Meta Teases NFTs in Instagram, Russia Intensifies Crackdown on Crypto, a16z Launches $4,5 Bln Fund

By GetBlock | GetBlock | 21 Jan 2022


Are cryptocurrencies on borrowed time in Russia? And why might things not be that bad?

Russia’s major banking watchdog Central Bank releases alarming presentation for ‘discussions’: cryptocurrencies minting and mining might be restricted; accepting crypto for services and goods might be fined.

Russia goes full China on crypto. Or not?

Today, on Jan.20, 2022, several media outlets in Russia announced that the Federal Security Service (FSB) persuaded Elvira Nabiullina, head of the Russian Central Bank, to impose a 100% ban on crypto transactions.

Reportedly, this decision was made due to the increasing popularity of crypto as an instrument to support ‘foreign agents’ and prohibited organizations in Russia.

However, from the very beginning, all announcements looked very strange: media outlets cited ‘Bloomberg sources’, but the subscribers of Bloomberg Terminal and app didn’t find the articles about crypto in Russia in their newsfeeds.

At about 3:00 p.m. (MSK timezone), the source was finally published: it was nothing but the ‘presentation’ by the Central Bank’s deputy head. The presentation slammed crypto for posing threats to nation-wide financial system stability and proposed several restrictions. However, no exact time frameworks for the implementation of these restrictions are set.

Meta considers implementing NFTs to Instagram

As per Financial Times, Meta is ready to jump into NFTs bandwagon by integrating digital collectibles into the interface of Instagram.

At first, users of Meta products will be able to demonstrate their non-fungible tokens in profiles together with avatar pictures in both Facebook and Instagram accounts. Also, Meta is working on a suite of purpose-made solutions for non-fungible tokens.

Facebook and Instagram users will be able to mint the tokens with no need to leave the application. Also, a native marketplace for NFTs will eliminate the need for social media influencers to publish their artworks on third-party platforms like OpenSea or Rarible.

At the same time, all products - NFT module, marketplace and minting dashboard - are in the early pre-alpha stages; its accurate design will be unveiled in 2022.

Andreessen Horowitz creates a new $4,5 billion fund for crypto products

Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), the most influential investing conglomerate in crypto, shares the details of its new funds focused on fundraising for early-stage products.

In total, $3,5 billion will be directed towards the fund for private sales and pre-sales in crypto, while the $1 billion fund is set to supercharge a16z seed investments in the Web3 segment.

As per the sources of Financial Times, the plans to launch new funds might be approved by March 2022. Should both funds go live, Andreessen Horowitz will be responsible for almost 10% of the VC investments segment in crypto and blockchain.

Previous VC fund launched by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) was capped at $2,2 billion.

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