Could bitcoin become part of our payments future? Apple seems to think so.
In a recent conversation with CNN Business, Jennifer Bailey, vice president of Apple Pay, revealed the company’s awareness of—and perhaps optimism about—the crypto markets.
“We’re watching cryptocurrency,” Bailey said. “We think it’s interesting. We think it has interesting long-term potential.”
Although brief, her commentary offered a glimpse into how the tech giant is approaching bitcoin and the broader crypto market— that is, with an open mind. Today, Apple’s market capitalization is more than five times larger than that of bitcoin (which stands at $188 billion).
Admittedly, it’s hard to discern much from Bailey’s crypto musings. Her phrase—”interesting long-term potential”—leaves the door open for Apple to dabble in crypto itself, or to slam it shut later on.
If Apple does pursue a crypto wallet for the iPhone though, it won’t be the first phone manufacturer to market. HTC’s Exodus 1 already comes packaged with a “secure enclave” meant to keep your crypto holdings separate from other apps on the device, and this week, Samsung launched a blockchain-enabled smartphone (paywall). Samsung’s device is essentially the Galaxy Note 10 with some crypto-cobranding, courtesy of Klaytn, a South Korean blockchain platform. Apple recently launched its own credit card, backed by Mastercard and Goldman Sachs, which primarily exists within the Apple Pay wallet of the owner’s iPhone.
Apple’s reticence probably indicates the company would support existing cryptocurrencies as opposed to creating its own, like Facebook is attempting to do with Libra. It’s done similarly on other standards, such as the communication tech behind Apple Pay, and the wireless-charging standard its newer iPhones use.