Luxembourg Passes Bill to Give Blockchain Securities Legal Status

The European nation of Luxembourg has just passed a bill providing a legal framework for securities issued over blockchains.

According to a notice published Thursday, the country’s Chamber of Deputies, the county’s parliament, passed the bill on Feb. 14 with 58 members supporting the legislation and only two voting against.

Titled Bill 7363, the legislation is intended to provide financial market participants with legal certainty for issuing securities using blockchain technology.

“The bill should provide greater certainty for investors and make the transfer of securities more efficient by reducing the number of intermediaries,” the chamber said.

Luxembourg, an EU member nation, passed a bill making it possible to legally issue “dematerialized securities” in April 2013 via an amendment of a securities law passed in 2001.

Taking into account technological developments in recent years, the chamber said the new bill further amends the 2001 law to also include the registration and distribution of securities using secure electronic registration, “such as distributed ledger technology and in particular blockchain technology.”

Specifically, the amendment adds Article 18a to the law, which states:

“Account-keeper may hold securities accounts and make registrations of securities in securities accounts within or through secure electronic registration devices, including distributed electronic registers or databases. Successive transfers recorded in such a secure electronic registration device are considered like transfers between securities accounts. Holding of securities accounts within such a device secure electronic registration or registration of securities in securities accounts through such a secure electronic recording device do not affect the fungible nature of the securities concerned.”

A document proposing the bill prior to its passing indicates that blockchain securities have the same status as traditional securities under the bill. It say that, for securities issued over blockchain, “the easiest way today is to use the token concept… This is from the technological point of view a new type of dematerialized security, but to which are attached from a legal point of view the same rights as classic dematerialized securities.”

Editor’s note: Some statements were informally translated from French.

Luxembourg Chamber of Deputies image via Shutterstock

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BSNL Revises Rs 98 Prepaid Plan, Now Offers 2GB Daily Data and Eros Now Subscription

Highlights
  • Alongside increasing the daily data benefit, BSNL reduced the validity of Rs 98 plan by two days
  • BSNL now has four plans that come with free Eros Now subscription

After reducing the validity of two voice-only prepaid plans of Rs 99 and Rs 319, BSNL has now revised its Rs 98 data-only prepaid STV which is valid across the country. Well, this revision has both good and bad moves from BSNL as the telco has increased the data benefit, and at the same time reduced the validity of the plan by two days. Furthermore, the Rs 98 Data STV now comes with Eros Now subscription for 28 days. For the unaware, BSNL partnered with Eros Now to offer free content with some of its prepaid plans. At the moment, the telco is providing Eros Now subscription with only the newly launched Rs 78 prepaid plan, and now, it has added the Rs 98 plan to the list. Additionally, BSNL’s other prepaid plans of Rs 333 and Rs 444 also come with Eros Now subscription.

BSNL Rs 98 Prepaid Plan Receives a Revision: What it Offers?

To recall, BSNL used to offer 1.5GB data per day for 26 days with the Rs 98 prepaid plan. However, after the revision, the plan comes with 2GB daily data benefit, and once the FUP limit completes, data speeds will be reduced to 80 Kbps. Earlier, the plan did not offer any after FUP data, so it’s a welcome move by BSNL. Sadly, BSNL has reduced the validity of the prepaid plan by two days and it now offers benefits for 24 days from the date of recharge.

Lastly, the plan now ships with free Eros Now subscription for the validity period. To make use of the subscription, you’ll have to head over to Eros Now app and login with your BSNL prepaid plan which is recharged with the Rs 98 plan.

BSNL Prepaid STVs of Rs 333 and Rs 444 Now Offer Eros Now Membership

Alongside revising the Rs 98 data-only STV, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited also added Eros Now benefit to the Rs 333 and Rs 444 prepaid plans. These two plans are available for a long time, but now, they ship with Eros Now subscription for the validity period. The Rs 333 Prepaid STV which is also known as BSNL Triple ACE plan offers unlimited voice calling, 3GB data per day and Eros Now membership for 45 days. On the flip side, the Rs 444 or BSNL Chaukka plan provides unlimited voice calling, 4GB data per day and Eros Now subscription for 60 days from the date of recharge.

Except for the addition of Eros Now membership, BSNL did not make any changes to the benefits of both the plans. These new changes from BSNL are already valid across the 20 telecom circles where the telco has its services.

BSNL Revises Rs 99 and Rs 319 Voice-Only Prepaid Plans

In recent times, BSNL has made a habit of reducing the validity of its popular prepaid plans. Earlier this month, it reduced the validity of Rs 99 and Rs 319 voice-only prepaid plans which disappointed many users out there. Both the Rs 99 and Rs 319 plans offer unlimited voice calling benefit to any network across the country. They now come with a validity of 24 and 84 days respectively. Earlier, BSNL offered the same plans with 26 and 90 days validity.

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GTPL Hathway Added 11,000 Broadband Subscribers During Q3 FY19

Highlights
  • In broadband, the company added 350,000 Home Passes in the third quarter
  • The expenses of the company went up by 4% and were pegged at Rs 236.6 crore

GTPL Hathway has released its Q3 FY19 earnings report. The cable and broadband service provider revealed that its consolidated EBITDA for the quarter ending on December 31 has declined by 8% to Rs 83.3 crore against Rs 90.2 crore in the trailing quarter. The company’s margins also took a dip as they fell by 2.4% down to 26% from the previous quarter’s 28.4%. The net profit of the company, however, saw a rise by 17% QoQ (Quarter on Quarter) and it stood at Rs 19.7 crore instead of the previous Rs 16.8 crore. The consolidated revenue of the company, was however pretty stagnant as it only saw an increase of 1% and rested at Rs 319.9 crore as opposed to the previous Rs 317.4 crore. Cable TV subscriptions for Hathway also grew at the same rate and reached Rs 179.8 crore. Broadband and Placement revenue both went up by 1% and rested at 36.2 crore and Rs 71.2 crore respectively.

Rise in Pay Channel Costs for GTPL Hathway

Talking about the expenditure, the company highlighted that the expenses went up by 4% and were pegged at Rs 236.6 crore. Pay channel cost also went up in the same ratio, and it came out to be Rs 137.7 crore. The standalone profit of the company increased by 33% to Rs 13.5 crore. EBITDA also dropped by 6% stood at Rs 53.7 crore. The revenue was stagnant, and it stood at Rs 208 crore as against 205.2 crores. Expenditure also rose by 4%, and it rested at Rs 154.2 crore.

It is worth noting that in the given period, i.e. the third quarter of the FY, GTPL sold 300,000 set-top boxes (STBs) thus marking the total number of seeded STBs at 9.50 million. The subscriber addition reported by GTPL was 200,000 Active STB subscribers during the said period, making the active STB subscriber count touch eight million. The company has also added 170,000 digital paying subscribers during the quarter thus pegging the total digitally paying subscriber count to 7.45 million. In broadband, the company added 350,000 Home Passes in the third quarter thus pushing the total count of home passes to 2.15 million. Approximately 11,000 broadband subscribers came onboard with GTPL during Q3. The ARPU for broadband subscribers was Rs 430.

GTPL MD Expecting for Better Transparency After New Trai Order

GTPL Hathway MD Anirudhasinhji Jadeja said about the performance of the company, “In an environment of uncertainty, GTPL Hathway has continued to post steady performance. Our first 9-month revenue and PAT are up by 14% and 10% respectively; reflecting the inherent strength of the company’s offerings and quality customer service. The new tariff order has put customers at the centre of the business; providing them with the freedom to make their own choices. As India’s one of the leading MSOs, we expect higher monetisation across the phases and better transparency as a direct fall out of the new order.”

It is also worth noting that during the third quarter, GTPL was announced as the Project Implementation Agency (PIA) of Package B for implementation of BharatNet Phase – II, a project in the state of Gujarat by Gujarat Fibre Grid Network Limited (GFGNL). As part of this work, GTPL will connect 3,767 GPs (Gram Panchayat, Package B, Saurashtra region) by means of end-to-end Optic Fibre Cable and digital infrastructure at Centralised network operations centre of Gandhinagar in Gujarat.

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Vivo’s new sub-brand iQOO to launch its foldable phone soon

Two days ago, Vivo announced new smartphone sub brand iQOO. Before we could think what this brand will offer, we already have the renders of a rumoured iQOO foldable phone.

Photos of upcoming iQOO phone leaked on Weibo. When unfordable, it is a tablet size device and can be folded to be a smartphone. In images, there is no visible port or button. It also features an edge-to-edge foldable display. There are negligible bezels and no hole for the selfie camera. The company may also embed it under the display or use pop-up mechanism.

Discount of Rs. 9,000 LG(32 Inches) HD Ready LED Smart TV

Discount of Rs. 9,000 LG(32 Inches) HD Ready LED Smart TV

The foldable phone may also use under-display fingerprint sensor like Vivo’d flagship phone NEX

Apart from photos, tipster also revealed that the phone could be priced around CNY 5,000 and may arrive soon. But we still have no info when it will be available.

So, Vivo is also joining the brands launching foldable phones. Most of the foldable phones will be launched at MWC next week. But I don’t think iQOO is ready for this event. Samsung is expected to launch its foldable phone on Feb 20. Huawei has also confirmed to launch 5G ready foldable phone at MWC. We are also hoping from Xiaomi to showcase its foldable phone.

SourceVia

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8 Illicit Crypto-Mining Windows Apps Removed From Microsoft Store

A number of apps in Microsoft’s app store have been found to be able to illicitly mine cryptocurrency.

The eight apps, discovered by Symantec on Jan. 17, hosted a version of Coinhive, a script for mining the monero cryptocurrency that has proved popular with cyber criminals.

In a blog post on the discovery, Symantec said it had reported the apps to Microsoft, which subsequently took them down. The apps all ran on Windows 10, including Windows 10 S Mode, which restricts app downloads to the Microsoft Store.

Three developers, DigiDream, 1clean and Findoo, reportedly produced all the apps, which covered the areas of computer and battery optimization tutorials, web search, web browsing, and video viewing and download.

Symantec wrote in the post:

“In total, we discovered eight apps from these developers that shared the same risky behavior. After further investigation, we believe that all these apps were likely developed by the same person or group.”

The eight apps found to be hosting Coinhive. (Source: Symantec)

After being downloaded and opened, the apps work by fetching the monero mining JavaScript library by triggering Google Tag Manager in their domain servers. The mining script is then activated and harnesses the bulk of the victim computer’s CPU cycles to mine the cryptocurrency. The JavaScript has also been removed from Google Tag Manager after Google was informed, the post said.

“Although these apps appear to provide privacy policies, there is no mention of coin mining on their descriptions on the app store,” Symantec said.

The apps were published from April to December of last year, although most were published toward the end of the year. Despite being on the Microsoft Store for a relatively short period, “a significant number” of users may have downloaded them onto their PCs, said the firm.

Monero (XMR) is by far the most popular cryptocurrency among bad actors deploying mining malware, according to a study published last month. So much so that the author’s of the research estimated that hackers have mined at least 4.32 percent of the total monero in circulation.

“Overall, we estimate there are at least 2,218 active campaigns that have accumulated about 720,000 XMR ($57 million),” they wrote.

Microsoft image via Shutterstock

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BSNL Revises Rs 98 Prepaid Plan, Now Offers 2GB Daily Data and Eros Now Subscription

Highlights
  • Alongside increasing the daily data benefit, BSNL reduced the validity of Rs 98 plan by two days
  • BSNL now has four plans that come with free Eros Now subscription

After reducing the validity of two voice-only prepaid plans of Rs 99 and Rs 319, BSNL has now revised its Rs 98 data-only prepaid STV which is valid across the country. Well, this revision has both good and bad moves from BSNL as the telco has increased the data benefit, and at the same time reduced the validity of the plan by two days. Furthermore, the Rs 98 Data STV now comes with Eros Now subscription for 28 days. For the unaware, BSNL partnered with Eros Now to offer free content with some of its prepaid plans. At the moment, the telco is providing Eros Now subscription with only the newly launched Rs 78 prepaid plan, and now, it has added the Rs 98 plan to the list. Additionally, BSNL’s other prepaid plans of Rs 333 and Rs 444 also come with Eros Now subscription.

BSNL Rs 98 Prepaid Plan Receives a Revision: What it Offers?

To recall, BSNL used to offer 1.5GB data per day for 26 days with the Rs 98 prepaid plan. However, after the revision, the plan comes with 2GB daily data benefit, and once the FUP limit completes, data speeds will be reduced to 80 Kbps. Earlier, the plan did not offer any after FUP data, so it’s a welcome move by BSNL. Sadly, BSNL has reduced the validity of the prepaid plan by two days and it now offers benefits for 24 days from the date of recharge.

Lastly, the plan now ships with free Eros Now subscription for the validity period. To make use of the subscription, you’ll have to head over to Eros Now app and login with your BSNL prepaid plan which is recharged with the Rs 98 plan.

BSNL Prepaid STVs of Rs 333 and Rs 444 Now Offer Eros Now Membership

Alongside revising the Rs 98 data-only STV, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited also added Eros Now benefit to the Rs 333 and Rs 444 prepaid plans. These two plans are available for a long time, but now, they ship with Eros Now subscription for the validity period. The Rs 333 Prepaid STV which is also known as BSNL Triple ACE plan offers unlimited voice calling, 3GB data per day and Eros Now membership for 45 days. On the flip side, the Rs 444 or BSNL Chaukka plan provides unlimited voice calling, 4GB data per day and Eros Now subscription for 60 days from the date of recharge.

Except for the addition of Eros Now membership, BSNL did not make any changes to the benefits of both the plans. These new changes from BSNL are already valid across the 20 telecom circles where the telco has its services.

BSNL Revises Rs 99 and Rs 319 Voice-Only Prepaid Plans

In recent times, BSNL has made a habit of reducing the validity of its popular prepaid plans. Earlier this month, it reduced the validity of Rs 99 and Rs 319 voice-only prepaid plans which disappointed many users out there. Both the Rs 99 and Rs 319 plans offer unlimited voice calling benefit to any network across the country. They now come with a validity of 24 and 84 days respectively. Earlier, BSNL offered the same plans with 26 and 90 days validity.

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