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Earthquakes pose greatest natural risk to Switzerland


Geneva: The Swiss Seismological Service (SED) at ETH Zurich indicated on Tuesday that though moderate earthquakes occur on a regular basis in the country, “a strong or even catastrophic earthquake could also occur at anytime, anywhere in Switzerland” .The fruit of 10 years of research, SED’s updated seismic hazard model, which replaces its outdated 2004 predecessor, will enhance the organisation’s predictor capabilities as well as its ability to assess hazard levels across the confederation, where some 500 earthquakes are recorded each year, Xinhua reported.

According to improved predictive models, new and more accurate data, and reviewed estimates based on historical sources, canton Valais remains the area with the highest hazard level in the country, followed by Basel, Graubunden, the St. Gallen Rhine Valley, and central Switzerland.

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SED explained that theoretically however, a strong earthquake could occur in any of Switzerland’s twenty-six cantons and at any given time. The most recent moderate earthquake to hit Switzerland dates back to three years ago, when a tremor with a magnitude of 4.2 on the Richter scale struck at 30 km below the earth’s surface in the vicinity of Zug.



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Facebook Building its Cryptocurrency in Switzerland: Report

Facebook has over 2.38 billion users globally and launching cryptocurrency will allow them make payments using a virtual currency like Bitcoin

FILE - A 3D printed Facebook logo is seen in front of a displayed Russian flag in this photo illustration, Aug. 3, 2018. VOA

Giving its cryptocurrency dream a firm beginning, Facebook has reportedly set up a company called Libra Networks in Switzerland that is developing payments and Blockchain systems for the social networking giant.

According to a report in CNET quoting Swiss publication Handelszeitung, the Facebook cyrptocurrency would be tied to the US dollar and could, therefore, remain stable unlike Bitcoin which has crashed.

“Facebook set up Libra Networks in Geneva several weeks ago. Libra is the social network’s internal project name for the digital currency,” the report said late on Saturday.

The Swiss company would focus on developing the software and hardware for currency-related functions like payments, Blockchain, analytics, big data and identity management.

Facebook declined to comment on the new report.

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal earlier this month, the social media giant is “recruiting dozens of financial firms and online merchants” towards its cryptocurrency-based system that would use a digital coin similar to Bitcoin.

virtual currencies, bitcoin, investors buttons are seen displayed on the floor of the Consensus 2018 blockchain technology conference in New York City, New York. VOA

The New York Times reported in February that Facebook had a team of 50 people working on its virtual currency project.

“Like many other companies, Facebook is exploring ways to leverage the power of Blockchain technology,” Facebook had insisted.

In a public interview with Harvard Law professor Jonathan Zittrain in February, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he is “potentially interested” in putting the Facebook login on the Blockchain technology.

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“I’m thinking about going back to decentralised or Blockchain authentication. Although I haven’t figured out a way to make this work out but this is around authentication and basically granting access to your information and to different services,” Zuckerberg told Zittrain.

According to Zuckerberg, Blockchain could give users more powers when granting data access to third-party apps.

Facebook has over 2.38 billion users globally and launching cryptocurrency will allow them make payments using a virtual currency like Bitcoin. (IANS)