Twitter has flown ahead in the race between social media networks to stake a claim in the booming NFT market.
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The move is one of several new ways Twitter users can customise their online profiles.
NFT collections are displayed as special hexagon-shaped images in Twitter profiles. NFT is short for non-fungible token. The term refers to digital images with provenance and ownership verified on a public blockchain (digital database).
NFT enabled profiles will also pull details of a user’s current and historical holdings and transactions from their crypto wallets.
The Twitter NFT profile has some limits – only static image NFTs minted on the Ethereum blockchain are allowed.
To link an NFT, a Twitter account is connected temporarily to one of six specified wallets. The social network supports these wallets: Argent, Coinbase Wallet, Ledger Live, MetaMask, Rainbow and the Trust Wallet.
Although only one wallet is connected to Twitter, if a user has NFTs in more than one wallet, they can switch them.
“Right now subscribers can only set an NFT as their profile picture from the Twitter for iOS app but the NFT can be seen across any platform,” said a Twitter spokesman.
If an NFT displayed on Twitter is sold or transferred, the image remains but the frame changes to a circle. The NFT image remains, but the image data removes the ownership details.
Twitter rival Meta, the owner of Facebook and Instagram, reportedly plans to bring in NFT profiles.
Russia is the latest country to consider a blanket ban on cryptocurrencies.
The central bank is proposing to outlaw the use and mining of cryptocurrencies.
But the plan came under fire from Russia’s finance ministry, which prefers regulation rather than a ban.
Ivan Chebeskov, the head of financial policy at the ministry, wants the government to allow blockchain technology to develop rather than stifle cryptos.
President Vladimir Putin has stepped into the row and has told both sides to stop arguing and come up with a joint plan as soon as they can.
He claims Russia has a crypto advantage over many countries as an electric energy surplus could power a new mining program manned by a flow of highly-educated and well-qualified software developers.
In the report, the bank said the reasons for the ban were that cryptos could undermine the country’s financial stability, currency independence and the wellbeing of citizens.
The study added that the speculative nature of cryptos was determining growth, and they carried the characteristics of a pyramid marketing scheme. The analysis came with a warning that cryptos could trigger market bubbles which could affect a country’s financial security.
Russia has a history of flirting with cryptos, first recognising them as a digital asset, but then refusing to allow their use as a means of payment.
The ban doesn’t restrict private investors, but institutional investors, banks and crypto exchanges.
The central bank pointed out that recommendations in the report would need the government’s agreement to become law.
Russia is the latest in a string of countries from the USA to China to implement cryptos restrictions or consider adopting a central bank digital currency rather than a cryptocurrency as a payment system.
Bitcoin lost more than $10,000 over the weekend, reaching as low as $33,184 – a price last seen in July 2020.
On opening, the markets have rallied a little, with the value bouncing back around 3 per cent to $38,284.
Investors are waiting to see if the respite is temporary before a further fall from grace or another twist in the rollercoaster story of the world’s most popular and most expensive cryptocurrency.
The worry is Bitcoin is locked in a downward spiral that has seen the crypto market shed around $1.5 trillion in recent months.
Bitcoin has led the seemingly never-ending plunge dropping tens of thousands of dollars in value after setting a record price of $67,566 on November 8 last year.
Crypto has survived earlier crushing bear markets to reach new record highs before – in 2013 and 2017.
And Bitcoin is not the only crypto suffering a price chill.
Ether has plunged more than 50 per cent in value since hitting a record high in November, with many other leading cryptos following suit. For example, Solana has collapsed by 65 per cent over the same period.
The International Monetary Federation (IMF) is urging El Salvador to uncouple the economy from accepting Bitcoin as legal tender.
IMF directors issued a report which “stressed that there are large risks associated with the use of bitcoin on financial stability, financial integrity, and consumer protection, as well as the associated fiscal contingent liabilities.”
President Nayib Bukele responded with a Tweet mash-up of the IMF logo and a Simpsons cartoon saying: “I see you IMF. That’s very nice.”
The world’s wealthiest man, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, has challenged burger chain McDonald’s to open their tills to cryptocurrency Dogecoin.
Musk has promised to eat a McDonald’s Happy Meal on TV if the company accepts the crypto in restaurants.
The Dogecoin price nudged up from $0.13 to $0.14 on Musk’s comments.
Last year, Musk spread his views about Dogecoin and other cryptos on social media, seeing the crypto value spike at a record high of £0.70.
McDonald’s has yet to reply to his comments.
Everyone’s just got used to calling the original Ethereum Eth1 and Eth2 – the long-awaited upgrade that’s coming in a couple of months.
Now, it’s all changed as a blog from the Ethereum Foundation reveals the old names are out.
The original blockchain is now ‘the execution layer’, while the updated Proof-of-Stake chain becomes ‘the consensus layer’.
The foundation explained the former names failed to reflect the changes in the network.
“One major problem with the Eth2 branding is that it creates a broken mental model for new users of Ethereum. They intuitively think that Eth1 comes first and Eth2 comes after. Or that Eth1 ceases to exist once Eth2 exists,” said a spokesman.
“Neither of these is true. By removing Eth2 terminology, we save all future users from navigating this confusing mental model.”
Well, that’s all clear then.
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