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Germanys COVID-19 contacts tracing app to link to labs for test result notification

A German research institute that’s involved in developing a COVID-19 contacts tracing app with the backing of the national government has released some new details about the work, which suggests the app is being designed as more of a “one-stop shop” to manage coronavirus impacts at an individual level, rather than having a sole function […]

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A German research institute that’s involved in developing a COVID-19 contacts tracing app with the backing of the national government has released some new details about the work, which suggests the app is being designed as more of a “one-stop shop” to manage coronavirus impacts at an individual level, rather than having a sole function of alerting users to potential infection risk.

Work on the German app began at the start of March, per the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft institute, with initial funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Federal Ministry of Health funding a feasibility study.

In a PDF published today, the research organization reveals the government-backed app will include functionality for health authorities to directly notify users about a COVID-19 test result if they’ve opted in to get results this way.

It says the system must ensure only people who test positive for the virus make their measurement data available to avoid incorrect data being input. For the purposes of “this validation process,” it envisages “a digital connection to the existing diagnostic laboratories is implemented in the technical implementation.”

“App users can thus voluntarily activate this notification function and thus be informed more quickly and directly about their test results,” it writes in the press release (which we’ve translated from German with Google Translate) — arguing that such direct digital notification of tests results will mean that no “valuable time” is lost to curb the spread of the virus.

Governments across Europe are scrambling to get Bluetooth-powered contacts tracing apps off the ground, with apps also in the works from a number of other countries, including the U.K. and France, despite ongoing questions over the efficacy of digital contacts tracing versus such an infectious virus.

The great hope is that digital tools will offer a route out of economically crippling population lockdowns by providing a way to automate at least some contacts tracing — based on widespread smartphone penetration and the use of Bluetooth-powered device proximity as a proxy for coronavirus exposure.

Preventing a new wave of infections as lockdown restrictions are lifted is the near-term goal. Although — in line with Europe’s rights frameworks — use of contacts tracing apps looks set to be voluntary across most of the region, with governments wary about being seen to impose “health surveillance” on citizens, as has essentially happened in China.

However if contacts tracing apps end up larded with features that are deep linking into national health systems, that raises questions about how optional their use will really be.

An earlier proposal by a German consortium of medical device manufacturers, laboratories, clinics, clinical data management systems and blockchain solution providers — proposing a blockchain-based Digital Corona Health Certificate, which was touted as being able to generate “verifiable, certified test results that can be fed into any tracing app” to cut down on false positives — claimed to have backing from the City of Cologne’s public health department, as one example of potential function creep.

In March, Der Spiegel also reported on a large-scale study being coordinated by the Helmholtz Center for Infection Research in Braunschweig, to examine antibody levels to try to determine immunity across the population. Germany’s Robert Koch Institute (RKI) was reportedly involved in that study — and has been a key operator in the national contacts tracing push.

Both RKI and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft institute are also involved in parallel German-led pan-EU standardization efforts for COVID-19 contacts tracing apps (called PEPP-PT) that’s been the leading voice for apps to centralize proximity data with governments/health authorities, rather than storing it on users’ device and performing risk processing locally.

As we reported earlier, PEPP-PT and its government backers appear to be squaring up for a battle with Apple over iOS restrictions on Bluetooth.

PEPP-PT bases its claim of being a “privacy-preserving” standard on not backing protocols or apps that use location data or mobile phone numbers — with only arbitrary (but pseudonymized) proximity IDs shared for the purpose of tracking close encounters between devices and potential coronavirus infections.

It has claimed it’s agnostic between centralization of proximity data versus decentralization, though so far the only protocol it’s publicly committed to is a centralized one.

Yet, at the same time, regional privacy experts, the EU parliament and even the European Commission have urged national governments to practice data minimization and decentralized when it comes to COVID-19 contacts tracing in order to boost citizen trust by shrinking associated privacy risks.

If apps are voluntary, citizens’ trust must be earned not assumed, is the key argument. Without substantial uptake the utility of digital contacts tracing seems doubtful.

Apple and Google have also come down on the decentralized side of this debate — outting a joint effort last week for an API and later opt-in system-wide contacts tracing. The first version of their API is slated to be in developers’ hands next week.

Meanwhile, a coalition of nearly 300 academics signed an open letter at the start of this week warning that centralized systems risked surveillance creep — voicing support for decentralized protocols, such as DP-3T: Another contact tracing protocol that’s being developed by a separate European coalition which has been highly critical of PEPP-PT.

And while PEPP-PT claimed recently to have seven governments signed up to its approach, and 40 more in the pipeline, at least two of the claimed EU supporters (Switzerland and Spain) had actually said they will use a decentralized approach.

The coalition has also been losing support from a number of key research institutions which had initially backed its push for a “privacy-preserving” standard, as controversy around its intent and lack of transparency has grown.

Nonetheless, the two biggest EU economies, Germany and France, appear to be digging in behind a push to centralize proximity data — putting Apple in their sights.

Bloomberg reported earlier this week that the French government is pressurizing Apple to remove Bluetooth restrictions for its COVID-19 contacts tracing app which also relies on a “trusted authority” running a central server (we’ve covered the French ROBERT protocol in detail here).

It’s possible Germany and France are sticking to their centralized guns because of wider plans to pack more into these contacts tracing apps than simply Bluetooth-powered alerts — as suggested by the Fraunhofer document.

Access to data is another likely motivator.

“Only if research can access sufficiently valid data it is possible to create forecasts that are the basis for planning further steps against are the spread of the virus,” the institute goes on. (Though, as we’ve written before, the DP-3T decentralized protocol sets out a path for users to opt in to share proximity data for research purposes.)

Another strand that’s evident from the Fraunhofer PDF is sovereignty.

“Overall, the approach is based on the conviction that the state healthcare system must have sovereignty over which criteria, risk calculations, recommendations for action and feedback are in one such system,” it writes, adding: “In order to achieve the greatest possible usability on end devices on the market, technical cooperation with the targeted operating system providers, Google and Apple, is necessary.”

Apple and Google did not respond to requests for comment on whether they will be making any changes to their API as a result of French and German pressure.

Fraunhofer further notes that “full compatibility” between the German app and the centralized one being developed by French research institutes Inria and Inserm was achieved in the “past few weeks” — underlining that the two nations are leading this particular contacts tracing push.

In related news this week, Europe’s Data Protection Board (EDPB) put out guidance for developers of contacts tracing apps, which stressed an EU legal principle related to processing personal data that’s known as purpose limitation — warning that apps need to have purposes “specific enough to exclude further processing for purposes unrelated to the management of the COVID-19 health crisis (e.g., commercial or law enforcement purposes)”.

Which sounds a bit like the regulator drawing a line in the sand to warn states that might be tempted to turn contacts tracing apps into coronavirus immunity passports.

The EDPB also urged that “careful consideration” be given to data minimisation and data protection by design and by default — two other key legal principles baked into Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation, albeit with some flex during a public health emergency.

However the regulatory body took a pragmatic view on the centralization vs decentralization debate — saying both approaches are “viable” in a contacts tracing context, with the key caveat that “adequate security measures” must be in place.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2020/04/23/germanys-covid-19-contacts-tracing-app-to-link-to-labs-for-test-result-notification/

Source: https://blockchainconsultants.io/germanys-covid-19-contacts-tracing-app-to-link-to-labs-for-test-result-notification/

Blockchain

ETH Got Rejected At High Timeframe Resistance, Eyeing $280

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ETH got rejected at a higher timeframe resistance as the price was closely tracking the one of Bitcoin over the past few days and weeks as we reported in the latest Ethereum news.

Ethereum’s bulls and bears reached an impasse as both sides have been unable to spark sustainable trends. Where will the market trend next depends on BTC as the cryptocurrency is now trading at two critical levels. One analyst noted that ETH got rejected at a high timeframe resistance level a day ago and this rejection could cause the asset to see more downsides in the upcoming days and weeks ahead. He also believes that ETH could drop as low as $280 before it is able to garner any strong support.

eth chart
Image Courtesy of Pentoshi. Chart via TradingView.

Both Ethereum and Bitcoin and the rest of the crypto market were struggling to find strong momentum in either direction over the past few weeks and days. Both buyers and sellers attempted to take control of the near-term trend but their relative lack of strength led to the formation of a wide trading range for most of the cryptocurrencies. ETH could be poised for an extension in the bearish trendline seen over the past few days and weeks. Overnight it faced a strong rejection at the high time frame resistance which opened the gates for more downsides with one trader noting that a move towards the bedrock support at $280 will be imminent.

eth price
Ethereum price trades above $350. Source TradingView.com

At the time of writing, Ethereum is trading down marginally at a price of $355 while overnight the cryptocurrency hit highs of $365 before facing a rejection. The level does mark a key near-term resistance as the bulls were able to defend against a drop beneath $250 but they are signaling that they still have power which could boost the cryptocurrency higher in the near-term. One trader even believes that ETH is poised to drop towards $280 in the near-term as he explained that this will mark a long-term bottom. He said, unless ETH manages to rebound and goes over $360 resistance level, there’s a strong chance that a downside will happen:

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 “ETH at HTF resistance and trying to close today above DTL. Still personally am hoping market gives $280 for final buys of the year.”

DC Forecasts is a leader in many crypto news categories, striving for the highest journalistic standards and abiding by a strict set of editorial policies. If you are interested to offer your expertise or contribute to our news website, feel free to contact us at [email protected]

Source: https://www.dcforecasts.com/ethereum-news/eth-got-rejected-at-high-timeframe-resistance-eyeing-280/

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Review: T1Markets, a Popular Trading Platform for All Your CFD Needs

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T1Markets is a Cyprus based regulated online CFD trading platform operated by General Capital Brokers Ltd. The three-year-old platform operating since 2017 with CySEC license (No. 333/17) offers more than 300 CFD products in forex, cryptocurrencies, commodities, stocks, indices and precious metals.

The T1Markets online CFDs trading platform is designed to be user-friendly and packs a lot of features for the convenience of its trading community. Available for both new as well as seasoned traders, the platform makes traders feel at home by providing MetaTrader 4 based WebTrader interface which is accompanied by mobile trading applications for Android and iOS-powered mobile devices.

While experienced traders do not need an introduction to the T1Markets WebTrader, new users will find it intuitive and flexible. It comes with a highly customizable dashboard and sophisticated, yet user-friendly trading charts and analytical tools that help traders make the right trading decisions and place orders with just a single click.

Some of the noteworthy features of the T1Markets platform include multiple chart windows, real-time balance levels, trade updates, in-platform price alerts, one tap account switching, multiple trade execution methods and more. Like most of the other MetaTrader 4 based platforms, the exhaustive list of trading tools includes more than 30 technical indicators including lines, channels, bars, geometric shapes, Gann, Fibonacci and Elliott tools over 9 time frames (MN, W1, D1, H4(H1), M1, M5, M15 and M30(H1). Traders can choose to keep themselves constantly in touch with the markets by receiving news updates, trading signals, order status, etc. as notifications.

Start Trading

T1Markets has three different account types SILVER, GOLD and PLATINUM designed to cater to the needs of traders having different levels of experience. The process of creating an account on T1Markets is simple, with users required to provide their personal information including name, email, and phone number, followed by the completion of a questionnaire regarding their trading experience. After finishing the initial sign up process, they will also have to complete the KYC requirements and make a deposit using any of the available payment methods. With these formalities off the way and the account approved, users can start trading any of the available CFD products.

Account Types and Benefits

Account Type

SILVER GOLD

PLATINUM

Deposit Commission

0% 0% 0%

Spreads

Variable Variable

Variable

Leverage

Retail 1:30

Professional 1:200

Retail 1:30

Professional 1:400

Retail 1:30

Professional 1:500

Withdrawal Process

5 days 5 days

5 days

News Alert

Yes Yes

Yes

Free VPS

No Yes

Yes

Dedicated Account Manager

Yes Yes

Yes

Webinar & Videos

Yes Yes

Yes

Islamic Accounts

Yes Yes

Yes

24/5 Support

Yes Yes

Yes

5th Decimal

Yes Yes

Yes

Hedging

Yes Yes

Yes

Swap Discount None 25%

50%

CFD Products

T1Markets has more than 300 CFD products on offer, which includes:

  • Over 45 various currency pairs with leverage of up to 1:500
  • More than 30 cryptocurrency CFDs for portfolio diversification
  • 20+ commodity assets including metals, energies, livestock, agri products at up to 1:125 leverage
  • Major world indices including ASX100, DAX 30, DOW 30, FTSE 100, NASDAQ 100 with up to 125X leverage
  • Stocks and Equities belonging to leading global companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google, British Petroleum etc.
  • Precious metal CFDs like Gold, Silver, Palladium and more

Payment Methods

The T1Markets CFD platform supports multiple payment methods for deposits and withdrawals. Some of the popular payment options include MasterCard and Visa Credit Cards, Wire Transfer, Skrill, Neteller, Safe Charge, Wirecard, OrangePay, PayVision and more.

All deposits are processed within a few hours without any additional commissions charged by the platform. However, withdrawals are not as quick as making deposits as T1Markets has a timeline of 5 days to process them.

Providing a Hassle-free Trading Experience

With a knowledgeable and well-trading team in place, T1Markets support desk ensures that all the platform or trading related queries are quickly resolved. The customer support team is available 7 days a week from 10:00 AM GMT to 20:00 PM GMT and can be either reached through the platform’s live chat, over email or through a phone call.

In addition to customer support, the availability of educational resources like articles, videos, VOD, ebooks, tutorials and courses allows users to learn more about the platform, the best trading strategies and more. All these learnings can be put to practice by using the T1Markets demo account at zero risk.

The state-of-the-art security features further reduce users’ risk by ensuring the safety of all the information as well as funds on the platform. These security features include SSL software, firewalls, Level 1 PCI compliance assistance moderation standards, SAS70 certified server centers, and data encryption across multiple levels.

T1Markets also offers Shariah-compliant Islamic trading accounts for those who prefer it for religious reasons.

Yes or No?

T1Markets is a regulated, online CFD trading platform that offers some of the best features in the industry. It is secure, easy to use and is suitable for the needs of both novice and expert traders alike. By taking all these factors into account, one can say that T1Markets is definitely a platform worth exploring.

Sign up on T1Markets at – https://www.t1markets.com/onboarding/personal-details-register

Source: https://www.livebitcoinnews.com/review-t1markets-a-popular-trading-platform-for-all-your-cfd-needs/

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Blockchain

New EY blockchain analysis tool to improve financial reporting

EY blockchain Explorer and Visualizer tool New tool to imrove financial reporting EY launches blockchain-based procurement platform One of the leading accounting company, EY, announced the launch of its new EY blockchain analysis tool on September 27. The new on-chain data analysis tool will be used to track blockchain activity, including bitcoin transactions on the […]

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  • EY blockchain Explorer and Visualizer tool
  • New tool to imrove financial reporting
  • EY launches blockchain-based procurement platform

One of the leading accounting company, EY, announced the launch of its new EY blockchain analysis tool on September 27. The new on-chain data analysis tool will be used to track blockchain activity, including bitcoin transactions on the bitcoin network. Furthermore, the fresh Explorer and Visualizer tool was inaugurated as a component of the EY Blockchain Analyzer product suite.

According to the accounting firm’s announcement, the beta version of its new solution is now read and free of charge to use. Besides, the firm noted it would integrate the new analysis solution on its blockchain as a service. Users are free to use the solution’s search functionality, as well as its data visualization tech.

EY blockchain tool to enhance on-chain data analysis

Furthermore, as per the announcement, the new tool allows auditing firms to investigate and monitor blockchain activity and data by searching particular addresses, transactions or even blocks. Afterwards, the data collected can be analyzed and researched to handle irregularities, fraud and legal risks. 

According to Andrew Gordon, the head of EY global forensic and integrity services the new EY blockchain tool will improve financial reporting of blockchain-based transactions. As per Gordon, the Explorer and Visualizer solution will also point out irregularities such as fraud.

EY inaugurates blockchain-based procurement platform

Moving forward, EY also announced the release of a new blockchain-based procurement solution. The new product which was created on EY OpsChain Network, will allegedly aid companies to confidently and safely procure goods and services on the ethereum network. The new solution is automated to transform procurement deals into digital smart contracts. 

The EY OpsChain Network Procurement product, which is currently in beta version, will allegedly shift business deals from enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, into the blockchain. The new platform will reportedly enable businesses to trace and monitor total volumes and worldwide expenditures. Furthermore, the EY blockchain-based procurement solution will allow entities to balance while operating under internationally agreed conditions and prices. 

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