Money Creation is at the Heart of a Government’s Mission: Apple CEO Tim Cook on Crypto

Tim Cook

Tech behemoth Apple will not be creating its own cryptocurrency.

In an interview with French finance daily Les Echos, the company’s CEO Tim Cook said that he was “not comfortable” with the idea of a private company creating money that competes with government-issued fiat.

“A private company does not have to seek to gain power in this way,” he said, adding that money creation was among the responsibilities at the heart of a government’s mission. Cook’s words are a contrast to his colleague’s assessment of cryptocurrencies. At a conference earlier this year, Apple Pay vice president Jennifer Bailey said that the company was “watching cryptocurrencies” and that it had “interesting long-term potential”.

While it does not compete directly with Apple, Facebook, another tech giant, announced Libra – a blockchain and cryptocurrency, in June this year. The cryptocurrency is intended to leverage the social network’s massive reach and will be used for transactions within its network. Regulators and governments around the world have expressed concern that it could threaten sovereign currency if it becomes a popular payment mechanism. Apple rival Samsung has also integrated cryptocurrency wallets into its smartphones.  

Apple’s extensive and growing services umbrella could be a potential candidate for cryptocurrencies. The company has a music store in iTunes, launched a streaming service recently, and is already a player in the payments space. It has a service called Apple Pay and has partnered with investment firm Goldman Sachs for a credit card.

In an SEC filing earlier this year, Apple indicated plans to use blockchain technology to ensure ethical sourcing of minerals for its products. It was a participant in drafting “Blockchain Guidelines” for the Responsible Business Alliance’s Responsible Minerals Initiative.