Crypto Market Week in Review 
(11 February 2022)

You Will Soon Be Able to Make Crypto Payments Natively via Your iPhones - Apple Reveals

Apple, the world’s largest company by market cap, is looking to have some crypto inclusiveness with its new upgrade.

As Tim Cook revealed on his Twitter handle, Apple is launching a new feature that will enable business owners to use their iPhone to accept Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets smoothly and securely with a simple tap of their device.

This move is proving that not only startups are embracing crypto, but many traditional companies are also turning to cryptocurrencies, albeit through different means. Companies like Stripe, Block and PayPal are working to integrate easy ways for merchants to receive cryptocurrency payments. It makes sense for Apple to add the crypto-friendly "tap to pay" feature, considering the success of its Apple Pay service.

The news might not come as a surprise, since Tim Cook said three months ago that he personally owned cryptocurrencies as part of his diversification strategy.

The Russian Government and Central Bank Agree to Treat Bitcoin as a Currency

In recent months, the Russian stance on cryptocurrency has been double-edged. The Ministry of Finance supports it, as does the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

However, the major antagonist to crypto adoption has been the Central Bank of Russia. The fear has been discovered to be the belief that cryptocurrencies will change the financial outlook of the government.

This week brought some positive news, as the Central Bank of Russia and the Russian government struck an agreement on how to regulate cryptocurrency activity within Russia’s borders.

There are a few perks that must be in place by traders, though;

  1. Traders must complete a KYC process with their banks, indicating they trade digital currencies.
  2. Traders must only use government-licensed peer-to-peer or centralized exchanges.
  3. Any transaction of above 600,000 Roubles will need to be reported to the central bank. Not doing so will incur fines. Any illegal crypto transaction will be punishable.

This news is positive, as it shows the government is looking to regulate cryptocurrency activities rather than ban them. The news is a better indication of the government’s view of cryptocurrencies after conflicting reports about Russia’s cryptocurrency policy arose in January.

It is possible that the Russian government does not want to fall behind in the crypto evolution, that or Vladimir Putin's acceptance of crypto had a role in the current development.

From TikTok to FBI Custody - the Unbelievable Story Surrounding Bitfinex Hack

The Bitfinex hack of 2016 was the second-largest hack on a crypto exchange, since the infamous Mt. Gox hack. Almost 120,000 Bitcoins were stolen, worth around $70 million as at the time the hack was carried out.

After six years, the mystery of how the hack was carried out has been revealed. The breach came from the security provider Bitfinex used, called Bitgo.

Surprisingly, one of the hackers, Heather Morgan, was a serial entrepreneur with multiple publications in major outlets, including Forbes, who also happens to do many other things like rapping and TikTok videos.

On Tuesday, the Department of Justice ordered the arrest of Morgan and her husband, Ilya Lichtenstein, and 94,000 Bitcoins have been retrieved since.

Two major things stand out from the capture. They are:

  1. In passing, the United States Department of Justice mentioned the FBI had the tools to track digital currencies, showing a growing interest in cryptocurrency from the largest economy in the world.
  2. The antagonists of cryptocurrencies, claiming that it is used to foster illegal transactions, have their mouths shut now. Although the hacking space has gotten more creative, with the emergence of DeFi and NFTs, it would be a surprise if those leaks are not closed in the coming years.

Bitfinex will be grateful for the revelation, as they have paid the affected funds with money from their reserves. With the crypto market increasing exponentially, the value of the funds is worth almost $4 billion at the time of writing.

Nine Years Later, This Crypto Hardware Company Still Stands Strong

If you are listing the top hardware wallets globally, you cannot but mention Trezor wallet amongst the first three wallets. What started as a suggestion in the city of Prague in 2011 has gone up to be one of the revolutionary inventions in crypto space.

Hardware wallets are famous for being offline, meaning the possibility of a hack is close to zero, and with extra features like the pincode, passphrase, and recovery seeds, the chances of a hack are low.

On the part of the Trezor company itself, security measures like deleting all customer information after 90 days amongst others, are being put in place.

The head of public relations explained that, in theory, nothing is safe, so rather than take a chance, the company is willing to go the extra mile in order to maintain the users’ privacy and security.

The news of a breach to the Trezor wallet made headlines in January after a hacker helped a man who forgot his Trezor password to recover his funds.

In response to a question about how that was possible, Trezor's head of PR explained that they reached out to the man and learned that his device was one of the earliest, and most of the security features on the more recent Trezor wallets were not present.

*This communication is intended as strictly informational, and nothing herein constitutes an offer or a recommendation to buy, sell, or retain any specific product, security or investment, or to utilise or refrain from utilising any particular service. The use of the products and services referred to herein may be subject to certain limitations in specific jurisdictions. This communication does not constitute and shall under no circumstances be deemed to constitute investment advice. This communication is not intended to constitute a public offering of securities within the meaning of any applicable legislation.