**General News:**
• Crisis talks aimed at averting a military confrontation between Russia and Ukraine appear to be faltering, as Western allies prepare for a possible conflict between the neighbors that could be „painful, violent and bloody.“
• Western allies are preparing for some military confrontation, with NATO putting more forces on standby and looking to reinforce Eastern Europe with more ships and fighter jets. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Defense said Monday that about 8,500 American troops are on heightened alert and awaiting orders to deploy to the region in the event that Russia does invade Ukraine.
• Nvidia is „quietly“ preparing to abandon its $40 billion acquisition of British chip designer Arm – The U.S. chipmaker has told partners it’s not expecting the deal to be finalized.
• Pfizer and BioNTech launched a clinical study to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of a vaccine that targets the Covid omicron variant.
• The Federal Reserve is expected to say this week it is moving forward with interest rate hikes and considering another policy tightening, reversing the easy policies it put in place to fight the pandemic.
• IBM shares jumped as much as 7% in extended trading but later lost most of their gains Monday after the software and services company said revenue climbed 6% in the fourth quarter, surpassing expectations.

**Cryptocurrency News:**
• The software behemoth Google has reportedly started a new blockchain-based division inside its Labs group. The division will also deal with other distributed computing and data storage technologies. While the company has been wary of associating with any form of cryptocurrency, Bill Ready, Google’s president of commerce, stated on January 19 they were paying a lot of attention to the area.
• Bithumb, one of South Korea’s largest crypto exchanges by trading volume, will stop accepting wallet addresses that haven’t been properly registered with the exchange, as it enforces the travel rule.
•Bitcoin-accumulating software company MicroStrategy will continue investing in cryptocurrency despite the recent asset value slide.
• Bitcoin’s price rose by as much as $1,834 on a four-hour basis during U.S. trading hours on Monday, after it briefly touched the $34,000 level during Asia’s late afternoon. The overall crypto market stabilized after the broad market correction downward in the past week.
• Twitter is hiring a senior product manager for crypto, according to a tweet by the company’s crypto engineering lead Tess Rinearson.
• Bitcoin’s price rose more than 11% during Monday afternoon trading after falling precipitously earlier in the day.
• Crypto startup is adding Tom Horton, the lead independent director from Walmart, to its board.
• Crypto exchange Coinbase has hired a Securities and Exchange Commission official as its senior public policy manager.

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