Equity indices open in the green, Sensex up by 193 points

Agencies
December 3, 2020

Mumbai, Dec 3: Equity benchmark indices opened in the green on Thursday with Sensex up by 192.68 points and Nifty up by 56.45 points.

At 9:16 am, the 30-scrip BSE Sensex was up by 192.68 points or 0.43 per cent at 44,810.72.

Similarly, 50-scrip NSE Nifty was trading at 13,170.20, at 9:16 am, up by 56.45 points or 0.43 per cent.

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Agencies
January 6,2021

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Well-known cryptocurrency Bitcoin has witnessed sharp fluctuations over a couple of days and on Monday, it fell sharply, losing ground from a record high of $34,800 to almost $30,000, with traders citing volatility in the highly leveraged futures markets. Earlier, the world's most well-known cryptocurrency smashed through $34,000 for the first time ever in its entire history of 12 years on Sunday.

The latest gains come two days after Bitcoin closed out a year in which the cryptocurrency rose more than 300%, with an almost 50% gain in December alone. Despite ups and downs, this year is already shaping up to be the Year of Bitcoin (BTC).

Last year already witnessed a ground-breaking evolution in BTC adaptation. According to JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bitcoin has the potential to reach $146,000 in the long term.

"Global GDP is about $80 to $82 trillion and if 2.5 % of world GDP is involved in currency hedging, for sake of argument, then Bitcoin could easily take a share of that space because it is proving itself to be a store of value that investors can hold over a one to two year period," reports Forbes.

Bitcoin has seen an unprecedented rise this year, with its value witnessing a 240% jump in 2020.

According to Vladimir Signorelli, founder of Bretton Woods Research in Long Valley, New Jersey, these valuations are being driven by the pandemic.

"But every major central bank in the world is signalling they're going to print as much money as necessary so as a finite store of value, Bitcoin can rise against every major currency because there is a finite amount of Bitcoin in the world," the report quoted Signorelli as saying.

Buyers are aggressively accumulating more and more Bitcoin. This is the driving factor that has propelled the price growth of BTC towards this new all-time high value.

The market capitalisation of Bitcoin has also skyrocketed above the $600 billion mark.

A major jump in Bitcoin price -- from $5,000 to $25,000 -- was seen after PayPal - the online payment major - announced in March that it will enable its account holders to use Bitcoin.

A debate on whether Bitcoin should be seen as a form of money, an asset, or a commodity has been raging since the cryptocurrency was launched in 2009.

After the unit crossed $1,000 for the first time in 2013, it has been increasingly attracting the attention of financial institutions.

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Agencies
January 6,2021

Mumbai, Jan 6: Facebook-owned WhatsApp has released the new 'Terms of Service' and also updated the user-privacy policy for both Android and iOS messenger versions.

The new policy will go into effect from February 8, 2021, and if the users are not satisfied with the terms offered by the company, they will have no choice but to uninstall the messaging application.

"Our updated Terms and Privacy Policy provide more information on how we process your data and our commitment to privacy. For example, we’ve added more information about more recent product features and functionalities, how we process your data for safety, security, and integrity, and added more direct links to user settings, Help Center articles and how you can manage your information," said the company.

Also, it noted that WhatsApp may store the data temporarily under encryption on their server if the multimedia content sent from person  A to B within WhatsApp for efficient delivery service, where the user may use the same data to forward to others.

Also, if the user makes a transaction on the recently launched WhatsApp Pay, the company says it processes details of the user, including payment account and transaction information. 

"Payment account and transaction information include information needed to complete the transaction (for example, information about your payment method, shipping details, and transaction amount). If you use our payments services available in your country or territory, our privacy practices are described in the applicable payments privacy policy," the company noted.

WhatsApp is part of Facebook companies, so it will receive information from, and shares data with the latter such as account registration information (phone number), transaction data, service-related information, information on how users interact with others (including businesses) when using the services, mobile device information, your IP address, and may include other information identified in the Privacy Policy section entitled ‘Information We Collect’ or obtained upon notice to you or based on your consent.the other Facebook companies. "We may use the information we receive from them, and they may use the information we share with them, to help operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our Services and their offerings, including the Facebook companies--WhatsApp, Oculus Products (when using an Oculus account), and CrowdTangle websites, products, or apps' the company added.

Add to that WhatsApp will collect device and connection-specific information when the user installs, access, or access its services. This includes information such as hardware model, operating system information, battery level, signal strength, app version, browser information, mobile network, connection information (including phone number, mobile operator or ISP), language and time zone, IP address, device operations information, and identifiers (including identifiers unique to Facebook Company Products associated with the same device or account).

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Agencies
January 12,2021

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Washington, Jan 12: Facebook, Google and Microsoft have announced that they were freezing political contributions from their political action committees (PAC) in the wake of the January 6 riot in the US Capitol by President Donald Trump's supporters.

"Following last week's awful violence in D.C., we are pausing all of our PAC contributions for at least the current quarter, while we review our policies," Xinhua news agency quoted Facebook spokesman Andy Stone as saying in a statement on Monday.

Alphabet Inc's Google said it would pause contributions from its PAC.

"We have frozen all NetPAC political contributions while we review and reassess its policies following last week's deeply troubling events," a Google spokesperson said.

Microsoft said the company is halting its political spending until after it assesses the implications of last week's events.

"The PAC regularly pauses its donations in the first quarter of a new Congress, but it will take additional steps this year to consider these recent events and consult with employees," the company said in a statement.

Also on Monday night, Amazon announced that it will pause donations from its PAC to lawmakers who voted against the certification of the presidential election results.

"We intend to discuss our concerns directly with those Members we have previously supported and will evaluate their responses as we consider future PAC contributions," an Amazon spokeswoman said in a statement.

The attack on the Capitol building took place on January 6 while Congress was in session considering the ratification of the electoral college votes electing Joe Biden as President and Kamala Harris as Vice President.

Before the violence, Trump, who has claimed that their election was invalid because there was massive fraud, told a rally of his supporters before the Congress session began to go there.

A section of his supporters stormed the Capital and invaded the Senate chamber and the offices of the Speaker and others, bring the session to a halt and evacuating the legislators to safe places.

Five people, including a police officer, were killed during the riots.

Congress met later and put its seal on the election of Biden and Harris, who will be sworn-in on January 20.

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