Apple declared its interest in cryptocurrencies, which, according to Apple Pay exec, have long-term potential.
Apple, which previously did not show much interest in cryptocurrencies, while other technology companies did, said it was watching the digital currency industry.
“We're watching cryptocurrency,” Jennifer Bailey, vice president of Apple Pay, told CNN in an interview at a private event in San Francisco. “We think it's interesting. We think it has interesting long-term potential.”
Bailey mentioned cryptocurrencies while discussing the future of payment systems and the role of Apple Pay and Apple Card in this market.
Prior to Apple, a number of large US corporations already started work with the cryptocurrency projects. Thus, Facebook plans to launch its own cryptocurrency Libra in 2020, and the payment processing operator Square opened several vacancies for the position of IT engineers in the cryptocurrency field in early 2019.
“This would be a major shot in the arm for crypto if Apple headed down this path,” Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, told CNN Business. “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 entered the mobile payment market in 2014 with the launch of Apple Pay. Then the company forecasted that Apple Pay will “transform” the mobile payment market, offering a simple and secure way to make payments in applications and in brick-and-mortar stores.
Apple does not specify how many people currently use Apple Pay, but the system processes almost one billion transactions per month. According to Bailey, since the launch in 2014, contactless payments in stores in the United States grew from 3% to over 70%.
Currently, Apple does not let its users buy cryptocurrencies with the recently issued Apple card. In August, the company issued the first Apple Card. It is built into the Apple Wallet iPhone app, but there is the option to purchase a phisical laser engraved titanium card.
However, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is a well-known cryptocurrency enthusiast. He told that he took interest in bitcoin when it was priced at $700. Wozniak beleives that bitcoin and blockchain will reach their full potential in a decade. He even supported Ethereum claiming it could be as influential as Apple.