Today in Crypto: Payments Platform Wirex Makes US Debut; Tesla Says It Held $2B in Bitcoin at End of ’21

Wirex, cryptocurrency, US

North Korea has reportedly used stolen crypto funds to help fund its missile development program, according to a Reuters report Monday (Feb. 7), which cited a report from the United Nations.

The report says North Korean cyber actors stole over $50 million between 2020 and mid-2021 from at least three crypto exchanges in North America, Europe and Asia.

The Reuters report notes that the estimate is lower than the $400 million identified by Chainalysis in a January report.

In other news, digital payment platform Wirex announced Monday that it has rolled out its services in the U.S., hoping to offer people better access to both crypto and fiat services.

Wirex has recently partnered with Zero Hash,, Visa and Sutton Bank, and now U.S. distribution is starting on its debit card.

Wirex’s services offer the ability to buy, hold, exchange and sell U.S. dollars, along with 37 different cryptocurrencies, from a single app. It also allows for sending and receiving crypto from external wallets.

Meanwhile, Tesla said in a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing that it was holding almost $2 billion in bitcoin as of the end of last year, CNBC reported Monday.

The company bought $1.5 billion in the popular crypto last year. For a short time, Tesla took bitcoin as a payment option, but stopped doing so last May over environmental concerns.

The company doesn’t account for bitcoin as a mark-to-market asset, which means it only affects earnings when it buys or sells the coin, so the drop in bitcoin’s price shouldn’t affect Tesla’s earnings unless it has divested any of its holdings, per the report.

Furthermore, the Valkyrie Bitcoin Miners ETF has received approval from Nasdaq for listing, according to a Monday CoinDesk report.

The exchange-traded fund (ETF) offers exposure to the stocks of bitcoin miners, and the fund plans to invest at least 80% of its net assets in companies that make at least half their profit from bitcoin mining.

Finally, cryptocurrency platforms are afraid of more regulatory scrutiny in the wake of a U.S. SEC rules proposal, the Financial Times reported Monday.

The rules would fill a regulatory gap, making platforms outside the SEC supervision follow rules that protect investors and promote fair and orderly markets.