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Zoom to Introduce New Censorship Features After Doing China’s Bidding

Zoom to Introduce New Censorship Features After Doing China's BiddingIf you are into discussing private matters or sensitive topics like the Tiananmen Square tragedy over video calls, don’t use Zoom for that. The service announced a new feature that would make it easier to ban people from the desired country at their government’s request. On June 11th, Zoom published a post explaining its actions against users who took part in four large commemoration online meetings dedicated to the Tiananmen Square tragedy. According to the post, Chinese authorities have contacted the company asking to terminate the meetings and accounts that hosted them, since this kind of event is outlawed in the country. Zoom obliged by shutting three out of four meetings. The last one didn’t have any participants from mainland China so there was nothing illegal going on and the meeting was left undisturbed. The post also mentions three host accounts that have been blocked at China’s request. It turned out that two of those were from the U.S. and one from Hong Kong SAR, so all three have been reinstated as of the announcement. No personal information was handed over to the authorities, Zoom claimed:

We did not provide any user information or meeting content to the Chinese government. We do not have a backdoor that allows someone to enter a meeting without being visible.”

Importantly, the company claims that meetings had to be terminated because there was no way to ban users from specific geographics. This is something Zoom is going to change.

“Zoom is developing technology over the next several days that will enable us to remove or block at the participant level based on geography. This will enable us to comply with requests from local authorities when they determine activity on our platform is illegal within their borders; however, we will also be able to protect these conversations for participants outside of those borders where the activity is allowed,” the announcement reads.

According to the post, two mistakes Zoom admitted were banning accounts from outside China and shutting down entire meetings instead of blocking only the Chinese participants. Foreign accounts have been restored and the geo-based ban feature is reportedly underway, therefore there should be no more problems left to solve. Still, it looks like the company can’t exactly decide between human rights and not getting in the way of local regimes.

“We hope that one day, governments who build barriers to disconnect their people from the world and each other will recognize that they are acting against their own interests, as well as the rights of their citizens and all humanity,” the first paragraph of the announcement reads, “The reality is Zoom operates in more than 80 countries and continues to expand, which requires compliance with local laws even as Zoom seeks to promote the open exchange of ideas.”

Considering the blockings and the new features promised, compliance with local laws seems to be the priority. In fairness, Zoom is just one of many U.S. companies that have to make concessions to be allowed into China’s huge market. Notably, while the company is headquartered in California, a large part of its team is based in China. One of the users who got their accounts blocked was Zhou Fengsuo, a student leader at the Tiananmen protests in 1989 and the founder of the U.S. non-profit organization Humanitarian China. Zhou told Vice that he chose Zoom because it is available to users in China, which means the participants of the commemorative meeting didn’t have to circumvent the Great Firewall.

“It was the first time that such a comprehensive representation of Tiananmen legacy could participate in the same conference because there was no geographic separation,” Zhou said referring to the Zoom meeting he held on June 4th.

On June 12th, a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers sent a letter to Zoom CEO Eric Yuan asking to explain which particular laws the company was following when suspending U.S.-based activists. Earlier, Zoom faced criticism about its approach to encrypting users’ communications. After being called out for not having end-to-end encryption, the company promised to ramp up its security by actually introducing the feature. The recently found catch is that only paid users’ communication will be encrypted end-to-end. The company’s CEO told Bloomberg that free users will be left out because the company wants to “work together with FBI, with local law enforcement in case some people use Zoom for a bad purpose.” Follow us on Twitter and Facebook and join our Telegram channel to know what’s up with crypto and why it’s important.

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Zoom to Introduce New Censorship Features After Doing China's BiddingIf you are into discussing private matters or sensitive topics like the Tiananmen Square tragedy over video calls, don’t use Zoom for that. The service announced a new feature that would make it easier to ban people from the desired country at their government’s request. On June 11th, Zoom published a post explaining its actions against users who took part in four large commemoration online meetings dedicated to the Tiananmen Square tragedy. According to the post, Chinese authorities have contacted the company asking to terminate the meetings and accounts that hosted them, since this kind of event is outlawed in the country. Zoom obliged by shutting three out of four meetings. The last one didn’t have any participants from mainland China so there was nothing illegal going on and the meeting was left undisturbed. The post also mentions three host accounts that have been blocked at China’s request. It turned out that two of those were from the U.S. and one from Hong Kong SAR, so all three have been reinstated as of the announcement. No personal information was handed over to the authorities, Zoom claimed:

We did not provide any user information or meeting content to the Chinese government. We do not have a backdoor that allows someone to enter a meeting without being visible.”

Importantly, the company claims that meetings had to be terminated because there was no way to ban users from specific geographics. This is something Zoom is going to change.

“Zoom is developing technology over the next several days that will enable us to remove or block at the participant level based on geography. This will enable us to comply with requests from local authorities when they determine activity on our platform is illegal within their borders; however, we will also be able to protect these conversations for participants outside of those borders where the activity is allowed,” the announcement reads.

According to the post, two mistakes Zoom admitted were banning accounts from outside China and shutting down entire meetings instead of blocking only the Chinese participants. Foreign accounts have been restored and the geo-based ban feature is reportedly underway, therefore there should be no more problems left to solve. Still, it looks like the company can’t exactly decide between human rights and not getting in the way of local regimes.

“We hope that one day, governments who build barriers to disconnect their people from the world and each other will recognize that they are acting against their own interests, as well as the rights of their citizens and all humanity,” the first paragraph of the announcement reads, “The reality is Zoom operates in more than 80 countries and continues to expand, which requires compliance with local laws even as Zoom seeks to promote the open exchange of ideas.”

Considering the blockings and the new features promised, compliance with local laws seems to be the priority. In fairness, Zoom is just one of many U.S. companies that have to make concessions to be allowed into China’s huge market. Notably, while the company is headquartered in California, a large part of its team is based in China. One of the users who got their accounts blocked was Zhou Fengsuo, a student leader at the Tiananmen protests in 1989 and the founder of the U.S. non-profit organization Humanitarian China. Zhou told Vice that he chose Zoom because it is available to users in China, which means the participants of the commemorative meeting didn’t have to circumvent the Great Firewall.

“It was the first time that such a comprehensive representation of Tiananmen legacy could participate in the same conference because there was no geographic separation,” Zhou said referring to the Zoom meeting he held on June 4th.

On June 12th, a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers sent a letter to Zoom CEO Eric Yuan asking to explain which particular laws the company was following when suspending U.S.-based activists. Earlier, Zoom faced criticism about its approach to encrypting users’ communications. After being called out for not having end-to-end encryption, the company promised to ramp up its security by actually introducing the feature. The recently found catch is that only paid users’ communication will be encrypted end-to-end. The company’s CEO told Bloomberg that free users will be left out because the company wants to “work together with FBI, with local law enforcement in case some people use Zoom for a bad purpose.” Follow us on Twitter and Facebook and join our Telegram channel to know what’s up with crypto and why it’s important. Source: https://forklog.media/zoom-to-introduce-new-censorship-features-after-doing-chinas-bidding/

Blockchain

Bitcoin is Sucking Liquidity Out of Every Major Market, Charts Show

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On Wednesday, Bitcoin evangelist and Wall Street investor Raoul Pal published a series of charts that pitted the cryptocurrency against major financial markets.

Every graph appeared identical to one another, for they showed how the mainstream assets/indexes were trending lower against Bitcoin, to a point where they all tested a medium-term support trendline. They included gold, the Nasdaq Composite, and its sub-indexes/stocks, which include KBW Bank Index, Treasury Bond ETF Fund, silver, Amazon stock, and others.

gold, bitcoin, xauusd, btcusd

Gold is looking to attempt a negative breakout against Bitcoin once it closes below the rising trendline support. Source: Bloomberg Terminal

Mr. Pal noted that every index/asset was looking to break bearish on the support trendline. The prediction pointed towards more strength for Bitcoin as it compared the crypto with a “supermassive black hole that is sucking in everything around it and destroying it.”

“You see, gold is breaking down versus bitcoin,” Mr. Pal added. “And gold investors will flip to BTC. The Nasdaq is next. Retail specs are going to flip to bitcoin as it eats techs lunch.”

nasdaq, nasdaq composite, bitcoin, cryptocurrency, btcusd, ndx

Like gold, Nasdaq is also looking to break lower against Bitcoin. Source: Bloomberg Terminal

Weaker Sub-indexes

Some of the Nasdaq’s sub-indexes already broke below the Ascending Trendline support. The KBW Bank Index (NASDAQ: BKX), a benchmark stock index of the banking sector, fell to its lowest levels against Bitcoin as worries over an increase in loan defaults stressed the financial corporations.

Read Further: 3 Biggest Bitcoin Takeaways from JPMorgan’s Q3 Earnings

Furthermore, the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond (NASDAQ: TLT) depreciated against the rising Bitcoin prices, adding to the speculation that the US economy is heading for a prolonged period of lower interest rates. The Federal Reserve has already committed to keeping them near-zero up until 2023.

us bonds, TLT US Equity, iShares 20+ Treasury Bonds, Bitcoin

iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF dips against Bitcoin. Source: Bloomberg Terminal

The analogy was the same for the G4 Central Bank Balance sheet, the Refinitiv/CoreCommodity CRB Index, and Apple. Everything fell against Bitcoin.

“The macro, flows, technology, demography and societal strains have all converged to this moment in time and the definite answer from markets is Bitcoin,” wrote Mr. Pal. “I get this sounds a little evangelical but I’m struggling to see it any other way right now.”

Bitcoin to $20,000

As money keeps flowing into the Bitcoin market, Mr. Pal also indicated that the cryptocurrency could soon swell back to its previous record high of $20,000.

cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, BTCUSD, XBTUSD, BTCUSDT, Bitcoin Dominance

A break above the $14K level puts Bitcoin en route to $20K, as per Raoul Pal. Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com

As per Mr. Pal, there is not any historically concrete resistance level above $14,000.

Earlier in 2017, it took BTC/USD only a week to pump from lower $13,000s to as high as $19,891 on Coinbase exchange. While the rally mostly took its cues from the infamous ICO boom, it left little hints for technical chartists to pick their ideal long targets on the next breakout above $14,000.

“I fully expect new all-time highs by early next year at the latest,” Mr. Pal predicted, nevertheless.

Source: https://bitcoinist.com/bitcoin-is-sucking-liquidity-out-of-every-major-market-charts-show/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=bitcoin-is-sucking-liquidity-out-of-every-major-market-charts-show

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5 Reasons For Bitcoin’s Price Surge To New 15-Month High

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At the beginning of October, Bitcoin’s price was particularly indecisive and trading slightly above $10,000, causing many to believe that the unfilled CME gap down at $9,600 would soon be closed.

Fast forward to the current date, October 27th, BTC is trading at $13,400, having just marked a fresh high for 2020. The cryptocurrency added around $3,000 to its value, representing an increase of around 30%.

With this said, this month was also quite eventful. Many things happened, and, as such, let’s have a look at five possible reasons that could have led to this substantial price increase.

PayPal Announcing Support for Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Ethereum

Undoubtedly, the most important piece of news that came out this month was PayPal announcing support for cryptocurrencies.

Now, PayPal is the world’s largest online payment processor. Data from Statista shows that for the second quarter of 2020, the company has processed over $221 billion. Moreover, the company has a network of over 26 million vendors, and it plans to enable users to spend their BTC at all of them, starting in early 2021.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that PayPal is a widely-accepted payment method, and most of the banks allow transfers from and to the platform. On the contrary, not a lot of banks support Bitcoin transactions, meaning that they would either have to reconsider their policy, or they would have to drop PayPal as a client altogether.

At this point, it’s unclear how this will be resolved, but it’s exciting to see how the situation develops. If one thing is certain, though, it would put Bitcoin and other cryptos at the forefront of an important discussion.

Major Banks Starting to Change Their Attitude Toward Bitcoin

There’s no clearer example here than JP Morgan – one of the world’s largest multinational investment banks.

The relationship between the bank’s CEO, Jamie Dimon, and Bitcoin is one worth following. In 2017, the high-ranked executive said that BTC is afraid and that if he saw any of his traders dealing with it, he would “fire them in a second.”

Well, fast forward a few years, and now the bank is posting bullish predictions on that very same cryptocurrency that Dimon labeled a fraud.

Just a few days ago, JP Morgan said that even a modest switch in capital from gold to Bitcoin could see its price triple.

Number of Publicly-Listed Companies Which Buy Bitcoin Increases

Perhaps as a direct consequence of the above, we can already see an increased involvement from publicly-listed companies.

The biggest buyer who put Bitcoin on its balance sheet became MicroStrategy, with its massive $425 million investment. Its CEO, Micael Saylor, has been particularly vocal about BTC’s merits.

Jack Dorsey’s Square also jumped on the bandwagon, purchasing $50 million worth of Bitcoin earlier this month.

Below is a list of all the publicly-listed companies and their holdings in BTC.

public_companies

Publicly-listed companies putting BTC on their balance sheet is a huge deal for the nascent cryptocurrency, and industry experts have it that this effect will only snowball.

Singapore’s Biggest Bank Reportedly Launches a Bitcoin Exchange

As CryptoPotato reported just today, DBS Bank, a Singaporean multinational banking and financial services corporation and the city-state’s largest bank, has reportedly launched an exchange that offers fiat-to-cryptocurrency trading pairs.

Purportedly, the new exchange would support the “top digital currencies in circulation,” namely Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Ripple’s XRP. Traders would be able to exchange them against SGD, HKD, JPY, and USD.

More interestingly, the exchange would supposedly only accept financial institutions and professional market makers, as its users. The venue would be regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, which is also its de-facto central bank.

Needless to say, a central bank-backed and regulated exchange aimed at institutional investors should, in theory, facilitate the involvement of larger players in the field.

Uncertainty Around the Upcoming 2020 US Presidential Elections

Undoubtedly one of the most important moments for the global macroeconomic outlook is the upcoming US Presidential Elections, set to take place on November 3rd.

CryptoPotato did a survey, and it turned out that the elections are the biggest concern for Bitcoin investors in 2020.

cryptopotato_survey_btc

It is, perhaps, no surprise that billionaire Paul Tudor Jones III came up with a statement, saying that he likes “Bitcoin even more now than then [when he bought BTC in May].” He also said that it’s going to be the best inflation trade.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/5-reasons-for-bitcoins-price-surge-to-new-15-month-high/

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Miners begin offloading Ethereum holdings as it continues underperforming BTC

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Ethereum has been severely underperforming Bitcoin throughout the past few days and weeks, with the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization currently trading far below its yearly highs.

Meanwhile, Bitcoin’s price is currently trading at the highest price seen in well over a year, with bulls vying to break the $13,800 level and bring the crypto to fresh post-2017 highs.

Its current strength has only created a slight tailwind for ETH and other major altcoins, with investors currently shifting all of their focus onto the benchmark cryptocurrency.

Many analysts have speculated that there will, at some point, be a rotation of capital away from BTC and into altcoins like Ethereum, but it remains unclear how high it may climb before this takes place.

One reason why Ethereum could be underperforming its larger counterpart at the moment is due to a single on-chain trend.

An analytics platform noted in a recent tweet that Ethereum miners have been selling their ETH holdings rapidly, which could be why it has been severely lagging behind Bitcoin.

Ethereum struggles to match Bitcoin’s momentum

Ethereum has been hovering within the lower-$400 region for the past few days as Bitcoin slowly continues to push higher.

Yesterday, a sharp selloff seen by BTC sent Ethereum plunging to lows of $380, but the buying pressure seen at this region allowed bulls to quickly revert its downtrend and send it rocketing back up past $400.

Ethereum still needs to climb roughly 20 percent before reaching its 2020 highs of $490 that were set at the peak of the DeFi hype cycle.

Unless Phase 0 of ETH 2.0 is released shortly, it remains unclear what could catalyze any shift in its waning momentum.

ETH miners begin offloading holdings as technical strength degrades

One reason why Ethereum has been underperforming Bitcoin is due to miners offloading their holdings over the past few days.

Analytics platform Santiment spoke about this in a recent tweet, explaining that Ethereum’s miner balance has dropped swiftly over the past couple of days.

“The Ethereum miners have been dumping, and it appears that last week’s increased on-chain activity and trader FOMO has slowed.”

Ethereum
Data Source: Santiment

Until miners stop offloading their balances, Ethereum may continue lagging behind the benchmark cryptocurrency.

This could have far-reaching implications for the aggregated market, as most major altcoins have been taking Ethereum’s lead as of late. Until ETH can gain some momentum, other altcoins will likely stagnate.

Ethereum, currently ranked #2 by market cap, is up 4.25% over the past 24 hours. ETH has a market cap of $45.89B with a 24 hour volume of $13.63B.

Ethereum Price Chart

ETHUSD Chart by TradingView

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Source: https://cryptoslate.com/miners-begin-offloading-ethereum-holdings-as-it-continues-underperforming-btc/

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