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Following the recent 3-day downtrend period for most digital currencies, Litecoin is showing signs of potential recovery between $150-151 against the US dollar. Currently, the coin is trading above the $156 resistance level.



The dip can be blamed on the recent criticism from legendary investors such as Charlie Munger and Warren Buffet. Moreover, Bill Gates stated that since the cryptocurrency asset class is not producing anything, people should expect it to go down. He termed it a greater fool theory type of investment and added that he could short it. As such, some potential investors got scared away, but this is just for a short period as most coins have shown signs of potential recovery.

In the past 72 hours, we witnessed a downside move from the $170 pivot level in litecoin price. The coin traded close to the $150 level before buyers appeared to boost it. From the chart below, the coin’s price went as low as $151 before the upside correction started. However, it climbed recently above the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the previous bearish trend from $168 high to $151 low.



The coin was able to break below the support line of the ascending channel and 20-day EMA. However, bulls purchased the dip close to $150 levels and forced the prices back into the channel. Now, a rally above the $168 levels will show strength and it will be possible to move to the $184 level which took place on 6th May.

Additionally, the coin’s price is likely to receive a great boost from the recent Twitter campaigns, #PayWithLitecoin and #LitecoinAcceptedHere. These will build the coin’s awareness and the payment systems will spike Litecoin’s value in the near future. Moreover, according to analysts, the coin may jump as high as $180.
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facebook-google-and-twitter-ban-ads

Social media platforms have recently banned advertising for cryptocurrencies and ICOs, but that stance is contradictory to the thoughts of their directors.
In January, the social network giant Facebook outlawed cryptocurrency related advertising in an effort to protect users from various ICO scams, fraudulent token sales, Ponzi schemes and the likes.
It has set a precedent that is now being followed by other platforms and service - but this disparaging move is at odds with the sentiments of the heads of these businesses.
The people responsible for the creation of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have been singing praises for cryptocurrencies and their underlying Blockchain technology.
It creates a bit of a juxtaposition, as the companies they are responsible have enforced sanctions that potentially stifle the adoption and development of Blockchain.
In order to unpack this disconnect, let’s take a look at what the likes of Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey think about the developing technology.

Facebook and Instagram

At the beginning of 2018, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg made some positive comments about cryptocurrencies in a post on Facebook. He focused on the potential benefits they have for businesses like Facebook, as well as the power they hand back to people.
He honed in on an issue that is becoming increasingly talked about – centralization versus decentralization. As CNBC reported, Facebook was in the spotlight for a number of negative issues mainly related to its ad-services and their capabilities.
"There are important counter-trends to this, like encryption and cryptocurrency, that take power from centralized systems and put it back into people's hands. I'm interested to go deeper and study the positive and negative aspects of these technologies, and how best to use them in our services."
No more than two weeks later, Facebook announced that it would prohibit cryptocurrency related advertising on the platform, which was met with varying reactions from the wider cryptocurrency community.
Fast forward three months and Facebook was embroiled in one of the biggest scandals since its inception. In essence, the platform supplied personal data from over 50 bln users to political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.
Zuckerberg took to Facebook to admit the company had made ‘mistakes’ while outlining what had led to Cambridge Analytica access to data from Facebook users. He has since taken out adverts in British newspapers to make a public apology, while Facebook has been hit with a swathe of lawsuits.
In an interview with CNN last week, Zuckerberg even suggested that Facebook could benefit from regulation - an issue that is hanging heavily over cryptocurrencies and ICOs this year:
“I’m actually not sure we shouldn’t be regulated. In general, technology is an increasingly important trend in the world and I actually think the question should be ‘what is the right regulation rather than ‘yes or no, should it be regulated.”
“On the basic side, there are things like ads transparency regulation that I would love to see. If you look at how much regulation there is around advertising on TV and in print, it's just not clear why there should be less on the internet, you should have the same level of transparency required.”
Meanwhile one of the primary attributes of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is the ability to encrypt data giving anonymity and privacy to users.
Facebook’s move to ban cryptocurrency related advertising also applied to partner platforms Instagram and its advertising platform Audience Network.

Twitter CEO beams on Bitcoin

While Zuckerberg battles with Facebook’s ongoing woes, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has been waxing lyrical on Bitcoin of late.
In an interview with the Sunday Times issued on March 21, the Twitter and Square CEO forecast that Bitcoin could one day become the single global currency in ten years time.
“The world ultimately will have a single currency. The Internet will have a single currency. I personally believe that it will be Bitcoin, probably over ten years, but it could go faster.”
Having personally invested in Bitcoin, Dorsey is a staunch advocate for the virtual currency. He’s also the CEO of point-of-sale software startup Square, which would soon integrate a Bitcoin buy/sell functionality.
Furthermore, Dorsey also invested in Lightning Labs, which has seeded $2.5 mln to spearhead the development of the Lightning Network which promises to provide free and fast Bitcoin transactions.
While Dorsey is bullish on Bitcoin, he reiterated that startup companies like Lightning Labs hold the key to further adoption around the world:
“It’s slow and it’s costly, but as more and more people have it, those things go away. There are newer technologies that build off of Blockchain and make it more approachable.”
What is disconcerting is that Twitter is the latest social media platform to ban cryptocurrency advertising.
Murmurs of an impending ban last week were confirmed on March 27. Twitter will begin cutting out advertising of initial coin offerings and their token sales as well as global cryptocurrency wallet platforms if they are not publicly listed on select stock exchanges.
Once again, there is a clear disconnect between the thoughts and views of its leadership and the plans of the business itself.
Twitter has followed in the footsteps of Facebook. The social media platforms are trying to protect users from fraudulent companies and scams, which have taken advantage of many through advertising campaigns on social media networks.
However, that has painted everyone with the same brush. In essence, innovative startups with ingenious business plans have been stifled due to the actions of fraudsters and scam artists looking to ride the Blockchain and cryptocurrency wave.
An infamous example was John McAfee’s Twitter account being hacked and used to promote some obscure virtual currency tokens.
Furthermore, Twitter, in particular, has been rife with accounts impersonating well-known cryptocurrency advocators and accounts, which has caught unsuspecting users out.

Google to follow suit

The world’s biggest search engine, Google, is following in the footsteps of its social media cousins.
As reported in March, Google’s updated financial services policy will rule out all related cryptocurrency advertising through its AdWords service from June 2018. Once again, consumer protection is touted as the main driving factor behind the move.
There is an air of irony to Google’s move. While cryptocurrency adverts will come to an end, Google could actually be stifling the growth of companies it has invested in that directly use cryptocurrencies.
Companies like Blockchain based cloud storage Storj and payment platform Veem, which Google has backed financially, will in essence be unable to advertise on the search engine once the ban comes into effect.
The move to ban crypto advertising comes less than a year after Google’s parent company Alphabet invested in London-based online wallet Blockchain.info. It also remains to be seen how this service will be able to advertise on the search engine come June 2018.
At the time, Alphabet partner Tom Hulme said their investment in the company, which raised over $70 mln in overall funding, was essential because “the pace of innovation in the digital currency space is unmatched,” as quoted by Fortune.
And yet cryptocurrency wallet providers and promising ICOs will no longer have access to the world’s biggest search engine in two months time.

Other platforms

Snapchat is another massive social media platform to make a move against cryptocurrency advertising. They’ve instituted a similar ban on Facebook and Twitter, but have only prohibited adverts for initial coin offerings.
Ironically pioneering Snapchat investor, Jeremy Liew was bullish on Bitcoin and had some lofty price predictions for the preeminent cryptocurrency last year.
China has taken a hard stance against cryptocurrencies from a governmental level and that has filtered down to internet based companies in the country. In September 2017, the country ordered that all cryptocurrency exchanges must close down.
As reported by Recode, the likes of Alibaba and Tencent haven’t allowed this cryptocurrency related advertising for far longer. Meanwhile, the South China Morning Post revealed that it seems search engine Baidu is not returning adverts for any cryptocurrency related searches - only news articles and posts.
Russian search engine Yandex is also expected to follow suit - according to local media reports.

Where to from here?

This is a question that may not be answered for months. The whole world seems to be waiting for clear regulatory guidelines on cryptocurrencies and ICOs.
While the likes of the SEC pioneer this space, we may see continued apathy towards the promotion of ICOs and cryptocurrency tokens sales on most online platforms for some time.
Until there are firm guidelines in place that protect the majority of users from ICO scams and misleading investment opportunities, these extreme sanctions are likely to remain in effect.
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The CLOUD Act (Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act) -- a contentious last-minute addition to the $1.3 trln federal spending bill that will allow the US government more access to Americans’ data for law enforcement purposes, as well as foreign governments, access to US companies for data on their own citizens -- has been signed into law by President Donald Trump, GeekWire reports March 23.

The bill had been opposed by privacy advocates like the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which had written after the bill’s passing that “this final, tacked-on piece of legislation will erode privacy protections around the globe.”

The Cloud Act was added to the omnibus spending bill on Wednesday night, ahead of the voting on the 2,232-page bill that took place on Thursday. The bill passed 256-167 in the House, and 65-23 in the Senate.

Republic Senator Rand Paul had tweeted March 22, the day of the vote, that “Congress should reject the CLOUD Act because it fails to protect human rights or Americans’ privacy...gives up their constitutional role, and gives far too much power to the attorney general, the secretary of state, the president, and foreign governments,” but adding the following caveat:




The bill had met previous opposition from several different US organizations, who saw the late addition as a lack of due process and the content of the bill itself as a backdoor to the Fourth Amendment.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) had posted a “Coalition Letter on Cloud Act” on March 12, writing that the bill, in their opinion, “undermines privacy and other human rights, as well as important democratic safeguards,” due to its bypassing Congress and the existing stored information request procedure and “[placing] authority in the hands of the executive branch.”

The content of the act allows for the US to make deals with foreign governments -- the EFF adds that the governments with human rights abuses are not excluded -- that would allow the governments to directly contact US companies for data requests, which “removes a layer of judicial review,” writes GeekWire.

On the other side of the argument for the bill, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Oath had written a joint letter on Feb. 6 supporting the Cloud Act, writing about the need for customer protection that the act would give:

“Our companies have long advocated for international agreements and global solutions to protect our customers and Internet users around the world. We have always stressed that dialogue and legislation - not litigation - is the best approach. If enacted, the CLOUD Act would be notable progress to protect consumers’ rights and would reduce conflicts of law.”


Microsoft again posted a letter supporting the bill on March 21, stating that the Cloud Act
“Creates a modern legal framework for how law enforcement agencies can access data across borders. It’s a strong statute and a good compromise that reflects recent bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress, as well as support from the Department of Justice, the White House, the National Association of Attorneys General and a broad cross section of technology companies [...] it gives tech companies like Microsoft the ability to stand up for the privacy rights of our customers around the world. The bill also includes a strong statement about the importance of preventing governments from using the new law to require that U.S. companies create backdoors around encryption, an important additional privacy safeguard.”
Bitcoin (BTC) advocate Andreas M. Antonopoulos posted on Twitter after the Cloud Act passed that the public must now “go dark:”

Privacy of personal data has been a key point of the founding ideas of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. However, earlier this week NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden said that he believed that Bitcoin’s public ledger was “devastatingly public.”

Source

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reddit-reportedly-removes-bitcoin-as-payment-cites-coinbase-change
Image Source - cointelegraph
Reddit has reportedly removed the option for users to pay for their premium membership program, Reddit Gold, in Bitcoin (BTC) citing an “upcoming Coinbase change”, according to a Reddit post in subreddit /r/btc published March 23.



Reddit user BitcoinXio posted a video of the steps to give another user Reddit Gold, showing that the only payment options are PayPal and credit card.

Reddit user emoney40, a moderator of several subreddits but not /r/btc, commented that the change is due to the Coinbase Commerce change:

“The upcoming Coinbase change, combined with some bugs around the Bitcoin payment option that were affecting purchases for certain users, led us to remove Bitcoin as a payment option.”

Coinbase posted on its Medium page in early March 2018 about retiring Coinbase Merchant Tools in place of Coinbase Commerce, which they acknowledged “may be disruptive to Coinbase Merchant Tool customers.” As of April 30, merchants that used Coinbase Merchant Tools will no longer have access to that product, with May 31 as the final date for the required switch to Coinbase Commerce.

User emoney40 also said that adding BTC back as a payment option is not a guarantee:

“We're going to take a look at demand and watch the progression of Coinbase Commerce before making a decision on whether to re-enable.”

Some Reddit users on the thread commented that they were not using BTC to pay for Reddit Gold anyway, due to the high transaction fees. However, in February BTC transaction fees dipped below the price of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) fees, which had been one of the main talking points of BTC’s competitors.
Source
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The Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (CMIIT) has published a list of objectives to encourage the development and standardization of the technology sector, including Blockchain, according to a document released March 23.

The document begins with an objective to “promote the establishment of […] the National Blockchain Distributed Accounting Technology Standardization Committee” and further states that the committee will recommend standards “in Blockchain reference architectures, data format specification, interoperability, and smart contracts.”


The document also states that the new Committee will promote the creation and submission of standards “going out”, i.e. participating in the establishment of international standards in Blockchain technology.

CMIIT issued another announcement on March 23 stating that the day before, it concluded a forum exploring the use of Blockchain technology in China’s industrial sector. The press release says that CMIIT will continue to explore the topic.

Earlier in March, Cointelegraph reported that the government-backed Investment Association of China (IAC) is planning to create a Blockchain Investment Development Center. According a leaked document, the Blockchain innovation plan involves linking domestic and international resources, as well as investing in Chinese Blockchain projects, attracting foreign investment, and leading international Blockchain forums. According to one Chinese official referring to this document, an international Blockchain summit may be held in China in May 2018.

While the Chinese government has taken a hard line against cryptocurrencies, it appears to be embracing the underlying Blockchain technology. The Bank of China filed a patent in February 2018 for a scaling solution of Blockchain technology systems, while China’s top online retailer, JD.com, announced the launch of a startup incubator to attract foreign Blockchain projects.
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have shut down key computer systems in the US city of Atlanta, Georgia and are demanding $51,000 in Bitcoin to reenable the affected systems, Fortune reports today, March 23.




Atlanta’s Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced the attack in a press conference on Thursday, March 22. She told members of the press that officials “don’t know the extent [of the attack] or if anyone’s personal data or bank accounts will be compromised. All of us are subject to this attack.”
The attack was first discovered at 5 a.m. on March 22. The City of Atlanta noted that the “outages” were affecting systems some customers use to pay bills and access court-related information.
City officials are reportedly working with the FBI, the US Department of Homeland Security, and Microsoft to ascertain the extent of the breach and how to resolve it. On March 23, city officials encouraged citizens to monitor their personal information and accounts if they believe their personal information could be compromised in the hack.
As of press time, the situation is yet to be resolved. Bitcoin is currently trading at an average of $8,500, which means the demanded ransom would cost the city approximately 6 bitcoins.
This is not the first instance of hackers holding municipal computer systems hostage in exchange for cryptocurrency. In November 2017, a hacker attacked the Sacramento Regional Transit system for a ransom of 1 bitcoin, which at the time of the attack was worth about $8,000.
In a more malicious example of ransom for Bitcoin, a parcel bomber in Germany demanded a €10 mln ransom to be paid in Bitcoin in a message sent to a Potsdam Christmas market in December 2017. The package, which failed to detonate, contained a QR code for depositing bitcoins, in addition to explosive materials derived from fireworks and nails.
Source
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A young woman amputated from the knee breastfed a 40-day-old infant who had lost his entire family in the bombings.




The UN Security Council has unanimously demanded a 30-day ceasefire in Syria, as new air strikes on the rebel enclave of Eastern Ghouta took the civilian death toll from seven days of bombing to more than 500.

With support from Russia, the Security Council adopted a resolution on the ceasefire to allow for humanitarian aid deliveries and medical evacuations, but the measure did not specify when the truce would go into the force beyond saying it should be "without delay."

After the council vote Saturday, Syrian warplanes backed by Russian air power launched new raids on a town in Eastern Ghouta, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

At least 127 children are among the 519 dead in the bombing campaign that the regime launched last Sunday on the rebel enclave, just outside Damascus, the British-based monitor said.

At least 41 civilians were killed in Saturday's strikes, including eight children. Russia has denied taking part in the assault.

Quickly following up on the vote, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will speak by phone Sunday with Russian President Vladimir Putin to push for the truce to take hold "in the coming days," the Elysee palace said in a statement.

To this end, France's Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian will also go to Moscow on Tuesday.

The UN vote was initially expected to be held Thursday but was repeatedly delayed as diplomats were locked in tough negotiations to avoid a veto from Russia, which is militarily supporting President Bashar Al-Assad.

"Every minute the council waited on Russia, the human suffering grew," US Ambassador Nikki Haley told the council after the vote, accusing Moscow of stalling.

"As they dragged out the negotiations, the bombs from Assad's fighter jets continued to fall. In the three days, it took us to adopt this resolution, how many mothers lost their kids to the bombing and the shelling?"

Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia rejected accusations of foot-dragging, saying that negotiations were needed to arrive at a demand for a ceasefire that was "feasible."

"What is necessary is for the demands of the Security Council to be underpinned by concrete on-the-ground agreements," he said.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who has described Eastern Ghouta as "hell on Earth," said the ceasefire must be "immediately" implemented.

To win Russia's approval, language specifying that the ceasefire would start 72 hours after the adoption was scrapped, replaced by "without delay," and the term "immediate" was dropped in reference to aid deliveries and evacuations.

In another concession to Moscow, the ceasefire will not apply to operations against the Islamic State group or Al-Qaeda, along with "individuals, groups, undertakings and entities" associated with the terror groups.

That would allow the Syrian government offensive to continue against Al-Qaeda-linked jihadists in Idlib, the last province in Syria outside the control of Damascus.

French Ambassador Francois Delattre said it was now important to ensure the ceasefire turns into reality on the ground, vowing to be "extremely vigilant... in the hours to come and the days to come."

"Nothing would be worse than seeing this resolution remain a dead letter," he said.

Russia has vetoed 11 draft resolutions throughout the Syrian conflict to block action that targeted its ally.

In November, it used its veto to end a UN-led investigation of chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

In Eastern Ghouta, news of the UN vote on the ceasefire was greeted with a shrug.

"I don't think this decision will be implemented. It will be respected neither by the regime nor Russia," said Abu Mazen, a resident of Douma, Eastern Ghouta's main town.

"We can't trust Russia or the regime. We are used to their betrayals," he added.

Control of Eastern Ghouta is shared between two main Islamist factions, while Syria's former Al-Qaeda affiliate is also present.

Russia has been pressing for a negotiated withdrawal of rebel fighters and their families like the one that saw the government retake full control of Syria's second city Aleppo in December 2016.

But all three rebel groups have refused.

World leaders have expressed outrage at the plight of civilians in Eastern Ghouta.

The enclave is surrounded by government-controlled territory, and its 400,000 residents are unwilling or unable to flee the deadly siege.

In one of the many unfolding dramas at a field hospital in Douma, a young woman amputated from the knee breastfed a 40-day-old infant who had lost his entire family in the bombings.

Food supplies have been running dry, with bread no longer available on local markets.

The cornered rebels in Eastern Ghouta have been firing back into Damascus, where six civilians were wounded Saturday, state media said.

Around 20 people have been killed in eastern districts of the capital since last Sunday, according to state media.


More than 340,000 people have been killed and millions driven from the homes in the war, which in March enters its eighth year with no diplomatic solution in sight.