Apple CEO Tim Cook has stated in an interview with French financial newspaper Les Echos that private companies should not be in the business of creating currencies, putting to bed any suggestions that Apple is considering creating a cryptocurrency of their own. Apple launched its own credit card for US users in August and has watched as Facebook has become the first of the top tech companies to dip its toes into the world of cryptocurrency, and it seems that Cook is not keen to follow them.
Cook Sends Clear Message to Facebook
Cook, who is overseeing Apple’s transition from hardware innovator to content provider, was asked in the interview if Apple was planning to create its own currency following on from the launch of its card, but Cook’s answer was unequivocal:
No. I deeply believe that money must remain in the hands of states. I am not comfortable with the idea that a private group creates a competing currency. A private company does not have to seek to gain power in this way. Money, like Defense, must remain in the hands of States, it is at the heart of their mission. We elect our representatives to assume government responsibilities. Companies are not elected, they do not have to go on this ground.
Cook’s response will no doubt please government officials who have enough on their plate with cryptocurrency regulations and in particular Facebook’s Libra proposal without Apple throwing their hat into the mix. It also comes a month after vice president of Apple Pay Jennifer Bailey said that the division was focusing on “what consumers are using today”, but that cryptocurrencies had “interesting long-term potential”.
End of the Line for iPhone Crypto Wallets?
There was some excitement in the crypto community in June this year that Apple might be finally getting into crypto after a ‘Cryptokit’ that allowed developers to build around the Secure Enclave that is present within all iPhones was revealed, but these hopes were dashed when it was revealed that it was not for cryptocurrency after all. Cook’s comments suggest that we won’t be seeing a hardware crypto wallet on an iPhone for some time, if at all. The views of the current Apple board are markedly different than those of Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who is a prominent Bitcoin supporter, having in the past called it “pure digital gold”.