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Apple recognises ‘long-term potential’ of cryptocurrency

Benson Toti

Unlike other tech majors, such as Samsung Electronics and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) has not made a serious effort to tap into the cryptocurrency sector. However, this doesn’t mean that the iPhone maker isn’t paying attention to the space.

In an interview with CNN Business, the vice president of Apple’s payment division, Jennifer Bailey, indicated that the Cupertino-based company was aware of the technology’s potential.

“We’re watching cryptocurrency,” Bailey recently told CNN’s chief business correspondent Christine Romans. “We think it’s interesting. We think it has interesting long-term potential.”

In June, social media giant Facebook revealed that it was working on a blockchain-powered payment system and a crypto token called Libra. The news provided a big boost to the crypto market, though it also prompted pushback from regulators and lawmakers around the world.

According to Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, a similar move by Apple would trigger another resurgence.

“This would be a major shot in the arm for crypto if Apple headed down this path,” Ives said, as quoted by CNN. “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.”

Apple’s payment platform seems as a likely candidate to spearhead the company’s potential foray into crypto. The Apple Pay service already facilitates cashless payments in physical stores and online, while Apple Pay Cash allows people to transfer funds via messages. Expanding the service to support crypto payments seems like a reasonable strategy for a company that wants to be a major player in online payments.

Alternatively, Apple could add blockchain functionalities, such as crypto wallet, to its iPhone handsets, similarly to what its major rival in the mobile space, Samsung Electronics, is doing with its flagship model Galaxy S10.

Featured image: LuckyStep /Shutterstock.com

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