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Is This Blockchain Voting System by NYU Devs the Solution to Russia Election Meddling?

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With lingering concerns over ways in which the 2016 election could have been underhandedly swayed in the favor of President-elect Donald J. Trump after Barack Obama requested a report on the matter, a team of blockchain-minded New York University devs have developed a potential answer after winning first prize in a development challenge.

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Cybersecurity has been a major issue in elections ever since electronic voting machines were deployed in the early 1990s.

Voting had never been less expensive and easier for the electorate. The rise of cybersecurity, on the other hand, has become a major issue for the underpinnings of Democracy.

Donald Trump

It has been alleged that Russian state hackers interfered in this year’s US presidential elections.

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President Barack Obama recently ordered a report on how Russia might have possibly meddled in the US election in the favor of Donald J. Trump.

The world-renowned computer protection firm Kaspersky Lab, along with popular financial magazine The Economist challenged development teams from universities globally to create a system for digital voting to solve problems around cybersecurity in the voting booth, as well as counting the votes themselves.

New York University students Kevin Kirby, Anthony Masi, and Fernando Maymi won first place in the contest with Votebook, a “secure, scalable and consistent with current voter behavior and expectations of privacy.”

“As per the rules of the challenge, Votebook is based on blockchain technology, which creates a distributed, irreversible, incontrovertible public ledger that has been described as double-entry accounting for the digital age,” according to a press release about the hackathons results.

Votebook’s “permissioned blockchain” enables a “central authority” to admit voting machines to a network before an election begins, according to the release issued by NYU Tandon School of Engineering.

“The voting machines act autonomously to build a public, distributed ledger of votes,” according to the press release. “Voters would still register and show up to the polls just as they do in our current system, ensuring minimal disruption of voter expectations.” The ledger data for all voting machines would be released to the public at the election’s conclusion for auditing.

“Each voter could then check to see his or her vote was counted by entering a set of unique values (voter identification, individual ballot identification) that only the voter would know – the values, when cryptographically hashed, match the entry on the ledger that represents that individual’s vote;  no one else would be able to decipher those hashes,” the press release states.

The NYU team was awarded $10,000 for Votebook. All three participants work in an NYU program to produce cybersecurity specialists called ASPIRE. The program is based out of the NYU Center for Cybersecurity (CCS).

“Concerns about ballot stuffing, fraud, and cyber attacks have rattled voter confidence,” Maymi said. “It’s time that the voting system became more transparent, and we have shown that we should and can harness the power of blockchain technology to serve democracy.”

“We are exceedingly proud that our ASPIRE scholars triumphed in this important challenge,” said NYU Tandon Professor of Electrical and Computer Science Ramesh Karri, who co-founded CCS, is “excedingly proud of the program’s scholars.

“Their win is proof that interdisciplinary teams can create exceptionally secure information systems based on a deep understanding of social, behavioral, and public policy implications,” she says. “With digital data becoming more and more essential in every facet of our lives – including the way in which we elect our leaders – their expertise is invaluable.”

The NYU dev team’s win is also proof that distributed ledgers can form the basis of many important business and political operations in the future.

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Justin O'Connell is the founder of financial technology focused CryptographicAsset.com. Justin organized the launch of the largest Bitcoin ATM hardware and software provider in the world at the historical Hotel del Coronado in southern California. His works appear in the U.S.'s third largest weekly, the San Diego Reader, VICE and elsewhere.




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Analysis

Crypto Update: Encouraging Bounce before the Weekend

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The correction that started out in the major lagging altcoins and spread to the leaders of the market yesterday is weakening, with a nice rally today in early trading in most of the majors.  Although the segment is not out of the woods just yet, the bullish signs which have been present ever since the lows three weeks ago still persist.

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Bitcoin stayed clear of the key $9000-$9200 support zone, for now at least, which would be an ideal bottom for the correction, but as we noted long-term investors should accumulate the coin during the correction, as the short-term momentum is already back to neutral. The $10,000 level is still in the focus, while the next major resistance is found at $11,300 and the prior rally high near $11,750 is also ahead as an obstacle.

BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

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The early leaders of the rally, Litecoin and Ethereum Classic are once again showing strength and that could signal that the next leg higher already started. That said, with several coins still stuck in broader downtrends, investors should still expect a bumpy road, with the occasional volatile sell-off.

Litecoin got very close to the $180 support that we have been monitoring throughout the correction, but it quickly bounced above the $200 level again, as the broad bounce started after testing the previously dominant declining trendline. So far, the price action in the coin is consistent with a new uptrend and we still expect LTC to lead the market higher.

LTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ethereum Showing Positive Signs Again

ETH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

After yesterday’s early signs of relative strength, the second largest coin is now clearly showing evidence of accumulation, as it quickly recovered above the $845 level following the selloff after the US close. The coin established a new support near $780, and as the MACD is close to providing a bullish cross, it might signal the bottom of the correction.

Despite the bullish price action across the board, even in the recently lagging XRP and IOTA, the correction could still continue, but we still advise traders and investors to look for entry points as we expect the recovery to continue, although traders should still use smaller positions in the relatively weaker coins.

Stay tuned for our detailed technical analysis later on today.

Featured image from Shutterstock

Disclaimer:  The analyst owns cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but doesn’t engage in short-term or day-trading, nor does he hold short positions on any of the coins.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.7 stars on average, based on 111 rated postsTrader and financial analyst, with 10 years of experience in the field. An expert in technical analysis and risk management, but also an avid practitioner of value investment and passive strategies, with a passion towards anything that is connected to the market.




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Technical Analysis: Correction Continues but Coins Remain Stable

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It’s been another mixed session for cryptocurrency investors as judging by only the price action, the segment suffered losses across the board, but comparing the current sell-off to the January plunge reveals that the majors are much more resilient this time around.

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The largest digital currencies are holding on to most of the gains of the recent weeks, and the price action near the crucial support zones is also encouraging. With all that said, the correction is not over yet, and further losses are still in the cards, but barring a substantial change in price action, the coins will likely continue the rally.

BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

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Bitcoin has been trading around the key $10,000 level all day long, and, so far, a clear break-down has been averted. The short-term momentum indicators are now in neutral territory regarding the most valuable coin, and that could mean that a bottom is close, and investors should already add to their holdings here. Further strong support is found between $9000 and $9200, while targets are ahead at $11,300, $13,000, and $14,250.

XMR/USDT, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Correlation between the majors has increased during the sell-off, but there are still clear outperformers and laggards, adding to the bullish case. Monero remains among the strongest coins from a technical perspective, trading right at the lower boundary of the bullish consolidation pattern, with the $280 price level holding up for now. The coin faces strong resistance near $300 and $335, but we expect the uptrend to continue with the next target being ahead at $400, while further support is found at $240.

(more…)

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.7 stars on average, based on 111 rated postsTrader and financial analyst, with 10 years of experience in the field. An expert in technical analysis and risk management, but also an avid practitioner of value investment and passive strategies, with a passion towards anything that is connected to the market.




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Altcoins

Crypto Correction Deepens With Bitcoin Falling Below $10,000

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Cryptocurrencies hastened their decline on Thursday, with the total market cap falling to its lowest level in over a week as bitcoin and the major altcoins backtracked.

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Fresh Selloff Hits Crypto Market

Ninety-two of the top 100 cryptocurrencies tracked by CoinMarketCap were trading lower Thursday afternoon. The combined market capitalization for all coins fell 6% to $430 billion, the lowest since Feb. 13.

Bitcoin broke below $10,000 for the first time in nearly a week, and was last seen trading at $9.891. Even with the decline, bitcoin is maintaining its bullish outlook insofar as prices hold above the technically important $9,000-$9,200 region. Although downside is expected to persist in the short term, a bounce back toward $11,000 is expected. This is confirmed by the oversold Relative Strength Index (RSI), which also points to a rebound.

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As the following chart illustrates, the value of bitcoin peaked near $11,800 earlier this week before the recent bout of profit-taking took hold.

Ethereum, the world’s no. 2 cryptocurrency by market cap, fell below $800 for the first time in almost two weeks. At the time of writing, one ether was worth around $793, which represents a decline of 4% from the previous close.

Like bitcoin, ether is also grappling with oversold levels. However, the recent low is much shallower than the one Ethereum experienced in early February when prices fell toward $550.

Meanwhile, Litecoin tumbled to a session low of $188.73, more than offsetting a 50% gain earlier in the week. At the time of writing, the coin was down 6.5% at $192.59.

Elsewhere in the market, Ripple plunged nearly 9% to $0.93, while bitcoin cash fell fell nearly 8% to $1,210.

No Immediate Catalyst for the Decline

Like previous corrective phases, there was no immediate catalyst for the market’s sharp reversal, a sign that technical traders were largely responsible for the downshift. Since peaking above $518 billion on Saturday, the crypto market has declined 17%, all but reversing the previous week’s sharp rally.

On the regulatory front, the French government just announced it will be cracking down on unregulated cryptocurrency trading. In a statement issued by Autorite des Marches Financiers (AMF), the nation’s financial market watchdog, regulators said they had noticed a growing trend in unregulated futures and derivatives trading involving cryptocurrency.

“The AMF concludes that a cash-settled cryptocurrency contract may qualify as a derivative, irrespective of the legal qualification of a cryptocurrency,” the AMF said in the statement, as reported by CCN. “As a result, online platforms which offer cryptocurrency derivatives fall within the scope of MiFID 2 and must therefore comply with the authorisation, conduct of business rules, and the EMIR trade reporting obligation to a trade repository.”

MiFID stands for Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, a harmonized regulatory framework for the European Union’s financial markets. MiFID 2 was launched earlier this year to provide more transparency on traders and go after non-compliance more aggressively.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.5 stars on average, based on 162 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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