STEPN Integrates Apple Music into Web3 App

Apple and STEPN (with a utility token called GST and a governance token called GMT)  have announced the integration of Apple Music into the STEPN application, marking yet another milestone in the ongoing partnership between traditional tech juggernauts and emerging Web3 platforms. This new feature is the second endeavor following the integration of Apple Pay, which pioneered new standards for Web3 gaming applications.

The integration is more than just an enhanced feature; it underscores the trajectory tech circles are embracing. This alliance between a conventional tech behemoth like Apple and a Web3 application like STEPN, signifies the growing acknowledgment and assimilation of decentralized technologies in daily life. It’s a step towards bridging the gap between the Web2 and Web3 realms, thereby facilitating a seamless transition and bolstering user trust in the decentralized sphere.

Yawn Rong, Co-Founder of Find Satoshi Lab (FSL), emphasized the core objective of STEPN to augment user interaction, making it as engaging and user-centric as possible. According to Rong, music is a vital aspect of daily routines and by incorporating Apple Music, users can now enrich their STEPN experience with their preferred music, indicating a deeper integration between daily life and the STEPN ecosystem. This move is aimed at providing a more immersive user experience, thus tightening the nexus between everyday activities and the STEPN platform.

Jerry Huang, another Co-Founder of Find Satoshi Lab (FSL), expressed enthusiasm about the integration, viewing it as a precursor to a future where Web2 and Web3 not only coexist but flourish together. This joint initiative, as per Huang, acts as a beacon hinting at an impending era of proliferating collaborations between traditional and decentralized tech platforms. The sentiment is echoed by the STEPN team who are continually striving to roll out new features and forge partnerships to further enrich the app’s offerings.

As STEPN celebrates this significant integration, the journey doesn’t halt here. The team is in relentless pursuit of new features and alliances to further enhance the application. While this update allows for an enriched musical experience within the app, it’s only a glimpse of what’s on the horizon for STEPN and its community. Moreover, with products like MOOAR (NFT launchpad and marketplace) and DOOAR (DEX) under Find Satoshi Lab’s belt, along with the upcoming web3 social game, Gas Hero, the future appears promising for more integrative and user-centric offerings.

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Apple Joins GPT AI Race Following OpenAI and Google

Apple is reportedly developing its own generative pre-trained transformer (GPT) artificial intelligence (AI) model. The model is internally referred to as “Ajax” or “Apple GPT”. But there are no clear indications that the company plans to launch it to the public, keeping the tech community in anticipation.

The Ajax system is said to be similar to OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard, two leading AI models in the industry. Interestingly, Ajax was developed on top of Google Jax, a machine learning framework, and is currently running on Google Cloud. This connection to Google’s technology could potentially limit Apple’s ability to scale Ajax beyond internal testing due to cost considerations, posing a challenge for the tech giant.

Apple’s approach to AI has always been privacy-focused, a stance that has earned it a loyal user base. The company’s efforts are primarily centered on AI technologies that can run using onboard processors instead of cloud-based services. This approach is in line with Apple’s commitment to user privacy and data security. If Apple were to develop a GPT model capable of running discretely on iPhone hardware, it could offer significant benefits to users who value privacy, potentially revolutionizing the AI space.

Despite Apple’s lack of presence in the chatbot space, the company is a significant player in AI. The AI powering the iPhone’s camera and photography editing suite remains cutting edge, demonstrating Apple’s commitment to integrating AI into its products. Furthermore, Apple Research consistently outputs a steady stream of significant papers in the machine learning space, contributing to the advancement of AI technology.

Multiple teams within Apple are working on the Ajax project. These teams are addressing potential privacy implications, a crucial aspect of AI development. The report also mentions that the company has been using the Ajax-powered chatbot internally, suggesting that Apple is actively testing and refining the technology.

Apple’s most famous AI system is Siri, the voice assistant. To bolster its AI efforts, Apple hired John Giannandrea, who previously headed up AI and search at Google, in 2018 to oversee Siri and its machine learning teams. This strategic hire underscores Apple’s commitment to advancing its AI capabilities.

Apple is planning to make a “significant AI-related announcement” sometime in 2024. However, the company is in no rush to figure out the application of this technology. It is still determining how the technology will integrate into its larger portfolio. This measured approach reflects Apple’s commitment to delivering high-quality, user-friendly products and services.

As the AI race heats up among tech giants, Apple’s entry into the GPT AI space marks a significant step. It will be interesting to see how Apple’s AI developments unfold in the coming years, and how it will shape the future of AI technology. With its focus on privacy and quality, Apple’s advancements in AI could potentially redefine the industry standards.

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NFTs And Crypto Will Benefit From Apple Allowing Third-Party App Stores

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Apple will be forced by forthcoming EU rules to allow alternative app stores and applications without the need that they go via Apple’s App Store. This will be a positive development for crypto app creators.

At least in Europe, the tech giant Apple is getting ready to allow third-party app stores on its devices in order to comply with new anti-monopolistic requirements that have been imposed by the European Union. This could be seen as a huge victory for app developers working on cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens.


At the moment, Apple has stringent rules for NFT apps, which practically compel users to make in-app purchases subject to Apple’s 30% commission, while apps are not permitted to support cryptocurrencies as a form of payment. Apple’s rules also prohibit apps from supporting third-party payment systems.


According to Coinbase, Apple’s implementation of its regulation resulted in the blocking of Coinbase’s self-custody wallet app update on December 1. This occurred because Apple sought to collect thirty percent of the gas cost via in-app sales, which Coinbase claims is not feasible.

Apple’s decision to open its ecosystem is a response to the EU’s Digital Markets Act, which aims to regulate so-called “gatekeepers” and ensure platforms behave fairly, with one of the measures allowing third parties to inter-operate with the gatekeeper’s own services. Apple’s move to open its ecosystem comes as a result of the EU’s Digital Markets Act.It will become effective beginning in May of 2023, and all firms will be required to comply in full by the end of 2024.


Apple has not yet made a decision about whether or not it would comply with a provision of the Act that permits app developers to install non-Apple-related alternative payment systems inside their own apps. In the event that it does comply, it may pave the way for payment systems that accept cryptocurrency.


In an effort to shield consumers from potentially dangerous applications, the tech giant is mulling over the possibility of enforcing some security measures for software that is not sold in its own store, such as certification from Apple.


Changes to Apple’s closed ecosystem would only take effect within the EU. Other regions would need to pass similar laws, such as the proposed Open App Markets Act in the United States Congress from Senators Marsha Blackburn and Richard Blumenthal. In order for these changes to take effect in other regions, similar laws would need to be passed.


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US Senator Challenges Apple and Google about Fraudulent Crypto Apps

U.S. Senator. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, is requesting Apple and Google to clarify how they prevent fraudulent cryptocurrency apps on the Apple Store and Google Play Store.

On Wednesday, July 27, the U.S. lawmaker sent two letters addressed to Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, respectively.

Senator Brown is concerned about scams that continue to rob millions of dollars from innocent investors.

The lawmaker wrote in the letters to the two firms: “Cyber criminals have stolen company logos, names and other identifying information of crypto firms and then created fake mobile apps to trick unsuspecting investors into believing they are conducting business with a legitimate crypto firm. Alarmingly, far too many investors have fallen victim.”

Brown mentioned that it is essential for these app stores to have the proper measures in place to prevent fraudulent mobile application activity.

In the letter, Sen. Brown asked for details about these firms’ safeguards to prevent fraudulent activity in their app stores.

Senator Brown wrote: “In recent years, crypto trading platforms and exchanges have experienced a surge in popularity with millions of investors downloading mobile apps to trade and invest in digital assets. Millions of Americans use mobile apps to invest in unregulated digital assets, including cryptocurrencies.”

Brown further asked Apple and Google to provide details about their app review processes that these firms take before approving cryptocurrency apps to operate in their app stores, including steps they take to prevent fraudulent crypto apps, and other information.

The lawmaker has requested both companies to provide responses to the letters by 10th August.

On Thursday, the Senator’s committee held a hearing examining scams in the crypto industry.

New Crypto App Scams

The senator’s letter comes after an FBI report last week, providing details of fraudulent cryptocurrency apps and wallets that purport to be sound investment opportunities.

In the report published on 21st July, the FBI disclosed that 244 investors, within a year, have been scammed out of $42.7 million through fraudulent mobile applications that claim to be legitimate crypto investment platforms.

The FBI report stated that cyber fraudsters are trying to cash in and take advantage of the rising interest in both cryptos investing and mobile banking.

The agency said since last October, it has witnessed scammers contacting U.S. investors with fraudulent offers of crypto investment services and convincing these investors to download fake mobile apps.

Such bogus apps often use the names and logos of legitimate US firms and fraudsters who create fake websites with this information to lure and swindle investors.

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MetaMask Adds Apple Pay Integration, Expands Options for Buying Cryptos

ConsenSys-owned crypto wallet MetaMask announced Tuesday the addition of Apple Pay integration, increasing options for buying cryptocurrencies. - 2022-03-30T124642.813.jpg

MetaMask is a crypto wallet & gateway to blockchain apps. It is also a tool for interacting with decentralized applications (DAPP).

The app supports Firefox, Google Chrome, and Chromium-based browsers.

The company said it now supports iPhone or Apple Pay users to buy cryptocurrencies with debit or credit cards through the mobile app without transferring cryptocurrencies from cryptocurrency exchanges.

MetaMask uses two payment gateways, Wyre and Transak, to support transactions. Users can now buy ETH with credit cards (Visa and Mastercard) stored in Apple Pay and deposit up to $400 in their wallets through the Wyre API.

“We wanted to expand how users can convert crypto within the app itself and not have to leave it,” James Beck, Director of Communications and Content at ConsenSys, said.

The Ethereum software company ConsenSys has acquired the Ethereum interface MyCrypto last month, aiming to integrate MyCrypto with the MetaMask wallet owned by ConsenSys and improve the security of all products.

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Is Bitcoin Mirroring Apple’s Explosive Growth? Fidelity’s Macro Analyst Likens BTC to World’s Richest Company

Fidelity Investments director of global macro Jurrien Timmer says the price of Bitcoin (BTC) is set to grow exponentially as the adoption rate increases.

In a new interview, Timmer says that Bitcoin is following the same growth path as the world’s largest firm by market cap, Apple.

“I’ve compared the whole network effect for Bitcoin to Apple computers’ network effect. So as Apple grows its revenues its stock price goes up exponentially from that. It doesn’t go up in line…

Bitcoin is following in the same path. And so I think there’s some very robust logic to why Bitcoin should see higher values as the demand curve evolves.”

The Fidelity Investments global macro director says that Bitcoin is in a class of its own, distinct from other crypto assets.

“Maybe other digital assets will do better [relative to Bitcoin] because they are more scalable but at the same time maybe they’re less decentralized. And that’s why I would say that to me Bitcoin is an asset class like a store of value, like gold. And the rest of the digital asset space is more almost like a venture asset.”

Timmer also says that Bitcoin is currently in the same phase as gold was in the 1970s when the precious metal’s price was highly volatile.

“I think of Bitcoin as where gold was in the 1970s. Gold went from being money to being an asset class. And it went through price discovery. It was a teenager, it was coming of age. It was very volatile, it went up a lot but it had huge, huge drawdowns as well. Bitcoin is doing the same thing.”

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Apple Could Enable Crypto Payments to iPhones via ‘Tap To Pay’ Function

Technology giant Apple is introducing a new contactless payment function to iPhones that could result in direct Bitcoin (BTC) or crypto payments.

Today, Apple announced the new Tap To Pay function on iPhones, a feature available to merchants across the United States.

The new feature will allow businesses to accept ‘tap’ payments from iPhone users via Apple Pay, credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets. While the company hasn’t addressed it directly yet, being able to use digital wallets would presumably allow users to make payments with crypto, unless otherwise restricted by Apple.

According to the announcement, all Tap To Pay transactions will be encrypted and processed using Secure Element, the same security technology used by Apple Pay. Apple says customers of payments giant Stripe will be the first Apple iPhone users with access to Tap To Pay.

Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s vice president of Apple Pay and Apple Wallet, said,

“As more and more consumers are tapping to pay with digital wallets and credit cards, Tap to Pay on iPhone will provide businesses with a secure, private, and easy way to accept contactless payments and unlock new checkout experiences using the power, security, and convenience of iPhone…

In collaboration with payment platforms, app developers, and payment networks, we’re making it easier than ever for businesses of all sizes — from solopreneurs to large retailers — to seamlessly accept contactless payments and continue to grow their business.”

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Upcoming Apple iPhone feature to give merchants a way to accept crypto payments

Apple announced plans to launch Tap to Pay for iPhone, a new feature that effectively turns the smartphone into a point of sale (POS) device for businesses and merchants. So, what’s in it for crypto?

The announcement explains that with Tap to Pay, iPhone-owning merchants receive contactless payments by using their mobile devices as a POS machine thanks to the NFC technology.

According to Apple, the soon-to-be-launched Tap to Pay feature will extend support to “Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards and other digital wallets.” It basically means that, unless Apple places a direct barrier for it, customers who are using Coinbase Card, Visa Card or a similar payment card would be able to use their cryptocurrency holdings to make payments via Tap to Pay.

While Apple has announced Stripe, an Irish-American fintech, as the first platform to offer the Tap to Pay feature on iPhone, the company clarified that “additional payment platforms and apps will follow later this year.”

Back in Aug. 2021, major crypto exchange Coinbase integrated with Apple Pay and Google Pay, allowing users to purchase crypto assets on its platform. As Cointelegraph reported, the move allowed the United States-based customers to purchase crypto using bank-issued debit and credit cards via a mainstream payments platform, Apple Pay.

In June 2021, Coinbase launched Coinbase Card, enabling users to spend cryptocurrencies across mainstream avenues:

“Coinbase will automatically convert all cryptocurrency to US Dollars and transfer the funds to your Coinbase Card (less conversion fees) for use in purchases and ATM withdrawals.”

Following suit, crypto exchange launched a similar offering named Visa Card, which can be added to Apple Pay and other major digital wallets. Apple said in the announcement:

“Tap to Pay on iPhone will work with contactless credit and debit cards from leading payment networks, including American Express, Discover, Mastercard and Visa.”

Considering Coinbase’s capability to convert a user’s crypto holdings to fiat in real-time for payments, Apple Pay users will be able to use iPhone’s Tap to Pay feature to make crypto payments across mainstream merchants and businesses.

While Apple Pay will, most probably, not allow direct purchase of goods and services via Bitcoin (BTC), it will convert the user’s crypto holdings to match the dollar amount requested by the merchant’s POS machine to make the purchase.

Let’s also not forget that in Nov. 2021, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed the personal purchase of cryptocurrencies as “part of a diversified portfolio” while highlighting no immediate plans to accept crypto as a means of payment for Apple products.

Apple intends to roll out the Tap to Pay feature on Apple Stores, iPhone XS and later devices.

Related: Bitcoin Lightning Network goes live on Cash App

Cash App, a mobile payment service developed and owned by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey’s Block, announced compatibility with the Bitcoin Lightning Network for BTC transfers.

With the launch of the new feature, Cash App users can make faster BTC transactions across mainstream businesses. As Cointelegraph reported, the company has made the feature available everywhere in the United States apart from New York.