Tag Archives: spread

DXCD, East Caribbean Central Bank Digital Money Is Preparing For Production | Instant News

What is it about island islands and developing countries and their experiments with Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC)? What makes them plunge into risky waters with dire consequences if the launch is wrong? There appear to be several reasons for this phenomenon. One is the lack of quality existing legacy infrastructure, the other is the cost: digital transformation is very asymmetrical, a big benefit for a relatively small investment. Added to this, is the fact that the desire to change is driven from above, usually few people have to be persuaded in order for radical ideas to be implemented. Of course, in a small country the project scale, including the participants who will join, can be managed. Obviously this scale helps national projects launch with relative ease. On the contrary, such a project would require quite a bit of work for the world’s major currencies. Except for the Peoples Bank of China which has strategic ambitions, no major monetary authorities are considering producing CBDC in the coming quarters.

The sand dollar project from the Bahamas is one of the first in the world. Bakong, CBDC from Cambodia is already in production. The SOV project created an algorithmic currency which is the legal tender in the Marshall Islands. The Bahamas and Marshall Islands depend on the US Dollar. Relying on exogenous money is a sure way to ruin, because the money supply cannot be controlled by the sovereign state. The examples cited above fall within a broad spectrum of CBDCs. Most of them involve a two-tier system with the monetary authority that issues the CBDC and the commercial and retail banks that distribute it. Tracking is carried out through some sort of shared infrastructure to create freely exchangeable currencies.

The Central Bank of the Eastern Caribbean (ECCB), founded in 1983, is the Monetary Authority for the eight-island economic group – Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines. Names that evoke sun, sand, beach and happy people. However, the reality on the ground is very different. Tourists come during the high season and barely touch the surface of the realities of life on the islands. Hurricanes, often destroy infrastructure, quite a number of people living on very little.

In a scattered cluster of island economies spread over many square miles of ocean, the distribution and management of cash is a huge challenge. People without a bank account and without a credit or debit card must rely on cash for payments. The main goal of the CBDC ECCB is to be a retail payment system, for people who do not have a credit card, for e-commerce payments and low-cost merchants, sending money to people at low fees. Just downloading the application on the phone is sufficient to allow both custodial and non-custodial wallets. Custodian wallets are prepared by commercial banks for ordinary account holders who have completed KYC / AML and other “normal” practices. Non-custodian wallets are for people without a regular bank account, provided by major government agencies with minimal demand. Parallel payment instruments use a smart card that uses NFC (Near Field Communications) to interact with the merchant terminal, the smartphone does not need to use DXCD. NFC is familiar to many from its use in the tap and pay system.

Bitt is the premier solutions provider working with the ECCB on DXCD. Bitt was financed by Medici Ventures, separated from Overstock and T-Zero created by former Overstock CEO, charismatic polymath innovator Patrick Byrne. Many of Bitt’s top executives are from Medici Ventures or former Overstock employees.

Stephen Phillips, VP product of Bitt, presents the system architecture at Hyperledger Capital Markets Special Interest Group on January 27th. The architecture is divided into two parts, namely the Commerce layer and the Numa layer, the Numa layer contains a ledger and there is no direct connectivity for participants to that layer. All interactions with the Numa layer or ledger layer occur via the API or application program interfaces which are mediated via security, regulatory reporting, and policy settings. The trading layer has a private layer for the central bank and financial institutions. Familiar techniques like Multi-Factor Authentication protect access. Identity management and user data storage are left to the bank. The Financial Institution system is decentralized and reuses existing infrastructure that is integrated with the trading layer.

The public API layer allows e-commerce, merchants, wallets and third-party applications to connect. Phillips explained that the architecture developed for the ECCB CBDC was reusable and was actually used to develop CBDC for Belize. The API layer loosely pairs the specific ledger used, in this pilot phase Hyperledger Fabric 1.2. This allows for a relatively agnostic solution; as long as API calls in Numa can be translated into the underlying ledger, the ledger framework can be replaced. This is very typical of loosely coupled architectures that allow for some flexibility.

Such loose coupling is also a gateway to multi-currency and multi-asset networks, and the creation of a true digital market. The next step is also towards true carrier instruments like cash, this is technically more difficult to achieve than previously thought, token-based systems with bearer proof rather than identity may require more sophisticated cryptography such as Zero Knowledge Proofs and Homomorphic encryption. This is the future direction CBDC can take.

In monetary policy, themes such as demurrage or negative interest rates a la Silvio Gessell to prevent hoarding of money and get people to spend to power the economy in times of stress are also possible with CBDC.

Along with the technical complexity of the system, to launch such a pilot and production environment would require a great deal of field play and Phillips seemed the right person to lead it. Engagement with, education and listening to local traders and select users should be taken into account in pilot launches. The success of such a trial requires extensive local knowledge and patience as the concerns of many participants must be addressed. The next stage is the production launch which will take place at the end of March. It’s likely to start small and gather momentum as adoption increases.


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Switzerland asks for mass testing for coronavirus | Instant News

(MENAFN) On Wednesday, the Swiss Federal Council announced further steps to follow the spread of COVID-19, promoting mass testing in the region.

From February 1, monitoring of asymptomatic individuals will be approved and the costs will be borne by the federal government, the Council said at a news conference it shared hope that agencies would monitor on a mass scale such as “local outbreaks of infection can be contained in the first place.”

“It is believed that more than half of COVID-19 infections are transmitted by people who are asymptomatic,” the Council statement said.

“By expanding the testing strategy, the government hopes that local virus outbreaks, for example in schools, can be identified and treated early,” he said.

Legal Disclaimer: MENAFN provides information “as is” without warranty of any kind. We are not responsible or liable for the accuracy, content, images, videos, licenses, completeness, legality or reliability of the information contained in this article. If you have a complaint or copyright issue related to this article, please contact the provider above.


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Joe Biden’s Inauguration: DIA New Zealand deploys counter-terror team online | Instant News


A National Guard soldier stands at a roadblock outside the Capitol in Washington DC as security is stepped up ahead of the inauguration ceremony of US President-elect Joe Biden. Photo / AP

The warning of acts of political violence in the United States has prompted New Zealand authorities to deploy an online counter-terrorism team.

The Department of Home Affairs assigned staff to monitor online platforms before, during and immediately after Joe Biden’s Presidential inauguration.

Warnings from US law enforcement about the increased risk of domestic terrorism or acts of violence in America prompted the move.

Concerns arose after a crowd supporting defeated President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol two weeks ago.

Jared Mullen, DIA’s director of digital security, said a staff of specialists was ready to detect and respond to content that could harm New Zealanders.

“This includes potentially illegal content, such as videos or images that clearly promote terrorism or extreme violence.”

A protester releases smoke grenades in front of the US Capitol building during the January 6 attack.  Photo / Bloomberg via Getty Images
A protester releases smoke grenades in front of the US Capitol building during the January 6 attack. Photo / Bloomberg via Getty Images

The counter terrorism monitoring team involved staff working in shifts to monitor the situation until at least Friday afternoon.

“Our first priority is to limit the availability of hazardous or potentially illegal materials, especially in cases where the spread of the virus poses a high public risk,” said Mullen.

“After this period, DIA will reassess the need for further monitoring.”

President Donald Trump addresses members of the media while departing from the White House on January 12.  Photo / Bloomberg via Getty Images
President Donald Trump addresses members of the media while departing from the White House on January 12. Photo / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Supporting security precautions in New Zealand in response to an incident in Washington DC is an extraordinary step, said University of Otago political scientist Dr Robert Patman.

It is also a sign of how seriously the current government is taking the threat of right-wing extremism, he added.

Patman said the pictures, the content of the killings were shared on Facebook after Christchurch mosque shooting has surprised many people.

President-elect Joe Biden spoke at an event in Wilmington, Delaware, earlier this month.  Photo / AP
President-elect Joe Biden spoke at an event in Wilmington, Delaware, earlier this month. Photo / AP

Social media platforms are rushing to shut down gruesome content such as the now banned terrorist live streaming, which proliferated after the mosque attacks on March 15, 2019.

Patman said before the Christchurch mosque shootings, local intelligence agencies were more concerned with the threat of Islamic terrorism.

“White supremacist terrorism or extreme white nationalism is not seen as a big problem. That perception has now changed significantly.”

The surge in violent or potentially illegal content has prompted DIA to deploy a team that tracks online traffic before, during and after Joe Biden's inauguration.  Photo / 123RF
The surge in violent or potentially illegal content has prompted DIA to deploy a team that tracks online traffic before, during and after Joe Biden’s inauguration. Photo / 123RF

Patman said the relationship between conspiracy theorists and Trump supporters who refuse to accept the US election results is not isolated internationally.

And he says many members of the group carrying out the deadly Capitol siege appear to have gotten most of their information from conspiracy theory sites.

Martin Cocker, executive director of Netsafe, said the DIA initiative was a possible way to get ahead of malicious content instead of catching up.

In the days following the Capitol riots, security was reviewed at Parliament in Wellington after a glass door was smashed in an ax strike.  Photo / Provided
In the days following the Capitol riots, security was reviewed at Parliament in Wellington after a glass door was smashed in an ax strike. Photo / Provided

“There is intelligence [indicating] likely people want to interfere with the inauguration, “he said.

Cocker understands that groups identified in US intelligence include entities that previously produced harmful and objectionable content.

“Most groups, even with very extreme ideologies, have followers around the world.”

Cocker said news media attention to the inauguration meant some attention-seekers might engage in provocative or extremist action to gain mainstream media coverage.

The Capitol attack also raises questions about security in the Wellington Parliament area.

The Parliamentary Service finally announced a security review – but only after the man with the ax broken glass door in Parliament on December 13.

The attack on Congress earlier this month was the first time the US Capitol was violated since 1812, when British troops invaded.

Joe Biden’s inauguration as United’s 46th President begins at 6am on Thursday New Zealand time.

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Covid 19 coronavirus: Numbers in Victoria are increasing, new clusters in Sydney are spreading | Instant News

Australia’s coronavirus record broke with 16 new cases today, 10 in NSW and 6 in Victoria.

Ten cases of the new virus have been revealed in New South Wales, with five linked to the northern coast cluster.

Three are linked to a new outbreak developing in Croydon after several members of the same family tested positive yesterday, sparking fears of the virus spreading across Greater Sydney.

“One is a link to the transport worker cluster that we have previously discussed and another is under investigation,” said NSW Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian.

“It’s possible it’s an old case or a false positive but serologists are looking at that.”

Meanwhile, Victoria has recorded six new cases, with the state returning to harsh restrictions within hours in a bid to stop the spread.

Authorities in both states have appealed to the public to avoid New Year’s celebrations tonight amid fears that it could lead to a “supersebar” event, and have urged the public to take the current threat seriously and follow public health advice.

The virus continues to spread throughout Sydney.  Photo / News Corp Australia
The virus continues to spread throughout Sydney. Photo / News Corp Australia

In response to the outbreak, Sydneysiders, and those in the Central Coast, Blue Mountains and Wollongong, were only allowed five visitors for the New Year’s Eve celebrations. Outdoor gatherings will be limited to 30 people.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard lashed out at comments made by Australian WA Medical Association president Dr Andrew Miller who said NSW was no longer the gold standard and the lockdown “won’t go very far”.

“If the president (WA) of the AMA has any particular views, I leave it to him in WA. He must be an instant expert on what is happening here in NSW,” he said.

“I am delighted to continue working with our health authorities who have done an extraordinary job.”

There were 18 cases yesterday, with nine of them linked to the north coast outbreak.

Croydon group

NSW Health is still unclear about the origins of the Croydon cluster, but Dr Kerry Chant said he expects the results this afternoon.

Sharing more details about the Croydon cluster, Dr Chant said members in the three households associated with the original cluster had attended “a number of events” that took place between Christmas and Boxing Day.

These cases also exist in the community even though they are unwittingly contagious, although it is still “too early” to know whether transmission has occurred as a result of this.

A man receives a Covid-19 test at a drive-thru testing station on a beach in Sydney.  Photo / AP
A man receives a Covid-19 test at a drive-thru testing station on a beach in Sydney. Photo / AP

“So that means, and I’m very sorry for this, but your New Year’s Eve plans must change,” he said.

Dr Chant continued to emphasize the importance of testing and appealed to NSW residents not to attend meetings of any kind if symptomatic.

“Please may I submit a request not to attend family events, family gatherings, New Year’s Eve gatherings, going in and out, if you have symptoms,” he said.

“I think we want everyone to see a much brighter 2021 and we have hope on the horizon when it comes to vaccines.

“We all have a role to play. So thank you for following that advice.”

Victoria’s case is on the rise

Three additional cases of Covid-19 have been found in the community in Victoria to bring the total number to six, Acting Prime Minister Jacinta Allen said today.

He said three additional cases were found through contact tracing after three positive cases were found in Victoria yesterday.

The first three cases were linked by a Thai restaurant in Black Rock that was also linked to a traveler returning from NSW, Health Minister Martin Foley said.

“In less than 24 hours, the cross between Mitcham and Hallam and the Mentone people has become a facility in Black Rock, and a direct link to travelers returning from NSW,” he said.

“Now that we have a connection with the NSW outbreak here in Victoria, we are responding very, very quickly to get it out.”

Three additional cases today were linked to the cluster and were found through contact tracing, he said.

Anyone who visited the Smile Buffalo Thai restaurant on December 21 was urged to get tested immediately.

The latest virus figures from NSW have been revealed.  Photo / News Corp Australia
The latest virus figures from NSW have been revealed. Photo / News Corp Australia

The first three cases came from the Melbourne suburbs of Mitcham, Hallam and Mentone – all of whom visited the same place in Black Rock.

Victoria’s Covid-19 commander Jeroen Weimar said the state was “deploying our full outbreak approach”.

“We’ve been in this position before,” he said.

“Extensive contact tracing is being carried out and as a result there are currently more than 40 close primary contacts supported for immediate isolation.”

He said the three positive cases were self-isolating at home.

They are two women in their 40s and a woman in their 70s.

Five locations have been designated as high risk, having been visited by people who tested positive for COVID-19 while potentially transmitting:

• Black Rock: Smile Buffalo Thai Restaurant on December 21st

• Doveton: Holy Family Parish Catholic Church of Doveton on December 26 between 4pm and 6pm

• Fountain Gate Shopping Mall: Kmart, Big W, Target, Millers, King of Gifts, Lacoste on December 26 between 9am and 11am

• Mentone: Mentone / Parkdale Beach on December 27 between 10am and 4.30pm

• Glen Waverley: Century City Walk and Mocha Jo’s on December 28 between 1:30 PM and 5:00 PM

• Oakleigh: Katialo Restaurant, Eaton Mall on December 28 between 19:00 and 20:15

Victoria also imposed new border restrictions yesterday.

Anyone who has entered or visited the Blue Mountains or Wollongong region from December 27 has until 11:59 a.m. on New Year’s Eve to go to Victoria.

No one who has visited this area will be able to enter Victoria after 31 December.

A husband and wife walk along the waterline on Christmas Day at Sydney's Bondi Beach.  Photo / AP
A husband and wife walk along the waterline on Christmas Day at Sydney’s Bondi Beach. Photo / AP

Anyone wishing to return to Victoria from this area before midnight must apply for a new travel permit through Service Victoria, must undergo a test within 24 hours of returning to Victoria, and must self-quarantine at home for 14 days from the last time they left the region. . .

It follows a woman who tested positive last week after returning from a trip to Sydney’s north coast, Covid-19 epicenter.

Another positive case of Covid-19 in Victoria recorded in the last two months has come from travelers returning to hotel quarantine.

Restrictions in Victoria

Masks will become mandatory indoors in Victoria from 5pm today outside your private residence, Acting Prime Minister Jacinta Allan announced.

“If you are planning to leave the house at this time, we are asking people to bring their masks, we are now asking them to wear masks if they are indoors in any location that is not their private home,” he said.

The limit of people gathering in private homes will also be reduced, from 30 to 15.

The limit for indoor meetings will also take effect from 5 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, Allan said.

“If you’re planning a party tonight, you need to reduce your numbers from 30 to 15,” he said.

“We apologize to those who have made plans, who want to hold the event in their home, or at someone else’s house, but this is a necessary step.

Unfortunately, what we know as this virus, the virus is difficult to run, it does not end at midnight.

No changes to outdoor gatherings, hospitality venues and shops were announced.

Melbourne residents have previously been advised not to travel to the city for New Year’s Eve unless they have a booking.


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The PDM, like an external enemy, spreads frustration: Shibli | Instant News

ISLAMABAD: Information and Broadcasting Minister Shibli Faraz said on Saturday that frustrating elements would be frustrated as Pakistan moves rapidly on a path of development and prosperity under Prime Minister Imran Khan.

In a series of tweets, the prime minister said the country’s increase in exports had broken a record in the past 10 years. He said external enemies were working to spread false information against Pakistan through the Indian Chronicle, while on the other hand, the Democratic Movement of Pakistan (PDM) was spreading frustration among the people using lies. He said the PDM’s lie business and external enemies had been caught red-handed.

The minister said the conditions of the former prime minister and PML-N supporter Shahid Khaqan Abbasi were the same (in a debate with Nadeem Baber Friday night) with former finance minister Ishaq Dar on the BBC’s ‘Hard Talk’ program. “They are indeed nervous in front of the truth. PM Petroleum’s special assistant Nadeem Babar has exposed the lies of the PML-N leader in the debate, “he said.

“The helplessness and bad luck of the top players from the losing team was clear,” he said.

The minister stressed that Pakistan is moving fast on the path of development and prosperity under the leadership of Imran Khan.


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