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Find out the week’s top mobile stories from around the world.

This week..  everything you need to know about Facebook’s cryptocurrency Libra, shares surge as slack joins the stock market, almost all mobile apps vulnerable to malware and much more.

Everything you need to know about Libra, Facebook’s ambitious cryptocurrency

The Verge

Facebook is planning to launch a cryptocurrency it hopes will “transform the global economy.” The currency, named Libra, is being developed by Facebook, but the company intends to share control with a consortium of organizations, including venture capital firms, credit card companies, and other tech giants.

At launch, you’ll be able to send Libra inside of Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, with it mostly being meant as an intermediary for transferring traditional currencies. Eventually, Facebook hopes Libra will be accepted as a form of payment, and other financial services will be built on top of its blockchain-based network.

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Slack: Shares surge as messaging app joins the stock market

BBC

Shares in messaging app Slack surged 49% as the company became the latest tech start-up to join the stock market.

Slack set a guide price of $26 a share, but rose 60% at the start of trading before easing back to finish at $39.

The company chose a direct listing on the stock market, rejecting the use of traditional advisers and underwriters who manage the price of new stocks.

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Almost all mobile apps vulnerable to malware

Tech Radar

After extensive testing of apps on both Android and iOS, new research from Positive Technologies has revealed that insecure data storage is the most common security flaw in all mobile apps.

The firm’s new Vulnerabilities and Threats in Mobile Applications 2019 report found that while critical vulnerabilities are slightly more common in Android apps as opposed to in their iOS counterparts (43% vs 38%), this difference is minimal as the security level of mobile apps is roughly equivalent.

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Facebook usage falling after privacy scandals, data suggests

Guardian

Facebook usage has plummeted over the last year, according to data seen by the Guardian, though the company says usage by other measures continues to grow.

Since April 2018, the first full month after news of the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke in the Observer, actions on Facebook such as likes, shares and posts have dropped by almost 20%, according to the business analytics firm Mixpanel.

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Meet your new chief of staff: An AI chatbot

Tech Crunch

Years ago, a mobile app for email launched to immediate fanfare. Simply called Mailbox, its life was woefully cut short — we’ll get to that. Today, its founders are back with their second act: An AI-enabled assistant called Navigator meant to help teams work and communicate more efficiently.

With the support of $12 million in Series A funding from CRV, #Angels, Designer Fund,  SV Angel, Dropbox’s  Drew Houston and other angel investors, Aspen, the San Francisco and Seattle-based startup behind Navigator, has quietly been beta testing its tool within 50 organizations across the U.S

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Smartphones, IoT fuel soaring US mobile data use

Mobile World Live

Data consumption in the US nearly doubled in 2018, increasing from 15.7 trillion MB to more than 28.5 trillion MB, research by industry group CTIA found.

On average, each smartphone user in the country consumed 6.6GB of data per month, up from 5GB in 2017.

In a report, CTIA noted the jump in data consumption was also driven by a proliferation of data-only devices including connected cars, smartwatches and health monitors. It found the total number of these devices grew 10 per cent year-on-year to 139.4 million.

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Brazil ignores US pressure to reject Huawei

ZDnet

The Brazilian government will not interfere in Huawei’s activities and wants it to invest in local infrastructure, as long as the Chinese giant creates local jobs and plays by its rules.

Brazilian vice-president Hamilton Mourao said in an interview with Reuters that the country would not ban Huawei from operating a 5G network in Brazil despite requests to do so from the US president, Donald Trump.

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Ethiopia’s bid to become an African startup hub hinges on connectivity

TechCrunch

Ethiopia is flexing its ambitions to become Africa’s next startup hub.

The country of 105 million with the continent’s seventh largest economy is revamping government policies, firing up angel networks, and rallying digital entrepreneurs.

Ethiopia currently lags the continent’s tech standouts—like Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa—that have become focal points for startup formation, VC, and exits.

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US to surpass China as world’s largest gaming market for first time since 2015

Tech Spot

Analytics company Newzoo’s 2019 Global Games Market Report predicts that the American gaming market will jump 21 percent YoY to $36.9 billion in 2019, while China’s will fall by more than $1 billion to $36.5 billion.

Part of China’s decline was the result of a nine-month hold on approving new game licenses, put in place because of a government reshuffle and rising concerns over violence and the ‘addictive effects’ in games. It saw the country’s gaming market slow for the first time in over a decade.

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The Tremendous Impact of Blockchain With AI in Mobile App Development

The Tradable

Blockchain with AI – What Will It Bring to The Table for Mobile Apps?

Today, nearly all industries need to constantly come up with innovative ideas and products in order to survive and thrive.

Emerging technologies like Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence holds the potential to fundamentally change the way how we use mobile apps.

In fact, Blockchain & Artificial Intelligence (AI) have poised to become so disruptive in the last couple of years that both of them have become synonymous with the word ‘innovation’.

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