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Germanys COVID-19 contacts tracing app to link to labs for test result notification

A German research institute that’s involved in developing a COVID-19 contacts tracing app with the backing of the national government has released some new details about the work, which suggests the app is being designed as more of a “one-stop shop” to manage coronavirus impacts at an individual level, rather than having a sole function […]

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A German research institute that’s involved in developing a COVID-19 contacts tracing app with the backing of the national government has released some new details about the work, which suggests the app is being designed as more of a “one-stop shop” to manage coronavirus impacts at an individual level, rather than having a sole function of alerting users to potential infection risk.

Work on the German app began at the start of March, per the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft institute, with initial funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Federal Ministry of Health funding a feasibility study.

In a PDF published today, the research organization reveals the government-backed app will include functionality for health authorities to directly notify users about a COVID-19 test result if they’ve opted in to get results this way.

It says the system must ensure only people who test positive for the virus make their measurement data available to avoid incorrect data being input. For the purposes of “this validation process,” it envisages “a digital connection to the existing diagnostic laboratories is implemented in the technical implementation.”

“App users can thus voluntarily activate this notification function and thus be informed more quickly and directly about their test results,” it writes in the press release (which we’ve translated from German with Google Translate) — arguing that such direct digital notification of tests results will mean that no “valuable time” is lost to curb the spread of the virus.

Governments across Europe are scrambling to get Bluetooth-powered contacts tracing apps off the ground, with apps also in the works from a number of other countries, including the U.K. and France, despite ongoing questions over the efficacy of digital contacts tracing versus such an infectious virus.

The great hope is that digital tools will offer a route out of economically crippling population lockdowns by providing a way to automate at least some contacts tracing — based on widespread smartphone penetration and the use of Bluetooth-powered device proximity as a proxy for coronavirus exposure.

Preventing a new wave of infections as lockdown restrictions are lifted is the near-term goal. Although — in line with Europe’s rights frameworks — use of contacts tracing apps looks set to be voluntary across most of the region, with governments wary about being seen to impose “health surveillance” on citizens, as has essentially happened in China.

However if contacts tracing apps end up larded with features that are deep linking into national health systems, that raises questions about how optional their use will really be.

An earlier proposal by a German consortium of medical device manufacturers, laboratories, clinics, clinical data management systems and blockchain solution providers — proposing a blockchain-based Digital Corona Health Certificate, which was touted as being able to generate “verifiable, certified test results that can be fed into any tracing app” to cut down on false positives — claimed to have backing from the City of Cologne’s public health department, as one example of potential function creep.

In March, Der Spiegel also reported on a large-scale study being coordinated by the Helmholtz Center for Infection Research in Braunschweig, to examine antibody levels to try to determine immunity across the population. Germany’s Robert Koch Institute (RKI) was reportedly involved in that study — and has been a key operator in the national contacts tracing push.

Both RKI and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft institute are also involved in parallel German-led pan-EU standardization efforts for COVID-19 contacts tracing apps (called PEPP-PT) that’s been the leading voice for apps to centralize proximity data with governments/health authorities, rather than storing it on users’ device and performing risk processing locally.

As we reported earlier, PEPP-PT and its government backers appear to be squaring up for a battle with Apple over iOS restrictions on Bluetooth.

PEPP-PT bases its claim of being a “privacy-preserving” standard on not backing protocols or apps that use location data or mobile phone numbers — with only arbitrary (but pseudonymized) proximity IDs shared for the purpose of tracking close encounters between devices and potential coronavirus infections.

It has claimed it’s agnostic between centralization of proximity data versus decentralization, though so far the only protocol it’s publicly committed to is a centralized one.

Yet, at the same time, regional privacy experts, the EU parliament and even the European Commission have urged national governments to practice data minimization and decentralized when it comes to COVID-19 contacts tracing in order to boost citizen trust by shrinking associated privacy risks.

If apps are voluntary, citizens’ trust must be earned not assumed, is the key argument. Without substantial uptake the utility of digital contacts tracing seems doubtful.

Apple and Google have also come down on the decentralized side of this debate — outting a joint effort last week for an API and later opt-in system-wide contacts tracing. The first version of their API is slated to be in developers’ hands next week.

Meanwhile, a coalition of nearly 300 academics signed an open letter at the start of this week warning that centralized systems risked surveillance creep — voicing support for decentralized protocols, such as DP-3T: Another contact tracing protocol that’s being developed by a separate European coalition which has been highly critical of PEPP-PT.

And while PEPP-PT claimed recently to have seven governments signed up to its approach, and 40 more in the pipeline, at least two of the claimed EU supporters (Switzerland and Spain) had actually said they will use a decentralized approach.

The coalition has also been losing support from a number of key research institutions which had initially backed its push for a “privacy-preserving” standard, as controversy around its intent and lack of transparency has grown.

Nonetheless, the two biggest EU economies, Germany and France, appear to be digging in behind a push to centralize proximity data — putting Apple in their sights.

Bloomberg reported earlier this week that the French government is pressurizing Apple to remove Bluetooth restrictions for its COVID-19 contacts tracing app which also relies on a “trusted authority” running a central server (we’ve covered the French ROBERT protocol in detail here).

It’s possible Germany and France are sticking to their centralized guns because of wider plans to pack more into these contacts tracing apps than simply Bluetooth-powered alerts — as suggested by the Fraunhofer document.

Access to data is another likely motivator.

“Only if research can access sufficiently valid data it is possible to create forecasts that are the basis for planning further steps against are the spread of the virus,” the institute goes on. (Though, as we’ve written before, the DP-3T decentralized protocol sets out a path for users to opt in to share proximity data for research purposes.)

Another strand that’s evident from the Fraunhofer PDF is sovereignty.

“Overall, the approach is based on the conviction that the state healthcare system must have sovereignty over which criteria, risk calculations, recommendations for action and feedback are in one such system,” it writes, adding: “In order to achieve the greatest possible usability on end devices on the market, technical cooperation with the targeted operating system providers, Google and Apple, is necessary.”

Apple and Google did not respond to requests for comment on whether they will be making any changes to their API as a result of French and German pressure.

Fraunhofer further notes that “full compatibility” between the German app and the centralized one being developed by French research institutes Inria and Inserm was achieved in the “past few weeks” — underlining that the two nations are leading this particular contacts tracing push.

In related news this week, Europe’s Data Protection Board (EDPB) put out guidance for developers of contacts tracing apps, which stressed an EU legal principle related to processing personal data that’s known as purpose limitation — warning that apps need to have purposes “specific enough to exclude further processing for purposes unrelated to the management of the COVID-19 health crisis (e.g., commercial or law enforcement purposes)”.

Which sounds a bit like the regulator drawing a line in the sand to warn states that might be tempted to turn contacts tracing apps into coronavirus immunity passports.

The EDPB also urged that “careful consideration” be given to data minimisation and data protection by design and by default — two other key legal principles baked into Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation, albeit with some flex during a public health emergency.

However the regulatory body took a pragmatic view on the centralization vs decentralization debate — saying both approaches are “viable” in a contacts tracing context, with the key caveat that “adequate security measures” must be in place.

Source: https://blockchainconsultants.io/germanys-covid-19-contacts-tracing-app-to-link-to-labs-for-test-result-notification/

Blockchain

How to Earn on Crypto you’re Hodling in 2021

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How to Earn on Crypto you’re Hodling in 2021

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Everyone in the world likes money and even better if you can earn with the money you already have. There has been a sharp rise in crypto price points in recent months so if you’re one of the many die-hard holders out there you are probably wondering how you can get a return from the holdings you already have. Thankfully as the industry has evolved so has the ability for investors to earn on their holdings of crypto assets. This article will talk about some of the ways you can try to make a return on investment for everything you currently have in your portfolio. Some of the earning ways are conventional and others require a little bit of work or substantial knowledge. Nevertheless here are some ways you can earn on your crypto portfolio. 

Staking is the process of actively holding a small to substantial amount of funds in a designated blockchain wallet in order to support a proof of stake (PoS) blockchain protocol. Essentially the investor locks funds into a particular wallet to support the staking process of the blockchain which they are staking on. As with anything in life an individual only does something if they feel they will gain benefit from it so when it comes to staking a stakeholder in the proof of stake blockchain will only lock in their stake if they are going to receive a reward. Many blockchain platforms out there offer proof of stake rewards to those staking crypto in locked wallets and you can earn a staking reward from doing so. When staking you often do not only earn an income from locking in funds but the staking also offers the holder the ability to vote on the blockchains protocol updates. Think of it similar to having voting rights from holding stock in a public company, you will have the right to a proportional vote to your stake on the future of the blockchain protocol. It’s relatively easy to find a company that allows you to stake your crypto and even the big guys like Coinbase offer staking features on their platform.

Peer to peer lending has become an increasingly popular topic in the modern fintech sector these days and the normal financial channels often translate over into the cryptocurrency world. Like with conventional peer to peer lending the way you earn money from the transaction is through interest on the lending of assets. Unlike conventional peer to peer products, the cryptocurrency world offers substantially higher interest returns than its fiat (government issued currency) counterpart. This is not always the case however, but as a general rule of thumb you are set to earn more with a crypto-based lending house.

One trusted example of a medium for lending is Nexo. Nexo offers credit lines to a borrower that are secured against crypto collateral. This collateralized method does away with the need for traditional credit checks since the crypto acts as the bridge of trust if and when the borrower is unable to pay. So you are always safe as a lender in that regard. Nexo clients who deposit funds in fiat or stablecoins can expect to earn returns of up to 12%, whereas clients who directly deposit crypto can earn interest of up to 10% of their holdings. Lenders who hold a minimum percentage of their portfolio in NEXO tokens, and choose to receive payouts in their token are eligible to receive higher returns than those who do not. 

If you are interested in mining for more crypto, another option is to hold shares in an active cryptocurrency mine. Mining is the backbone of the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem. So by investing into a mine you are not only using your crypto to make more crypto, but you are also supporting the entire blockchain community through mining activities. 

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Miners solve complex mathematical equations using graphics processors. Once the mathematical equation is solved, the block is validated and a reward is sent to the miner. Pylon Finance is said to have the largest active ETH mine in North America with return rates for investors of up to 250% per year. 

The easiest way of all to earn money from your crypto may be to deposit your funds into a platform that offers you an annual percentage yield (APY) on the money you hold on their platform. This is similar to depositing money into a savings account at a bank that gives you an annual percentage return on what you hold in your bank account. You can check out the different DeFi depositing options on DeFi Pulse and start earning on your holdings immediately. 

What is important to consider however is that depositing can only be done with crypto assets and altcoins and not fiat currency so this is only a valuable way to earn returns if you are insisting on earning on just your crypto holdings. 

In a similar fashion to earning from DeFi, many crypto exchanges offer earnings programs. These again are similar to depositing into bank accounts and earning interest with the key difference being that the interest earned is usually substantially higher than one would earn from a conventional bank account. That coupled with compounding interest and the gains in the crypto market in recent months makes this option very attractive. Companies such as Crypto.com offer interest on the major cryptocurrencies up to 8% and pay out interest on a weekly basis. Along with being paid weekly you also have your interest accrued daily so you know whatever you are holding is always earning you money, even if your portfolio fluctuates. 

Although it isn’t conventionally set to make you money, you can look to the slot machines and roulette table for extra returns. If you’re a rainman at blackjack, Fortunejack is the oldest Bitcoin casino in the world – so why not try to make some tasty returns there?


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The views expressed in the article are wholly those of the author and do not represent those of, nor should they be attributed to, ZyCrypto. This article is not meant to give financial advice. Please carry out your own research before investing in any of the various cryptocurrencies available.

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Source: https://zycrypto.com/how-to-earn-on-crypto-youre-hodling-in-2021/

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XRP, Cosmos, Elrond Price Analysis: 07 March

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XRP floated above its press time support but needed to retake additional resistance levels to overturn its bearish market. ATOM reflected a consolidated market as the price moved within a fixed channel while Elrond traded within an ascending channel after a bounce back from the $100-mark.

Source: CoinStats

Meanwhile, the world’s largest cryptocurrency Bitcoin was trading at $50,870 with a 24-hour trading volume of over $36.3 billion.

XRP

Source: XRP/USD, TradingView

XRP was still at the nascent stage of a recovery as the bulls barely held on to $0.46 level after flipping it to support. Weekly gains of over 10% highlighted the bounce back from $0.40 support as XRP rose steadily on the 4-hour time frame. Nevertheless, several challenges awaited the bulls moving forward. The first was to overcome bearish sentiment in the market set by the 200-SMA (green) crossing above the 50-SMA (blue).

Short-medium term challenges were presented by the overhead resistance levels $0.5 and $0.55. However, the ADX rested around the 15 mark and indicated a weak trend in the XRP market. The MACD line moved alongside the signal line as equilibrium was maintained between each side. Considering the neutrality set by the indicators, the bulls might have to sustain a period of consolidation before a northbound move.

Cosmos [ATOM]

Source: ATOM/USD, TradingView

The Bollinger Bands on Cosmos started to converge as volatility looked to escape the Cosmos market. Short-bodied candlesticks on the 4-hour charts showed that the buyers and sellers were not in major disagreement with regard to the price. The RSI pointed lower from the 50-mark.

If the bears take control over the coming sessions, a fall towards $16.45 support could present some buying opportunities for traders at a discounted price. A psychological boost could also stem from a breach above the overhead resistance at $21.45.

Elrond [EGLD]

Source: EGLD/USD, TradingView

Gains over the past week amounted to over 12% as Elrond bounced back strongly from the $100-mark. As the price formed higher highs and higher lows, an ascending channel appeared on the 4-h0ur timeframe. The indicators tilted in the favor of the bulls at press time but a break outside the channel seemed unlikely.

The MACD closed in on a bullish crossover, while the red bars on the histogram moved towards the equilibrium point. The RSI was neutral-bullish as the index moved flat from above the 50-level.  A move above the upper trendline over the long run would present an upside at $208. Conversely, a southbound move from the lower trendline could see EGLD move towards the $100 level once again.


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Source: https://ambcrypto.com/xrp-cosmos-elrond-price-analysis-07-march

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Top 5 cryptocurrencies to watch this week: BTC, UNI, THETA, VET, LUNA

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Bitcoin’s (BTC) fundamentals received a boost as the U.S. Senate passed the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill on March 7. If traders react to this bill in the same way as they had done to the first stimulus package in April 2020, then the crypto markets may witness a strong rally.

The stimulus package also intensifies the focus on the devaluation of the U.S. dollar. These concerns could lead some investors to park their money in hard assets or Bitcoin instead of keeping them in fiat currencies, according to veteran trader Peter Brandt.

Crypto market data daily view. Source: Coin360

In addition to investors, a growing number of listed companies are choosing to protect their fiat reserves by buying Bitcoin. After the high-profile purchases by MicroStrategy, Tesla, and Square, a Chinese listed company called Meitu revealed that it had acquired $40 million worth of Bitcoin and Ether.

If other companies across the world also follow this lead and invest a portion of their treasury reserves in Bitcoin, that could create a massive supply and demand imbalance, sending prices through the roof.

Let’s study the charts of the top-5 cryptocurrencies that may resume their uptrend in the short term.

BTC/USD

Bitcoin dipped below the 20-day exponential moving average ($48,484) on March 5 and March 6 but the long tail on each candlestick shows buyers are ready to jump in at lower levels. The bulls have currently pushed the price toward the $52,040 overhead resistance.

BTC/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

While the 20-day EMA is flat, the relative strength index (RSI) has started to turn up and it has risen above 58, indicating that the bulls are attempting to make a comeback.

If the buyers can propel the price above the resistance, the BTC/USD pair may retest the all-time high at $58,341. A breakout of this level could start the next leg of the uptrend, which may reach $72,112.

Contrary to this assumption, if the price turns down from the overhead resistance and breaks below $46,313, the pair may drop to the 50-day simple moving average at $42,861. This level is likely to act as a strong support.

If the pair rebounds off this support, the pair may spend a few more days in consolidation. But if the bears sink the price below $41,959.63, traders may rush to the exit, which could signal a possible change in trend.

BTC/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The pair has formed an inverted head and shoulders pattern on the 4-hour chart that will complete on a breakout and close above $52,040. This bullish setup has a pattern target of $61,075.

The 20-EMA has started to turn up and the RSI has jumped above 62, indicating a minor advantage to the bulls.

This bullish view will invalidate if the price turns down from the current levels or the overhead resistance and breaks below $47,000. Such a move could open the doors for a decline to the next major support at $41,959.

UNI/USD

After consolidating near $29 for three days, Uniswap (UNI) has broken out of the overhead resistance today. If the bulls can sustain the price above $29, it will enhance the prospects of the resumption of the uptrend.

UNI/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

Both moving averages are sloping up and the RSI is in overbought territory, which indicates that bulls are in command. If the UNI/USD pair rises above $33, the next level to watch out for is $38 and then $46.

This bullish view will invalidate if the price turns down from the current levels and breaks below the 20-day EMA ($25.31). If that happens, the pair may drop to $22 and then to the 50-day SMA ($19.78).

UNI/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The 4-hour chart shows that the bears are likely to defend the $32 overhead resistance aggressively. However, if the bulls do not allow the price to dip below the 20-EMA, it will signal strength. A breakout and close above the $32 to $33 zone may start the next leg of the up-move.

This bullish view will invalidate if the price turns down and breaks below the 20-EMA. Such a move will suggest that traders are booking profits on rallies. The pair could then drop to the 50-SMA.

THETA/USD

THETA is in a strong uptrend. Although the altcoin turned down on March 7, the long tail on the March 8 candlestick shows buying at lower levels. Corrections in a strong uptrend generally last for one to three days after which the main trend resumes.

THETA/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The rising moving averages and the RSI near the overbought zone suggest the bulls are in control. If buyers can drive the price above $4.72, the THETA/USD pair may resume the uptrend and rally to $5.73.

On the contrary, if the price turns down from the $4.50 to $4.72 overhead resistance zone, the pair may drop to the 20-day EMA ($3.58). A strong rebound off this support will suggest the sentiment remains positive as the bulls are buying the dips.

If the bears sink the price below the 20-day EMA, a deeper correction to the 50-day SMA ($2.82) is possible. Such a move will indicate that the momentum has weakened and may delay the resumption of the up-move.

THETA/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The 4-hour chart shows the 20-EMA is rising and the RSI is in the positive zone. If the bulls can push and sustain the price above the downtrend line, the pair may retest $4.72. A breakout of this resistance could start the next leg of the uptrend.

On the other hand, if the price continues to correct, it may find support at the 20-EMA. If that happens, the bulls will again try to propel the price above the downtrend line. However, a break below the 20-EMA may pull the price down to $3.85.

VET/USD

VeChain (VET) is currently stuck in a large range between $0.0345 and $0.060774. The price had reached the resistance of the range, but the long wick on today’s candlestick shows profit-booking near $0.060774.

VET/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

However, the moving averages are sloping up and the RSI has also inched higher into the positive territory, suggesting that the path of least resistance is to the upside. If the bulls can push and sustain the price above $0.060774, the VET/USD pair may start the next leg of the uptrend.

The first target on the upside is $0.087048 and if this level is also crossed, the pair may rise to $0.10.

Contrary to this assumption, if the price turns down from the current level, the pair may drop to the 20-day EMA ($0.047). A bounce off this support will suggest that the uptrend remains intact, but a break below it may bring the range-bound action into play.

VET/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The 4-hour chart shows some profit-booking near $0.060, but the positive sign is that the bulls have not allowed the price to collapse. If the pair rebounds off the 20-EMA, the bulls will make one more attempt to thrust the price above the stiff overhead resistance.

If they can sustain the price above $0.060774, the next leg of the uptrend could begin. However, if the price dips below the 20-EMA, the selling could intensify and the price may drop to the next support at the 50-SMA.

LUNA/USD

Terra (LUNA) is currently consolidating in a large range between $5 and $8.50 for the past few days. Both moving averages are sloping up and the RSI is near the overbought territory, indicating the path of least resistance is to the upside.

LUNA/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The bulls pushed the price above the range on March 5, but could not build up on the breakout as the price turned down and slipped back below $8.50 on March 6. This suggests that demand dried up at higher levels.

However, if the bulls do not give up much ground, it will indicate that traders are waiting to buy the shallow dips. If that happens, the buyers may make one more attempt to start the next leg of the up-move. If they succeed, the LUNA/USD pair could rally to $12.

LUNA/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The long wicks on the candlesticks above $8.50 show profit-booking at higher levels and the bulls are currently attempting to defend the 20-EMA. If the price rebounds off the current levels, the buyers will again try to resume the uptrend by driving the pair above the $8.50 to $9 overhead resistance zone.

On the contrary, if the bears sink and sustain the price below the 20-EMA, the pair could dip to the 50-SMA. If the price bounces off this level, the pair may consolidate in the upper half of the range for some time. A drop below the 50-SMA will be a signal that the price may settle into the $5 to $6 range.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/top-5-cryptocurrencies-to-watch-this-week-btc-uni-theta-vet-luna

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