Days before the much-anticipated iPhone 11 launch, an Apple executive confirms the tech giant’s interest in the crypto markets. In an interview with CNN Business, Jennifer Baily, vice president of Apple Pay, said that the iPhone maker is watching the digital currency’s “interesting long-term potential”.
It is a rare moment that an Apple official publicly expressed optimism towards the technology behind virtual coins like bitcoin and Ethereum.
Although, mobile payment has long been part of Apple’s business, having a cryptocurrency wallet seems not to be the company’s priority. This is despite the growing popularity of cryptocurrency in the technology industry.
Bitcoin and cryptocurrency bandwagon has recently been growing amongst tech companies. Other tech giants have made a move indicating that crypto wallets will soon become a bigger part of their platform.
Yahoo, for instance, has just acquired 40% of the stake at Japanese crypto exchange, Taotao. In June this year, Facebook unveiled its cryptocurrency project, Libra, which the company plans to launch early next year. While in 2017, Amazon has reportedly bought three crypto-related domains that sparked speculation that the company may be gearing up towards the cryptocurrency space.
Will Apple Have its Own Crypto Wallet?
It’s hard to say whether Apple will, indeed, create its cryptocurrency wallet if we are to refer to Baily’s statement. While this is a big possibility, this will surely not happen anytime soon and here’s why.
It is conflicting that no mention of cryptocurrency was ever made during the iPhone 11 launch. Apple could have given a hint if they are really interested in the idea of a cryptocurrency wallet to keep the heat up.
Baily has also set out the company’s plans in growing its footing in the financial market through its physical card. She said that the company wants to focus more on the universal acceptance of its existing service, Apple Pay. The service experiences difficulty penetrating the payment market due to privacy and security concerns. According to Baily, contactless payments only have a 70% acceptance rate in the US compared to 99% in Australia.
She said they are making Apple Pay more secure and private than anything in the market today.
Last month, Apple rolled out its first credit card in partnership with Goldman Sachs. But, the user agreement indicates that the service will not allow users to purchase bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. This is another conflicting factor that could stamp out the idea of a cryptocurrency wallet for Apple.
Should Apple pursue a crypto wallet for the iPhone though, it won’t be the first phone manufacturer to do so. HTC has rolled out its Exodus 1, a package that comes with a built-in cryptocurrency app that supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and other coins. Samsung has also released its blockchain-enabled Galaxy Note 10 in September.
Implications of Apple Cryptocurrency
The idea of a cryptocurrency wallet for Apple is revolutionary. Clifford Rossi, a fund educator at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, believes that Apple has a lot to gain from launching its stable coin.
In a Q&A session with the ComputerWorld, Rossi said that a stable coin and cryptocurrency wallet would give Apple a competitive edge over other internet retailers. He furthered that it could add pressure on the banking and payment processing industry despite the lack of standards of cryptocurrency in terms of security and privacy.