Bitcoin will soon surpass the daily trading volume of Apple, the US$784 billion technology giant, Jens Nordvig, founder and CEO of Exante Data, told CNBC earlier this week. Apple, the most liquid stock in the world, has a daily trading volume of US$4 b…
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One developer is quietly working on splitting up bitcoin’s codebase – an effort aimed to give users more flexibility and developers more clarity.
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What happens to cryptotrading when ICOs become illegal.
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If you have ever secretly wondered… what the heck is this Bitcoin thing you keep hearing about? Brian Eha has written a book for you. I’ll be honest.
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WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump gave a stark warning Saturday that cast growing uncertainty over whether a nuclear deal clinched with Iran would survive after the Islamic republic tested a new medium-range missile.
State television carried footage of the launch of the Khoramshahr missile, which was first displayed at a high-profile military parade in Tehran on Friday.
It also carried in-flight video from the nose cone of the missile, which has a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles) and can carry multiple warheads.
“Iran just test-fired a Ballistic Missile capable of reaching Israel.They are also working with North Korea. Not much of an agreement we have!” Trump tweeted.
The test comes at the end of a heated week of diplomacy at the UN General Assembly in New York, where US President Donald Trump again accused Iran of destabilizing the Middle East, calling it a “rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed and chaos.”
“As long as some speak in the language of threats, the strengthening of the country’s defense capabilities will continue and Iran will not seek permission from any country for producing various kinds of missile,” Defense Minister Amir Hatami said in a statement.
Previous Iranian missile launches have triggered US sanctions and accusations that they violate the spirit of the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and major powers.
An “extremely concerned” French foreign ministry, warned the launch violated the United Nations Security Council resolution that endorsed the accord.
“France demands that Iran halt all destablizing activities in the region and to respect all provisions of Resolution 2231, including the call to halt this type of ballistic activity,” a statement read.
“France will consider ways, with its European and other partners, to get Iran to stop its destabilizing ballistic activities.”
Iran, which fought a war with neighboring Iraq in the 1980s, sees missiles as a legitimate and vital part of its defense — particularly as regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Israel import huge amounts of military hardware from the West.
Trump has threatened to bin the nuclear agreement altogether, saying Iran is developing missiles that may be used to deliver a nuclear warhead when the deal’s restrictions are lifted in 2025.
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman denounced the test as a “provocation” aimed at the United States and its allies, including the Jewish state.
Trump is due to report to Congress on October 15 on whether Iran is still complying with the deal and whether it remains in US interests to stick by it.
If he decides that it is not, that could open the way for US lawmakers to reimpose sanctions, leading to the potential collapse of the agreement.
Trump said Wednesday he had made his decision but was not yet ready to reveal it.
The other signatories to the deal — Britain, France, Germany, China, Russia and the European Union — have all pushed for it to continue.
They point out that abandoning the agreement will remove restrictions on Iran immediately — rather than in eight years’ time — and that the International Atomic Energy Agency has repeatedly confirmed Tehran is meeting its commitments.
Iran says all of its missiles are designed to carry conventional warheads only and has limited their range to a maximum of 2,000 kilometers, although commanders say they have the technology to go further.
That makes them only medium-range but still sufficient to reach Israel or US bases in the Gulf.
“The ballistic missile which Iran fired is a provocation of the United States and its allies, including Israel,” the Israeli defense minister said.
“It is also a means to test our reactions as well as new proof of Iran’s ambition to become a world power in order to threaten the countries of the Middle East and democratic states around the world.”
In addition to carrying out missile tests, Iran has also launched a space satellite and fired missiles at Daesh group targets in eastern Syria in recent months.
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BERLIN: Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected to cruise to victory in elections Sunday but also to face the breakthrough into parliament of hard-right populists for the first time in Germany’s post-war history.
Voting begins at 0600 GMT in Europe’s biggest economy and exit polls are announced at 1600 GMT, with few expecting surprises given Merkel’s double-digit poll lead.
For months, the woman now dubbed the “eternal chancellor” has been the favorite over her center-left rival Martin Schulz and looked set to win another term and match the 16-year reign of her mentor Helmut Kohl.
To many in the West, a fourth Merkel victory will come as a relief in a turbulent world, with hopes she will serve as a calm-headed counterweight to US President Donald Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin and as the key EU ally to reformist French President Emmanuel Macron.
But the election is also expected to mark a milestone for the four-year-old Alternative for Germany (AfD) which, like right-wing populists elsewhere, rails against migrants, Muslims and mainstream parties.
It has been polling at 11-13 percent and could become Germany’s third strongest party, driven by anger over the influx of one million migrants and refugees, many from war-torn Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, since 2015.
“The AfD’s entry into the Bundestag marks an epochal step forward for the far right,” said Joerg Forbrig of think-tank the German Marshall Fund of the United States.
By entering parliament, he said, “the xenophobic, revisionist and anti-European political force” will have heightened visibility and access to campaign finance, dozens of offices and hundreds of staff.
After a “vicious” campaign, in which the AfD demanded an end to German guilt over two world wars, Forbig warned that “German democracy is about to face its biggest stress test ever.”
At Merkel’s final major stump speech Friday in the southern city of Munich, right-wing activists tried to drown her out with whistles and vuvuzelas and chants of “get lost.”
But the 63-year-old refused to be derailed from her stability-and-prosperity mantra, telling the crowd that “the future of Germany will definitely not be built with whistles and hollers.”
Schulz, for his part, recalled with pride the SPD’s history of resisting the Nazi regime and told a Berlin rally that “this Alternative for Germany is no alternative. They are a shame for our nation.”
Aside from the populist noise, the past two months of campaigning have been widely criticized as lacklustre, with few hot-button issues dividing the main contenders.
The more outspoken Schulz, former president of the European parliament, has told voters to reject Merkel’s “sleeping-pill politics” and vote against “another four years of stagnation and lethargy.”
In greying Germany, more than half of the 61 million voters are aged 52 or older, and especially Merkel’s conservatives have pitched a low-key and reassuring message of stability and prosperity.
On Saturday, Merkel — who has signalled she was running again mainly out of a sense of duty — urged her supporters to cast their ballots with a folksy call to “bring home the bacon.”
For the past term, Merkel’s CDU has ruled with the SPD as its junior partner in a “grand coalition,” marked by broad agreement on major topics, from foreign policy to migration.
Governing in Merkel’s shadow has cost the SPD voter support, and polls give it 21-22 percent compared to 34-36 percent for Merkel’s conservative bloc, which also includes the Bavarian CSU.
Looking at the surveys, many rank-and file SPD members believe the traditional working class party would benefit from a stint in opposition to rekindle its fighting spirit.
This would leave the presumed winner Merkel in need of new coalition partners — possibly the liberal and pro-business Free Democrats, who are hoping for a comeback after crashing out of parliament four years ago.
Another potential partner would be the ecologist and left-leaning Greens party, which, however, starkly differs with the FDP on issues from climate change to migration policy.
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GUAJATACA, Puerto Rico: Large amounts of federal aid began moving into Puerto Rico on Saturday, welcomed by local officials who praised the Trump administration’s response but called for the emergency loosening of rules long blamed for condemning the US territory to second-class status.
In northwest Puerto Rico, people began returning to their homes after a spillway eased pressure on a dam that cracked after more than a foot of rain fell in the wake of the hurricane.
The opening of the island’s main port in the capital allowed 11 ships to bring in 1.6 million gallons of water, 23,000 cots, dozens of generators and food. Dozens more shipments are expected in upcoming days.
The federal aid effort is racing to stem a growing humanitarian crisis in towns left without fresh water, fuel, electricity or phone service. Officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is in charge of the relief effort, said they would take satellite phones to all of Puerto Rico’s towns and cities, more than half of which were cut off following Maria’s devastating crossing of Puerto Rico on Wednesday.
The island’s infrastructure was in sorry shape long before Maria struck. A $73 billion debt crisis has left agencies like the state power company broke. As a result the power company abandoned most basic maintenance in recent years, leaving the island subject to regular blackouts.
A federal control board overseeing Puerto Rico’s finances authorized up to $1 billion in local funds to be used for hurricane response, but Gov. Ricardo Rossello said he would ask for more.
“We’re going to request waivers and other mechanisms so Puerto Rico can respond to this crisis,” he said. “Puerto Rico will practically collect no taxes in the next month.”
US Rep. Nydia Velazquez of New York said she will request a one-year waiver from the Jones Act, a federal law blamed for driving up prices on Puerto Rico by requiring cargo shipments there to move only on US vessels as a means of supporting the US maritime industry.
“We will use all our resources,” Velazquez said. “We need to make Puerto Rico whole again. These are American citizens.”
A group of anxious mayors arrived in the capital to meet with Rossello to present a long list of items they urgently need. The north coastal town of Manati had run out of fuel and fresh water, Mayor Jose Sanchez Gonzalez said.
“Hysteria is starting to spread. The hospital is about to collapse. It’s at capacity,” he said, crying. “We need someone to help us immediately.”
The death toll from Maria in Puerto Rico was at least 10, including two police officers who drowned in floodwaters in the western town of Aguada. That number was expected to climb as officials from remote towns continued to check in with officials in San Juan.
Authorities in the town of Vega Alta on the north coast said they had been unable to reach an entire neighborhood called Fatima, and were particularly worried about residents of a nursing home.
“I need to get there today,” Mayor Oscar Santiago told The Associated Press. “Not tomorrow, today.”
Rossello said Maria would clearly cost more than the last major storm to wallop the island, Hurricane George in September 1998. “This is without a doubt the biggest catastrophe in modern history for Puerto Rico,” he said.
Rossello and other officials praised the federal government for planning its response in detail before the storm hit, a contrast with what Puerto Rico has long seen as the neglect of 3.4 million Americans living in a territory without a vote in Congress or the electoral college.
“This is the first time we get this type of federal coordination,” said Resident Commission Jenniffer Gonzalez, Puerto Rico’s non-voting representative in Washington.
A dam upstream of the towns of Quebradillas and Isabela in northwest Puerto Rico was cracked but had not burst by Saturday night as water continued to pour out of rain-swollen Lake Guajataca. Federal officials said Friday that 70,000 people, the number who live in the surrounding area, would have to be evacuated. But Javier Jimenez, mayor of the nearby town of San Sebastian, said he believed the number was far smaller.
Secretary of Public Affairs Ramon Rosario said about 300 families were in harm’s way.
The governor said there is “significant damage” to the dam and authorities believe it could give way at any moment. “We don’t know how long it’s going to hold. The integrity of the structure has been compromised in a significant way,” Rossello said.
Some residents nonetheless returned to their homes Saturday as the water levels in the reservoir began to sink.
“There were a lot of people worried and crying, but that’s natural, because the reservoir was about to break through,” said Maria Nieves, 43. “They couldn’t open the spillway until later in the night.”
The 345-yard (316-meter) dam, which was built around 1928, holds back a man-made lake covering about 2 square miles (5 square kilometers). More than 15 inches (nearly 40 centimeters) of rain from Maria fell on the surrounding mountains.
Officials said 1,360 of the island’s 1,600 cellphone towers were downed, and 85 percent of above-ground and underground phone and Internet cables were knocked out. With roads blocked and phones dead, officials said, the situation may worsen.
At least 31 lives in all have been lost around the Caribbean due to Maria, including at least 15 on hard-hit Dominica. Haiti reported three deaths; Guadeloupe, two; and the Dominican Republic, one.
Across Puerto Rico, more than 15,000 people are in shelters, including some 2,000 rescued from the north coastal town of Toa Baja. Many Puerto Ricans planned to head to the mainland to temporarily escape the devastation.