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Obama Ducks Apple/FBI Conflict In Encouraging Innovation At SXSW

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President Obama used his historic appearance at the South By Southwest (SXSW) festival Friday in Austin, Texas to expound on the importance of innovation, making a point of not taking a side in the Apple/FBI conflict over accessing the data in the smartphone used in the San Bernardino terrorist attack. He said he could not make an official statement on the conflict at this time.

He did, however, address the question of how to find a balance between privacy and security.

Obama Sees Balance Needed

“We can’t take an absolutist view on this,” he said, recognizing both sides of the argument, according to a transcript of the remarks provided by Fortune Magazine.

He said he is confident the conflict between protecting public safety and personal privacy can be resolved.

The tech community and the people who care about the issue of privacy versus safety will help solve it. “Because what will happen is if everyone goes to their respective corners and the tech community says ‘Either we have strong, perfect encryption or else it’s Big Brother and an Orwellian world,’ what you’ll find is that after something really bad happens, the politics of this will swing, and they will become sloppy, and rushed, and it will go through Congress in ways that have not been thought through,” he said.

Technology Changes Choices

Prior to the invention of smartphones, if a criminal engaged in a terrorist plot, law enforcement had the right to use a warrant to search a person’s home to seek evidence of wrongdoing. “And we agreed on that because just like all of our other rights, there are going to be some constraints that we impose to ensure that we are safe, secure and living in a civilized society,” he said.

Complicating the matter is the desire to prevent terrorism or disrupting the financial system, the air traffic control system or a whole other set of increasingly digitized systems.

People on the encryption side will argue that any key, even if directed at one device, could eventually be used on every device. “That is a technical question. I am not a software engineer. It is, I think, technically true, but I think it can be overstated,” Obama said.

Snowden Disclosure Raised Suspicions

Obama noted the Snowden disclosure elevated suspicion of government oversight. He said the Snowden issue overstated the dangers to U.S. citizens since intelligence agencies are scrupulous about U.S. citizens on U.S. soil. The Snowden disclosures identified excesses overseas.

The President said he understands the importance of privacy, and that government should not “willy nilly” get into smartphones to view personal data. While urging audience members to not take an absolutist view, he said the government will eventually have to make clear that the circumstances by which it is acceptable to bypass security on devices that become part of a criminal investigation.

If it is possible to make a device completely impenetrable, such protection would shield a child pornographer. “How do we disrupt a terrorist plot? How do we even do a simple thing like tax enforcement?” he asked. He said concessions will be needed for law enforcement to get necessary information.

Also read: FBI’s claim that only Apple can unlock the iPhone is ‘horseshit,’ says Edward Snowden

Decisions Are Needed

Setting aside the case between the FBI and Apple, Obama said decisions must be made on balancing “respective risks.” “The dangers are real. This notion that sometimes our data is different and can be walled off from these other trade-offs is incorrect.”

Obama said the answer will come down to creating a system where the encryption is as strong as possible, the key is as secure as possible, accessible by the smallest possible number of people, for a subset of important issues. “How we design that is not something I have the expertise to do.”

The President said he is on the civil liberties side of the debate. But he noted he is not interested in “overdrawing” the values that have made the U.S. an exceptional nation simply for expediency. The dangers are real, and maintaining law and order is important.

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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3.9 stars on average, based on 8 rated postsLester Coleman is a veteran business journalist based in the United States. He has covered the payments industry for several years and is available for writing assignments.




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Bitcoin Cash Price Analysis: When is BCH/USD Taking Another Extended Move Higher?

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  • The Bitcoin Cash price behavior suggests another imminent breakout is likely. Upside surprises appear move likely than any potential downside breakouts.
  • BCH/USD continues to move within a bullish pennant pattern formation. Narrowing price action indicates a breach is near.

The Bitcoin Cash price after the huge surge to the upside on 26th September, attributed to the Bitmain IPO news, has remained elevated. Risks appear tilted to the upside, given current price behavior and technical patterns observed. Outside of the technical view, news flow and updates have remained positive around Bitcoin Cash.

News Flow Remains Positive

Bitcoin Cash adoption continues to take place. It was reported that the events ticketing company, Bigtickets.com, has expanded its payment options, with acceptance of cryptocurrency. Customers will be able to pay using Bitcoin Cash. The CTO said “We know our dedication to innovation is deserving of a secure and seamless purchase method for our event attendees. The use of Bitcoin Cash is a major social trend we’ve been following. Therefore, we’re excited to be one of the first event ticketing platforms in the United States to accept the burgeoning cryptocurrency,”

Elsewhere, earlier in the week, TD Ameritrade, announced it is investing in a cryptocurrency exchange platform, ErisX. This will be facilitating a range of products, including crypto futures contracts. Fortunately for Bitcoin Cash, it has earned its way into the top 4 cryptocurrencies by market cap. Given its status, Bitcoin Cash will be one of the crypto futures products offered by ErisX.

This follows news back in August, Crypto Facilities announcing a Bitcoin Cash futures product. Crypto Facilities are regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The move came given Bitcoin Cash has a growing presence and acknowledgement across the market. The introduction of Bitcoin Cash futures is joining the company’s other crypto-based products.

Near-term Analysis (60-minute chart)

Eyes are locked on BCH/USD movement within a bullish pennant pattern formation. Price action is well-supported by the lower trend line. It for now remains within consolidation mode, after the strong surge on 26th September. The price is moving towards the end of the pattern, into a narrower range. This behavior suggests a breakout could very much be imminent, subject to bullish momentum.

BCH/USD 60-minute chart

Resistance to the upside is seen at the above trend line of the pennant, $523. Given the pole of the mentioned pattern, the breakout may be chunky. A retest of the supply around $640-$660, will therefore be the likely first target area. The price last traded in this region from the 1st to the 4th September. Support is eyed around $510-509, as mentioned above, the lower trend line of the pennant.

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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4.6 stars on average, based on 125 rated postsKen has over 8 years exposure to the financial markets. During a large part of his career, he worked as an analyst, covering a variety of asset classes; forex, fixed income, commodities, equities and cryptocurrencies. Ken has gone on to become a regular contributor across several large news and analysis outlets.




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Events

Many Great Things to Come

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Many thanks for all the comments and feedback from yesterday’s blog about my trip. Many of you were asking to be more specific about the information that I received there. So I did want to let you know that most of what I did was more networking and meeting people than anything else.

In line with that, I did meet some people who blew my mind with some of the things they’re working on. I have added all of them to this daily update and asked many of them to send back further details about what they’re doing so I can update all of you on these exciting projects.

The experiences we have help shape who we are and influence what we say and do. So expect further updates about this in the coming weeks and months.

To answer your question more pointedly, the main takeaway that I got from Davos was that each individual has the power to change the world. However, the key to doing it is not by making it your end goal. Rather, find something positive that you are passionate about and work hard on it.

“If you want to change the world start by making your own bed.” -Admiral William McRaven

@MatiGreenspan
eToro, Senior Market Analyst

Today’s Highlights

  • Time of War
  • Dollar Getting Crushed
  • Weiss on Crypto

Please note: All data, figures & graphs are valid as of January 25th. All trading carries risk. Only risk capital you can afford to lose.

Traditional Markets

The big boys are talking in Davos and it seems to be influencing the markets a bit. On Tuesday, President Trump imposed some tariffs on a few specific import items that are usually made in China. Suspicions that Trump was finally making good on his campaign rhetoric to start a trade war with China seem to have been confirmed yesterday by Wilber Ross…

Stocks around the world are taking a bit of a hit as the increased possibility of an all-out trade war between the world’s two biggest economies.

Adding fuel to the fire, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin seemed to have changed his mind about the US Dollar’s role in the economy. Previously he had been advocating for a stronger Dollar but yesterday he was quoted as saying…

These comments are actually more in line with what Trump has been saying from the beginning but now that Mnuchin seems committed, the Dollar had a grand sell-off, falling to its lowest point in more than three years.

The weaker Dollar sent Gold and Oil up to fresh highs as well and we can also observe a stronger Japanese Yen.

Crypto Ratings

For the longest time, I’ve been telling people that we need a better way to grade cryptocurrencies. The market cap is one metric but it’s really only a small part of the story and not a great indication of the strength or viability for most digital assets.

It seems now that the crypto craze is going mainstream, an official US rating agency just released a comprehensive grade on 74 of the top traded cryptos.

At first glance, it looks like they actually did a pretty good job. It makes sense that none of them got an A rating. This is an extremely risky market and it would be really misleading to say that any of them are “solid” investments.

I really liked that Ethereum was rated slightly higher than Bitcoin, and their reasoning is exactly what we’ve been talking about in these daily updates. The Bitcoin blockchain is congested.

The event was a bit chaotic and their website went down due DDoS hacking and a massive surge in visitors.

For cryptotraders, this is the first really great event so far this year. This is a direct endorsement by an established financial firm and cements the “cryptocurrency” label as an acceptable asset class in the eyes of the world. Since the announcement, we’re seeing a nice rally in the market.

As we stated previously, prices might fall further but they don’t necessarily have to. If momentum off this event builds or we get some other positive updates, we could be in for some great things ahead.

As always, let me know your thoughts and opinions. Post directly to my wall on eToro or tag me on any other social network.

Have an outstanding day!

This content is provided for information and educational purposes only and should not be considered to be investment advice or recommendation. The outlook presented is a personal opinion of the analyst and does not represent an official position of eToro. Past performance is not an indication of future results. All trading involves risk; only risk capital you are prepared to lose. Cryptocurrencies can widely fluctuate in prices and are not appropriate for all investors. Trading cryptocurrencies is not supervised by any EU regulatory framework.

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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4.6 stars on average, based on 152 rated postsSenior Market Analyst at Etoro.com.




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Events

My Davos Experience

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Humble apologies for the format of today’s Email. The markets, crypto and stocks, have been rather flat over the last 24 hours so there should be no need for price graphs and this should actually be a good point for reflection. I apologize as well for the delay in getting it to you. I’ve been from plane to plane to train to meeting to train since Sunday night and now writing to you from the Starbucks at ZRH.

Would like to wish a very warm welcome to all the new people who are getting the daily market update for the first time today. Though this trip was very short, it was incredibly productive. In addition to the scheduled meetings, I managed to meet scores of interesting people who I hope to stay in touch with for many years to come.

It was incredible to see the overwhelming presence of crypto and blockchain enthusiasts. In the center of the main promenade in Davos were two buildings that happened to be next door to each other.

I managed to get a selfie in front of one of them.

Crypto HQ was filled with new age anarchists and revolutionaries, people involved in all sorts of ICOs and other fascinating projects, many of which with a good chance to change the world for the better.

Next door was the more elegant looking Ethereal Lounge that was put up by Consensys and hosted the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance. The people there were more involved in the integration of blockchain into already existing frameworks like government and big business, mostly using the Ethereum blockchain.

As most of my time was spent in these two buildings, I didn’t get the chance to “rub elbows” with the rich and famous. It was very interesting to see some of the sneers and smiles from people passing by the crypto events. It felt like some people saw us more as unwanted party crashers then the builders of the next layer of the internet.

In fact, there are two events on the main stage today that emphasize this dichotomy. The “crypto asset bubble” will have anti-blockchain enthusiasts speaking but the second is actually called “the remaking of global finance” and will have speakers like Steven Mnuchin and Christine Lagarde.

From my perspective, I’d much rather ignore the naysayers. They will come around once blockchain technology is more tangible and user-friendly. Certainly, I’d be happy to help educate them but only if and when they’re interested. It does seem though, that we’ve managed to push through all that. Much more people are now aware of this revolution and plenty of bright people are getting involved. Probably the incredible price movement had something to do with that but now that the genie is out of the bottle people are using it to improve their own lives and the lives of others and at the end of the day that’s what Davos is supposed to be about.

Was very proud to represent eToro in a place like this.

Have an amazing day ahead. As always, feel free to reach me with any thoughts questions or comments.

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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4.6 stars on average, based on 152 rated postsSenior Market Analyst at Etoro.com.




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