Ransomware Crypto Payments Reached Nearly $602 Million in 2021 🚨

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Ransomware Crypto Payments Reached Nearly $602 Million in 2021 🚨

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According to a report from blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis, ransomware payments in crypto hit at least $602 million last year.

In 2021, the average ransomware payment size reached a record high of $118,000, a 26% increase from the average of $88,000 in 2020, says Chainalysis.

The report published by Chainalysis reveals the data related to cryptocurrency activity in the last year. It states that the value is likely to end up exceeding the $692 million taken in 2020.

“As of January 2022, we’ve now identified just over $692 million in 2020 ransomware payments — nearly double the amount we initially identified at the time of writing last year’s report,” says the report.

The report also pointed out the top three largest ransomware payments in 2021, which include Conti, DarkSide, and Phoenix Cryptolocker, with Russian-based Conti extorting at least US$180 million from victims.

Chainalysis also says that ransomware has become a tool for cyberattacks in geopolitical conflicts, stating Iran had the highest suspected links with ransomware strains, followed by Russia, China, and North Korea.

YouTube is Giving Creators More Ways to Make Money 💸

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YouTube is launching more ways through which creators can make money and use the platform. The new features were announced in a blog post by YouTube’s chief product officer Neal Mohan.

With the new features, creators will have more ways to monetize through YouTube Shorts. The video streaming platform is looking into new ways Shorts creators can partner with brands, integrate shopping into their videos, and much more.

“We refreshed how viewers engage with content, from improving core experiences like search and the infrastructure that powers the platform to advancing across apps and formats like YouTube TV, YouTube Shorts, and YouTube Music,”  said YouTube in its announcement.

YouTube is also introducing collaborative live streaming, which will allow creators to go live together, making it simpler for people to go live.

Moreover, YouTube is also making changes to its tools for creating videos and interacting with fans, like users will have the ability to respond to individual comments on Shorts.

AI-based Entertainment Startup Deepdub Raises $20 Million in Series A 💰

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Deepdub, an AI-based entertainment localization company, has raised $20 million in its Series A funding round led by Insight Partners.

The funding also saw participation from existing investors Booster Ventures and Stardom Ventures, alongside new investors at Swift VC.

In addition, the funding also saw participation from many angel investors including, Emiliano Calemzuk, (former president of Fox Television Studios), Kevin Reilly (former CCO of HBO Max), Danny Grander (co-founder of Snyk), Roi Tiger (VP Engineering at Meta) plus Gideon Marks, and Daniel Chadash.

Founded in 2019 by Ofir Krakowski and Nir Krakowski, Deepdub is an Israel-based company that aims to bridge the language barrier and cultural gap of entertainment experiences to international audiences across film, TV, advertising, e-learning, and gaming.

The company provides a high-quality localization service of entertainment content using deep learning and AI algorithms.

Deepdub will use the fresh funds to expand its global sales and delivery teams, bolster its R&D team with additional top-notch researchers and developers, and further enhance the company’s best-in-class deep learning-based localization platform.

Russian Government 🇷🇺 And Central Bank 🏦 to Regulate Cryptocurrency

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In a significant move, the Russian government has decided to regulate cryptocurrencies, a move to legalize the $2 trillion asset class in the world’s 11th-largest economy.

A document regarding setting the principles for regulating cryptocurrencies was published on the government’s official website.  One of the notable things about this plan has the support of the central bank, which had called for a ban on crypto mining and trading.

According to the Russian government, their citizens own over 12 million cryptocurrency accounts and about 2 trillion rubles ($26.7 billion) worth of crypto.

The country ranks third in the world in bitcoin mining, and with such a large volume of crypto, law enforcement agencies are concerned they can’t sufficiently approach illegal cases involving crypto, the document said.

This move comes after months of speculation about how the government of Russia will tackle digital assets.

Though it is still unclear what this decision will mean for citizens and businesses in Russia, it looks that the country is slowly leaning towards the idea of cryptocurrencies.

Around the Web 🌐

Google to Shut Down ‘Currents’ in 2023: Google has said that it’ll shut down Currents, a product that was launched in 2019, as a replacement for Google Plus for G Suite. In a blog post, Google said, “With Spaces now available, starting in 2023 we are planning to wind down Google Currents and bring remaining content and communities over to the new Spaces experience.”

Disney+ Adds 11.8 Million New Subscribers: Disney+ has added 11.8 million new subscribers last quarter to reach 129.8 million subscribers, the company announced as part of its Q1 2022 earnings release. The company said it is on track to achieve its target of 230 to 260 million subscribers by 2024.


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