Apple Pay now supports Bitcoin payments for the first time

By Yoni Heisler

  • With the new BitPay app, users can now use Apple Pay to make payments in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
  • BitPay is planning to include support for Google Pay and Samsung Pay in the near future.

Though Apple has historically had something of a love-hate relationship with Bitcoin, the company seems to be slowly but surely coming to the conclusion that the cryptocurrency isn’t something it can realistically avoid or ignore.

As a recent example, users can now use Apple Pay to make payments in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, according to a recent press release from BitPay.

BitPay itself is a digital wallet that can be used in conjunction with Apple Pay and the Apple Wallet app.

“We have thousands of BitPay Wallet app customers using the BitPay Card who are always looking for new places and ways to spend their crypto,” BitPay CEO Stephen Pair said. “Adding Apple Pay and soon Google and Samsung Pay makes it easy and convenient to use the BitPay Card in more places from day-to-day items to luxury purchases.”

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Tesla expects to begin accepting Bitcoin for payment


By ANDREY SHEVCHENKO 

Tesla is now able to hold Bitcoin in reserves, thus accepting Bitcoin as payment for its cars without necessarily converting it.

Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors is following in the footsteps of MicroStrategy and other companies by allocating part of its balance sheet to Bitcoin (BTC).

In Monday’s filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company announced it had purchased an aggregate of $1.5 billion in Bitcoin, to be held as an investment and store of value for its excess cash. It is currently unknown what is the average purchase price and number of BTC the company acquired. Tesla’s investment policy has been updated at an unspecified point in January 2021, which suggests that Tesla may be holding between 35,900 and about 45,500 BTC, corresponding to average prices of $42,000 and $33,000, respectively. Given Bitcoin’s price movement in the last few weeks, the 45,500 BTC estimate is likely closer to the true amount.

As part of the policy, Tesla expects to begin offering clients the ability to purchase its products in Bitcoin, the filing states. Unlike many other similar initiatives, the Bitcoin it receives will not necessarily be liquidated as soon as possible, thus possibly adding to its reserves.

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JPM Coin debut marks start of blockchain’s value-driven adoption cycle

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Despite its centralized design, JPM Coin’s real life utilization represents a step toward the mainstream adoption of blockchain technology.

JPM Coin debut marks start of blockchain’s value-driven adoption cycle.

On the heels of PayPal announcing its decision to enter the crypto sector early next year, Bitcoin (BTC) has continued its strong performance and has been hovering around the $13,500 mark for nearly a week now. In this regard, the payment giant’s foray into the crypto market has been hailed as a game changer, especially when it comes to improving the mainstream perception of the digital asset industry as a whole.

Not only that, JPMorgan Chase announced that its native digital currency offering — the JPM Coin — has finally been deployed for mainstream use by one of the firm’s technical associates. The token is designed to facilitate JPMorgan Chase’s various cross-border monetary transactions.

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How Blockchain will End Commercial Banks

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Daniel Masters, CoinShares executive chairman

JP Morgan’s former global head of energy trading, Daniel Masters, was among the first traditional investors to get into bitcoin, helping craft the value proposition that many institutional investors now embrace. COINSHARES

As much as bitcoiners and crypto enthusiasts try to deny it, bringing in converts from traditional finance is the best way to legitimize and publicize the industry in the eyes of many investors.

One of the earliest executives to take the leap was CoinShares executive chairman Daniel Masters. After a long and distinguished career as a commodities trader with JP Morgan and elsewhere, he serendipitously stumbled upon bitcoin after the commodities supercycle ended following the global financial crisis. Masters immediately saw the potential of bitcoin and blockchain, and he realized that his background as a technologist and commodities trader was tailor-made to make him an ambassador for this new industry to a net set of individual and institutional investors.

At the same time, through building his crypto investment management company, he was able to look into the future of this industry and see what developments lie ahead, as well as upcoming clashes between crypto insurgents and entrenched financial incumbents. Forbes sat down with Masters to get his thoughts on the future of this industry.

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No internet, no problem. Venezuela gets bitcoin satellite node

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Venezuela deployed its first Bitcoin satellite node.

It allows for a node on the ground to receive Bitcoin transaction details from a Blockstream satellite without internet.

Venezuela has poor internet connectivity.

Venezuela has its first Bitcoin satellite node capable of processing transactions without an internet connection.

The Venezuelan “space node” was set up in the country by Anibal Garrido and the Anibal Cripto team. It uses technology from Blockstream, which contracts satellites—in this case, EUTELSAT-113 – to broadcast data between points via offline connections. That’s huge in a country where internet infrastructure is lacking.

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Coronavirus is shaping up to be very bad for banks – But not for Bitcoin

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The coronavirus pandemic has turned the established status quo on its head with many businesses and industries still reeling.

 The world’s biggest banks have seen their valuations plummet, with billionaire investor Warren Buffett bailing out of long-held bank stocks this year—and joining many other investors in betting on gold (though the Oracle of Omaha is still not keen on bitcoin).

As banks struggle in the post-Covid world, bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are expected to see a “pandemic-led acceleration of adoption,” according to DBS chief economist Taimur Baig.

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MIT is helping the Boston Fed build a CBDC that can be scaled for consumer use

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MIT is helping the Boston Fed build a CBDC that can be scaled for consumer use

Can MIT help the U.S. catch up to China in the CBDC race?

The MIT Digital Currency Initiative, or DCI, is helping the federal reserve bank of Boston build a digital currency with the goal of scaling for consumer use. The DCI’s director Neha Narula told Cointelegraph:

“We’re trying to build a high throughput, low latency transaction system that could be used by consumers and could handle the security and resilience required for a national currency.”

The multi-year collaboration between the two organizations is still in very early stages and not much information is being released to the public. Yet the focus is not on building a newer version of interbank digital ledger, but rather something that the consumers would be able to use. It is hard to estimate the required transactional throughput of such technology, but considering that the U.S. population is around 330 million and the fact that the dollar is the most widely used currency in the world (some nations have even officially adopted it), this number would have to be rather high.

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Boom or bust? Welcome to the freewheeling world of crypto lending

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LONDON (Reuters) – It sounds like a surefire bet. You lend money to a borrower who puts up collateral that exceeds the size of the loan, and then you earn interest of about 20%.

What could possibly go wrong?

That’s the proposition presented by “DeFi”, or decentralised finance, peer-to-peer cryptocurrency platforms that allow lenders and borrowers to transact without the traditional gatekeepers of loans: banks.

And it has exploded during the COVID-19 crisis.

Loans on such platforms have risen more than seven-fold since March to $3.7 billion, according to industry site DeFi Pulse, as investors hunt returns at a time when central banks across the world have slashed interest rates to prop up economies battered by the pandemic.

Proponents say DeFi sites, which run on open-source code with algorithms that set rates in real-time based on supply and demand, represent the future of financial services, providing a cheaper, more efficient and accessible way for people and companies to access and offer credit.

But with the promise of high rewards comes high risk.

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The Future of Money: How cryptocurrency and the blockchain will change society

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Anarchy reigns supreme in the future of finance, decentralizing the power of banks and, in some cases, the state. But will cryptocurrencies and the blockchains that underlie them solve our financial woes, or only worsen existing inequalities?

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Bank of Korea launches a department devoted to blockchain and AI

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Bank of Korea is launching a digital innovation department that will leverage blockchain and AI to improve business efficiency.

The Bank of Korea has reportedly chosen to establish a “Digital Innovation department” through organizational reform in the second half of this year, according to the local news on July 22.

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Banks in the US can now offer crypto custody services, regulator says

 

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The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is letting all nationally chartered banks in the U.S. provide custody services for cryptocurrencies.

In a public letter dated July 22, Senior Deputy Comptroller and Senior Counsel Jonathan Gould wrote that any national bank can hold onto the unique cryptographic keys for a cryptocurrency wallet, clearing the way for national banks to hold digital assets for their clients.

The letter marks a major development for the crypto industry. Previously, custody was the province of specialist firms, such as Coinbase, which typically needed a state license, such as a trust charter, to offer the service to large investors. Now, large, regulated financial companies that already provide similar safekeeping services for stock certificates and the like could enter the fray.

The letter, which appears to be addressed to an unidentified bank or similar entity, notes that banks “may offer more secure storage services compared to existing options,” and that both consumers and investment advisors may wish to use regulated custodians to ensure they don’t lose their private keys, and therefore, access to their funds.

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Pentagon Documents Reveal The U.S. Has Planned For A Bitcoin Rebellion

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Bitcoin has struggled to find support in the U.S. government, with president Donald Trump, along with Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin, leading the criticism.

Now, it’s been revealed the U.S. Department of Defense has wargamed scenarios involving a Generation Z rebellion that uses bitcoin to undermine and evade “the establishment.”

In the Pentagon war game, young people born between the mid-1990s and early 2010s use cyber attacks to steal money and convert it to bitcoin, documents published by investigative news site The Intercept revealed.

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