Coinbase has announced the integration of Apple Pay for its United Kingdom-based users. This update enables individuals to acquire Bitcoin, along with other cryptocurrencies, directly through their iPhone’s Apple Pay feature, heralding a significant step in making crypto transactions more accessible and seamless for users across the UK.

Accoording to a report by Cointelegraph, Coinbase underscores the security and privacy benefits that accompany the use of Apple Pay for buying digital currencies. With concerns over financial data security on the rise, Coinbase points out that Apple Pay’s architecture ensures that users’ card numbers are neither stored on their devices nor on Apple servers. Instead, a unique device account number is assigned, encrypted, and securely housed within the device’s industry-standard payment information storage chip. This measure not only enhances transaction security but also preserves the privacy of users’ financial details.

Daniel Seifert, Coinbase’s Country Director for the UK, emphasized the significance of this integration, noting the widespread preference for Apple Pay among UK consumers for its convenience in daily transactions. “We know users already love using Apple Pay in their daily lives, so it only made sense to bring this convenient way to pay to Coinbase as well,” Seifert remarked. This move, according to Seifert, is aimed at making the acquisition of digital assets more straightforward for UK residents, potentially expanding the crypto market within the region.

Coinbase’s initiative arrives at a time when the cryptocurrency sector is witnessing a downturn in trading volumes and retail interest. By facilitating a more user-friendly and secure method of purchasing cryptocurrencies, Coinbase aims to invigorate the market and attract new users. With over six million adults in the UK reportedly owning crypto, the introduction of Apple Pay integration represents a strategic effort by Coinbase to lower the entry barriers to digital asset ownership, aspiring to significantly increase this number.

On 5 April 2024, Coinbase Institutional published as its latest Weekly Market Commentary a research report by David Han, an analyst at Coinbase Research, which claimed that crypto markets have experienced a downward trend following recent comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

According to the report, the lack of clarity regarding the direction of the market has been observed not only in cryptocurrencies but also in equities and other risk assets, all of which have shown little movement over the last week.

Coinbase highlights that growing concerns about reflation have led to market expectations for rate cuts by the end of the year adopting a more hawkish stance than the Federal Reserve’s for the first time in 2024. By April 4, the anticipated rate for the end of the year had risen to 4.631%, significantly surpassing the 3.825% forecasted in early January and exceeding the Federal Reserve’s median target of 4.625.

In such a financial climate, gold has emerged as the primary beneficiary, achieving record values amidst a surge in central bank purchases, escalating geopolitical tensions, and reflation worries, as noted in the Coinbase report. The rise in gold prices is often linked with Federal Reserve rate reductions and inflation spikes, indicating a market tendency to prioritize inflation concerns over adjustments in Federal Reserve rates, along with a growing consensus that inflation could present more significant challenges than previously expected, according to Coinbase’s analysis.

The Coinbase research analyst suggests that Bitcoin’s growing recognition as “digital gold” may attract a broader range of investors under the current economic conditions. Han posits that market dips are expected to be more keenly exploited by buyers than in past cycles, with ongoing volatility during the price discovery phase. He further speculates that the introduction of US spot Bitcoin ETFs, offering wider access to capital, may play a role in moderating the volatility seen in past cycles, as per Coinbase insights.

Featured Image via Coinbase