Samsung And Visa Ramp Up Crypto Commitments

Samsung And Visa Ramp Up Crypto Commitments

about 4 years ago2 mins

Mentioned in story

Two of the world’s biggest players in smartphones and payments have deepened their ties to cryptocurrencies in recent days – but while prices creep up, US authorities continue to blow hot and cold 🤧

What does this mean?

Samsung – the South Korean company responsible for 19% of world phone sales – last week unveiled a host of new crypto security support features in its latest Galaxy models. And on Wednesday, mainstream payments company Visa – which famously quit Facebook’s Libra stablecoin consortium last year – welcomed Coinbase as a “principal member”, allowing the cryptocurrency exchange expanded access to its services.

Samsung is the world’s leading smartphone seller (Source: Statista)
Samsung is the world’s leading smartphone seller (Source: Statista)

In contrast to progress in Europe, however, US authorities are still dragging their heels when it comes to supporting cryptocurrency use. True, the much-criticized American taxman is now reaching out to firms in the sector – and a senior figure at the country’s main financial regulator this month drew up encouraging plans to allow new crypto projects a three-year “safe harbor” before falling foul of strict US investment laws. But the government is also mulling a crackdown in some areas… 😧

Why should I care?

Bitcoin is currently sitting above $10,000 a pop, and ether’s price has more than doubled this year. But those gains may be more down to hope than the expectation of expanding cryptocurrency usage.

Crypto prices in 2020 (Source: Yahoo Finance)
Crypto prices in 2020 (Source: Yahoo Finance)

Indeed, cryptos’ utility as a means of payment on Samsung phones or Visa cards may be undermined by investors’ speculative HODLing – as pointed out by a senior UK economist last week.

For a vision of an alternative future, meanwhile, look no further than China. Its central bank last week filed for 84 new tech patents related to a planned digital yuan as it bids to launch a national “cryptocurrency” ahead of the US ⚔️

Countries are increasingly keen on gaining insight into (and control over) the spending habits of their citizens – and avoiding some of the less obvious drawbacks of cash. But the upshot for existing cryptos remains obscure.

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