The idea of merchants and consumers adopting cryptocurrencies in a significant way has ebbed and flowed over the years since bitcoin was invented in 2008. Mostly, merchants have shied away from offering the online payment method—despite the benefit that it eliminates chargebacks—because consumers are not fully on board and because its volatility and the way it has been regulated have largely relegated it to investment status. But, in a recent interview, Apple CEO Tim Cook indicated the company is considering integrating cryptocurrency support in Apple Pay.
Generally, Apple has not been an early mover with any technology. It has usually waited and built on accumulated knowledge to provide products and services it could be relatively sure would resonate with consumers.
In the interview with Aaron Ross Sorkin at the New York Times DealBook Online Summit, Cook indicated that, while there are “no immediate plans” to integrate crypto into the Apple Wallet and Apple Pay, he did say Apple is looking at ways to enter the space. With competitors PayPal and Square having launched crypto offerings, news that Apple is considering ways to join them—along with more activity around NFTs and digital assets—could indicate crypto reaching a critical mass with consumers it has heretofore not been able to attain.