This week was remembered for the events that can be safely called the starting point for many processes that we will see already in 2021. A corporate Visa card with support for stablecoins, the return of “mining at home”, the launch of Ethereum 2.0, and an increase in the “appetite” of institutions for crypto – all of this and more can be found in our weekly review. Visa prepares to connect USDC stablecoin to its payment system Visa has repeatedly shown interest in cryptocurrency and even managed to invest millions of dollars in the development of blockchain projects. This time, the company, with a market cap of $462 billion, announced a partnership with Circle, an Ethereum-based startup. As part of the partnership, Visa will identify a group of credit card issuers for which support for the USD Coin (USDC) will be integrated. What is the plus here? Companies will be able to send payments to their international partners in USDC, stablecoin will be converted to local currency and can be used at any point of sale where a Visa credit card is accepted. The USDC-backed corporate Visa card will open up new opportunities for business customers, including instant transfers, lower fees. The launch of this payment card is scheduled for 2021. While the crypto community is jubilant around this news, skeptics are trying to catch Visa in growing a competitor on their territory. Nevertheless, the company’s management views the support of USDC as a stage on the way to scaling its retail network, increasing the client base through an alternative form of payment. The integration of cryptocurrency into the payment system of such a giant says a lot, if you don’t even tie this news to the growth of cryptocurrency, then it can be attributed to usability. The application will only grow, which will have a good effect on volumes and liquidity. Vitalik Buterin presented an updated Ethereum 2.0 roadmap The Ethereum community is jubilant as Block 0 of the updated Ethereum 2.0 protocol was generated on December 1. The long-awaited launch of the Beacon Chain opens the door to data segmentation and allows validators to receive staking rewards. Against the backdrop of general enthusiasm, Vitalik Buterin has published an updated Ethereum 2.0 roadmap. It is noteworthy that the new plan is more flexible in implementation and involves the execution of several stages in parallel to each other. In the updated roadmap, the developers have abandoned the terms “Phase 1” and “Phase 2”. Now independent milestones have appeared in the roadmap, such as the introduction of Eth2 Light clients on Eth1 and data sharding. Vitalik Buterin posted a detailed roadmap on Twitter with the words: “Much has been done, but much remains to be done!” Nevertheless, progress is already evident: during 2020, the hype surrounding the launch of Ethereum 2.0. fueled interest in ETH and became one of the drivers for its price growth from $ 130 at the beginning of the year to $ 600 at the moment. The final launch date for Ethereum 2.0. is not yet known. No matter how well everything happens around cryptocurrencies BTC, ETH, and many others, do not forget about corrective movements. On the daily chart, we have been observing divergence for a long time, but this is still a harbinger of a correctional movement. It’s a question of time. No more Libra – hello, Diem! Facebook’s payment system was renamed this week from “Libra” in “Diem”. The new name from Latin means “a day” and, according to the management, marks the beginning of a new stage in the development of the project. Diem’s testnet has been fully operational for over a month now and has demonstrated fairly high performance. This network performs an average of 6 transactions per second, overtaking Bitcoin with its 4 transactions per second. Of course, Diem is still far from Ethereum (13 transactions per second) and, even more so, even further to VISA (1700 transactions per second), but the developers assure that the network bandwidth will soon be increased. Today, the Diem network has about 10 trillion tokens distributed across 31,184 addresses. Experience shows that regulators often put a spoke in the wheel, delaying the launch of the main network with their claims. But the Diem Association is not giving up and continues to prepare for the implementation of a “global, secure, reliable payment network”. Data appeared on the network that the project management plans to launch a stablecoin pegged to the US dollar in January 2021. So far, no official confirmation has been received from the Association. Ok, waiting. Another major player creates his cryptocurrency; it can be judged that other networks will either create their own or integrate someone else’s services. It is also another plus for the digitalization of businesses. The US intends to overtake China in Bitcoin mining The dominance of China in Bitcoin mining has traditionally haunted American crypto companies. But now the US has a chance to compete for leadership status: Titan Mining has announced the creation of North America’s first corporate mining pool, which also includes CoinMint and Core Scientific. Titan Mining understands that the growth of interest in Bitcoin mining is rapidly gaining momentum, so it is now important to take “a place in the sun”. Today, the main volume of mining in the Bitcoin network will fall in the Asian region, in particular in China, as well as in Europe. The corporate pool in North America, according to the founder of Titan, should become an alternative to the “monopolists” in the crypto industry. Once launched, our pool can compete with other major miners, including against China. We are well versed in the intricacies of mining; there are people in our team who stood at the origins of the leading pools. In the end, our pool could be the best for Bitcoin mining. The confidence of Titan’s management may be fueling the worsening mining situation in China. Local regulators are trying to restrict the operation of mining pools due to the looming energy crisis. In such circumstances, Titan can take advantage of the drawdown of Chinese pools to its advantage and increase its mining capacity. The distribution of mining pools is always better than monopolization. It provides greater asset security. The more pools, the better for the ecosystem. “Home mining” is back with ASICLine ASICLine, a manufacturer of mining equipment, this week immediately “killed two birds with one stone”: it released new products for mining on the market and set the bar for equipment performance so high that competitors will now have a “hard time”. ASICLine has released unique FirstLine and PowerBox miners, which are designed for ordinary users. This hardware provides an unprecedented high hash rate with relatively low power consumption. In particular, FirstLine and PowerBox have a hashrate of 410 TH/S and 1250 TH/S for Bitcoins, for Ethereum – 8 GH and 24 GH, respectively. According to the developers, simplicity and affordability are key benefits of FirstLine and PowerBox. To start mining, users need to take a few simple steps: connect to the network via cable or Wi-Fi, enter the pool data and wallet address. The CEO of ASICLine is convinced that the new generation of mining equipment will enable people to make money at home in an environment where millions of people have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. Indeed, it is an extremely good alternative even to bank deposits. By purchasing such a mining device, anyone can receive passive income without even leaving home. Bitcoin whales sold over 7,000 BTC to Grayscale in 24 hours Against the backdrop of a pullback in the price of Bitcoin from the level of $20,000, the whales have intensified significantly. Large traders are now trying to lock in profits, as evidenced by the massive transfers of Bitcoin savings to large companies. Of course, Grayscale could not ignore the “bounty” of the whales. Over the past few months, the investment company’s “appetite” for cryptocurrency has grown significantly. In November, Grayscale purchased twice as many Bitcoins as miners generated during the same period. In just 24 hours, Grayscale bought over 7,000 BTC. The company currently owns about 10.5 billion BTC. The purchase of over $1 million worth of Bitcoins is becoming a trend, and now we are seeing a race between large corporate players for crypto. As noted in CNBC, investors are “loading up” on Bitcoins to keep their savings in a safe place. Really, there have been quite large selling volumes over the past three weeks. Usually, when BTC is in a flat, the asset is either bought or sold by large players. Judging by the price and the daily chart, we conclude that many can fix now with the expectation of a lower price to buy.