Authorized volume of cryptocurrencies by our governments: Apple and Google, real loopholes?

Tue 23 May 2023 ▪ 4 min of reading ▪ by Mikaia A.
Getting informed Regulation

According to Balaji Srinivasan, our governments can deprive us of our cryptocurrency assets if they want to. They can indeed use Apple, through our iPhones and iPads, and Google if necessary. Let’s explain!

Image of a pirate ship, with bitcoin logo and Uncle Sam's picture, governments

Our cryptos are vulnerable

Crypto enthusiasts don’t like IP address leaks, like the case of MetaMask, and the violation of confidential data. That’s why they favor decentralized exchanges (DEX) and non-custodial crypto wallets.

But Balaji Srinivasan fears the worst regarding the future of our digital assets.

Balaji Srinivasan sounds the alarm

Apple and Google are systemic risks to crypto. If weaponized by the federal government, they could backdoor iPhone and Android to exfiltrate private keys.

Bitcoin.com, which picked up this tweet, has revealed that the former CTO of Coinbase acknowledges that the US authorities have the power to force the GAFAM companies to comply when needed. By issuing orders to Apple or Google, they could obtain private keys through devices and applications under the control of these tech giants. Goodbye, bitcoins!

This isn’t cyberterrorism, it’s cyberwar. It’s not some random hacker who manages to sneak out a file. It’s when the CEO of a company gives the lawful order to hack their customers,” he said.

Confiscation of bitcoin by an increasingly impoverished government

In the United States, all we hear about is the decline of the dollar and recession. According to Mr. Srinivasan, such situations could lead the White House to dictate a legal act of data hacking of crypto hodlers in the future.

Certainly, Uncle Sam’s country cannot yet carry out a 51% attack due to the lack of control over the computing power of the BTC network. But one should not underestimate the other alternatives that are within its reach.

Moreover, with iPhones and iPads, MacBooks, iMacs, Android phones, as well as Chrome browsers, Gmail accounts, and Google Docs numbering in the billions, our governments will not hesitate to rejoice when that day comes.

That’s where hardware wallets like Ledger become indispensable.

If you can’t trust the operating system itself, things get tricky. Linux is an answer but Linux devices may not scale in time. Exchanges built on Linux are another possible answer, but those are of course custodial and possibly also vulnerable to similar attacks. I don’t have all the answers, but I want to raise the question to get us to start thinking about it. It’s possible that the answer here is in part social or political, not simply technological,” he concluded.

The British government also wants to seize cryptocurrencies from tax offenders through the HMRC.

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Mikaia A. avatar
Mikaia A.

La révolution blockchain et crypto est en marche ! Et le jour où les impacts se feront ressentir sur l’économie la plus vulnérable de ce Monde, contre toute espérance, je dirai que j’y étais pour quelque chose


The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and should not be taken as investment advice. Do your own research before taking any investment decisions.