Russia considers accepting Bitcoin for oil and gas

Pavel Zavalny believes that ‘friendly’ countries might be allowed to pay in crypto-currency, or their local currencies.

Russian President Vladimir Putin stated earlier this week that he wants ‘unfriendly’ countries buy its gas using roubles.

It is believed that the move was made to boost Russia’s currency, which has suffered a loss of over 20% this year.

After the invasion of Ukraine, sanctions imposed by the UK and the US on Russia have put pressure on its rouble and raised its living costs .

Russia remains the largest exporter of natural gases and second-largest supplier of oil in the world.

Russian State Duma chairman on energy, Mr Zavalny, stated that Russia has been looking at alternative payment methods for exports of energy.

He stated that Turkey and China were both ‘friendly’ nations but were not subject to the sanctions pressure.

Mr Zavalny stated that ‘we have been proposing China for a while to switch to settlements for roubles or yuan in national currencies’. It will be liras and roubles with Turkey.

Mr Zavalny said that you can also trade Bitcoins.

‘More risk’

Analysts believe Russia could benefit from the acceptance of the popular cryptocurrency, despite its risks.

David Broadstock, senior research fellow at Singapore’s Energy Studies Institute, said that Russia is already feeling the effects of the unprecedented sanctions. “There is a need for economic stability and Bitcoin is considered a high-growth asset in many ways.

He noted, however, that Bitcoin’s value has increased by up to 30% in the past year. Comparatively, the dollar traded within 5% of the euro.

Broadstock stated that Bitcoin accepts significantly more risk than traditional currencies when it comes to natural gas trade.

He added that China is a major trade partner for Russia and that cryptocurrency is prohibited for use in China. “This clearly restricts the potential for Bitcoin payment.

It is possible that Russian oligarchs might be using virtual currencies in order to circumvent sanctions.

This has prompted both the Ukrainian government and US politicians to ask crypto-currency platform to ban all Russian users.

“Some ordinary Russians are turning to crypto as a way of saving their currency,” said Brian Armstrong, Chief Executive Officer at cryptocurrency firm Coinbase.

He stated that many of them would oppose the country’s actions and that a ban would be detrimental to them.

The currency hit a three-week high after Mr Putin’s remarks about making “unfriendly” countries pay in rubles.

Many gas contracts that are in place are settled in euros, and Russia cannot change them. 40% of the EU’s gas comes from Russia.

Report: Softbank’s Internet Firm Z Holdings Plans to Launch NFT Mall in 180 Countries

According to a Bloomberg interview, Softbank’s internet company Z Holdings intends to launch a NFT marketplace called “NFT Mall”, according to Kentaro Kawabe, the company’s coCEO. Last year, Z Holdings was formed from Line and Yahoo Japan. Kawabe stated in the interview that Z Holdings intends to leverage Web3, metaverse and NFT to boost the company’s growth.

Kawabe, co-chief executive officer at Z Holdings , stated that Web3 could bring a new world to life and that it’s possible Web3 might be the beginning of a new era. The co-CEO stated that he would not hesitate to make mergers and acquisitions to increase our presence.

Metaverse Wellspring Has Significant Competition

Z Holdings’ entry in the NFT space follows Rakuten , a Japanese online retailer that launched its NFT marketplace. Rakuten announced that the peer to peer service for selling and minting NFTs was planned for next year after the launch in February. Rarible and Looksrare are also competing in the NFT marketplace.

According to reports, Z Holdings has a budget for five years of growth initiatives at 500 billion yen (or $5.9 billion). Kawabe’s interview is similar to the statements Softbank CEO Junichi Miyakawa made in his 2022 New Years message. Miyakawa spoke about the metaverse in the New Year’s message and said that it will be a “wellspring that generates services and new business models”.

‘Bank of Jamaica Will Roll Out Digital Jamaican Dollar in 2022,’ Says Prime Minister

According to Andrew Holness, Jamaica, an island nation in the Caribbean Sea, is planning to launch its CBDC next year. On February 10, the Jamaican bureaucrat posted about the CBDC. He stated that the Bank of Jamaica would launch its own digital Jamaican currency in 2022 following a successful pilot in 2021.

This statement comes after the Jamaican central banks”successful pilot’ it tried last year. The Bank of Jamaica informed the public that three schemes had been tested during the pilot phase.

Holness’ statements reaffirmed that the CBDC was a success and that the digital currency would be the foundational infrastructure. Holness insists that this will be the foundation of Jamaica’s digital payment architecture. It will allow for greater financial inclusion, improve transaction velocity, and reduce the cost of banking for Jamaicans. Holness, a Jamaican bureaucrat, added:

This is an important step towards building a nation of Peace, Opportunity, And Prosperity.

Sagicor Bank Jamaica Executive: Jamaica’s CBDC Wallet will work with Prepaid and Credit Cards

The upcoming Jamaica CBDC follows a few nation-states such as Nigeria, China, and Venezuela which have used CBDCs. The European Commission revealed that it will unveil a digital bill in 2023. In the meantime, the Federal Reserve has published research, as well as code for its CBDC project.

Bank of Jamaica collaborated with National Commercial Bank (NCB), to pilot the CBDC and provide a limited number of wallet service providers. On August 9, Jamaica’s central bank issued $230 million worth CBDC. Holness anticipates more that 70% of Jamaica’s population will adopt the CBDC within five years.

Sabrina Cooper (Sagicor Bank Jamaica vice-president retail banking) stated to Jamaica Observer, that the CBDC wallet is not just for leveraging CBDC.

Cooper insists that a digital wallet does not only contain the CBDC. You can also have debit and credit cards. The wallet will look exactly like the physical wallet you carry in your wallet or your handbag, if you take a look at global trends. You’ll find your CBDC, some digital currency cash equivalent, credit card or even prepaid card in the wallet.

Bitcoin squeezes smaller rivals to its crown

Bitcoin is beginning to assert its dominance over all other cryptocurrency coins.

In 2021, thousands of new altcoin competitors attacked the original digital coin – from solana to polkadot and litecoin to dogecoin and dogecoin. This raised the possibility of rapid fragmentation in the crypto market.

Bitcoin has managed to stem its market share loss this month and is now gaining ground as investors panic and seek the relative safety and security of the largest crypto player, while they battle an aggressive Fed and talk about war in Europe.

According to CoinMarketCap data, Bitcoin’s share in the $1.68 trillion crypto-market has increased to 42% from 39% just two weeks ago. This is the first time that it has seen an increase since falling from 46% in mid October.

Market participants caution it is too early to declare a trend and point out that although bitcoin has outperformed other crypto markets, the whole market has dropped this month. Some believe 13-year old bitcoin may continue to gain from the more cautious investment environment.

Matthew Dibb (chief operating officer at Stack Funds, a crypto fund distributor based in Singapore) stated that if risk-off continues, bitcoin will sucking up liquidity in crypto markets.

Although most cryptocurrencies still use bitcoin as their price cues, some fund managers anticipate a gradual divergence or decoupling this year. This will require more discrimination.

According to Jeff Dorman, chief investor at digital asset management company Arca, ‘While some casual market observers were able print a pretty good satoshi (bitcoin investments) last year by simply watching their favourite assets rise, 2022 will likely require a more cautious, nuanced and active strategy.

“Pockets are a source of strength that will occasionally emerge. Keeping a few of these shifts in your repertoire will make a huge difference to your performance for the year.

SOLANA: A CANARY IN THE COAL MINE?

The year has started with a rocky start for cryptocurrency investors, who ran from the risk. However, bitcoin’s January 20% drop to $37,000 is the lowest among top coins.

The main challenger, ether, the cryptocurrency on the Ethereum blockchain is down 34%.

Even more cryptocurrencies that are linked to blockchains to create decentralised finance apps have lost ground. Solana, which rose 100 times in 2021, is now down 47% and polkadot, 41%.

However, the December selloff has been less volatile than bitcoin’s May 2021 rout. It saw lower volume transactions and a halving of bitcoin’s value in just nine days.

“A range between $30,000 to $40,000 for a few days or even months would be not surprising me,” said Michal Cymbalisty from Chicago, cofounder of the decentralised exchange Domination Finance. He also stated that concerns about a long “crypto winter” were exaggerated.

Analysts see solana, given its rapid rise in 2021 and recent outages, as the “canary in the coalmine”.

JPMorgan analysts often refer to solana as the ‘ethereum killer’. They cite its use of non-fungible tokens, NFTs, to explain why it has gained market share at the expense of ether. BofA analysts say it ‘could be the Visa for the digital asset ecosystem.

According to CoinGecko, Solana’s market capitalisation is more than $28 billion. This makes it the seventh-largest cryptocurrency in the world.

Stack Funds’ Dibb said that Solana is a speculative crypto asset. If it rises, there will be more demand for altcoins.

He also warned of a significant decline in investor risk appetite that could lead to the demise of some cryptocurrencies.

“If there’s another risk-off wave we could see Nasdaq drop another 5.5% and cryptos could be crushed. As yet, cryptos are not an asset store of value.

NFT Market Looksrare Surpasses Opensea’s 24-Hour Sales With $385 Million in Volume

Looksrare is a new Ethereum-based NFT marketplace. It has overtaken Opensea in volume during the last 24 hours. Opensea, with its $14.68 billion total sales, is undoubtedly the largest NFT marketplace. NFT marketplace Looksrare hasn’t sold billions of dollars and is still relatively new.

However, 24-hour statistics show that Looksrare’s daily and hourly volumes have surpassed Opensea sales on January 12, 2022. Looksrare’s sales of $385.39 Million among 3,241 traders is less than Opensea’s 59.500 traders on Wednesday. Opensea’s 24 hour volume was $109.78million in sales on Wednesday morning at 7:00 AM (EST).

Although the marketplace is still new, buzzing on social networks after Opensea beat the daily trade volume of the market has made the name popular. The tragedy of complacency. Like Mex in its glory days, Opensea likely succumbed in the face of inertia.

Dune Analytics also allows users to create charts that highlight the volume between NFT platforms. One user created a ” Looksrare” set of charts which analyzes the daily and hourly volumes between NFT markets. To analyze Looksrare’s sales, other Dune Analytics users have created visual charts.

Looksrare is experiencing a surge of popularity because it is giving away LOOK tokens for anyone who has spent at least three ether on Opensea. There are some tokens that have been airdropped but not officially associated to Opensea users. However, the largest NFT marketplace does NOT have an official native token.

Dappradar.com’s NFT market data shows that Looksrare has an average sale of $108K per unit at the time this article was written. Other top NFT markets include Mobox with $1.29million in sales and Solana’s Magic Eden, which has $9.48m in sales. Mobox experienced an 87.08% increase in volume, while Looksrare saw the largest 24-hour percentage gains.