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Major Companies Flocking Into Crypto | This Week in Crypto – Feb 15, 2021

Tesla—the electric car company of Elon Musk has purchased more than $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin to become the latest institution to show support for the world’s primary digital asset. Tesla has also said it will consider BTC-based payments for goods and services. Following the news, the currency spiked to a new all-time high of $48,000.

Many companies appear to be following in Tesla’s footsteps and are now considering the possibility of adding Bitcoin to their lists of accepted payment currencies.

Driving service Uber said the company is considering permitting BTC payments should the circumstances reveal a solid need for them. Uber’s CEO said, accepting Bitcoin as payment could be “good for business, good for riders and good for eaters”.

Social media giant Twitter has also announced that it is looking into possibly issuing Bitcoin payments to employees in the future. While no official decisions have been made, the company says it is considering adding the digital asset to its balance sheet and boosting its potential to serve as a payment method for goods and services.

E-commerce giant Amazon is developing a new service that will allow its customers to shop using digital currency. According to official job postings on Amazon, the company is now hiring a tech team to build a product that will enable customers to convert their cash into digital currency to use for online services.  The yet-to-be-announced project will initially roll out in Mexico.

The world’s leading payment processing company, Mastercard, revealed that it will integrate cryptocurrencies directly into its merchants’ network in 2021. This comes shortly after another payments giant, Visa, announced its plans to do the same.

BNY Mellon—one of the oldest and most powerful banks in the U.S.—has announced that it will offer crypto custody services to its clients in the coming months. The bank says it’s witnessed a huge surge in customer demand and thus will begin providing these services by the latter half of 2021.

After years of disapproving gestures from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), a bitcoin-based exchange-traded fund (ETF) has finally been given the greenlight in Canada. The product will be released by asset manager Purpose Investments and will trade on the Toronto stock exchange under the symbol 1X24dgiv“BTCC.”

Lazarus—a crypto hacking group based in North Korea—is accused of masterminding a heist last year on currency exchange KuCoin. The attack led to more than $275 million in stolen crypto funds, which experts believe went towards expanding North Korea’s nuclear arsenal. According to blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis, the latest figures show that Lazarus has stolen close to a total of $2 billion in digital funds.

That’s what’s happened this week in crypto. See you next week.

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