Speaking in an interview with French media magazine Les Echos on Oct. 4, Tim Cook poured cold water on the idea that Apple could release its own currency tokens.
Apple has no intention to follow Facebook in creating its own digital currency, the company’s CEO Tim Cook has said.
Cook “not comfortable” about firms creating money
“No”, he said when asked about the possibility, continuing:
“I truly think currency should remain in the hands of the state. I’m not comfortable with the idea that a private entity can create a modern currency.”
His comments strike a notably different tone to both Facebook, which is developing its Libra digital currency, and competitors.
In the payments space, Apple is striving for market share with players such as Visa, Mastercard and PayPal via Apple Pay.
All three of those companies have signed up to participate in Libra, despite revelations this week that all may be considering a U-turn.
Apple pits itself against bitcoiners
In addition to jarring with Apple Pay executives on cryptocurrency interest, Cook will likely rile cryptocurrency proponents by believing that governments should control money.
Those who support decentralized cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin conversely criticize the way states and central banks corrupt money supply and the backing of fiat currencies.
For Cook, however, these are exactly the right guardians for economic tools. He noted:
“Currency, like defence, should remain in the hands of states – it’s at the heart of their mission. We elect our representatives in order for them to assume the responsibilities of government. Businesses are not elected – they should not encroach on this space.”
As Cointelegraph reported on Sept. 7, Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey stated that there are no plans for a platform-specific “Twitcoin” cryptocurrency, noting that he will instead focus on promoting Bitcoin.
US Response to Facebook’s Libra Is ‘Ridiculous,’ says Coinbase CEO
Brian Armstrong, CEO and co-founder of major crypto exchange Coinbase, tweeted on Oct. 5 that he expects the United States government to react to China’s stablecoin project by reconsidering its “ridiculous” response to Facebook’s Libra digital currency.
The U.S. government wants to be left behind
In his tweet, Armstrong said he believes that “the way the U.S. government reacted it’s like they almost want to be left behind.” He also voiced overall concerns over the United States possibly becoming obsolete due to innovation obstruction in a subsequent tweet:
“The way for countries to remain relevant over the long term and continue to have high economic growth is to invest in science, technology, and innovation. If the government can help here, even better. But first it needs to do no harm.”
Special interest groups block innovation
Armstrong also explained that “innovation often looks counter-intuitive and disruptive”, but “the best first step is often just to stay out of the way.” He also noted that governments are often influenced by special interest groups which “will play on fears and try to block innovation here.”
As if echoing Armstrong’s sentiment, payment processor PayPal has recently left the Libra Association, reportedly due to concerns over potentially excessive regulatory scrutiny that could follow.
At the same time, China’s Central Bank has said – contradicting previous statements – that there is no specific launch date in mind for its digital currency.
Still, as Cointelegraph reported on Sept. 27, Chinese Fintech Theme Index has risen over 50% in 2019, outperforming the broader market after the Chinese national digital currency was announced.