Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed to Les Echos on Thursday that the American smartphone giant won’t be taking steps to develop its own cryptocurrency.
As the Facebook debacle continues, mainstream media has been left to speculate on who next will wade into the murky waters of decentralized payment systems.
When asked how Apple would respond in the wake of Facebook’s attempted Libra launch, Cook responded:
“No. I deeply believe that money must remain in the hands of states… Money, like Defense, must remain in the hands of States, it is at the heart of their mission.”
The Libra Association is already under pressure as two of its major backers Visa and Mastercard consider calling it quits thanks to continued pressure from regulators.
Apple Not Willing to Dip It’s Toes in the Crypto Waters
Despite a drop in global smartphone market share shipments, Apple still remains a prime target for cryptocurrency adoption.
Samsung, who leads global share numbers by some margin, is already developing a number of decentralized currency solutions for its range of phones. The smartphone crypto wars are upon us and Apple is just sitting on the sidelines.
Cook launched an alternative fintech solution, Apple Card, earlier this summer in the U.S. It hasn’t, however, been brought to other mainstream markets yet. When asked if he would launch additionally in France, he said:
“We are thinking of developing in several countries. Apple needs to rely on local partners. We do not intend to become a bank. In the United States, we work with Goldman Sachs”
Goldman Sachs is reportedly eyeing crypto itself – a move would potentially put the iPhone maker and its fans in a difficult spot.
Crypto remains a universal option while Apple Card will have to rely on banks in each individual country.
Privacy Issues Still Loom Large for U.S. Companies
Over-regulation in the U.S. continues to hinder large organizations like Apple from innovating in the crypto space.
The Justice Department, for example, is actively pursuing access to users private WhatsApp messages.
Cook appears not to want to go toe-to-toe with the authorities in light of the recent push-back against Facebook. Apple has already had to deal with government backdoor requests in the past.
Asian manufacturers have a sizable lead in cryptocurrency research and if market share numbers continue to dwindle, Apple may have no other choice but to take the plunge itself.