After taking a cautious approach and watch the crypto space grow in leaps and bounds over the last decade, Apple has finally broken its silence and has issued a rather conservative vote-of-confidence on the industry created by a mysterious person.
Apple vice president Jennifer Baily spoke to CNN in a private event in the home of the tech revolution, San Francisco, in which she painted a positive outlook for the crypto industry, without stating that the company is planning to release any crypto-related products soon, reported Finance Magnates on Sept. 6.
In the interview, Bailey explained that they are more interested in the products that consumers are presently using. “We think it’s interesting… We think it has interesting long-term potential, but we’re primarily focused on what consumers are using today.”
Looking into financial services
Bailey highlighted that there is a talk that digital currencies are part of the future of the digital payments industry, which Apple is pushing to get a grip of. The tech giant released the Apple Card in August, a credit card that the company created in partnership with payments giant Mastercard and investment bank Goldman Sachs.
Mastercard is itself showing more interest in the crypto industry. It is a part of Libra Association, a group of nearly 27 companies that reportedly invested $10 million each to join Facebook’s yet-to-be-launched Libra cryptocurrency.
The company is also building its own cryptocurrency team, at least according to a job listing. It is too early to know if the firm is planning to release its digital currency or not.
Apple released Apple Pay, a finance-related product in 2014
While Apple’s entry into crypto might be seen as a bullish sentiment by those in the industry; Dan Ives, a security analyst at Wedbush Securities thinks otherwise and claims that the company’s foray into the emerging crypto market would be best described as a “major shot in the arm” for the industry.
Apple is only watching crypto with an open mind and there are currently no signs of engagement with the industry.
However, Ives believes that the company’s interest in crypto “could make sense given its sights on further monetizing its consumers.” Ives’ prediction may not be too far off as Apple is increasing its revenue generated from finance products.
Not a cozy relationship with crypto
While Apple’s vice president has uttered kind words towards the company, Apple has not generally been a big fan of crypto in recent times. The company does not allow the users of Apple card to purchase cryptocurrencies and has set tight rules that prohibit crypto-related apps from being listed on its App Store.
Bailey has a few crypto-related products she finds interesting and one of them is the QR code payment solution, which she believes has long term potential and will become popular in the future.
“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.
Bitcoin has grown from obscurity to a standalone and thriving industry that big tech and Wall Street are potentially looking at. In 2017, JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon bashed Bitcoin saying “I could care less what bitcoin trades for, how it trades, why it trades, who trades it. If you’re stupid enough to buy it, you’ll pay the price for it one day.”
However, JP Morgan has issued a stablecoin-like digital currency that the company uses in-house for its corporate clients.
Apple’s competitive edge at risk
Apple may very well not think that consumers are interested in crypto products but its competitors think otherwise and are already providing cryptocurrency-related products to their customers.
Samsung, the South Korean electronics giant, which can be considered to be Apple’s biggest competitor, has previously released smartphones with crypto wallets. The company is now moving from providing support for 33 cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, Ether, Binance Coin, and a host of stablecoins.
HTC released a blockchain-focused phone known as the Exodus, and all these point to a growing trend of companies moving towards providing cryptocurrency-related products.
Facebook, one of the Big Tech companies has also ventured onto the crypto scene with Libra project despite facing a backlash from policymakers.
The CEO of payment processing firm Square, Jack Dorsey, an internet entrepreneur who is also the co-founder and CEO of Twitter, announced in March that his payment company was planning to hire developers to work on improving the bitcoin ecosystem.