Without Humans

    As far as most people can remember, fruit picking has always been done by humans. While the involvement of machinery is not all that strange in this day and age, the actual picking requires a gentle touch. Raspberries are, just like other types of fruit, very fragile. As such, one wouldn’t necessarily expect a robot with metallic pincers to be able to perform this job quite admirably. Nothing could be further from the truth in this regard.

    Initially developed by Fieldwork Robotics, their fruit-picking robot has a lot of future promise. The team has come up with a robotic solution which can not only alleviate this tedious labor but even ensure it never has to be performed by humans again. It is evident this solution may end up costing a fair few jobs in the process, albeit there isn’t necessarily anyone who would object to that development.

    While the initial cost of this robot is quite staggering at nearly $900,000 it seems there is a good reason for bringing it to market. Not only will it automate the process of picking raspberries, but it should be able to process as many as 25,000 raspberries per day. That is quite a step up from how many human workers can pick on an average day. Do keep in mind this is a theoretical figure first and foremost, as the current process yields about one raspberry per minute.

    Another reason for this particular development is how the UK notes a lack of seasonal workers as of late. It is possible the looming Brexit has made people less eager to seek work in that country. Additionally, both Romanian and Polish workers tend to get better offers working in their home country thanks to the surging economies in both regions. As such, exploring robot workers seems to be the only viable option left on the table, unless something changes dramatically.

    Under the hood, the robot is composed of sensors, grippers, 3D cameras, and machine learning. This latter aspect is quite interesting, as the machine is set up in such a way it can distinguish between ripe and unripe raspberries. Additionally, through its native learning process, the robot will become more efficient in terms of picking raspberries. It is expected a speed of one berry per 10 seconds is more than attainable, albeit it may take some time to achieve that goal. All plucked fruit is then sorted by its “maturity”, which is a crucial process prior to sending the fruit to supermarkets.

    Over time, the robot will become more advanced and use up to four grippers at the same time. It is not just a unit capable of dealing with raspberries. In fact, field trials in China have confirmed the unit is capable of handling tomatoes and cauliflower. That in itself is a rather interesting development which shows the unit has a very bright future ahead. It may meet some resistance from human rights activists, as this machine is more than capable of taking people’s job in rather quick succession.

     

    Image(s): Shutterstock.com

     

    https://quantsalus.com/about/


    29.05.2019 | EOS Price Prediction And Analysis For May 28th EOS Rising on Expectations




    By Dmitriy Gurkovskiy, Chief Analyst at RoboForex EOS is correcting slightly on May 28, trading at $7.92. The steady uptrend, however, is still going on. On H4, the price got boosted and broke out the previous channel boundary at 50% Fibo, or $8.52. The MACD, meanwhile, is diverging, which may signal a reversal. Therefore, once the target at $8.52 is reached, the price may hit the local support at $7.32, and then, after breaking it out, head further down to $5.44, the previous ascending channel support. On H1, the Stochastic formed a black cross in the overbought territory, which may signal the price could be taken to $7.32. However, after testing it, the price may well rise to $8.52. Overall, EOS is so far doing well this year. Today, it reached its 2019 high, although correcting afterwards. The general crypto market sentiment is rather optimistic, and yet, this is not the only reason. As early as March 2019, Dan Larimer, EOS Tech Director, said an important event was going to happen on June 1 in Washington DC. There’s nothing else to add to that so far, and the market is just guessing. In fact, this could be anything from a road map all the way to new trademarks, with updated release cycles and wallet codes in between. In early 2019, Block.One mentioned new app releases a few times, so this may be what people are expecting by June 1. This could well be the EOS protocol update as well, which will be also great, as market desperately wants it. Earlier this year, EOS trading turnover was around $630M, now it’s around $5B. Currently, the coin is number five in the most in-demand crypto rating, its market cap being $7.10 billion. Disclaimer Any predictions contained herein are based on the authors’ particular opinion. This analysis shall not be treated as trading advice. RoboForex shall not be held Company for the results of the trades arising from relying upon trading recommendations and reviews contained herein. Image(s): Shutterstock.com   Image(s): Shutterstock.com  

    By Dmitriy Gurkovskiy, Chief Analyst at RoboForex

    EOS is correcting slightly on May 28, trading at $7.92.

    The steady uptrend, however, is still going on. On H4, the price got boosted and broke out the previous channel boundary at 50% Fibo, or $8.52. The MACD, meanwhile, is diverging, which may signal a reversal. Therefore, once the target at $8.52 is reached, the price may hit the local support at $7.32, and then, after breaking it out, head further down to $5.44, the previous ascending channel support.

    On H1, the Stochastic formed a black cross in the overbought territory, which may signal the price could be taken to $7.32. However, after testing it, the price may well rise to $8.52.

    Overall, EOS is so far doing well this year. Today, it reached its 2019 high, although correcting afterwards. The general crypto market sentiment is rather optimistic, and yet, this is not the only reason.

    As early as March 2019, Dan Larimer, EOS Tech Director, said an important event was going to happen on June 1 in Washington DC. There’s nothing else to add to that so far, and the market is just guessing. In fact, this could be anything from a road map all the way to new trademarks, with updated release cycles and wallet codes in between.

    In early 2019, Block.One mentioned new app releases a few times, so this may be what people are expecting by June 1. This could well be the EOS protocol update as well, which will be also great, as market desperately wants it.

    Earlier this year, EOS trading turnover was around $630M, now it’s around $5B. Currently, the coin is number five in the most in-demand crypto rating, its market cap being $7.10 billion.

    Disclaimer

    Any predictions contained herein are based on the authors’ particular opinion. This analysis shall not be treated as trading advice. RoboForex shall not be held Company for the results of the trades arising from relying upon trading recommendations and reviews contained herein.

    Image(s): Shutterstock.com

     

    Image(s): Shutterstock.com

     

    28.05.2019 | 'Luxury good' or no privacy at all? Apple & Google duke it out over customers' da




    An Apple exec is defending the high cost of privacy after a passive-aggressive jab from Google over turning what was once a fundamental civil right into a 'luxury good' – but look who's talking. Pot, meet kettle. Who's blacker? "We have no interest in learning all about you as a company," Apple vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi boasted to the Independent, adding that he "doesn't buy into" the criticism leveled against the company by Google CEO Sundar Pichai, who hinted that Apple could only afford to respect users' privacy because its products are so expensive. "Privacy cannot be a luxury good offered only to people who can afford to buy premium products and services," Pichai wrote in a New York Times op-ed earlier this month that stopped just short of naming Apple as the target of his scorn. The Google chief argued that slurping up "a small subset of" customers' data is necessary for the company to offer its products for free or cheap. Pichai's promise that "Google will never sell any personal information to third parties," when the company is being investigated for GDPR violations in the EU over the creepily intimate behavioral categorizations it tags users' traffic with in order to market them to third parties on its ad exchange platform, is disingenuous if not blatantly false, as is the idea that Google lets its customers decide how their information is used. Most Gmail users, for example, had no idea the content of their emails was being analyzed to serve them ads, and while Pichai could argue that they should have known there's no such thing as a free lunch – or a free email platform – the lack of an easily-accessible opt-out option means the "decision" boils down to whether or not to use Google at all. For the company that has come to embody Big Data to claim it's "working hard to challenge the assumption that products need more data to be more helpful" beggars belief. But Pichai's criticism of Apple has merit. The latest iPhone model – advertised with the tagline "what happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone" – retails for at least $999 at a time when nearly two thirds of Americans don't even have that much in savings, let alone disposable income. One could buy an older or used iPhone and forego the social status boost that comes with a shiny new device, while Federighi addressed the criticism with platitudes like: "We think a great product experience is something everyone should have." What are Apple's customers paying for? In the oft-cited case of the San Bernadino shooters, in which Apple CEO Tim Cook heroically refused to unlock the suspect's iPhone for the FBI, the feds ultimately used an Israeli spyware program to access the phone anyway. Earlier this year, it was discovered that Apple's FaceTime could be used to eavesdrop on users even if they didn't answer a call. Apple also signed on to the NSA's PRISM program - three years later than Google, but a willing partner nonetheless.  "We feel privileged that billions of people trust [Google products] to help them every day," Pichai writes, waxing poetic about how privacy means many things to many people, it's an "important topic," and billions of people trust Google with their most private thoughts. But Federighi's approach is more pragmatic. "Fundamentally, we view the centralization of personalized information as a threat, whether it's in Apple's hands or anyone else's hands," he said, claiming that Apple is relying more on localized computing and "differential privacy." Helen Buyniski   © Pixabay / succo   https://quantsalus.com/faq/...

    An Apple exec is defending the high cost of privacy after a passive-aggressive jab from Google over turning what was once a fundamental civil right into a 'luxury good' – but look who's talking. Pot, meet kettle. Who's blacker?

    "We have no interest in learning all about you as a company," Apple vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi boasted to the Independent, adding that he "doesn't buy into" the criticism leveled against the company by Google CEO Sundar Pichai, who hinted that Apple could only afford to respect users' privacy because its products are so expensive.

    "Privacy cannot be a luxury good offered only to people who can afford to buy premium products and services," Pichai wrote in a New York Times op-ed earlier this month that stopped just short of naming Apple as the target of his scorn. The Google chief argued that slurping up "a small subset of" customers' data is necessary for the company to offer its products for free or cheap.

    Pichai's promise that "Google will never sell any personal information to third parties," when the company is being investigated for GDPR violations in the EU over the creepily intimate behavioral categorizations it tags users' traffic with in order to market them to third parties on its ad exchange platform, is disingenuous if not blatantly false, as is the idea that Google lets its customers decide how their information is used. Most Gmail users, for example, had no idea the content of their emails was being analyzed to serve them ads, and while Pichai could argue that they should have known there's no such thing as a free lunch – or a free email platform – the lack of an easily-accessible opt-out option means the "decision" boils down to whether or not to use Google at all. For the company that has come to embody Big Data to claim it's "working hard to challenge the assumption that products need more data to be more helpful" beggars belief.

    But Pichai's criticism of Apple has merit. The latest iPhone model – advertised with the tagline "what happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone" – retails for at least $999 at a time when nearly two thirds of Americans don't even have that much in savings, let alone disposable income. One could buy an older or used iPhone and forego the social status boost that comes with a shiny new device, while Federighi addressed the criticism with platitudes like: "We think a great product experience is something everyone should have."

    What are Apple's customers paying for? In the oft-cited case of the San Bernadino shooters, in which Apple CEO Tim Cook heroically refused to unlock the suspect's iPhone for the FBI, the feds ultimately used an Israeli spyware program to access the phone anyway. Earlier this year, it was discovered that Apple's FaceTime could be used to eavesdrop on users even if they didn't answer a call. Apple also signed on to the NSA's PRISM program - three years later than Google, but a willing partner nonetheless. 

    "We feel privileged that billions of people trust [Google products] to help them every day," Pichai writes, waxing poetic about how privacy means many things to many people, it's an "important topic," and billions of people trust Google with their most private thoughts.

    But Federighi's approach is more pragmatic. "Fundamentally, we view the centralization of personalized information as a threat, whether it's in Apple's hands or anyone else's hands," he said, claiming that Apple is relying more on localized computing and "differential privacy."

    Helen Buyniski

     

    © Pixabay / succo

     

    https://quantsalus.com/faq/


    28.05.2019 | Unfit for CrossFit, is Facebook heading for a fall?




    Until now, users complaining and closing their Facebook accounts have mainly been private individuals, but could the platform’s recent public rejection by CrossFit spell the beginning of the end for the social media giant? For the past two decades, the California-based firm CrossFit has hawked an intensive fitness regimen and built a chain of training centers around it, earning the loyalty of millions of customers. CrossFit understood the value of platforms like Facebook and Instagram in targeting its audience, building up a devoted following and keeping them engaged. Yet, instead of appealing to the blandest possible consensus opinions – the safe, default choice of most image-conscious companies – CrossFit actively infused its social media messages with an actual ideology. Its publications and pronouncements on weightlifting and workouts regularly reference libertarian politics, dovetailing with those of the company’s irreverent president, Greg Glassman. So it came as no great surprise when CrossFit became one of the few firms to make the break with Facebook, and to do so very publicly. This week, the company announced that it would end its relationship with Facebook and its affiliates, detailing its reasons for doing so in an online anti-Facebook manifesto of sorts, after a CrossFit diet group was temporarily deleted without warning. When it comes to losing accounts, Facebook, so far, has mostly felt the ire of individuals complaining about things like lax privacy policies, political censorship or negative effects on mental health. Studies have shown that Facebook can contribute to feelings of inadequacy, anxiety and depression — and recent research found that the number of Facebook users dropped by a whopping 15 million in the last two years. What’s more, the biggest decrease occurred within the demographic that social media giants try hardest to appeal to — 12 to 34 year-olds. Dramatically declaring the intention to close one’s social media accounts has become something of a rite of passage for many in recent years. The Twitter hashtag #deletefacebook took off after the Cambridge Analytica scandal which saw the shady firm harvest data from 50 million users without permission — although there has been no mass exodus from which Facebook could not recover. But when a major corporation announces that it’s quitting Facebook for good, it could potentially signal a mass departure will not be long in coming. Until now, the number of companies electing to leave the platform – whether without much fanfare, or in a huff of CrossFit-style rage – has failed to coalesce into a critical mass. But if CrossFit’s repudiation of Facebook and its practices hasn’t caught on like wildfire yet, the reasons for its rejection are already well-known, and widely shared. People are getting sick of Facebook’s cozy relationship with both the US government and foreign governments. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has even said acceptable speech online should be defined by “thoughtful governments” and endorsed plans by Australia and France that trend in that direction. They’re also getting sick of Facebook’s security breaches that put their data in danger and an increasing tendency toward censorship of political speech on the platform, while keeping secret its criteria for deciding which content to censor. Meanwhile, as Facebook increasingly fails to live up to the expectations of the communities that contribute to it, it also fails to contribute, as expected, to the communities where it lives. The firm reportedly pays nearly no taxes on its considerable income. Facebook’s many failings, which anger so many people for so many different reasons, could convene in the most unfortunate of ways for the company. In due time, we may look back and pinpoint May 2019 as the beginning of the end for Facebook — the month that American companies began a mass exodus, logging out for good.   © Reuters / Charles Platiau   https://quantsalus.com/about/...

    Until now, users complaining and closing their Facebook accounts have mainly been private individuals, but could the platform’s recent public rejection by CrossFit spell the beginning of the end for the social media giant?

    For the past two decades, the California-based firm CrossFit has hawked an intensive fitness regimen and built a chain of training centers around it, earning the loyalty of millions of customers. CrossFit understood the value of platforms like Facebook and Instagram in targeting its audience, building up a devoted following and keeping them engaged.

    Yet, instead of appealing to the blandest possible consensus opinions – the safe, default choice of most image-conscious companies – CrossFit actively infused its social media messages with an actual ideology. Its publications and pronouncements on weightlifting and workouts regularly reference libertarian politics, dovetailing with those of the company’s irreverent president, Greg Glassman.

    So it came as no great surprise when CrossFit became one of the few firms to make the break with Facebook, and to do so very publicly. This week, the company announced that it would end its relationship with Facebook and its affiliates, detailing its reasons for doing so in an online anti-Facebook manifesto of sorts, after a CrossFit diet group was temporarily deleted without warning.

    When it comes to losing accounts, Facebook, so far, has mostly felt the ire of individuals complaining about things like lax privacy policies, political censorship or negative effects on mental health. Studies have shown that Facebook can contribute to feelings of inadequacy, anxiety and depression — and recent research found that the number of Facebook users dropped by a whopping 15 million in the last two years. What’s more, the biggest decrease occurred within the demographic that social media giants try hardest to appeal to — 12 to 34 year-olds.

    Dramatically declaring the intention to close one’s social media accounts has become something of a rite of passage for many in recent years. The Twitter hashtag #deletefacebook took off after the Cambridge Analytica scandal which saw the shady firm harvest data from 50 million users without permission — although there has been no mass exodus from which Facebook could not recover. But when a major corporation announces that it’s quitting Facebook for good, it could potentially signal a mass departure will not be long in coming.

    Until now, the number of companies electing to leave the platform – whether without much fanfare, or in a huff of CrossFit-style rage – has failed to coalesce into a critical mass. But if CrossFit’s repudiation of Facebook and its practices hasn’t caught on like wildfire yet, the reasons for its rejection are already well-known, and widely shared.

    People are getting sick of Facebook’s cozy relationship with both the US government and foreign governments. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has even said acceptable speech online should be defined by “thoughtful governments” and endorsed plans by Australia and France that trend in that direction. They’re also getting sick of Facebook’s security breaches that put their data in danger and an increasing tendency toward censorship of political speech on the platform, while keeping secret its criteria for deciding which content to censor.

    Meanwhile, as Facebook increasingly fails to live up to the expectations of the communities that contribute to it, it also fails to contribute, as expected, to the communities where it lives. The firm reportedly pays nearly no taxes on its considerable income.

    Facebook’s many failings, which anger so many people for so many different reasons, could convene in the most unfortunate of ways for the company. In due time, we may look back and pinpoint May 2019 as the beginning of the end for Facebook — the month that American companies began a mass exodus, logging out for good.

     

    © Reuters / Charles Platiau

     

    https://quantsalus.com/about/


    28.05.2019 | US-China trade war could cost global economy $600 billion




    Whoever wins the bitter trade row between the two biggest world economies, the US or China, the consequences are set to spread far beyond… erasing up to $600 billion off global GDP, according to a Bloomberg forecast. Trade representatives from Washington and Beijing had been soothing the markets as they indicated that they were on the verge of a deal, before the trade war reignited two weeks ago. After the two sides introduced tit-for-tat tariff hikes, the trade conflict then turned into a technological war as the Trump administration blacklisted Chinese telecom giant Huawei and has been pressing its overseas allies to ditch the company’s 5G equipment. Already-flaring trade tensions still have room to escalate. For example, the tariffs may be further expanded to all US-China trade, dragging markets down. Such a scenario would cost global GDP some $600 billion when the impact reaches its peak in 2021, Bloomberg economists Dan Hanson and Tom Orlik warn. Even without the trade conflict, output in China and the US would slump by 0.5 percent and 0.2 percent respectively, while the global output would be down around 0.3 percent in around two years. However, the spat is ongoing and no side is willing to surrender its positions, with each hoping that the rival finally makes concessions. While US President Donald Trump reiterates that the US is in “a very good position” against China, Beijing says it has some trump cards of its own and is indicating that it is not willing to compromise its “core interests.” The heightened tensions may result in tariffs on all bilateral imports instead of groups of products. Given the possibility of tariffs increasing to 25 percent, output in the world may decline by 0.5 percent, while US and Chinese output may drop 0.5 percent and 0.8 percent, according to the analysts. Financial markets, already sensitive to the US-China trade war, are expected to be dragged down as a nightmare scenario includes a 10 percent equity market crash, that would eventually hit consumption and investment, in addition to increased tariffs. This would lead to 0.6 percent decline in global GDP, while China and the US would lose 0.9 percent and 0.7 percent respectively. Many analysts have already predicted that global trade may fall victim to the tariff game. Additional US levies on Chinese goods exacerbate“the uncertainty in the global trading environment” and further slow growth, Moody’s said earlier this month. The IMF also sounded the alarm about the consequences of the trade tensions, warning it will “jeopardize” 2019 global growth, undermine confidence, and raise prices for consumers.   © Global Look Press / Jacek Sopotnicki   https://quantsalus.com/contacts/...

    Whoever wins the bitter trade row between the two biggest world economies, the US or China, the consequences are set to spread far beyond… erasing up to $600 billion off global GDP, according to a Bloomberg forecast.

    Trade representatives from Washington and Beijing had been soothing the markets as they indicated that they were on the verge of a deal, before the trade war reignited two weeks ago. After the two sides introduced tit-for-tat tariff hikes, the trade conflict then turned into a technological war as the Trump administration blacklisted Chinese telecom giant Huawei and has been pressing its overseas allies to ditch the company’s 5G equipment.

    Already-flaring trade tensions still have room to escalate. For example, the tariffs may be further expanded to all US-China trade, dragging markets down. Such a scenario would cost global GDP some $600 billion when the impact reaches its peak in 2021, Bloomberg economists Dan Hanson and Tom Orlik warn.

    Even without the trade conflict, output in China and the US would slump by 0.5 percent and 0.2 percent respectively, while the global output would be down around 0.3 percent in around two years.

    However, the spat is ongoing and no side is willing to surrender its positions, with each hoping that the rival finally makes concessions. While US President Donald Trump reiterates that the US is in “a very good position” against China, Beijing says it has some trump cards of its own and is indicating that it is not willing to compromise its “core interests.”

    The heightened tensions may result in tariffs on all bilateral imports instead of groups of products. Given the possibility of tariffs increasing to 25 percent, output in the world may decline by 0.5 percent, while US and Chinese output may drop 0.5 percent and 0.8 percent, according to the analysts.

    Financial markets, already sensitive to the US-China trade war, are expected to be dragged down as a nightmare scenario includes a 10 percent equity market crash, that would eventually hit consumption and investment, in addition to increased tariffs. This would lead to 0.6 percent decline in global GDP, while China and the US would lose 0.9 percent and 0.7 percent respectively.

    Many analysts have already predicted that global trade may fall victim to the tariff game. Additional US levies on Chinese goods exacerbate“the uncertainty in the global trading environment” and further slow growth, Moody’s said earlier this month. The IMF also sounded the alarm about the consequences of the trade tensions, warning it will “jeopardize” 2019 global growth, undermine confidence, and raise prices for consumers.

     

    © Global Look Press / Jacek Sopotnicki

     

    https://quantsalus.com/contacts/


    27.05.2019 | Top 5 Ways to Make Money During a Sideways or Bearish Crypto Market Trend




    Despite a pretty decent start to Q2 2019, it seems the cryptocurrency markets are going through some sideways trading momentum. That is not entirely surprising, as the gains sustained in April and May are quite steep. Despite the current sideways and sometimes bearish market trend, there are still good ways to make money with a bit of effort. The following tips are all worth taking into consideration. Shorting the Market at the Right Time Those cryptocurrency enthusiasts and traders who genuinely expect the bearish momentum to continue may want to look at shorting Bitcoin or altcoins. Numerous platforms provide such trading tools in a convenient manner. As this sideways momentum continues, it has become apparent Bitcoin is bouncing between different price ranges on a nearly daily basis. That is both promising and worrisome, depending on what one expects to do under the current market circumstances. Although there is good money to be made by shorting cryptocurrencies, the current market conditions might not necessarily make it too appealing. As the prices continue to hover near the same price points for all currencies, shorting Bitcoin or altcoins may prove to be somewhat difficult. A short-term short at the right time could make users some good money, but from a long-term perspective, it seems unlikely any major price crash will occur. One never knows how the markets will evolve in the coming days and weeks. Swing Trading Anyone with a basic understanding of technical analysis will see the merit of swing trading cryptocurrencies. Regardless of being in a bull or bear market, swing trading can always yield some profits if done correctly. This method relies on buying low, selling high, and repeating the same process over and over. Every market has its ups and downs throughout the day, thus taking advantage of all of those opportunities will require putting in a lot of effort and staring at charts for several hours. Identifying swing trade points is not overly difficult either. Using some basic indicators and looking up YouTube videos on basic trading patterns will get most traders and enthusiasts on their way to making some decent profits. Even when markets are in sideways trading motion, there are always market fluctuations to take advantage of on any given day.  As easy as it may sound on paper, there are still some risks involved with this trading strategy as a whole. Scalping for Small Profits Nearly everyone confronted with financial markets will have come across the term scalping by now. This method of trading tends to occur in every single market, both within and outside of the cryptocurrency industry. Even in a bear market, scalping is a good way to make small profits along the way. In fact, it is a method which can be used every single day, although profits are never guaranteed without putting in some effort and research first. For those who have a lot of free time on their hands, scalping might be worth exploring. It is a tedious process which can grate on one’s nerves quite quickly, however. Scalping with a trading bot might be a more plausible approach, as it takes care of everything on behalf of the user. Even so, these markets are still very volatile, thus a bad hourly candle can easily erode one’s total week’s profits in quick succession. Not a trading method for the faint of heart, for rather obvious reasons. Small-cap Coins can be Lucrative In the cryptocurrency world, there are thousands of different projects and currencies to be traded. A lot of good money can be made from the smaller markets which have not amassed to much as of yet. Small-cap currencies can often see some interesting price swings during a sideways or bearish market trend affecting the top markets. While no big money should be invested in small-cap coins, there is always a chance to make some money on a good day. A bit of a risky play yet traders should never invest money they can’t afford to lose. Explore Airdrops, Giveaways, and IEOs While there is not necessarily too much money to be made with airdrops and giveaways these days, it is still a “free” source of money worth looking into. Most airdrops require some social media interaction, thus setting up a dummy account is never a bad idea. Some projects give away a few dollars worth of tokens per airdrop or giveaway, thus they tend to add up rather nicely over time. Being able to trade these tokens or assets is a different matter altogether. Most of these offerings will not hit a major exchange for quite some time to come. Another option is to look into Initial Exchange Offerings. This business model has become increasingly popular in recent months. Regardless of what the overall market trend may be, there will usually be some sort of “token pump” once the asset gets listed on an exchange after the sale. Since most IEOs always tend to yield a profit for those early investors, there is some decent money to be made in that regard. How popular IEOs will be during a sideways or bear market, has yet to be determined. Disclaimer: This is not trading or investment advice. The above article is for entertainment and education purposes only. Please do your own research before purchasing or investing into any cryptocurrency or digital currency. Image(s): Shutterstock.com     https://quantsalus.com/faq/   ...

    Despite a pretty decent start to Q2 2019, it seems the cryptocurrency markets are going through some sideways trading momentum. That is not entirely surprising, as the gains sustained in April and May are quite steep. Despite the current sideways and sometimes bearish market trend, there are still good ways to make money with a bit of effort. The following tips are all worth taking into consideration.

    Shorting the Market at the Right Time

    Those cryptocurrency enthusiasts and traders who genuinely expect the bearish momentum to continue may want to look at shorting Bitcoin or altcoins. Numerous platforms provide such trading tools in a convenient manner. As this sideways momentum continues, it has become apparent Bitcoin is bouncing between different price ranges on a nearly daily basis. That is both promising and worrisome, depending on what one expects to do under the current market circumstances.

    Although there is good money to be made by shorting cryptocurrencies, the current market conditions might not necessarily make it too appealing. As the prices continue to hover near the same price points for all currencies, shorting Bitcoin or altcoins may prove to be somewhat difficult. A short-term short at the right time could make users some good money, but from a long-term perspective, it seems unlikely any major price crash will occur. One never knows how the markets will evolve in the coming days and weeks.

    Swing Trading

    Anyone with a basic understanding of technical analysis will see the merit of swing trading cryptocurrencies. Regardless of being in a bull or bear market, swing trading can always yield some profits if done correctly. This method relies on buying low, selling high, and repeating the same process over and over. Every market has its ups and downs throughout the day, thus taking advantage of all of those opportunities will require putting in a lot of effort and staring at charts for several hours.

    Identifying swing trade points is not overly difficult either. Using some basic indicators and looking up YouTube videos on basic trading patterns will get most traders and enthusiasts on their way to making some decent profits. Even when markets are in sideways trading motion, there are always market fluctuations to take advantage of on any given day.  As easy as it may sound on paper, there are still some risks involved with this trading strategy as a whole.

    Scalping for Small Profits

    Nearly everyone confronted with financial markets will have come across the term scalping by now. This method of trading tends to occur in every single market, both within and outside of the cryptocurrency industry. Even in a bear market, scalping is a good way to make small profits along the way. In fact, it is a method which can be used every single day, although profits are never guaranteed without putting in some effort and research first.

    For those who have a lot of free time on their hands, scalping might be worth exploring. It is a tedious process which can grate on one’s nerves quite quickly, however. Scalping with a trading bot might be a more plausible approach, as it takes care of everything on behalf of the user. Even so, these markets are still very volatile, thus a bad hourly candle can easily erode one’s total week’s profits in quick succession. Not a trading method for the faint of heart, for rather obvious reasons.

    Small-cap Coins can be Lucrative

    In the cryptocurrency world, there are thousands of different projects and currencies to be traded. A lot of good money can be made from the smaller markets which have not amassed to much as of yet. Small-cap currencies can often see some interesting price swings during a sideways or bearish market trend affecting the top markets. While no big money should be invested in small-cap coins, there is always a chance to make some money on a good day. A bit of a risky play yet traders should never invest money they can’t afford to lose.

    Explore Airdrops, Giveaways, and IEOs

    While there is not necessarily too much money to be made with airdrops and giveaways these days, it is still a “free” source of money worth looking into. Most airdrops require some social media interaction, thus setting up a dummy account is never a bad idea. Some projects give away a few dollars worth of tokens per airdrop or giveaway, thus they tend to add up rather nicely over time. Being able to trade these tokens or assets is a different matter altogether. Most of these offerings will not hit a major exchange for quite some time to come.

    Another option is to look into Initial Exchange Offerings. This business model has become increasingly popular in recent months. Regardless of what the overall market trend may be, there will usually be some sort of “token pump” once the asset gets listed on an exchange after the sale. Since most IEOs always tend to yield a profit for those early investors, there is some decent money to be made in that regard. How popular IEOs will be during a sideways or bear market, has yet to be determined.


    Disclaimer: This is not trading or investment advice. The above article is for entertainment and education purposes only. Please do your own research before purchasing or investing into any cryptocurrency or digital currency.

    Image(s): Shutterstock.com

     

     

    https://quantsalus.com/faq/

     


    27.05.2019 | Russia Prepares for Large-Scale Bitcoin Mining Operation Following Minery Launch




    With digital currency gaining in popularity worldwide, additional mining operations and farms have started to appear despite looming bans on the practice. Understanding The Ban While many see bans on crypto mining as a hindrance to entrepreneurship and the crypto space, in actuality, it’s an effort to protect and enhance cities, states, and countries’ natural, historic, cultural, and electrical resources. Back in March, a moratorium was enacted in Plattsburgh, New York, the first major U.S. city to pause any and all mining operations due to an operation that had nearly drained the city of its electrical resources, at the expense of the residents who were the ones paying for it. Plattsburgh’s ban stated that it would issue a penalty of up to $1,000/day on any firm, person, corporation, or other entity that established or ran a commercial cryptocurrency mining operation once the ban went into effect. Why Is Russia a ‘Hot Spot’ For Mining? For its part, Russia will soon become home to one of the largest legal mining operations in the world, located in Siberia. Earlier this year, the Bank of Russia, Russia’s central bank, offered to allow the mining of cryptocurrencies, but proposed that miners sell their coins outside the country. The first deputy governor of the bank emphasized the need to take a “taxation point of view” and consider how it can be controlled and reported. However, selling cryptocurrencies outside the country doesn’t remove the requirement that miners file and pay their taxes. One company, Minery, recently announced that it intends to establish five mining complexes with a total capacity of 55 megawatts on a 59,000 square foot site within the Irkutsk region. It has partnered with Bratsk Electric Grid Company JSC, a regional power supplier. The company is considered a ‘turnkey’ mining solution, providing all necessary hardware, installation, and configuration. In the event of any service needs or breakdowns, the company makes the necessary repairs on the spot. This type of operation comes in handy when engaging in contracts with cloud mining providers, mining pools, or third-party hosting platforms. Operating at the lowest electricity rates, it’s still considered legal in light of the policies proposed by the Russian Federation and Bank. Russia’s energy resources and climate make for some of the best conditions for crypto mining. Consequently, more than 1.5 million Russians have started to engage in solo mining (home mining). Doing so comes with great risks, as this method of operation tends to cause an annoyance and nuisance to those around, not to mention safety hazards. Oftentimes, these operations are operating illegally, and rather than providing value to communities, they are draining them. For example, many illegal mining farms are closed and those behind them are arrested. Why? Well, you have (1) individuals stealing electricity that belongs to a designated area and those who pay money for it, (2) the land and premises being used for other purposes at the expense of area residents, and (3) equipment being smuggled across state lines and international borders. “Having been mining since 2016, we have encountered restrictions [on] home mining, and came up with a solution in terms of scalability and legal operations,” says Ilya Bruman, co-founder and CEO of Minery. “The idea is to build a comprehensive infrastructure, providing highly-efficient, powerful, and a stable electricity supply for our investors, ensuring smooth operation of their mining businesses.” Under Russia’s proposed regulations, the majority of such businesses will become illegal. Minery is not among them. Staying Within The Volts The biggest issue with many of the mining operations that are later deemed illegal is that the electricity being used is done so without authorization—often draining cities and towns of this highly used and profitable resource. It’s even gone digital, in the case of cryptojacking malware which attacks computers and servers, draining their CPU power and resources. Minery’s mining complexes are located in several cities in the Irkutsk (Siberia) region – Bratsk, Irkutsk and Ust-Ilimsk. The local climate conditions – the average annual temperature is 28.4° Fahrenheit, or -2° Celsius – are optimal for miners’ heat transfer and cooling systems, which reduces hosting expenses. The project relies on renewable electricity from high-pressure hydroelectric power plants – the Bratsk, Irkutsk, and Ust-Ilimsk Hydroelectric Power Stations. The plants are located on the Angara River, which drains Lake Baikal – the largest freshwater lake in the world. To ensure optimal working conditions, any mining operation should reduce energy costs while maintaining the equipment itself. “This goal is achieved by placing mining facilities near the sources of the cheapest and most eco-friendly electricity – hydroelectric power stations,” says Alexei Paikin, co-founder and managing director of Minery. “This approach minimizes the cost of delivering electricity to the point of consumption.” Image(s): Shutterstock.com     ...

    With digital currency gaining in popularity worldwide, additional mining operations and farms have started to appear despite looming bans on the practice.

    Understanding The Ban

    While many see bans on crypto mining as a hindrance to entrepreneurship and the crypto space, in actuality, it’s an effort to protect and enhance cities, states, and countries’ natural, historic, cultural, and electrical resources.

    Back in March, a moratorium was enacted in Plattsburgh, New York, the first major U.S. city to pause any and all mining operations due to an operation that had nearly drained the city of its electrical resources, at the expense of the residents who were the ones paying for it. Plattsburgh’s ban stated that it would issue a penalty of up to $1,000/day on any firm, person, corporation, or other entity that established or ran a commercial cryptocurrency mining operation once the ban went into effect.

    Why Is Russia a ‘Hot Spot’ For Mining?

    For its part, Russia will soon become home to one of the largest legal mining operations in the world, located in Siberia. Earlier this year, the Bank of Russia, Russia’s central bank, offered to allow the mining of cryptocurrencies, but proposed that miners sell their coins outside the country. The first deputy governor of the bank emphasized the need to take a “taxation point of view” and consider how it can be controlled and reported. However, selling cryptocurrencies outside the country doesn’t remove the requirement that miners file and pay their taxes.

    One company, Minery, recently announced that it intends to establish five mining complexes with a total capacity of 55 megawatts on a 59,000 square foot site within the Irkutsk region. It has partnered with Bratsk Electric Grid Company JSC, a regional power supplier.

    The company is considered a ‘turnkey’ mining solution, providing all necessary hardware, installation, and configuration. In the event of any service needs or breakdowns, the company makes the necessary repairs on the spot. This type of operation comes in handy when engaging in contracts with cloud mining providers, mining pools, or third-party hosting platforms. Operating at the lowest electricity rates, it’s still considered legal in light of the policies proposed by the Russian Federation and Bank.

    Russia’s energy resources and climate make for some of the best conditions for crypto mining. Consequently, more than 1.5 million Russians have started to engage in solo mining (home mining). Doing so comes with great risks, as this method of operation tends to cause an annoyance and nuisance to those around, not to mention safety hazards. Oftentimes, these operations are operating illegally, and rather than providing value to communities, they are draining them.

    For example, many illegal mining farms are closed and those behind them are arrested. Why? Well, you have (1) individuals stealing electricity that belongs to a designated area and those who pay money for it, (2) the land and premises being used for other purposes at the expense of area residents, and (3) equipment being smuggled across state lines and international borders.

    “Having been mining since 2016, we have encountered restrictions [on] home mining, and came up with a solution in terms of scalability and legal operations,” says Ilya Bruman, co-founder and CEO of Minery. “The idea is to build a comprehensive infrastructure, providing highly-efficient, powerful, and a stable electricity supply for our investors, ensuring smooth operation of their mining businesses.”

    Under Russia’s proposed regulations, the majority of such businesses will become illegal. Minery is not among them.

    Staying Within The Volts

    The biggest issue with many of the mining operations that are later deemed illegal is that the electricity being used is done so without authorization—often draining cities and towns of this highly used and profitable resource. It’s even gone digital, in the case of cryptojacking malware which attacks computers and servers, draining their CPU power and resources.

    Minery’s mining complexes are located in several cities in the Irkutsk (Siberia) region – Bratsk, Irkutsk and Ust-Ilimsk. The local climate conditions – the average annual temperature is 28.4° Fahrenheit, or -2° Celsius – are optimal for miners’ heat transfer and cooling systems, which reduces hosting expenses. The project relies on renewable electricity from high-pressure hydroelectric power plants – the Bratsk, Irkutsk, and Ust-Ilimsk Hydroelectric Power Stations. The plants are located on the Angara River, which drains Lake Baikal – the largest freshwater lake in the world.

    To ensure optimal working conditions, any mining operation should reduce energy costs while maintaining the equipment itself. “This goal is achieved by placing mining facilities near the sources of the cheapest and most eco-friendly electricity – hydroelectric power stations,” says Alexei Paikin, co-founder and managing director of Minery. “This approach minimizes the cost of delivering electricity to the point of consumption.”

    Image(s): Shutterstock.com

     

     


    27.05.2019 | NSAs EternalBlue Exploit Cripples US City Infrastructures With Ease




    Not too many people should be surprised to learn the EternalBlue hacking exploit is still making the rounds. After becoming a successful tool to deliver WannaCry and NotPetya ransomware, it now seems the exploit is being used to target major cities’ infrastructure. Criminals are having a field day with this exploit. Considering how it was initially developed by the NSA, one could go as far as claiming how justice is being served. EternalBlue Continues to Make Headlines Over the past few years, the stolen NSA hacking tools have made quite an impact. While most people will know this exploit for its involvement in ransomware delivery, the NSA’s favorite tool is capable of wreaking a lot more havoc. More specifically, it seems the same tool is now being used to successfully cripple American cities and their IT infrastructure. Not the development people had hoped for, but it is evident this trend will not go away automatically either. Ever since the Shadow Brokers offered EternalBlue to everyone with an internet connection, the tool has become a lot more popular. Regardless of how one might feel about the NSA developing powerful hacking tools, it appears the agency has checked a lot of the right boxes regarding this particular exploit. So much even that criminals continue to find new use cases to put the technology to good use. The first major incident – in this regard – linked to EternalBlue comes in the form of what happened in Baltimore. Not only has the city’s IT infrastructure struggled since a ransomware attack three weeks ago, but it also seems getting the systems up and running again is a monumental task. Several of the city’s services have been disrupted in the process, which is only to be expected from such a targeted attack. Whereas the Baltimore story has made a fair few headlines, it is not the only US city struggling at this time. Very similar attacks are targeting vulnerable American cities ranging anywhere from Pennsylvania to Texas. Rest assured this is only the first wave of attacks involving the NSA’s home-grown hacking tool. It seems very likely more and more cities will be targeted in the US, as well as in other countries around the world. As terrible as these attacks may be, one also has to admit it was a matter of time until something like this happened. Surveillance critics and privacy advocates have never been too amused by the tools developed by the NSA, either officially or unofficially. As such, it now seems their own creation has come to cause a lot of havoc in the agency’s own backyard. Karma is a very interesting concept, albeit these attacks will need to be nipped in the bud sooner rather than later. Any tool designed to create or exploit backdoors in a computer system will find its way to the black market sooner or later. While not everyone can steal tools from the NSA by any means, one has to keep in mind there are a lot of crafty developers among cybercriminals as well. Some even build tools just to sell them and rake in profits along the way. EternalBlue is the current proverbial flavor of the month, but there will be other variants for many years to come.     https://quantsalus.com/faq/   ...

    Not too many people should be surprised to learn the EternalBlue hacking exploit is still making the rounds. After becoming a successful tool to deliver WannaCry and NotPetya ransomware, it now seems the exploit is being used to target major cities’ infrastructure. Criminals are having a field day with this exploit. Considering how it was initially developed by the NSA, one could go as far as claiming how justice is being served.

    EternalBlue Continues to Make Headlines

    Over the past few years, the stolen NSA hacking tools have made quite an impact. While most people will know this exploit for its involvement in ransomware delivery, the NSA’s favorite tool is capable of wreaking a lot more havoc. More specifically, it seems the same tool is now being used to successfully cripple American cities and their IT infrastructure. Not the development people had hoped for, but it is evident this trend will not go away automatically either.

    Ever since the Shadow Brokers offered EternalBlue to everyone with an internet connection, the tool has become a lot more popular. Regardless of how one might feel about the NSA developing powerful hacking tools, it appears the agency has checked a lot of the right boxes regarding this particular exploit. So much even that criminals continue to find new use cases to put the technology to good use.

    The first major incident – in this regard – linked to EternalBlue comes in the form of what happened in Baltimore. Not only has the city’s IT infrastructure struggled since a ransomware attack three weeks ago, but it also seems getting the systems up and running again is a monumental task. Several of the city’s services have been disrupted in the process, which is only to be expected from such a targeted attack.

    Whereas the Baltimore story has made a fair few headlines, it is not the only US city struggling at this time. Very similar attacks are targeting vulnerable American cities ranging anywhere from Pennsylvania to Texas. Rest assured this is only the first wave of attacks involving the NSA’s home-grown hacking tool. It seems very likely more and more cities will be targeted in the US, as well as in other countries around the world.

    As terrible as these attacks may be, one also has to admit it was a matter of time until something like this happened. Surveillance critics and privacy advocates have never been too amused by the tools developed by the NSA, either officially or unofficially. As such, it now seems their own creation has come to cause a lot of havoc in the agency’s own backyard. Karma is a very interesting concept, albeit these attacks will need to be nipped in the bud sooner rather than later.

    Any tool designed to create or exploit backdoors in a computer system will find its way to the black market sooner or later. While not everyone can steal tools from the NSA by any means, one has to keep in mind there are a lot of crafty developers among cybercriminals as well. Some even build tools just to sell them and rake in profits along the way. EternalBlue is the current proverbial flavor of the month, but there will be other variants for many years to come.

     

     

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