Q&A: What Apple’s embrace of cryptocurrency could mean for the payment industry

Q&A: What Apple’s embrace of cryptocurrency could mean for the payment industry


An Apple executive last week confirmed the company is interested in cryptocurrency, a revelation that came months after the company launched its CryptoKit for iOS 13 .

While still speculative, Apple’s CryptoKit is likely the first step in enabling the exchange of private and public keys that could allow users to make purchases with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies stored on an iPhone.

Apple would be only the latest in a flurry of financial services, ecommerce and social media giants establishing stable coin technology or cryptocurrency backed by traditional fiat money. Those companies include JP Morgan Chase , Visa and Facebook , which unveiled its Libra Coin and Calibra digital wallet earlier this year.

A stablecoin and a digital or crypto wallet could give Apple a competitive advantage over other etailers and ratchet up pressure on the banking and payment processing industry. The cryptocurrency marketplace, however, has no widely adopted industry standards to ensure security and privacy best practices.

Clifford Rossi, an executive-in-residence and professor in the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland’s Finance Department, believes Apple has a lot to gain from launching its own stable coin.

The following are excerpts from an interview with Rossi about Apple and crypto:

What would make cryptocurrency an attractive proposition for Apple? "This is a whole revolution. If you take a look at current payment methods…, take Apple Pay for a moment, you have many different ways in which a consumer can transact online or through mobile devices today, and really what […]