Bitcoin and other digital currencies have continued to tumble in value, amid concerns that Wall Street institutions are shunning cryptocurrencies.
It follows media reports, originally in Business Insider, that American investment bank Goldman Sachs was shelving plans to set up a cryptocurrency trading desk. Goldman Sachs' CFO Martin Chavez has since made publicly clear that the reports were false. He says, "I never thought I would hear myself use this term but I really have to describe that news as fake news."
The truth of the matter is, Wall Street is loving cryptos. They're even opening an exchange, and NASDAQ is investing in a tool to predict crypto price movements.
Bitcoin has lost two-thirds of its value in the past nine months. It was trading above $19,000 in mid-December, and if it continues to fall it could threaten this year's low of $5,887.
This can affect the value of other coins too, especially altcoins whose value are based on the value of Bitcoin.
The future regulatory framework for digital coins remains unclear. In the United States, the US Securities and Exchange Commission has warned that some coins might be regarded as securities, which means dealing in them may become subject to federal law.
According to Coinmarketcap, the overall market capitalisation of virtual currencies has lost three-quarters of its value since its January peak, slumping from $800bn to around $200bn now.
Blockchain technology enables to use and transact currency quickly, safely and trustingly. It enables anyone to set up automated self-employed business where mart contracts will enable vendors to get paid directly by a customer with no middleman. You are already able to create your own currency to pay for these services, so what is going wrong?
Here's our Crypto Correspondent, Robert Koenig to share his thoughts on the state of Bitcoin.
Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash
The British-built Aeolus satellite has begun firing its laser down on Earth to map the planet's winds.
It’s a big moment for the European Space Agency mission as the technology took 16 years to develop.
Launched three weeks ago from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana, Aeolus is now undergoing three months of testing.
Once this is complete, scientists will start assessing the satellite's wind data for inclusion in weather models.
Its maps are expected to bring significant improvements in the accuracy of medium-range forecasts; those that look a few days ahead.
Dr. Mark Drinkwater, who heads the agency's Earth and Mission Science Division says, "It's a euphoric feeling and a proud moment to reach this milestone after overcoming the first technical challenge to build, launch and operate this complex wind LIDAR. Now what are arguably some of Europe's most patient scientists and weather services eagerly wait to take over the baton."
At the moment, wind data comes from multiple but patchy sources, such as weather balloons.
Aeolus will be the first system to gather wind information all across the globe, from the ground up to 30km in altitude.
It will do this by firing a powerful ultraviolet laser down into the atmosphere.
With the aid of a telescope and a sensitive detector, it will then look for the way the pulsed beam's light is scattered back off air molecules, water droplets, and dust particles.
This should reveal basic details about air movement, and numerical weather models will be adjusted to take account of it.
Experts confirmed that the laser's first days of working reveal clear features of the wind.
Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash
An autonomous vehicle billed as “the future of transportation” is spending the month ferrying passengers between two neighbouring tourist attractions in Calgary, Alberta.
The autonomous electric bus is named ELA—it stands for Electric Automation—and Saturday marked its maiden voyage between the Calgary Zoo and the Telus Spark science centre next door.
It can carry up to 12 people at a time, and its speed has been limited to 12 km/h for its short journeys between the zoo and the science centre.
ELA runs on two key technologies. Josephine Tsang of Telus Spark describes one as “a super fancy version of a GPS.” The other is LIDAR, short for Light Detection and Ranging, which is used to detect pedestrians or other obstacles in the vehicle’s path.
Telus Spark is one of the two companies sponsoring ELA’s time in Calgary, along with energy giant Atco. The federal government has also put a $50,000 grant toward the project.
The vehicle is being billed as the first electric autonomous shuttle in Canada able to be used by the public. Manufacturer EasyMile let members of the public board a similar vehicle in Montreal last year, but that vehicle stayed on the Olympic Park property.
ELA’s presence in Calgary isn’t only about showing off the emerging technology of autonomous vehicles. Researchers are watching to see how ELA performs on the gravel roadways linking the zoo and science centre, and University of Calgary students are studying passengers’ reaction to the vehicle.
While there might not be anybody controlling ELA directly as it makes its trips back and forth, there is a backup system in case emergency human intervention is needed.
Tsang said, “There is an operator on the bus to make sure everything is running smoothly.”
The vehicle will spend September in Calgary before moving to Edmonton next month.
Sent to us by: gamerzfair
We may not have colonies on Mars and faster-than-light travel yet but, if you have a Vizio TV, you will get a taste of a bizarre future where gadgets turn against their makers after first betraying their owners. Also: a pop-up informing you that your TV has been spying on you will prompt you to sue its own manufacturer.
All this gadget drama started on November 2015, when journalistic watchdog ProPublica exposed Vizio for illegally using its popular smart TVs to spy on its customers. The secret “feature” recorded what, when, and where its TV users were watching in order to sell their viewing habits data to advertisers. Then, advertisers could use that data to “find you on your phone and other devices” and target your with advertisement tailored to those habits. Pretty sleazy.
The company argued that it was innocent and that all data recording was anonymous, not specific to each user, and asked the class action lawsuit to be dismissed. But a California federal judge didn’t buy its arguments two times—in March and July—allowing the legal process to continue.
This was despite the fact that, in February 2017, the company came to a very friendly $2.2 million settlement with the FTC on this investigation.
As part of the legal process against the company agreed to push a notice to all affected smart TVs alerting consumers of what happened and what their rights are.
The notice should show up sometime between September 12 and October 3. Now more than ever, if you are a Vizio Smart TV owner, stay tuned.
Sent to us by: Robbie Ferguson