Russia

Russia plans to roll out digital ruble across all banks in 2024

The Bank of Russia continues working towards the upcoming adoption of the central bank digital currency (CBDC), planning an official digital ruble rollout in a few years. According to the Bank of Russia’s latest monetary policy update, the authority will begin to connect all banks and credit institutions to the digital ruble platform in 2024. That would be an important year for Russia as the country is expected to hold presidential elections in March 2024 and incumbent President Vladimir Putin has the constitutional right to get re-elected. By that time, the central bank expects to complete “real money” customer-to-customer transaction trials as well as the testing of customer-to-business and business-to-customer settlements. In 2023, the Bank of Russia also intend to conduct beta testing ...

Roger Waters Calls Biden a “War Criminal,” Defends Russia and China in CNN Interview

Amidst his ongoing “This Is Not a Drill Tour,” Roger Waters sat down with CNN’s Michael Smerconish to discuss the overly political themes and messages presented at his concert. Smerconish began the interview by asking Waters why he labeled President Joe Biden a “war criminal.” “Well, he’s fueling the war in the Ukraine,” the former Pink Floyd member responded. “That is a huge crime. Why won’t the United States of America encourage [Volodymyr] Zelensky to negotiate, obviating the need for this horrific, horrendous war?” When Smerconish pointed out that Waters was “blaming the party who got invaded,” Waters countered by criticizing NATO for forcing Russia’s hand. “Well, any war, when did it start? What you need to do is look at the history, and you can say, ‘Well, it started on this day.’ Yo...

Pro-Russian groups raised only 4% of crypto donations sent to Ukraine

According to data from crypto analytics firm Chainalysis, users have sent more than $2 million in crypto to 54 pro-Russian groups since Feb. 24, a fraction of that received by many wallets controlled by the Ukrainian government. In a Friday blog post, Chainalysis said it had tracked funds sent to social media accounts controlled by pro-Russian groups in Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), USDT-TRX, and Dogecoin (DOGE) starting with the country’s invasion of Ukraine in February. According to Chainalysis’ data, users sent roughly $2.2 million to the pro-Russian groups, with more than $1 million going to a single unnamed account. While there may be other groups outside of Chainalysis’ investigation of those supporting pro-Russian forces, the available data suggested that the $2.2 mill...

United States & Russia To Enter Talks In Brittney Griner Prisoner Swap

HipHopWired Featured Video Source: KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV / Getty Brittney Griner and her ongoing Russia ordeal might soon be coming to an end according to a new report. The Biden administration is moving ahead to enter talks with Russia in hopes to exchange Griner and another American with a jailed Russian operative. At a press briefing on Wednesday (July 27), Secretary of State Antony Blinken gave some insight into the United States’ plans to secure the freedom of Brittany Griner while walking the delicate tightrope of international negotiations. From the transcript of the briefing: Related Stories In the coming days, I expect to speak with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov for the first time since the war began. I plan to raise an issue that’s a top priority for us: the release of Americans P...

NFT sales will fund the restoration of physical monuments in Ukraine

The Ukrainian government will be using the proceeds of sales from an online nonfungible token, or NFT, museum to restore artwork in the real world. According to a Friday announcement and information shared with Cointelegraph, Ukraine’s Ministry of Culture and Information Policy said the government’s Meta History Museum of War platform, aimed at preserving the timeline of major events in Russia’s war with Ukraine, raised 803.28 Ether (ETH) — roughly $1.3 million at the time — through NFT sales. The ministry said proceeds from the sales will go toward “the restoration of Ukrainian cultural institutions,” many of which have been damaged or destroyed by missile attacks from Russia. “During the six months of the war in Ukraine, the Russians destroyed hundreds of our museum...

Bulls or bears? Both have a fair chance in Friday’s Bitcoin options expiry

Bitcoin (BTC) briefly broke above $24,000 on July 20, but the excitement lasted less than two hours after the resistance level proved more challenging than expected. A positive is that the $24,280 high represents a 28.5% increase from the July 13 swing low at $18,900. According to Yahoo Finance, on July 19, the Bank of America published its latest fund managers survey, and the headline was “I’m so bearish, I’m bullish.” The report cited investors’ pessimism, expectations of weak corporate earnings and equity allocations being at the lowest level since September 2008. The 4.6% advance on the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index between July 18 and 20 also provided the necessary hope for bulls to profit from the upcoming July 22 weekly options expiry. Global macroe...

Captain Ukraine? Russia Claims It’s Losing to Army of Lab-Created Super Soldiers

Russian officials may have been reading too many comic books, saying the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine has failed to make progress because they are losing to an army of lab-created super soldiers. As reported in Kommersant (via The Daily Beast) an official “investigation” has unveiled “secret experiments” in certain Ukrainian “biolaboratories.” This conspiracy might sound familiar; it began on Twitter but quickly picked up momentum in the mainstream right wing mediasphere including Tucker Carlson. The theory goes that Russia invaded Ukraine to destroy “biolabs” (perhaps funded by Biden and run by Fauci) that would unleash something heinous upon the world (possibly a virus even worse than COVID-19). Russia itself eventually picked up the rumor, happy to spread misinformation that...

‘Token will defeat cryptocurrency’: Russia debuts palladium-backed stablecoin

The Russian government-backed tokenization platform Atomyze has issued its first digital asset backed by palladium in collaboration with the local bank Rosbank. Rosbank officially announced on Monday that it became the first partner of the Russian blockchain firm Atomyze, acting as an investor in Russia’s first digital asset deal with palladium. According to the announcement, the newly issued digital asset is the first digital financial asset (DFA) issued through Atomyze. The platform obtained registration from the Bank of Russia in February 2022, becoming the country’s first legal digital asset manager. Both Atomyze and Rosbank are backed by Interros, a Russian conglomerate and investment firm co-founded by sanctioned oligarch Vladimir Potanin. The CEO of the Russian nickel and palla...

10 most visited countries in the world

We profile some usual suspects plus one or two surprises in the top 10 most visited countries in the world Have you dreamed of a romantic kiss atop the Eiffel Tower? Perhaps you’ve thrown a wish into the Trevi Fountain or stopped and stared at the Sistine Chapel. If so, you’re certainly not alone. According to the last available pre-pandemic figures, France and Italy are two of the most visited countries in the world. Together with the rest of the top 10, they make up a whopping 41% of global tourist arrivals (i.e. overnight visitors). Here’s the complete list of the most visited countries in the world. 10 most visited countries in the world The below figures come from the 2020 edition of the UNWTO’s International Tourism Highlights report. 1. France      &nbs...

Brittney Griner To Stand Trial Over Alleged Cannabis Possession This Week

HipHopWired Featured Video Source: KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV / Getty Brittney Griner and her ongoing cannabis possession case in Russia will be moving on to a trial to occur this coming Friday (July 1). The WNBA star was allegedly caught with cannabis in her travel bags, landing her in hot water with Russian authorities and creating a standoff of sorts. Brittney Griner Could Face Up To 10 Years Griner, 31, was arrested over four months prior in Moscow and held in custody since, sparking a series of statements from both the WNBA and the NBA in support of her gaining freedom. As reported by ESPN, Griner will head to trial where she could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted of large-scale drug transportation. The charges read as excessive to observers since Griner was allegedly found with can...

Russia seems to be preparing to mine Bitcoin with flare gas

The Russian government continues to establish links with major players in the cryptocurrency mining industry despite staying skeptical about legalizing cryptocurrency trading and payments. Russia’s state-owned gas giant Gazprom Neft has entered into a partnership with BitRiver, the largest crypto-mining colocation services supplier in Russia providing hosting services for major crypto mining operations. Gazprom will provide BitRiver’s partner data centers with electricity generated from the associated petroleum gas, the companies officially announced on June 16. As part of the collaboration, BitRiver will be developing a digital infrastructure based on the oil fields that Gazprom provides crypto mining services from the flare gas. Gazprom first deputy CEO Vadim Yakovlev emphasiz...

Weak stocks and declining DeFi use continue to weigh on Ethereum price

Ether’s (ETH) 12-hour closing price has been respecting a tight $1,910 to $2,150 range for twelve days, but oddly enough, these 13% oscillations have been enough to liquidate an aggregate of $495 million in futures contracts since May 13, according to data from Coinglass. Ether/USD 12-hour price at Kraken. Source: TradingView The worsening market conditions were also reflected in digital asset investment products. According to the latest edition of CoinShare’s weekly Digital Asset Fund Flows report, crypto funds and investment products saw a $141 million outflow during the week ending on May 20. In this instance, Bitcoin (BTC) was the investors’ focus after experiencing a $154 weekly net redemption. Russian regulation and crumbling U.S. tech stocks escalate the situation Regula...