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Apple Acknowledges Cryptocurrency Interest, But Don't Expect Anything Soon

Jayson Derrick

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) has an interest in cryptocurrencies, but the iPhone maker is merely "watching" the space for the time being, CNBC reported Thursday. 

What Happened

Jennifer Bailey, vice president at Apple Pay, said at a private CNN event that cryptocurrencies have "interesting long-term potential," according to a transcript of a conversation reviewed by CNBC.

Yet Apple remains focused on what consumers use for the time being, while Bitcoin and other digital coins aren't accepted as payment on any of its platforms. 

Bailey's comments represents the first time an Apple executive has acknowledged that Cupertino has some sort of interest in the relatively new technology, CNBC said. 

Why It's Important

Apple's interest in the space ties in to its recent exposure to credit cards.

The executive was quoted by CNBC as saying at the CNN event that cryptocurrencies could become an alternative option for small businesses who pay a fee for every credit card transaction.

"If you look at QR code payment solutions, if you look at the long-term potential of cryptocurrency, I think you'll continue to see that change over time," she said.

What's Next

Apple doesn't have any existing cryptocurrency-related projects that are ongoing, in contrast to some of its tech giant peers.

For example, Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) is launching its own digital currency, Libra, next year.

Apple shares were trading higher by 2.02% at $213.41 at the time of publication Thursday. 

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Photo by Daniel Lu via Wikimedia. 

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