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Apple Publishes Bitcoin Icons & ‘CryptoKit’; iPhone Crypto Wallet Coming?

Last Updated March 4, 2021 2:34 PM
Ben Brown
Last Updated March 4, 2021 2:34 PM

By CCN.com: Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) is underway, and while most of the focus is on iOS3, Apple quietly revealed  a new upgrade for developers called CryptoKit.

Apple also released its new icon set  for designers which feature four bitcoin logos.

It begs the question, what are Apple’s plans for cryptocurrency integration?

Apple WWDC CryptoKit Frederic Jacobs tweet
  Apple’s Frederic Jacobs announced new CryptoKit for developers

Apple CryptoKit: a path to a hardware wallet?

CryptoKit provides developers with a new toolkit for cryptographic functionality. It means app developers can integrate operations like hashing, key generation, and encryption . In particular, CryptoKit will facilitate the use of public and private key management.

“Use public-key cryptography to create and evaluate digital signatures, and to perform key exchange. In addition to working with keys stored in memory, you can also use private keys stored in and managed by the Secure Enclave.”

Viktor Radchenko, founder of TrustWallet , said CryptoKit brings Apple one step closer to full hardware wallet functionality.

“Only a few steps away before you can turn your phone into a hardware wallet.”

Viktor Radchenko tweet
  TrustWallet’s Viktor Radchenko said Apple is one step closer to facilitating a hardware wallet

Apple’s Frederic Jacobs, part of the cryptographic and security engineering team, said CryptoKit is “a fast and secure Swift API to perform cryptographic operations.”

Jacobs did not respond to a request for further comment at the time of publishing.

Apple bitcoin icons

The company also released the new San Francisco icon set designed for iOS3. Among the set of 1,000 icons are four bitcoin logos. Two circular BTC logos and two square. There are no ethereum logos or any other cryptocurrency.

bitcoin logo icons Apple
Apple releases new icon set complete with bitcoin logos

The new icon set means developers can easily integrate bitcoin icons into their apps.

Apple following Samsung’s cryptocurrency lead?

As CCN.com has extensively reported, Samsung has taken the initiative with cryptocurrency integration. The Samsung Galaxy S10 launched earlier this year with an integrated hardware wallet designed to store private keys. 

Samsung is also reportedly readying crypto asset integration into Samsung Pay, a payment system with over 10 million users. And in May, CCN.com reported that Samsung plans to extend its hardware wallet into budget Galaxy models too.

Everything we know about CryptoKit

Apple’s CryptoKit will allow developers to perform common cryptographic operations, such as:

“Compute and compare cryptographically secure digests” and “generate symmetric keys, and use them in operations like message authentication and encryption.”

For developers, it provides a toolkit to build more secure apps and frees apps from handling raw pointers.

The tech giant will reveal more about CryptoKit in a WWDC session on Wednesday . 

Frederic Jacobs WWDC CryptoKit tweet 

Still too early to predict Apple’s crypto plans

It’s too early to draw any conclusions about Apple’s cryptocurrency plans, if there are any. But at least Apple is providing the tools for cryptocurrency developers to build on iOS. For now, consider this the start of a much longer story.