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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Go Phish: How This Bitcoin Investor Lost 17 BTC To An iPhone App

Bitcoin is once again making headlines everywhere, mostly for all the right reasons this time around. However, where there’s money to be made, there’s also scammers waiting in the shadows to steal funds whenever they can.

The latest situation involves a highly sophisticated replica of a popular Apple iPhone app, a malicious application from Apple’s App Store, and a now stolen 17 BTC.

Bitcoin Investor Has Half A Million Dollars Worth Of BTC Stolen

During the height of the 2017 bull market, one of the symbols that cryptocurrencies had “made it” was when Coinbase had been topping the Apple App Store for iOS devices for days on end. Investors were flocking to the platform in droves as Bitcoin FOMO took over.

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These days, there’s much more variety out there, including more ways to buy or store cryptocurrencies beyond just Coinbase alone. The platform remains the most popular out there, set to go public within the next year or so.

Related Reading | Bitcoin Searches Spike On Google After Twitter Scam Goes Viral

Investors can also store their coins in third-party wallets, or use an app interface to interact with their hardware wallets, like Ledger or Trezor.

That’s exactly what Phillipe Christodoulou meant to do, but instead lost a staggering 17.1 BTC – worth over a half a million dollars – in a phishing scam.

bitcoin phishing 17 btc

bitcoin phishing 17 btc

The more expensive Bitcoin gets, the more scammers it attracts | Source: BTCUSD on

Beware Of Phishing Scams In Apple App Store, Social Media, And Elsewhere

Christodoulou downloaded a highly rated, five-star app from Apple’s App Store, the company’s flagship and regularly quality-controlled platform. Apple maintains certain standards, and works to prevent situations like this from happening.

But then why did it? Christodoulou is furious with the company and rightfully so. He is also demanding answers and justice.

“They betrayed the trust that I had in them,” he told The Washington Post. “Apple doesn’t deserve to get away with this.”

Scammers regularly pull this tactic with Apple’s App Store, and unfortunately, this application somehow snuck through. The app was posing as a Trezor app, bearing the company’s logo and all.

Related Reading | The Most Common Bitcoin Scams And How To Avoid Them

But after loading it with his life-savings, it wasn’t until later he had realized what had unfolded. The app was a phishing app, and now his 17.1 BTC are in the hands of a scammer.

Scams like this are unfortunately common wherever users aggregate and offer a back door to crypto assets. Even real, verified apps or in other situations, social media accounts, can still get hacked and result in a loss of coins.

It’s also important to always keep legitimate apps or wallets fully up to date, to avoid any loop holes or security vulnerabilities that have since been fixed, but must be installed through user intervention.

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Apple updates iOS to fix crypto wallet security vulnerabilities

Apple has issued new security updates for its mobile operating system after the iPhone maker discovered vulnerabilities that could compromise cryptocurrency wallets. 

The security updates, which were released Tuesday, affect iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4. The vulnerabilities reportedly allowed hackers to gain remote access to a target system, thereby exposing the user’s cryptocurrency wallet.

Pete Kim, Coinbase’s head engineer, warned iPhone users to update their operating system immediately.

“If you are using a mobile crypto wallet on an iOS device, be sure to update iOS as soon as possible!” Kim tweeted Tuesday. “The update includes a fix for a remote arbitrary code execution vulnerability that may have been actively exploited.”

Coinbase’s mobile wallet is the 13th most downloaded finance app on the Apple Store.

Apple’s security updates are available for iPhone 6s and later, iPad Air 2 and later, iPad mini 4 and later and the seventh-generation iPad touch. The company says that the vulnerabilities “may have been actively exploited” by malicious actors.

Mobile wallets are a popular way for crypto users to store and transfer their digital assets. They also make it easier to spend cryptocurrency on everyday items. 

Crypto infrastructure has been a primary target for hackers over the years, but the extent of the attacks has declined considerably. As Cointelegraph reported in November, crypto-related attacks declined sharply over the course of 2020.