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Blackrock moves in on Blockchain, Russia reconsiders its crypto ban and McDonalds takes a fun poke at Crypto investors. These stories and more this week in crypto.

Asset management giant, BlackRock, has filed for an exchange-traded fund that would focus on blockchain technology. The iShares Blockchain and Tech ETF would enable investment in a number of companies involved in the “development, innovation and utilisation of blockchain and crypto technologies.” BlackRock currently has more than $10 trillion dollars under management.

Crypto is Happening” and regulators should be “hyperventilating” over its rise, says former Goldman Sachs CEO, Lloyd Blankfein. Speaking on CNBC this week, Blankfein explained his view of cryptocurrency has changed after watching large ecosystems form around cryptocurrency over the past few years. Regarding investment, Blankfein said that he would “certainly want to have an oar in that water.”

Facebook founder and Meta CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, seems to be abandoning plans for a digital currency in the face of growing regulatory pressure. The company will be selling its stablecoin technology to Silicon Valley’s Silvergate Capital for $200m. The departure of David Marcus, Meta’s force behind both Diem and the Novi wallet was the most recent blow to the project.

After the Bank of Russia last week proposed a wide-ranging ban on crypto usage and mining, President Putin appeared to be keeping the nation’s options open. Speaking in a video conference, he spoke of “competitive advantages” in crypto mining, referring to Russia’s surplus energy and what he called “well-trained” mining professionals.

Visa revealed that its customers made $2.5 billion in payments with its crypto-linked cards in its fiscal first quarter of 2022. That number is equal to 70% of the company’s crypto volume for all of fiscal 2021. The cards are typically linked to a user’s crypto exchange account and allows them to instantly spend those funds online and in-store.

The International Monetary Fund has urged El Salvador to reverse its decision to make bitcoin legal tender, by stressing the risk to financial stability associated with bitcoin. However, El Salvador’s President Bukele shows no sign of a reversal, rebuffing the warning with a mocking tweet that portrayed the IMF as Homer Simpson desperately seeking attention while being ignored.

Concerns about quantum computing – an emerging technology considered so strong that it could threaten the security of the Bitcoin network, seem to be wildly exaggerated. In a recent study, the University of Sussex in the UK has found quantum computers would need to be about a million times larger than they are today in order to break the algorithm that secures Bitcoin.

McDonalds took to Twitter to playfully poke some fun by asking how crypto investors were handling the recent price dips, playing along with a long-running joke that when prices drop, investors resort to getting a job at a McDonalds. MicroStrategy’s Michael Saylor responded by posting a picture of himself in a McDonald’s hat while Gemini’s CEO, Tyler Winklevoss, tweeted about buying “the Big McDip.”

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That’s what’s happened this week in crypto, see you next week.


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