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'Revenge porn' is on the rise. The act – defined as uploading or sharing intimate pictures or videos without https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/?search=naked cam the subject's consent – has grown rapidly along with social media and the immediacy of phone apps.

It became a criminal offence in England and Wales in April 2015, with a maximum sentence of two years imprisonment. And in the first year of the offence, more than 200 people were prosecuted. However, many victims do not come forward through fear or embarrassment. It means the real number of revenge porn crimes could be much, much higher.

Only this week, a 37-year-old man avoided jail, after taking innocent pictures from Facebook accounts of female friends and and placing them on an x-rated website. Oliver Whiting left sexist and abusive comments next to the images and invited others to do the same. He was handed a suspended six month prison sentence after earlier pleading guilty to 11 charges of making offensive postings.

The women he targeted have now complained that police treated their abuser 'like the victim'.

It’s a shocking case, but it’s not the only one of its kind. Even celebrities have become targets, with actress Mischa Barton recently speaking out about being a victim.

Now, new sentencing guidelines are recommending that offenders who send "revenge porn" images to victims' family members could face up to two years in prison. The most serious offences will be those which the court judges have been calculated to induce "maximum distress", such as sending images to a victim's family who are very religious, or to a younger sibling.

Offenders will also face tougher punishment if they set up social media accounts pretending to be the victim or spread a large number of pictures to a wide audience.

Here, Julie Pinborough, director of the Queen Mary University of London Legal Advice Centre – which offers victims free advice – explains what anyone affected by revenge porn can do.

1) Removal

The first priority for any victim is to have the images or video removed from the public domain – permanently. There’s a good chance, given that a former partner (or even a best friend) has been vengeful enough to upload the images, that they won’t be particularly forthcoming in response to your complaints.

Therefore, requests must be made to the website(s) hosting the material. This can be done directly, but is generally more effective if the victim engages a solicitor, who's a specialist in online privacy work.

Revenge porn offenders who send images to victim's family could face tougher sentences

2) Contacting the website

Many sites are not hosted within the UK. Some have even been created solely for the purpose of hosting revenge porn; so getting something taken down isn’t always easy.

If websites operating with the UK and the EU who don’t take down images when given notice, a claim can be brought against them and it could go to court. So it is in their interest to cooperate.

One particular organisation that can help is www.saferinternet.org.uk – they have an incredibly speedy record of getting images removed.

3) Injunctions

https://www.youtube.com/embed/R3OoVY2mquk

If the ex-partner/publisher of the images and the website operator are not forthcoming in removing them, then an injunction can be sought from the courts. This will prevent the images continuing to be published elsewhere. If an injunction is carefully drafted, it can help prevent any future distribution.

If you're going to apply for an injuction, you need to speak to a solicitor. A good place to start is the Law Society.

4) Civil law Remedies

You might opt for a civil law remedy – where you bring a claim against someone yourself, rather than the police handling it. Again, you'd need a solicitor to do this with you and it will be at your own cost.

Without getting too technical, there are a few civil law remedies available to you:

• Injunctions or proceedings for misuse of private information under Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights: damages can be awarded to compensate for the often catastrophic effect of revenge porn.

• Injunctions or proceedings for breach of confidence.

• Injunctions or proceedings for copyright infringement.

• Complaints to the Information Commissioner about breach of data protection regulations.

• Injunctions or proceedings for harassment (if there is only a threat of publishing the images and the threat causes concerns).

5) Criminal law remedies

Revenge porn can be a criminal offence. Although there is not one specific offence which targets this behaviour, it may fall into a number of different categories, including:

• Harassment

• Blackmail

• Voyeurism (if the images were obtained without knowledge)

• Offences under the Malicious Communication Act, if the CPS are satisfied that the images were published in order to cause distress or anxiety

The best way to take action on any of these legal issues is to contact a lawyer who specialises in cyber crime.

6) The law

In April 2015, it became a criminal offence to share intimate images and videos without consent, online or offline – with a maximum prison sentence of two years.

The existing civil law remedies also remain available, and may prove to be effective as a way of quickly removing harmful content from the internet – albeit at a financial cost to the victim.

In early 2017, tougher penalties for stalking and harassment were also introduced. The maximum jail sentence was doubled from five to ten years by the Government following pressure from MPs. For racially-aggravated harassment the maximum sentence was raised from seven to 14 years.

Under new guidelines – the first to give advice to courts under new laws covering the sharing of "private sexual images" – perpetrators who send explicit content to their victim's families could be considered among the most serious of revenge porn offenders and face up to two years in jail.

The definition of domestic abuse has also been widened to reflect types of abuse other than violence, such as coercive and controlling behaviour.

It’s important to remember that if you are a victim of revenge porn, not to feel ashamed or embarrassed when seeking help or advice.

Services exist to support victims, not to judge them.

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Veteran investor Jim Rogers, who co-founded the Quantum Fund with billionaire investor George Soros, is still worried about governments outlawing bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. “If cryptocurrencies become successful, most governments will outlaw them, because they don’t want to lose their monopoly,” he said.

Jim Rogers Still Worried About Government Banning Bitcoin

Renowned investor and George Soros’ former business partner who co-founded of the Quantum Fund and Soros Fund Management, Jim Rogers, still believes that the government can ban bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Noting that he “never bought or sold any cryptocurrencies,” Rogers told Kitco News’ Michelle Makori last week:

If cryptocurrencies become successful, most governments will outlaw them, because they don’t want to lose their monopoly.

“Every government in the world is working on computer money now, including the U.S. The Chinese are there already. I cannot imagine that governments are going to say ‘ok, this is our crypto money, or you can use their crypto money.’ That’s not the way governments work, historically,” he opined.

Rogers added: “Money is going to be on the computer. It already is in China. In China, you can’t take a taxi with money. You have to have the money on your phone, you can’t even buy ice cream. So it’s happening, but I doubt if it’s going to be someone else’s money. History shows it will be government money.”

He believes that the biggest threat to bitcoin is government regulation “if it becomes successful,” but not “as long as it remains a trading vehicle.”

The Quantum Fund co-founder further noted:

I know guys that are making a lot of money trading it, it’s a wonderful trading vehicle, apparently. But, if it becomes a currency, which is what the crypto people say that it will be, I cannot imagine that any government, or many governments, in the world will say ‘ok, you can use our money, or their money.’ That’s not what history shows.

Commenting on the Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell comparing bitcoin to gold in terms of how they are both used for speculation, Rogers agreed that people are using both as trading vehicles. However, he added that history would indicate that silver and gold would probably have a better future than cryptocurrencies because they are not trying to compete with the dollar or other sovereign currencies.

Rogers is not the only one who has warned about governments stepping in and outlawing cryptocurrencies. Others include Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio, The Big Short’s Michael Burry, and Ron Paul.

However, many people also said that governments cannot outlaw bitcoin. A commissioner with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Hester Peirce, recently said that governments would be “foolish” to try to ban bitcoin and that banning it would be like shutting down the internet. In addition, she said that “it’s very difficult to ban something that’s essentially a peer-to-peer technology.”

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Bill Miller, the founder and chief investment officer of Miller Value Partners, does not think bitcoin is a bubble. Instead, he said it is at the beginning of mainstream adoption. Remaining bullish on the cryptocurrency, the famed value investor explained that bitcoin’s price will rise as the demand for the crypto is growing faster than its supply.

Bill Miller Bullish on Bitcoin

Longtime value investor Bill Miller is the founder of Miller Value Partners and currently serves as the chairman and chief investment officer. He is also the co-portfolio manager for Opportunity Equity and Income Strategy funds. Prior to Miller Value Partners, he co-founded Legg Mason Capital Management.

He was asked in an interview with CNBC last week whether there is a lot more upside to the price of bitcoin. Miller replied: “There are many many different ways to look at bitcoin. The simplest way is just the supply and demand.” Emphasizing rising institutional interest in the cryptocurrency as it enters into the mainstream, he elaborated:

Supply is growing 2% a year and demand is growing faster. That’s all you really need to know, and that means it’s going higher … I don’t think this is a bubble at all in bitcoin, I think this is now the beginning of a mainstreaming of it.

Comparing bitcoin’s recent rally to what happened in 2017 which he said “was a bubble,” Miller acknowledged that the price of bitcoin will be volatile as seen in the recent price swings. “Even back then during the bubble, it went down 20% on five different occasions so with bitcoin, volatility is the price you pay for performance,” the asset manager opined.

Miller shares the same belief as many bitcoin investors that the cryptocurrency is “digital gold. “Gold is about a $10 trillion asset category and bitcoin is $1 trillion, and it’s infinitely divisible or almost so,” Miller said. “It’s easily transportable and can be sent anywhere in the world if you have a smartphone so it’s a much better version, as a store of value than gold.”

Furthermore, he pointed out:

There’s $15 trillion of negative-yielding bonds out there so why would you have that when you can own something that at least has the potential to go up.

While Miller does not think that bitcoin is a bubble, some fund managers do. Guggenheim CIO Scott Minerd recently said bitcoin looks “very frothy,” warning of a major correction that could push the price of the cryptocurrency down to between $20K and $30K. In addition, the Bank of America Fund Manager Survey for April shows that the majority of fund managers see bitcoin as a bubble.

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Today, April 26th, 2021, the virtual gallery of OVR.ai was inaugurated to showcase artists working with non-fungible tokens (NFT) and beyond.

Considering the hype around the NFT phenomenon this year and also given that the Coronavirus pandemic prevents most artists from exhibiting works in museums and participating in exhibitions, as well as also people from being able to visit art galleries, the company OVR decided to introduce a museum in its blockchain-based virtual world, allowing the top artists in the field to exhibit their NFTs.

Starting today, it is possible to download the OVR app (available on both Android and iOS) and visit this section of the virtual world dedicated to art.

The NFT Artists of OVR

Among the artists exhibiting their Non Fungible Tokens today for the opening of OVR’s gallery is Italian artist Giovanni Motta, born in 1971, who has just opened his solo exhibition in Shanghai, selling out before the opening.

Motta will have a dedicated gallery on OVR, as he is also one of the Italian NFT artists who have climbed the SuperRare rankings and reached the top. The subject of his works is Jonny Boy, the child that lies within each of us.

During the inauguration, the artist will be present in the gallery in the form of an avatar to answer questions from the public.

Not Only NFTs

The OVR galleries will also host an exhibition by Marco Biscardi, whose art brings together elements of contemporary criticism, and Rok Bogataj, an artist who creates works that link the everyday and the mythical using materials such as plastic, metal and wood.

Not all the artists exhibiting are creators of NFTs, and in fact in the OVR gallery, we will be able to find both digital and non-digital works.

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The digital currency and stablecoin issuer Paxos has been granted conditional approval for a bank charter under the Paxos National Trust in New York. The U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued a preliminary conditional approval which means the regulating entity still has to authorize the firm’s future banking plans.

Paxos Granted Preliminary Conditional Approval for a US Bank Charter

The New York-based financial institution and technology company Paxos has been granted preliminary conditional approval for a bank charter by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). The OCC published information on the conditional approval on April 23, 2021, showing authorization of the company’s application to charter the Paxos National Trust.

“The OCC granted a national trust bank charter to Paxos after [a] thorough review of the company and its current operations,” the OCC’s press release notes. “In granting this charter, the OCC applied the same rigorous review and standards applied to all charter applications. The OCC granted preliminary conditional approval to Paxos after [a] thorough review of its application.”

Paxos was founded in 2012 bitcoin trading in New York City, but the company also has offices in Singapore and London as well. At the end of December 2020, documents show that Paxos has raised roughly $240 million in financing since the company’s inception. https://secretstradingbitcoin.com/podcast/ Paxos is also known for issuing a stablecoin based on the value of the U.S. dollar and a token backed by the precious metal gold as well. The preliminary approval status aims to provide Paxos the authority to exercise fiduciary powers under 12 USC 92a and 12 CFR 5.26.

Paxos National Trust Must Obtain the Regulator’s Final Approval

Paxos General Counsel Dan Burstein is addressed in the OCC’s preliminary approval letter. The OCC’s letter stresses that the regulating entity plans to process background checks and other reviews of the Paxos’ executive staff.

“Accordingly, the continued service of these individuals will be dependent on satisfactory completion of the background investigation process,” the OCC letter states.

“Prior to the Bank’s opening,” the OCC’s approval letter concludes. “The bank must obtain the OCC’s prior written determination of no objection for any additional organizers or executive officers or directors appointed or elected before the person assumes the position.” Further, if the OCC finds any issues it can modify, suspend, and rescind the preliminary conditions if any material information changes before the OCC’s final decision.

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