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Survey: Japanese Crypto Holders Prefer XRP Over ETH

A survey by Japanese crypto exchange BitMax shows 25% of traders prefer XRP, compared to only 9% in ETH and 26% BTC.

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Crypto Fest 2.0 Rumble in the Crypto Jungle

Crypto is heating up once again! DeFi has exploded onto the scene, scalability of Ethereum is in question, ETH gas fees are out of control, interest in central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) is hot, and regulators are scrutinizing closely and expectations that bitcoin is going to moon soon. All these factors have combined to cause […]

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Crypto is heating up once again! DeFi has exploded onto the scene, scalability of Ethereum is in question, ETH gas fees are out of control, interest in central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) is hot, and regulators are scrutinizing closely and expectations that bitcoin is going to moon soon. All these factors have combined to cause is causing a rumble in the crypto jungle!

Bitcoin Events’ popular Crypto Fest is back for its second edition on 30 October 2020 and once again will include controversial speakers and discussions. The event will be a festive gathering of 500+ attendees, uniting entrepreneurs, traders, investors, developers, industry enthusiasts, among others, with a jam-packed day with exciting keynotes, workshops, presentations, contentious topics, product exhibitions, competitions, and entertainment.

This year sees the main event being hosted online and an in-person after-party will be hosted at a beautiful venue in central Cape Town, South Africa, in line with all COVID-19 restrictions on in-person gatherings.

Bring your virtual boxing gloves! The Crypto Battles brings together speakers from a variety of backgrounds to debate and contest controversial topics such as:

  • Decentralized finance or DeFi – is it a bubble and could it end badly?
  • WTF is YFI? YFI, has pumped to amazing price heights, totaling at over 4,400% gains inside a two-month span. What is all the excitement about? Is this price action warranted, and does the token have actual value?
  • Ethereum 2.0: To Be Or Not To Be? Competition for Ethereum is getting stiffer. Cardano, Tezos, RSK, Matic Network, Tron, Cosmos, and Algorand are some of the rivals. Will there be a clear winner?

The event will showcase the latest trends in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space, with featured sessions and key figures offering expert insight into:

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  • The future of peer-to-peer payments.
  • Yield farming incentives.
  • Keyless wallets and security of crypto assets.
  • Enabling institutions to self-custody their assets.
  • The future of bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining pools.
  • Investing strategies and institutional investments.
  • Digital asset management and custody.
  • Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs).
  • Regulation and compliance – what type of regulation are we seeing global and what are the challenges and focus areas for regulated entities?

Meet Some of Our Amazing Speakers!

The Crypto Fest 2020 speakers represent countries such as United States, United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Argentina, Singapore, South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria.

James Preston, Executive Editor at Global Crypto will once again bring his high energy as the Master of Ceremonies.

An exciting lineup of 30+ global speakers, discussing a wide variety of topics, include:

  • Ray Youssef – CEO and Co-founder of Paxful
  • Illia Polosukhin – Co-founder at NEAR Protocol
  • Tone Vays – Content Creator, Derivatives Trader and Consultant
  • Gabriel Kurman – Master Advocate at IOV Labs
  • Taylor Monahan – Founder and CEO of MyCrypto
  • María Paula Fernández – Advisor at Golem Factory GmbH and Founder and Managing Director of ETHBerlin
  • Wiehann Olivier – Audit Partner at Mazars South Africa
  • Manuel Ferrari – Co-founder at Money On Chain
  • Nathaniel Luz – Lead at Dash Nigeria
  • Eduardo Antuña Díez – Co-founder and Project Lead at DappNode
  • Chris Thomas – Head of Digital Assets at Swissquote Bank
  • Emi Lorincz – Director of Sales and Business Development at Ledger
  • Sahabia Yakubu – Ambassador for MakerDAO and Founder and CEO at Defi Africa
  • Brenton Naicker – Business Development Manager, Binance (South Africa)
  • Farzam Ehsani – CEO and Co-founder of VALR.com
  • Richard de Sousa – Founder and CEO of AltCoinTrader
  • Roselyne Wanjiru – Director of Growth and User Acquisitions at Pesabase

The workshops will provide information on how to invest easily into cryptocurrencies and the trading workshop on how to compete and trade with cryptocurrencies utilizing customizable bots that execute personalized trading strategies.

The workshops are sponsored by QuidPro and Stratum.

The event’s main sponsor is Paxful. Paxful is a popular, safe, peer-to-peer marketplace where anyone can buy and sell bitcoin using over 300 payment methods such as PayPal, gift cards such as iTunes and Amazon, ApplyPay, bank transfers, Facebook messenger payment, and WeChat.

Ray Youssef, CEO and Co-founder of Paxful, noted:

“We are excited to continue to partner with local industry initiatives like the Crypto Fest. The event creates much-needed awareness about the opportunities in our sector, as well as providing a valuable platform for industry collaboration. We look forward to working with many more local partners who share our vision of using cryptocurrencies to disrupt finance for good.”

Other sponsors for this event include Mazars, AltcoinTrader, and Luno. The Godfathers is a leading deep house music production company and the entertainment sponsor for the event.

Get your crypto game on! Meet the pioneers, the early adopters, and the highly influential and established opinion leaders!

REGISTER for FREE here.

About Bitcoin Events

Bitcoin Events, established in 2015, is the first events company in Africa, to offer events focused on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Bitcoin Events has hosted six Blockchain Africa Conferences in South Africa, the inaugural Crypto Fest 2019 in Cape Town, and most recently, the virtual DeFi Conference 2020. Over 3000 attendees from over 85 countries have attended the events over the years.

Source: https://beincrypto.com/crypto-fest-2-0-rumble-in-the-crypto-jungle/

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Public Safety vs Personal Privacy: US Regulators Target Encrypted Messengers

Once again privacy and security is held in the balance as law enforcement asks to extend its judicial powers in order to gain access to end-to-end encrypted information. The important question remains — is protecting users data more or less important than protecting innocents or hunting down terrorists? When posed like that, the issue could […]

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Once again privacy and security is held in the balance as law enforcement asks to extend its judicial powers in order to gain access to end-to-end encrypted information. The important question remains — is protecting users data more or less important than protecting innocents or hunting down terrorists? When posed like that, the issue could be perceived as a statement.

On Oct. 11, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Public Affairs, issued an international statement asking industry encryption developers to implement backdoor features in their end-to-end encryption applications to supplement law enforcement agencies in their investigations.

This is nothing new. Just last year the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Christopher Wray, gave a speech addressing this sensitive issue, saying:

“User-controlled default encryption is a real challenge for law enforcement. Our agents continue to encounter criminals, from street drug-dealers to foreign spies, who relish the ability to hide on encrypted devices and inside encrypted messaging platforms. They’re attracted to these technologies, for the common-sense reason that they think it helps them do their harm with impunity, and without detection.”

Current end-to-end encryption technology apparently inhibits law enforcement from being able to access content connected to serious crimes that involve the technology, which include child exploitation and abuse, violence, as well as crimes that impair the integrity of national security such as terrorist propaganda and attacks.

The concerns arose after proposals were made to affix end-to-end encryption features across mainstream messaging services. By design, a move like this would prevent law enforcement agencies from being able to carry out their investigations into serious criminal offences that could jeopardize public safety and undermine the national security interest, where the scope of justice otherwise has the authority to do so.

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According to the United Nations Children’s Fund, one in every three Internet users is a child. Furthermore, the potential threat scope broadens when the statement published in October 2019 by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) is taken into consideration:

“If end-to-end encryption is implemented without a solution in place to safeguard children the [National Center for Missing and Exploited Children] estimates that more than half of its CyberTipline reports will vanish.”

This apparently means that online predators would be able to continue their pursuits and proliferate child exploitive material on the Internet on account of the inability of law enforcement to decrypt communications between criminal suspects.

On Dec. 11, 2019, the following joint statement was given by the US and European Union:

“[…] the use of warrant-proof encryption by terrorists and other criminals – including those who engage in online child sexual exploitation – compromises the ability of law enforcement agencies to protect victims and the public at large.”

The worst case scenario actually already happened. According to the statement, in 2018, Facebook Messenger was liable for close to 12 million of the 18.4 million international reports of child sexual abuse material that was sent to the NCMEC.

The fact of the matter is that these reports face the risk of fading away, because the tools law enforcement use for detecting child sexual abuse can not gather information when messengers implement encryption by default.

Is encryption causing criminals to get away?

In his speech, Wray shared the story of a cyber tip that was received by the FBI along with state and local officers, which came from a town in New England. The tip suggested that a nine-year-old girl was being sexually abused, and that the abuser was utilizing a particular app, which allowed him to anonymously distribute pictures of what he was doing to the girl.

Law enforcement was able to contact the company that produced the app and, by following legal procedures, was able to obtain information that allowed them to locate the girl in under 24 hours.

Now, imagine this hypothetical scenario: you are a special agent of the FBI’s Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Forces (CEHTTFs) and you’ve been investigating another case involving a darknet human trafficking ring.

You’ve seen the website. You’ve been analyzing financial transactions. You posed as a prospective buyer on a private end-to-end encrypted messenger used by the suspect and have communicated with who you believe is the leader of the trafficking ring. But you can not seem to catch a break because every little detail in this criminal organization is protected under lock and key.

Whatever the crime may be, the reach of law enforcement can only go so far. Without a viable solution provided by the makers of end-to-end encryption technology, the barriers will remain as long as this technological barrier remains in place.

Perhaps the issue is not whether or not law enforcement should have backdoor access into protected messaging systems, but whether or not the communication of law abiding citizens will be protected and not siphoned off without users’ consent further up the bureaucratic ladder.

Following this same vein of thought, it is curious to note that nearly a year before the December 2015 San Bernardino shooting took place — which led to the court battle between Apple and the FBI for their refusal to unlock the shooters phone, iPhone — Tim Cook, the chief executive officer of Apple Inc, accompanied by Bruce Sewell, Apple’s top lawyer, met with former attorney general Eric Holder and Jim Cole, then the deputy attorney general, where the FBI agents explained that they were “interested in getting access to phones on a mass basis.”

However, seemingly conflicting with the above statement, last year, Attorney General William P. Barr told the Lawful Access Summit: “It is also said that the Government is seeking a secretive ‘backdoor’ to everyone’s communications and data. That is false.”

He expounded by telling the Summit that the government is asking that some “responsible party” retain access to the encryption keys and not necessarily the Government itself, so “when we can demonstrate a lawful basis – probable cause that crimes are being committed – law enforcement is able to gain access.”

The other side of the privacy vs. security debate

The possibility of overreaching governmental powers and silent encroachments has ever been a pervading topic of discussion since the very founding of the US. As the topic of privacy versus security continues, Karen Gullo, the spokesperson for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), issued strong opposition to the idea of law enforcement obtaining the power it seeks, telling BeInCrypto:

“This is more of the same terrible ideas we’ve heard from the DOJ and the FBI about backdoors to encryption. Neither agency is credible on this issue. They have a long track record of exaggeration and even false statements in support of their position. The [Attorney General] has claimed that the tech sector will design a backdoor for law enforcement that will stand up to any unauthorized access, ignoring the broad technical and academic consensus in the field that this risk is unavoidable. Encryption with special access for select entities is just broken encryption — security backdoors for law enforcement will be used by oppressive regimes and criminal syndicates, putting everyone’s security at risk.”

Last year, professor Matt Green, a cryptographer and science professor at John Hopkins University, indicated on Twitter that the claims made by Barr were broad and baseless allegations after Barr asserted that digital security would mostly be unaffected equipping backdoor access into encryption software.

The EFF explained that the hard facts and statistics to support these allegations are largely nonexistent and false. An example of this arose back in 2016 during the legal conflict between Apple and the FBI following the December 2015 San Bernardino shooting.

The FBI vs Apple controversy revisited

James Comey, who was the FBI director at the time, others included, portrayed their views regarding the encryption on Apple devices as a lock that can not be broken and stood in opposition to public safety and national security. During court proceedings and in Congress, these officials said they had no way to access an encrypted iPhone without pressuring Apple to reengineer its iOS operating system in order to circumvent its security features.

However, it was later discovered that the FBI was double-dipping. After a special inquiry was made by the DOJ Office of the Inspector General, it was exposed that technical divisions within the FBI were already collaborating with a vendor outside of Apple to unlock the phone anyways, even while the government continued its legal battle with Apple, making the statements made by Comey to Congress, the press, in addition to sworn declarations made by other FBI officials in court, patently false at during the time the statements were made.

The EFF asserted that Wray had also made ample overstatements over law enforcement’s difficulty when faced with encryption, singling out that on multiple occasions during congressional testimony and public speeches, he indicated that there were 8,000 encrypted cell phones that the FBI were unable to access in 2017 alone.

Just last year, the Washington Post revisited this testimony, reporting that the number of phones he stated were inaccessible to law enforcement was exaggerated because of a “programming error.”

Lastly, the EFF sought to clarify this discrepancy by filing a Freedom of Information Act request, attempting to better understand the exact nature of how encryption interferes in these criminal investigations.

However, the government evaded the petition by refusing to produce any records.

According to the EFF, Barr scantily offered praise regarding the benefits of encryption, which has become a vital tool in protecting digital information in both cyberspace and in the physical domain, especially for the most vulnerable users such as journalists and activists who face retaliation, censorship and possible imprisonment by abusive and overreaching governments.

The 4th Amendment re-examined

Perhaps the most daunting task in the battle between the extent of privacy as it relates to the scope of security is how the 4th Amendment of the US Constitution should be interpreted, because anytime the limits of civil liberties experience an adjustment, it causes waves. These rights are fundamental pillars of a free society, and the fear of encroachment.

Anytime there’s a liberty interest at stake relating to issues of this nature, it is the burden of the government to clarify how broadening governmental powers can still have a place in the current constitutional framework, or if it needs to be re-interpreted in order to confront new challenges in an an ever changing technological era.

Barr addressed this issue at the Lawful Access Summit, explaining that the 4th Amendment makes a distinction between an “individual citizen’s interest in conducting certain affairs in private and the general public’s interest in subjecting possible criminal activity to investigation.”

He continued by breaking down the elements defined in the amendment: “[O]n one hand, by securing for each individual a private enclave around his ‘person, house, papers, and effects’ – a ‘zone’ bounded by the individual’s own reasonable expectations of privacy. So long as the individual acts within this ‘zone of privacy,’ his activities are shielded from unreasonable Government investigation.”

However, there is a stipulation involved in order for the integrity of this condition to be maintained: under certain circumstances, the public has a lawful obligation to gain access to a person’s area of privacy when public safety is compromised, and when these conditions are met, it defines the circumstances under which the government may lawfully set aside an individual’s privacy zone and gain access.

“When the Government has probable cause to believe that evidence of a crime is within an individual’s zone of privacy, the Government is entitled to search for or seize the evidence, and the search usually must be preceded by a judicial determination that ‘probable cause’ exists and be authorized by a warrant,” said Barr.

As Internet-based crimes continue to proliferate, and as criminals continue to lean towards warrant-stopping end-to-end encryption services, law enforcement agencies are increasingly finding themselves in a precarious position that has privacy advocates and encryption users worried that this could be the end of digital privacy and the beginning of an age of digital transparency.

Having a resolution to this magnitude would cause end-to-end encryption users to have to enter into a “trust dependant relationship” with the companies as well as the government agencies existing on the periphery to never broach the scope of their investigative responsibilities for the purpose of mass data collecting, and so destroy the trust between users and government.

What does this mean for dissident journalists, activists and free thinkers who utilize such technologies while living under the rule of an oppressive dystopian government that is prone to retaliate against individuals who hold to such fundamental basic rights such as freedom of speech?

Once mankind is at last living in such an era of digital transparency, it is not without a level of certainty that new innovations will apparently arise, and the powers that will be tasked with the challenge to confront those technologies, too.

Source: https://beincrypto.com/public-safety-vs-personal-privacy-us-regulators-target-encrypted-messengers/

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Is Bitcoin changing hands or being exchanged for altcoins?

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HODLers are known to sell at the top of the market cycle. However, since the price rally in July 2020, dormant coins from 2017 and 2018 are selling at the current price level. Pioneer of on-chain analysis, Willy Woo recently tweeted saying,

Is BTC changing hands or being exchanged for altcoins?

Source: Twitter

In several instances in 2014, 2017, and 2018, HODLers have booked unrealized profits. However, Bitcoin’s price was an ATH in that case. Currently, the price is above $11300 and dormant coins getting sold at this price level may indicate the possibility of an upcoming drop in price. 

On the contrary, since the second week of October 2020, several altcoins have been performing well. Offering double-digit returns in a week or a 24 hour period and this is lucrative to HODLers. Based on CoinMarketCap’s on-chain analysis, 88% of HODLers have unrealized profits in their portfolio. In anticipation of a Bitcoin price rally, HODLers may book a couple of tranches of profits and wait. They may buy altcoins like ADA, XLM, or FIL based on their weekly and 24-hour returns and book profits in the short-run.

Is BTC changing hands or being exchanged for altcoins?

Trade Volume of FIL || Source: Coinmarketcap

This is evident from the sudden and unpredicted increase in the trade volume of FIL, in the past 5 days. From 31 million it increased to 155 million in a single day. Corresponding to this increase in trade volume, the price has increased by nearly 22% in one week. 

Altcoins are a lucrative option for another reason, Bitcoin’s volatility and volume are low. The recovery is taking longer than expected, even with the ushering in of smart money. It may be long before HODLers who purchased above $10000 would see an ROI of 100%. In the meanwhile, the ones who have persevered through $3k-$9k level are selling and turning in.

Is BTC changing hands or being exchanged for altcoins?

Map of spent HODLer BTC || Source: Whalemap

Holding an asset long enough comes with an opportunity cost. HODLers who are aware of Bitcoin’s potential long-term return have paid this cost and may be ready to take by selling Bitcoin and trading in Altcoins, or reducing risk exposure and switching to Bitcoin options. This move by HODLers does not signal towards a price drop. There is an equal possibility that this builds a bullish case for Bitcoin in the longterm and altcoins in the short term.

Source: https://eng.ambcrypto.com/is-bitcoin-changing-hands-or-being-exchanged-for-altcoins

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