Tim Cook Says No Plans To Accept Crypto Payments

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Apple chief executive Tim Cook at WWDC 2020. Image credit: Apple

Cryptocurrency owner Tim Cook says there are no immediate plans to accept cryptocurrencies as payment, and discusses Apple Car, China operations

Apple has no immediate plans to accept cryptocurrency as a payment, CEO Tim Cook has been quoted as saying.

Tim Cook recently admitted he is a cryptocurrency owner and it is a technology he has been interested in for a while.

But Apple is notoriously conservative when it comes to adopting new technologies – think 5G or wireless charging for example – and it may be quite a while before crypto is accepted as a means of payment.

No plans

And Tim Cook was keen to stress he is not a public endorser of cryptocurrencies, in the same way that Elon Musk is, for example.

“I don’t want to put any labels on me, it’s just that it’s something, from a personal point of view, I’m interested in,” the Apple CEO was quoted by CNN as telling journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin at the New York Times DealBook Summit Tuesday.

Cook didn’t specify which cryptocurrencies he owns, but said it was part of his personal investment plans.

“I think it’s reasonable to own [crypto] as part of a diversified portfolio. … I’ve been interested in it for a while,” he reportedly said.

Cook also reportedly said he has no plans in the immediate future to accept crypto as a means of payment for Apple products.

He added that he also doesn’t plan to invest any of Apple’s cash in cryptocurrency.

This is in marked contrast to companies such as Tesla, or Jack Dorsey’s payments company Square.

Indeed, for a short period of time, Tesla even accepted bitcoin as payment.

“I don’t think people buy an Apple stock to get exposure to crypto,” Cook reportedly said. “If they want to do that, they can invest directly into crypto through other means.”

He added that “there are other things” related to crypto “that we’re definitely looking at. … I wouldn’t have anything to announce today.”

Apple car, China

At same event, Tim Cook according to CNN, also batted off questions about Apple’s other future plans, and he declined to comment on the longstanding rumors that an Apple car could be forthcoming.

“We try not to talk about the future too much, because we’ve got so much going on in the current day that we try to be secretive about the future,” Cook was quoted by CNN as saying. “It wouldn’t be us if we didn’t keep something up our sleeves.”

Cook also touched upon Apple’s strict policing of its App Store policies, and its refusal to allow sideloading of apps for example.

“If you want to sideload, you can buy an Android phone,” Cook reportedly said.

He added that giving iPhone users the option to ‘sideload’ apps from platforms outside the Apple App Store would, from Apple’s point of view, “be like, if I were an automobile manufacturer, telling me not to put airbags and seatbelts in a car. You would just never think about doing this. In today’s time, it’s just too risky… and it wouldn’t be an iPhone if it didn’t maximize security and privacy.”

Cook also fended off criticism that it is still doing business in China, as a time when Western tech giants continue to retreat from the country due to ongoing crackdowns, which are increasing.

“I think that we have a responsibility as a business to do business in as many places as we can,” Cook said. “I believe in what [former IBM CEO] Tom Watson said, ‘world peace through world trade.’ … In terms of what we speak up on, we speak up on some [issues] privately, we speak up on some publicly, we do it in different ways. And you have to get your head around, when you’re operating outside the US in any country in the world, that there are different laws. That’s part of the complexity and part of the beauty of the world is that everybody has their own laws and customs.”

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