What Tim Cook Said About Apple & Crypto

8 Min Read
1635 words

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Last week during an interview with New York Times DealBook, Tim Cook shared interesting insights about Apple and cryptocurrencies. I like both Apple and Bitcoin and believe both have been playing a major role in the 21st century of technological innovations. Apple and Bitcoin, while one is a centralized company and the other a decentralized network, they both still have many similarities.

Apple has played a great role in advancement of computer technologies and pioneered making personal computing a reality. Ever since Apple started its journey of building computers for businesses and people, it remained steady in its mission and became known for their dedication, quality they deliver, and continuous innovation. Apple did have its bad days as well. It even almost went bankrupt. But it was able to reinvest itself and come back stronger.

One of the biggest innovation Apple has brought forward in this century is in mobile computing, creating an iPhone. When everybody doubted, Apple was able to see the future and give humanity what millions if not billions use today on daily basis. Today capacitive touchscreen mobile phones is a norm. Some people like iPhone, other like Android phones. At this point, it is not necessarily which one is a better technology, but rather habits we have developed and seems more familiar.

Mobile phones technology advanced so fast and so much, today most mobile phones are capable of performing most of the needed functions and have Apps available on both platforms. Yet the fact remains, Apple was first in this space.

First iPhone was release on June 29th, 2007. Bitcoin whitepaper was published only a year after this event, on October 31st, 2008. Then Bitcoin network came into existence on January 3rd 2009. Both of these technologies have made a great impact to humanity and have promise and serving humanity. Not only both of these innovations are big steps forward, but they need each other to make an even bigger impact.

I like iPhone, and everything Apple. I also respect your choices of technologies like Windows, Android, etc. :) This is not a conversation or debate about operating systems or platforms. Competition is always good for innovation. This is more about innovations that serve and benefit humanity.

Apple has always said and delivered in the promise of making things better for people. In fact, Tim Cook repeats this sentiments several times in the interview. I also understand that Apple being a company they may choose profits over benefits for people at times. However, nothing wrong with creating something cool and making profits along the way. I just hope this facilitates more innovation.

Similarly, Bitcoin has a promise of serving people with offering a better alternative to traditional financial systems, money, and how we think about it and how we use it. Bitcoin solves many things, among which are removing trust to centralized entities who time and time again proven not to act at the best interest of people due to greed, corruption or incompetence. In addition to being a better money, and offering property rights to billions, Bitcion has come at a right time when internet got sophisticated enough to make Bitcoin and other internet currencies a reality.

So it is a no brainer for me and many others that Apple, being a pioneer in innovation and a leader in personal computers, mobile devices should or would realize that Bitcoin network is an asset for the company. Sooner they implement this technology, better they will position themselves to stay competitive in the future and most importantly deliver on their promise - serving humanity.

To watch Tim Cook's interview, visit the following link:

Questions and answers about bitcoin and cryptocurrencies start at 14:52.

The interviewer asks:

"What's your thought on cryptocurrency right now? Potentially accepting it through Apple Pay or otherwise?"

To which Tim Cook responds with:

"It is something we are looking at. It is not something we have immediate plans to do. I would characterize it as, there are things I wouldn't do, like our cash balance. I wouldn't go invest that in crypto. Not because I wouldn't invest my own money in crypto, but because I don't think people buy an Apple stock to get exposure to crypto. So, if they want to do that they can invest directly in crypto or through other means. I wouldn't do that. And I am not planning to an immediate future to take crypto for our products, as a mean of tender. But there are other things we are definitely looking at.

In this answer alone he reveals a lot about what Apple is thinking about bitcoin and crypto. Right away he makes a distinction between what he would do with his personal money - invest in crypto, but wouldn't commit company money to invest in crypto. His explanation that they wouldn't want people to buy Apple stock to get exposure in crypto sounds reasonable. But I tend to think there is more to that. If crypto is good investment for your personal money, why wouldn't it be for the company? Even as just means to diversify.

I think it may have to do with Apple's accounting of their cash, and clever maneuvers they utilize to pay the least amount of taxes as possible. They already get criticize for this. Now investing in crypto with company money may raise more questions from government entities. Also, Apple is a big influential company that has business with various governments. They are not the underdog company as they used to be anymore. So, they probably wouldn't want to be among the first that choose bitcoin over fiat currencies. Ok, understandable. So, Apple will not be investing in bitcoin or crypto any time soon.

Since they are not doing that, and happy with conducting their business with fiat, they don't see a reason to accept payments in bitcoin or crypto. This is understandable as well. Because I don't think accepting bitcoin or crypto will result in selling more products. They already have many loyal customers, and keep growing their user base just fine with fiat. I was going to buy the newest iPhone. They are still not available in the stores.

Now the last statement is what I was really interested to learn more about. What other things they are looking at? I don't care if Apple invests in bitcoin or crypto, I don't care if they accept bitcoin or crypto for their products. What I care is will they open up their network for bitcoin and crypto and build native wallets and tools like Apple Pay to store crypto, use it in a peer-to-peer fashion, let developers accept payments in crypto. This is what I am interested in. Is Apple ready to embrace bitcoin and crypto as a technological innovation, and works towards integration of their technology with bitcion and other crypto networks?

The interviewer asks:

Like what?

Tim Cook says:

Like, I wouldn't want to have anything to announce today. Hahaha.

Of course. They do like their secrets. But this does tell they are thinking about it, and considering something. Something that important that he is not ready to reveal yet. I take that as a good news, for now. If there was nothing today, he probably wouldn't hesitate to say that they are not getting involved in bitcoin and crypto at all.

Let's see what else they discussed.

The interviewer continues:

Let me ask you a different question. Because you just said you might not dot it personally. Do you own crypto? Any bitcoin or ethereum? Do you play around with this?

Time Cook:

I do, yeah. I think it is reasonable to own it as part of a diversified portfolio. And I am not giving anybody financial advice, by the way.

Interviewer:

When did you get interested in it?

Tim Cook:

I have been interested in it for a while. And, I have been, you know, researching it and so forth. So, I think it is interesting.

Interviewer:

All of people...I don't know if you talked about it publicly before. People are going to say you are bitcoin bull?

Tim Cook:

Haha. I don't know what they are going to say. I wouldn't want to put any labels on me. It's just that...It is something that...from a personal point of view I am interested in.

Interviewer:

While we are on the topic, what about NFTs? That feels like the next level of this.

Tim Cook:

I think it is also interesting. I think it will take a while to play out in a way that is for a mainstream person. I think it is interesting.

Interesting indeed. Well, he does find them interesting. Probably more than interesting if he invested with personal funds already. I do like the fact that they has been aware of bitcoin and crypto for a while and has been doing research on. I would be surprised if he didn't. He is a CEO of a company that is a pioneer in innovation. Neglecting one of the biggest innovations like bitcoins would be a mistake.

Overall, I think this is positive news for bitcoin and crypto. CEO of one of the biggest companies is personally invested, find them interesting. While Apple itself has no plans to invest in bitcoin directly or accept it as a payment method, there is something they are working on that he cannot reveal yet. My guess is, it has to do with wallets, software, and perhaps even some kind of integration of bitcoin network in Apple devices. Or not. What else could it be? Feel free your thoughts in the comments.

Alternatively, Tim Cook could convert Apple's cash to Hive Dollars and earn 10% APR on their cash. HBD is almost like fiat. But better. :)

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