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About a month ago, Apple Pay VP Jennifer Bailey declared that the firm is “watching cryptocurrency” because it considered the topic to be interesting and believed that it has “long-term potential”.
This week, however, CEO Tim Cook made a statement that appears to have finally put that idea to rest. Cook came out strongly against the idea of Apple launching its own cryptocurrency.
In remarks published yesterday, he said that businesses should not attempt to become more powerful by launching competing cryptocurrencies. In August 2018, Facebook announced its intention to introduce an in-house digital currency. The planned launch date is June 2020.
The project will be managed as part of a joint venture with other members of the Libra Association, which the technology giant established specifically for this purpose.
However, when asked by Los Echos daily newspaper yesterday whether Apple intends to follow Facebook’s example, Cook said that it was not part of his agenda.
He explained: “No. I really think that a currency should stay in the hands of countries. I’m not comfortable with the idea of a private group setting up a competing currency.” He added that he didn’t believe that a private business should try to gain more power in this manner.
Facebook’s plans to haul cryptocurrencies into the public arena has subsequently been met with political and regulatory scepticism, not only in the US but also internationally. Germany and France, for example, promised to prevent Libra from being launched in Europe.
Facebook’s cryptocurrency plans caused speculation among analysts over whether major international firms such as Apple, which already offers a selection of financial services such as phone-based or credit card-based payment systems, would follow its example and launch their own cryptocurrencies.
The speculation intensified after Bailey’s comment that Apple was “watching” cryptocurrencies, but Cook seems to have put a stop to any such plans, at least for now.