Hashtag Trending Jan. 21 – PlayStation creator skeptical of the metaverse; Russian may ban crypto; crypto.com loses $34M to hackers

PlayStation creator skeptical of the metaverse, Russia’s central bank wants to ban cryptocurrency, and Crypto.com users lose $34 million to hackers.

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That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Friday, January 21st, and I’m your host, Tom Li.

The metaverse hype seems to be driving everyone crazy, but the creator of the PlayStation game console disagrees with its value. In an interview with Bloomberg, Ken Kutaragi, who’s sometimes referred to as the “Father of PlayStation”, believes that an avatar in the metaverse is no different from an online message board. He also described VR and AR headsets as “annoying” since they isolate the user from the real world. His skepticism towards the metaverse is shared by Evernote founder Phil Libin, who said that the hype around the metaverse reminds him of communist propaganda.

Russia may be the next country to completely ban cryptocurrency. Reuters reported that Russia’s central bank proposed to ban the use and mining of cryptocurrency on Thursday, citing threats to financial stability, citizens’ wellbeing and monetary policy sovereignty. The proposed ban came just two years after the country deemed it legal. Currently, cryptocurrency can be mined and traded in Russia, but can’t be used as a means of payment. Russia’s central urges financial institutions to block transactions aimed at trading cryptocurrencies for fiat currencies.

Speaking of cryptocurrency, Crypto.com told Bloomberg TV that 483 customer accounts were breached by hackers. From the breach, the hackers were able to withdraw 4800 Ethereum, 444 bitcoin, and around 66,000 in other currencies. Converted by today’s exchange rate, it amounts to approximately $34 million in losses. The company said that they had fixed the issue immediately and fully reimbursed the compromised accounts.

Rescuers had to get creative to rescue Millie, a confused puppy stranded on a mudflat, when the tide started to rise. After Millie avoided capture attempts from firefighters, police and coastguards, a rescuer attached a sausage to an aerial drone to lure her to higher ground. The tactic worked spectacularly as the sausage proved irresistible to Millie who happily followed the treat to safety. She’s now reunited with her owners. You can watch the full video of the rescue operation, posted by the Guardian, through the link in the transcript of this episode.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash briefings or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, if you have a suggestion or a tip, drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thank you for listening, I’m Tom Li.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Tom Li
Tom Li
Telecommunication and consumer hardware are Tom's main beats at IT Business. He loves to talk about Canada's network infrastructure, semiconductor products, and of course, anything hot and new in the consumer technology space. You'll also occasionally see his name appended to articles on cloud, security, and SaaS-related news. If you're ever up for a lengthy discussion about the nuances of each of the above sectors or have an upcoming product that people will love, feel free to drop him a line at tli@itwc.ca.

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