Bitcoin had a turbulent week. First, inflation fears, Biden's crypto executive order, and looming stimulus withdrawal by the Fed caused risk appetites to subside. Then, on Friday, January 21, after Russia's central bank proposed banning the use and mining of crypto, BTC tanked past $38,000 to its lowest low in half a year.
As of this writing, BTC is trading at $33,730.08, which is close to its 7-day low. Over the past 24 hours, the cryptocurrency has lost 4.7%. The 7-day change is -21.3%. The Fear & Greed Index has fallen to 19, indicating extreme fear. Experts recommend monitoring traditional assets for cues, as the market has been turning the same way as equities.
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Ethereum’s dynamics reflected the same overarching trend. Following an uptick, the coin plunged on Friday, January 21. It finished the week by falling to its lowest low since July — just $2391.79. Compared to BTC, the plunge was sharper due to a higher risk profile.
As of this writing, ETH is trading even lower — $2,243.95, with a 24-hour change of -8.4% and a 7-day change of -32.9%.
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Throughout the week, Ripple moved similarly to Bitcoin and Ethereum. Since January 21, the trend has been sharply downward with weak upswings. XRP hit its 7-day low of $0.572340 on Saturday, January 22. Despite a slight rise, the price is falling again.
As of now, XRP is trading at $0.574481, with a 24-hour change of -5.9% and a 7-day collapse of by 26.3%.
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Russian Central Bank Proposes Ban on Crypto Mining and Use
On January 20, The Central Bank of Russia proposed a ban on the use and mining of crypto within national borders. The regulator’s report warns of risks to financial stability, monetary policy sovereignty, and the population’s well-being. The news shook the markets as Russia is the third biggest Bitcoin miner behind the US and Kazakhstan. Local users conduct crypto transactions worth around $5 billion annually.
According to the report, the growth of crypto is mainly caused by speculative demand and may constitute a market bubble. The regulator proposes banning crypto operations for financial institutions and developing mechanisms to block crypto-fiat exchange. It will also collect data on Russian users’ activity on foreign platforms.
Energy concerns justify restrictions on mining. Despite the suggested ban on exchanges, the report does not propose prohibiting crypto ownership.
Russia legalized cryptocurrencies in 2020, but they never became a legal means of payment. The report is the latest reflection of the global crypto crackdown. If the Russian government accepts the suggested regulations, citizens will only be allowed to own crypto but not trade or use it. Meanwhile, the Russian CBDC (central bank digital currency) is still in the works.
400% Increase in Crypto-related Job Postings
Employment opportunities for crypto experts are soaring. According to LinkedIn, the number of job postings grew almost four-fold — by 395% — between 2020 and 2021. This spectacular rate eclipses the growth of the broader tech industry, which nearly doubled.
The LinkedIn team compared the number of postings with titles containing Bitcoin, Ethereum, cryptocurrency, and blockchain. Blockchain developers and engineers are among the most in-demand titles.
Vacancies are also becoming more diverse. Many industries beyond software and finance hire professionals with a deep knowledge of crypto. For example, accounting companies, consultancies, and staffing firms need crypto know-how in-house.
The surge is linked to an influx of funding into crypto and blockchain startups. In 2021, investors poured around 30 billion dollars into this global sector. Meanwhile, support from high-profile investors like Elon Musk caused public interest in crypto to explode.
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