Tech giants like Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT), Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB), Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA), to name a few, are actively embracing the fast-growing crypto industry. For example, last year, Microsoft launched an Identity Overlay Network (ION) built on the Bitcoin (BTC) blockchain and filed a patent for a crypto mining system powered by human activity. Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN), which was heavily investing in Ethereum (ETH), is planning to launch its own crypto project. EV-maker Tesla has also started buying cryptocurrencies and invested as much as $1.5 billion in Bitcoin. Meanwhile, Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL), one of the largest companies in terms of market value, seems to remain neutral about Bitcoin and BTC-related activities.
Apple and Bitcoin’s Relationship
Back in 2012, Apple came under criticism for removing two Bitcoin apps – Blockchain Wallet and BitPak – from the App Store. As Apple explained at that time, “apps must comply with all legal requirements in any location where they are made available to users. Notably, there were no legal requirements surrounding Bitcoin and other digital assets then.
Until 2014, Apple stayed skeptical about cryptos. However, following the expulsion of Coinbase‘s wallet app and Blockchain app, the company decides to review its policy. After the Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC 2014), an annual meetup of Apple developers, the giant released a document where it stated:
“Apps may facilitate transmission of approved virtual currencies provided that they do so in compliance with all state and federal laws for the territories in which the app functions.”
Since then, things started to change.
In 2019, Apple announced the iPhone CryptoKit. It allows developers to implement hashing, key generation and exchange.
Besides, Apple submitted a document with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to outline its role in establishing blockchain guidelines for the “Responsible Business Alliance’s Responsible Minerals Initiative” – companies dedicated to improving welfare standards for the mineral miners in their supply chains.
Later, Apple Pay VP Jennifer Bailey told in an interview with CNBC’s “The Table” that the company started to open up to the crypto space. He said:
“We’re watching cryptocurrency … We think it’s interesting. We think it has interesting long-term potential.”
However, in 2020, the Coinbase crypto app faced a new round of scrutiny from Apple. Specifically, Apple said that the software in Coinbase’s app that facilitated cryptocurrency transactions was “not appropriate for the App Store.”
Hopes on Apple’s Crypto Activity
Currently, Apple tries to explore the crypto space and implements very measured steps. Notably, many analysts agree that Apple should invest in BTC or even create its own crypto exchange.
Recently, RBC Capital Markets published a report saying that the company can easily generate more than $40 billion from the cryptocurrency business. And launching an exchange could also help to make the U.S. a technological leader in cryptocurrencies for the next decade or two.