Apple sees ‘long-term potential’ in cryptocurrencies

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An Apple Coin? Don't rule it out.
Photo: Antana/Flickr CC

Could an Apple cryptocurrency be coming? While it doesn’t sound like it’s on the immediate horizon, Apple Pay VP Jennifer Bailey recently suggested it’s not totally off the table.

It would fit with Apple’s growing embrace of financial services. The company got into mobile payments with Apple Pay in 2014 and released the Apple Card this year. Now, Cupertino appears to be taking a wait-and-see approach on cryptocurrencies.

“We think it’s interesting,” Bailey said at a recent CNN private event in San Francisco. “We think it has interesting long-term potential, but we’re primarily focused on what consumers are using today.”

Apple rarely comments on new areas of interest. However, there have been occasional exceptions. CEO Tim Cook, for instance, called AR headsets rife with potential. Persistent rumors indicate Apple continues to work on developing some sort of AR glasses.

Apple cryptocurrency: The future of payments?

Bailey added that cryptocurrency and QR code-based systems may one day become mainstream alternatives to current payment methods. “If you look at QR code payment solutions, if you look at the long-term potential of cryptocurrency, I think you’ll continue to see that change over time,” she said.

To date, Apple hasn’t been the biggest public supporter of cryptocurrency. In 2018, Apple revised wording in the App Store review guidelines to ban apps that “run unrelated background processes, such as cryptocurrency mining.” The small print of Apple Card’s customer agreement also notes that users cannot buy Bitcoin with it.

With that said, Apple sometimes publicly disparages certain technologies before diving in itself. In 2003, Steve Jobs told Walt Mossberg that nobody wanted a tablet. “It turns out people want keyboards,” he said. “Tablets appeal to rich guys with plenty of other PCs and devices already.” A few years later, Apple unveiled the iPad.

An Apple Coin isn’t necessarily something Cupertino will ever get on board with. But if a seamless approach could be developed at some point when cryptocurrencies are more widely embraced, it wouldn’t be a massive surprise to see the company go down that route. Heck, it wouldn’t be the first tech giant to do so!

Source: CNBC