Apple Keeping A Watch On Cryptocurrency, VP Says It Has “Interesting Long-term Potential”


“We're watching cryptocurrency,” Jennifer Bailey, vice president of Apple Pay, recently told CNN's Chief Business Correspondent Christine Romans at a private event in San Francisco. “We think it's interesting. We think it has interesting long-term potential.”

Apple co-founder Steve Woznaik has also been a Bitcoin proponent who sees “massive value creation” in Bitcoin.

However, unlike other tech companies, technology giant Apple (AAPL) hasn’t fully jumped on the crypto bandwagon yet but it isn’t a stranger to cryptocurrency as it is keeping an eye on it.

Apple’s Crypto History

Apple first got into mobile payments in 2014 with the launch of Apple Pay with the promise to “transform” the mobile payment market. Apple Pay processes nearly one billion transactions a month.Last month, the company also launched its first credit card, the Apple Card, built into the iPhone’s Apple Wallet App.

This Goldman Sachs card, however, restricts the purchase of cryptocurrencies using the card, as per its customer agreement guidelines.

The restriction indicates that the banking partner of the company remains leery towards cryptocurrencies. But this hasn’t been the first such move by Apple.

Back in 2014, it removed all the Bitcoin wallets including Coinbase, Blockchain.com’s Wallet and Coinjar from the App Store. Then again in late 2016, it banned certain types of digital currency wallets.

A Major Shot in the Arm

The company's interest in cryptocurrencies is no surprise as a growing number of tech companies are immersing into the crypto space.

Facebook (FB) has already announced its cryptocurrency Libra, expected to launch in 2020. Square, the payment processing company has opened a new division Square Crypto that is hiring developers.

“This would be a major shot in the arm for crypto if Apple headed down this path,” Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, told CNN Business. “Given where Apple strategically is focused, a move into crypto could make sense given its sights on further monetizing its consumers over the coming years.”

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