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Trump Wall Talks Reach ‘Tentative’ Agreement – Still Not Enough to Avoid Another US Govt Shutdown?

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Just once we concept Congressional leaders had been incapable of compromise with a purpose to keep away from any other govt close down, they marvel us. They introduced past due Monday that an settlement over border investment were reached.

Calling it “an agreement in principle”, the tentative settlement supplies for approximately  $1.three billion for bodily limitations alongside the border. Not best does the settlement no longer name the protection machine a wall, as President Trump has deemed it, however the quantity is a long way shy of the $5.7 billion officers tension is wanted.

Trump talked in regards to the settlement all the way through his El Paso, Texas rally Monday night.

NBC News posted this tweet in regards to the settlement.

Workers Still Must Wait

In an impromptu press convention was once held Monday night time. During it, Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, mentioned he was hoping the settlement can be to the pride of the president. Shelby mentioned a last textual content may well be launched by way of Wednesday.

More than 800,000 U.S. govt employees and govt contractors have frightened about being furloughed once more as lawmakers wrangle over investment a wall alongside the U.S.-Mexico border.

You’d assume that the elected officers had realized one thing from the domino results of the closing partial shutdown, which best ended about three weeks ago. That shutdown lasted 35 days, which was once the longest in U.S. historical past.

It turns out many have no longer realized a lot.  Bipartisan talks broke down over the weekend when Democrats advised they’d give about $1.6 billion for the wall if discounts had been made at immigration detention facilities alongside the border. That was once a brand new call for and it despatched Republicans packing.

11th Hour, Out-of-the Blue Demands

The bipartisan talks broke down over the weekend when Congressional Democrats conceded to bearing in mind one of the vital $5.7 billion Trump needs for the wall, however the concession got here with a catch. A catch that was once out-of-the-blue.

Democrats desire a aid within the choice of beds at immigration detention facilities. These facilities are manned by way of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which many Democrats wish to be abolished.

Trump weighed in in this by means of Twitter.

This weekend, shocked Republicans walked clear of that ICE concept. Senator Lindsay Graham referred to as the aid concept “nuts.”

“The idea that reducing bed spaces available for violent offenders so they can be held and deported as a trade off for the wall [provides incentives for] illegal immigration. [Democrats] truly have lost their way. President Trump is not going to reduce the number of bed spaces available to hold violent offenders who come across our border. He can’t do that, he won’t do that.”

The mattress cap is not a subject.  NBC News reported past due Monday that there was once:

No cap at the choice of beds for imposing immigration regulations within the nation’s inner.

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Democrats were steadfast in calling for immigration protections. This contains Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA recipients. In January, President Trump supplied presented three-year prolonged protections for those other people.

Trump proposed together with immigrants with Temporary Protected Status. Democrats didn’t budge.

Mick Mulvaney, appearing White House Chief of Staff, mentioned this weekend:

“We’ll take as much money as you can give us and we’ll often find the money someplace else, legally, in order to secure that Southern barrier. But this is going to get built, with or without Congress.”

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Tick Tock, TICK TOCK

Lawmakers are quick on time. The settlement will have to move within the House of Representatives and the Senate. It then heads to the president’s table for signing.

Missing the 11:59 p.m. Friday time limit units the level for any other shutdown.

President Trump signed a spending bill on the finish of January to reopen the federal government. It allowed the furloughed employee to return to paintings and obtain again pay.

Trump has vowed to satisfy his key marketing campaign promise, and he has accused Democrats of enjoying “political games” with the federal government shutdown.

Trump has made it abundantly transparent that “all choices are at the desk. His choices come with shutting down the federal government once more. Trump has mentioned he’s keen to claim a National Emergency.

Take a take a look at what the president has mentioned about stating a National Emergency.

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Madam Speaker Starts “Too-Hot” Club

The defiant Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, made eyebrow-raising feedback not too long ago because the time limit hovered.

In an interview with Politico, she mentioned the government is not going to close down once more, pronouncing:

“There will not be another shutdown. No, it’s not going to happen.”

She quipped as Politico described it:

“I have a club that I started, it’s called the ‘Too Hot to Handle Club.’ And this is a too-hot-to-handle issue.”

How this membership has anything else to do with serving to to keep away from any other shutdown is any one’s wager.

Democrat Tim Ryan mentioned Sunday:

“I don’t think the border wall is immoral; I just don’t think it makes a lot of sense.”

He advised using applied sciences which can be “much better equipped to handle what’s happening here.”

White House Dismissed Shutdown Cost Ramifications

During the shutdown, the U.S. economic system misplaced $three billion that it’ll most likely by no means get well.

The findings are in step with the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which launched a report closing week at the results of the five-week. It discovered that partial shutdown additionally not on time $18 billion in federal discretionary spending for repayment and purchases of products and services and products and suspended some federal services and products.

The CBO’s record states that the shutdown dampened financial job. The shutdown led to the:

  • lack of furloughed federal employees’ contribution to the gross home product, or GDP
  • extend in federal spending on items and services and products, and
  • aid in mixture call for

Larry Kudlow, director of the U.S. National Economic Council, shot down the CBO’s findings.

“I won’t acknowledge any of that right now,” Kudlow mentioned in connection with the CBO’s findings. “With great respect to our friends at the CBO, who won’t acknowledge the importance of our pro-growth tax cuts, to put in an editorial in, no I don’t really agree.”

As a long way because the affect at the nation’s long-term fiscal well being, Kudlow mentioned:

“In a $20 trillion economy, it’s awfully hard to make even the best guestimates of those kinds of small fractions of numbers. Now that the government is reopened, the switch goes right back on, and there’s certainly no permanent damage to the economy.”

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Crypto exchange BTCNEXT seeking Japan license

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BTCNEXT, an Asian based cryptocurrency exchange, earlier this month announced it received notification from the Japan Financial Services Agency (FSA) that it must suspend services for Japanese residents.

As part of Noah Ark Technologies Ltd., BTCNEXT operates with a Virtual Currency Exchange license issued by the Cagayan special economic zone and Freeport Philippines.

The BTCNEXT team says that its legal department is currently working with the FSA in regards to getting a Japanese license and will take necessary steps to ensure full compliance with all FSA requests.

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NEO Price Prediction: Long-term (NEO) Value Forecast – June 2

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  • The long-term outlook is in a bullish trend.
  • The 1.618 in the fibs at $19.17 is the bulls target in the long-term.

NEO/USD Long-term Trend: Bullish

Supply zone: $20.00, $30.00, $40.00
Demand zone: $2.00, $1.00, $0.50

NEO continues in the uptrend in its long-term outlook. The strong pressure on the cryptocurrency by the bulls’ comeback at the 61.8 on 18th May has kept price up with new high each week. $12.59 and $15.04 in the supply area were the highs on 20th and 30th May respectively.

The new week is started on a bullish note with today’s opening candle at $13.72 higher than last week opening price at $11.45, an indication that the bulls are more in the market.

Price is above the two EMAs that are fanned apart which suggest strength in the trend and in this case the uptrend.

The journey to 1.618 of the fib extension with price at $19.17 in the supply area is the bulls target in the long-term as the bullish momentum increase and more bullish candle open and closed above the two EMAS.

The views and opinion as expressed here do not reflect that of BitcoinExchangeGuide.com and do not constitute financial advice. Always do your own research.

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Why Bitcoin’s ‘Culture War’ Matters

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Michael J. Casey is the chairman of CoinDesk’s advisory board and a senior advisor for blockchain research at MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative.


Let’s talk about bitcoin, toxicity and inclusiveness.

(Boy, my Twitter feed is going to have fun over the next few days.)

To start with, let me take a position: I stand with those people, especially women, who’ve lately been calling out maltreatment from members of the bitcoin community and citing rude and abusive behavior as proof of that community’s lack of inclusiveness. These are people who believe in cryptocurrency technology’s potential but feel discouraged to believe that they belong to the community’s dominant white-male subculture. If this technology is to fulfill its global potential, the community associated with it must confront this problem.

But the real point of this column is not to just defend these critics. It’s to debunk one of the more common positions adopted by those who take issue with their complaints, particularly on Twitter. In doing so, I hope to emphasize just how important the concepts of “community” and “culture” are to the healthy development of crypto technology and the ecosystem growing around it.

Hammer culture?

The line that’s most often thrown back at those calling out incivility is that bitcoin is nothing more than a technology, a tool, and that it’s meaningless to attach to it value judgments relating to human behavior. Bitcoin is amoral, apolitical and a-cultural, the argument goes, and like any technology it is used by good and bad people alike.

These pundits, warning of a political correctness-based threat to free speech, will then advise the injured party to take issue directly with the bad actors but refrain from agitating for community-wide change.

A perfect example of the genre came from outspoken lawyer Preston Byrne.

Clever, yes. But it’s extremely unhelpful, because the examples given do not share equivalent terms of reference.

Byrne’s “hammer” refers solely to the steel implement that tradesmen use. By contrast, people complaining about “bitcoin” are clearly using the word in a much wider context than in merely a reference to the code, to the ones and zeros that comprise the bitcoin protocol. They are inherently talking about the wider ecosystem and community gathered around the idea of bitcoin.

So, let’s equalize the terms, shall we? We can turn each of these nouns into a modifier of the word “community.”

While it might sound silly to talk about a “hammer community,” there may well be groups of hammer-obsessed souls who debate questions of design and ease of use at meetups and in chat rooms. If so, I’m going to guess that that community would probably also be predominantly male.

But the real issue is that such a hammer community is going to be far less important to the future design and evolution of hammer technology than bitcoin’s community is to its. I’m no expert, but I don’t see a great deal of change in hammer technology having occurred over the centuries and I’m not sure people expect much in the future. As such, we don’t see much jockeying among users to ensure that proposals for hammer upgrades are implemented and standardized to their preferred design.

By contrast, the open-source technology behind bitcoin is in a constant state of evolution. It is, by definition, under development, which is why we talk about the engineers who work on it as “developers,” not “custodians.” As such, there is a constant battle of interests over who gets to modify the code. Exhibit A: the block-size debate.

Counter-arguing that those who don’t like the process can just fork the code, as the large-blockers did, and set up their own new community, doesn’t cut it for me. Bitcoin is the brand that matters. Any newcomer will struggle to achieve the same network effects. Secession just isn’t viable for anyone who likes its current design but doesn’t like how its future is being defined.

Also, is there a “hammer ecosystem?” Maybe. But beyond producers of nails, and perhaps steel and rubber or wood suppliers, you can hardly call it a complex ecosystem.

Bitcoin, by contrast, which purports to reinvent the global system of money, has attracted an inherently vast array of different technology providers, all of whom have competing interests in how it is designed, managed and marketed to the world. I’m not just talking about businesses applications built on top of it, but also the developers of related encryption, payment channel, smart contract and other vitally important technologies, all of which are themselves in a constant state of flux.

(I’m guessing that the exhibition halls at hammer conventions don’t have quite the same spread of offerings as cryptocurrency events such as Consensus.)

Saying that bitcoin is nothing but a tool, is like saying that music is nothing but a system for ordering different audible tones.

Money = community

When Paul Vigna and I wrote The Age of Cryptocurrency, we spent a lot of time chronicling the emergence of the community that had formed around bitcoin, which we saw as fundamental to its success. It struck us that the notion of a bitcoin community was so prominent — the “c” word was always being bandied about — because bitcoin embodied a profound and sweeping social idea. It offered nothing less than a reinvention of money, a revolution in the entire system for coordinating human value exchange.

Money only works to the extent that there is widespread belief in it, that people buy into its core myth. Money, Felix Martin says, is a social technology, by which he means that its functionality and usability depend far less on the physical qualities of the token that represents it than on the collective agreement among large communities of people that their token captures, represents and communicates transferable value. This is true whether we’re talking about gold, dollar bills, entries in a bank account, or cryptocurrency.

By extension, then, for any form of money to succeed, it must sustain a vibrant, growing community.

Communities = culture

The thing about communities is that they inevitably develop cultures. In self-defining their boundaries of belonging, they develop shared ways of seeing and language — akin to a kind of social protocol – that regulate (in a very unofficial, and quite subconscious way) their members’ behavior.

As they evolve, cultures can become more or less open, more or less inclusive, more or less abrasive in their treatment of outsiders. And inevitably, these cultural features will either encourage or impede the growth of the community.

All this should hardly be a revelation. Anthropology, the study of culture, is a globally widespread and influential field (one that is now appropriately turning its attention to cryptocurrency communities.)

Studies of U.S. culture, from Alexis de Tocqueville down, have rightly pointed to the inclusiveness of the founding fathers’ ideas as a key driver of its economic expansion. In fact, American culture is arguably its most important ingredient for success, a social manifestation of Joseph Nye’s notion of the United States’ “soft power.”

So, yes, bitcoin culture really, really matters. If the compelling ideas behind permissionless, peer-to-peer exchange and censorship-resistant money that attract people of all stripes to it are to retain those people’s interest and grow in influence, the bitcoin community needs to evolve a more inclusive culture.

The only way to do that is to spur the kind of open debates that have always driven the progress of human culture — those which shifted norms and mores to the point that it became unacceptable to own slaves, to spit in public, or to jump a queue.

So, listen up, bitcoin. It’s time to confront your toxicity.

Hazard drums image via Shutterstock

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Holiday Spending up 14.6% as E-Commerce Beats Brick-and-Mortar

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E-commerce sales hit record highs this year as Americans continue to move their holiday shopping online.

According to Mastercard’s SpendingPulse report, online retail grew 18.8% over last year’s holiday season. That’s enough to make online sales a record 14.6% of holiday shoppers total spend, the report says.

Online consumers this year spent 17% more on apparel, 8.8% more on jewelry, 10.7% more on electronics, and 6.9% more at department stores. 

Overall, holiday spending jumped 3.4% compared to 2018.

The strong numbers came in spite of 2019’s unusually short holiday season, commonly defined as the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Shoppers had six days fewer than they had in 2018.

Steve Sadove, an advisor for MasterCard, said in a press release that retailers adapted to the shortened season. 

“Due to a later than usual Thanksgiving holiday, we saw retailers offering omnichannel sales earlier in the season, meeting consumers’ demand for the best deals across all channels and devices.”

Interestingly – or ominously – retailers who accepted crypto or managed crypto payments were slow to respond when we asked them how their holiday shopping season went. eGifter, a gift card trading service, noted that it had not yet “crunched the numbers” on holiday sales but that “We saw growth in overall crypto sales,” said Bill Egan, the site’s VP of Marketing.

“We saw more gifting with crypto in 2019, compared to buy-for-self use cases in prior years,” he said.

Payment processor BitPay found the holidays quite inspiring as well.

“We saw twice our daily averages of processed volume leading up to the holiday,” said BitPay’s CMO, Bill Zielke.

It will be interesting to see what kind of statistics surface over the next few seasons as e-commerce becomes king and crypto payments come to the fore.

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Crypto Custodians Grapple With Germany’s New Rules

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Crypto firms in Germany are getting ready to exist under a new regime. 

Under a law going into effect Jan. 1 requiring digital asset custodians to be licensed, each company that currently custodies crypto and targets German clients must announce to Germany’s Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) its intention to get a license before April 1 and submit an application before Nov. 1.  

A clause allows current crypto custodians to keep serving German customers without being penalized if they declare their intent to apply, but those same companies are waiting on BaFin to release final regulations around the law.

“As long as the legislation is not in place, BaFin is not going to think about how to cope or how to deal with the legislation,” said BaFin press officer Norbert Pieper. The regulator declined further comment and Germany’s Federal Ministry of Finance did not respond to request for comment by press time.

Pieper added: “There is no date foreseeable [yet] by which we’ll be able to communicate the results of our assessment. We will certainly communicate that on our website.” 

While the final regulations haven’t been set yet, the new license requirement may not produce the same kind of exodus of crypto firms that New York saw after the BitLicense requirement, said Miha Grčar, head of business development at Bitstamp.

London-based Bitstamp, one of Europe’s largest crypto exchanges, plans to continue operating in Germany but declined to say whether it would apply for a license, said Grčar. Crypto firms could also use a white-labeled custody service to operate in Germany. 

Because the law is an “updated version of the existing banking regulation,” banks will likely have the most to gain from it, Grčar added. Companies that get the license will be German financial institutions, but not classified as banks.

The law also means that German regulators now see crypto as a “legitimate” industry, he said. 

Ulli Spankowski, chief digital officer and managing director of the crypto custody subsidiary of German stock exchange Boerse Stuttgart, called Blocknox, sees the license as a step forward for “the professionalism of the industry.” The subsidiary has already advised BaFin that it plans to apply.  

“There are other countries that won’t go for a full-fledged license,” he said. “If you want to get traditional, established players from the banking side, you need to give them this environment to feel safe.” 

DLC group is taking advantage of the new regulatory framework by offering consulting services for firms interested in applying, and its own white-labeled crypto custody service. 

Sven Hildebrandt, head of Distributed Ledger Consulting Group, is concerned some exchanges won’t understand the nuances of the new law.

“The law is only in German and no English translation of the law is out there,” he said. “What’s going to happen to exchanges? [Operating without a licence] is actually a felony and not a misdemeanor so that’s jail time.”

Hildebrandt predicts the costs of licensing will be similar to other German financial services licenses where firms will need two managing directors, an established German entity and 125,000 euros of starting capital. He also estimates installation will cost 250,000 to 350,000 euros and recurring yearly costs will be 350,000 euros. 

Switzerland-based Crypto Storage AG, a subsidiary of Crypto Finance AG, is opening a branch in Germany to offer crypto custody to banks and then financial technology startups. 

“Large banking houses will do custody business in the future,” Stijn Vander Straeten, CEO of Crypto Storage AG, said. “They are moving slowly, though. We’ll build it up now for a premium.” 

Berlin-based solarisBank this month opened a subsidiary called solaris Digital Assets to offer crypto custody as a service. So far, the bank has a handful of customers testing the service with more than 40 companies in the pipeline, said Alexis Hamel, managing director of solaris Digital Assets.

In addition to waiting for details from BaFin, crypto firms are also waiting to see if the law can be passported to other European Union states. 

“Germany is definitely at the forefront with the clearer regulation,” Hamel said. “We still need to see how other European countries level up.”

Disclosure Read More

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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