This Week In Crypto – April 11th

eCommerce Platform Shopify Integrates With Payments Network Strike to Accept Bitcoin

Payments network Strike announced its integration with Canadian eCommerce platform Shopify, which will allow global merchants to accept bitcoin payments, according to a Thursday (April 7) press release.

The integration aims to make things easier for merchants by allowing them to accept the digital currency in the form of U.S. dollars and save on processing fees through cash-final settlements.

Lightning Network will convert bitcoin payments that come through the Strike network into U.S. dollars, a move that should limit volatility in the price of the digital currency.

Strike Founder and CEO Jack Mallers noted that the Strike-Shopify integration will also include offline merchants, including Walmart, McDonald’s and many others across the U.S. He took a shot at traditional financial institutions for their seeming unwillingness to meet the changing needs of consumers in an increasingly digital world. Read more

Former Citi Digital Asset Execs Launch Crypto-Focused Fund

A trio of former Citi (C) executives formed a crypto-focused investment firm to help clients bet on digital assets.

Motus Capital Management is led by Alex Kriete, Greg Girasole and Frank Cavallo. Kriete and Girasole were previously co-heads of Citi’s digital assets group, while Cavallo was a director and investment counselor overseeing about $8 billion in assets for the bank.

“In order to merge our goal of building the solutions our clients were asking for with our expertise in the crypto space, we left traditional finance to create Motus,” the firm told CoinDesk.

Motus sees an opportunity in the growth segment of the market, where larger investment funds aren’t able to purchase smaller market cap tokens for liquidity purposes, while sub-$100 million funds may “lack the guardrails we want, and economically their main incentive is gathering assets,” Cavallo said. Read More

UK Regulator Allows 5 Crypto Firms to Operate With Temporary Registration

The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) updated its list of crypto asset firms with temporary registration Thursday.

There are now five firms on the list: Ltd., Copper Technologies (UK) Ltd., Globalblock Ltd., Revolut Ltd., and Moneybrain Ltd.

At the end of March, the British financial regulator said that it extended the registration deadline for some crypto firms to meet its regulatory requirements. At that time, there were 12 firms on the temporary registration list. Companies that are not on the latest list cannot continue to operate after April 1. Read More

Explaining Crypto’s Billion Dollar Bridge Problem

On March 23rd, the Ronin blockchain network underlying the popular NFT-driven game Axie Infinity was hit with a hack that saw the attackers walk away with an eye-popping $625 million in cryptocurrency.

The Ronin hack was the largest amount of money that had ever been stolen from the type of service called a “bridge,” which connects one blockchain to another so that value can be sent between them. Unfortunately, it was far from the only hack to hit a bridge: less than two months previously, another bridge platform called Wormhole was exploited for close to $325 million, and about six months before that, more than $600 million was stolen from another cross-chain bridge called Poly. (In a surprising twist, the hacker later returned Poly’s stolen funds.)

In short, bridges are the weak point in a lot of cryptocurrency systems, and hackers are targeting them for more than $1 billion in little over a year. So it’s worth laying out exactly what they are, why they’re important, and how crypto companies can try to plug the billion-dollar hole in their pockets. Read More

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