Microsoft’s plans to enter the metaverse market, Jack Dorsey’s new mining system, and a detailed overview of digital assets in the Getblock review

​Possible ban on cryptocurrencies in Russia and other key events of the week

21.01.2022 - 10:00


5 min

It is been a busy week for cryptocurrency users. After a prolonged calm in the market, the price of bitcoin went down and pulled other assets with it. As of Friday, January 21, the bitcoin exchange rate is at $38 600, a change of -9,3% for the week. The second cryptocurrency, Ethereum, lost even more, with a correction of almost 13%. Binance Coin is down 12,5%, the asset is out of the top 3, giving way to Tether’s USDT stablecoin.

Despite the significant drawdown, MicroStrategy’s head Michael Saylor stated that he is not afraid of the drop in the value of the first cryptocurrency. According to the businessman, “the best defense against inflation is BTC.”

The total capitalization of the crypto market fell from $2,046 trillion to $1,829 trillion during the week, with bitcoin dominating at 40,2%. Ethereum’s share is 18,6%. As can be seen on the infographic of the Coin360 portal, the overall market backdrop is in the red zone.

Source: Coin360

Banning cryptocurrencies in Russia

Since December 2021, there has been an active discussion in the Russian community about digital assets. This week, the intensity of passions reached a peak, and not only in Russia.

On Thursday, January 20, Bloomberg published material that caused panic among cryptocurrency users. It referred to a complete ban on this asset class in Russia. Citing anonymous sources, Bloomberg reported that the regulator was convinced by the Federal Security Service (FSB) to support the ban. The journalists said the main purpose of the bans is to deprive the opposition and unfriendly media outlets of funding.

The Central Bank of the Russian Federation was quick to respond to these statements and published a report titled “Cryptocurrency Risks and Possible Regulatory Measures.” It does include information about a proposal to impose a ban on cryptocurrency transactions, but according to the regulator’s representative Elizaveta Danilova, the Bank of Russia has no plans to ban the ownership of digital assets. You can read more information on this topic in our yesterday’s material.

Microsoft’s high-profile deal

The tech giant is about to join the general trend and enter the metaverse market. To this end, Microsoft acquired one of the most famous game developers, Activision Blizzard. The deal was worth $68,7 billion, $20 billion more than the company’s current valuation.

The joint work will focus on the design and development of P2E games as well as the creation of virtual worlds. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella stressed that it is the games that will determine the course of the metaverses’ development. And investing in this industry will open up a new era for the community, where the players themselves will come first.

Google added a former PayPal employee to its team

Google is about to implement the company’s new financial strategy. For this, the corporation hired Arnold Goldberg, who previously held the position of executive director at PayPal. The new top manager will work on relaunching the payments division and implementation of financial services. According to Bloomberg, one of the innovations may be the addition of cryptocurrencies to the company’s payment service.

At the same time, Google stressed that the company does not plan to compete with banks. The main goal is to help create connections and provide customers with the full range of possible financial services.

Jack Dorsey is working on the decentralization of mining

The founder of Twitter and Block Inc. Jack Dorsey announced the creation of an open system for bitcoin mining. The main idea is to provide miners with an open-source platform with quality system integration.

Block Inc.’s representative Tom Templeton clarified that the new system will make mining more reliable and decentralized. The company’s range of services will include maintenance, purchase, and setting up equipment. This will solve the problem with the mining rigs’ quality, which are unreliable, periodically fail and require regular reboots. Block Inc. plans to develop a product that will “just work” and effectively solve miners’ problems.

CBDC news: launch in Iran and testing in Russia

The Iranian authorities are preparing to launch a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in the near future. The regulator does not provide an exact timeline, but it is known that work on the project has been underway since 2018. The digital currency was created using the Hyperledger Fabric platform hosted by the Linux Foundation. The experts say the main purpose of introducing the new asset is the country’s desire to get out from under the US economic sanctions.

The development of a national digital currency in Russia is also ongoing, and some banks have already started testing the digital ruble. These are financial institutions such as Promsvyazbank, VTB Bank, and Tinkoff Bank

A total of 12 domestic banks are to participate in the pilot project, which will test the platform for C2B, B2C, and B2B payments. Based on the results of testing, the Bank of Russia will start introducing the digital ruble platform in commercial operation.


Michael Golikov Michael Golikov

Subscribe to Getblock Magazine and stay up to date with the latest news from the world of cryptocurrencies and the digital economy