Apple is adding itself to a growing tribe of corporates and institutions experimenting with cryptocurrencies. The iPhone maker in a job post titled “Business Development Manager – Alternative Payments” on Tuesday hinted towards its interest in exploring the crypto buzz. The company’s payment vertical called Apple Wallets, Payments, and Commerce (WPC) is looking for a business development manager to lead its “Alternative Payments Partnerships”, having over five-year experience with alternative payment providers including cryptocurrency apart from digital wallets, buy now pay later programmes, etc., the job post read.
“We need your help forming partnership framework and commercial models, defining implementation paradigms, identifying key players and managing relationships with strategic alternative payment partners,” Apple said in the job post that will be located in its California headquarters.
“It is indeed a great sign that major companies are starting to adopt digital currencies. As true believers of decentralization, we have always seen this is as inevitable. It is the equivalent of banks getting computerized 20 years ago, but will probably have a much broader significance as it is of global relevance. Apart from just the technology, it will be keen to see its implication on how companies will use this for interacting with their customers,” Pruthvi Rao, Co-founder & CEO of blockchain company Zebi told The Outlooker Online.
The move by Apple builds on the company’s possible intent to offer support for Bitcoin payments via its Wallet. According to recent media reports, Apple Pay is allowing users to spend Bitcoin. In February this year, BitPay, which provides Bitcoin and cryptocurrency payment services, had announced that US cardholders of its BitPay Prepaid Mastercard can add their card to Apple Wallet and spend with Apple Pay. As per Reuters, citing a research report by investment bank RBC Capital Markets in February this year, Apple has a “clear opportunity” to offer a buying and selling mechanism for cryptocurrencies — a move that would allow it to immediately gain market share.
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While the company is looking to explore cryptos, it was against the opinion of companies creating their own cryptocurrencies. “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,” Apple CEO Tim Cook had told French financial newspaper Les Echos in 2019, as per a Reuters report. The statement was in response to a question whether Apple would follow Facebook in launching its own cryptocurrency. Earlier in 2019, Facebook had announced Libra cryptocurrency.
Apple’s crypto interest follows increased institutional backing as a host of large enterprises such as Tesla, JPMorgan, PayPal, MicroStrategy, Goldman Sachs, and more have been making a beeline for digital currencies particularly Bitcoin. Earlier this month, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg had also hinted at his possible investment into the cryptocurrency after he posted a picture of his two goats – one of them named after Bitcoin – on Facebook. The previous Libra project had faced resistance from the regulators globally and was eventually unable to take off.
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