Is Apple About To Accept Cryptocurrency? Job Ad Suggests It Might

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An Apple job ad has raised the intriguing prospect that the company may soon support cryptocurrency payments. Apple has posted a vacancy for a “Business Development Manager – Alternative Payments”, which stipulates that candidates should have experience with handling cryptocurrency. The recruit would be joining the team that’s responsible for Apple Pay and the iPhone Wallet app.

The “key qualifications” for the role, first spotted by Coindesk, include “5+ years experience working in or with alternative payment providers, such as digital wallets, BNPL, Fast Payments, cryptocurrency and etc.”

The ad also suggests the company is looking for someone who is not wedded to mainstream payment solutions. “We are looking for a candidate who is comfortable with ambiguity, enjoys thinking about edge cases and asking ‘what is an alternative way of doing this’,” the ad on the Apple website reads.

As spotted by the FT, it seems Apple is gently warming to the idea of supporting cryptocurrencies, even before this hire. The App Store listing for the cryptocurrency trading service, Coinbase, shows that it’s now supported in Apple Wallet, although it seems the functionality hasn’t been fully switched on yet.

Big-brand backing

If Apple were to fully embrace cryptocurrencies, it would give the market its strongest endorsement yet.

Tesla’s Elon Musk has been arguably the biggest backer of cryptocurrencies to date, although his erratic support wavered again last month when he announced that the car company would no longer accept bitcoin for vehicle purchases, citing fears over the environmental damage caused by bitcoin mining.

There is speculation that Musk is simply trading his chips from one cryptocurrency to another, however, having made several strong public statements in support of dogecoin.

Support from Apple would surely drive demand for cryptocurrencies, although that is already causing problems in some parts of the world. Iran this week declared a four-month ban on cryptocurrency mining over fears that it was causing surges in demand for electricity. Unlicensed miners in the country are taking advantage of the country’s relatively cheap electricity to run enormous cryptocurrency-mining rigs.

I have been a technology writer and editor for more than 20 years. I was assistant editor of The Sunday Times’ technology section, editor of PC Pro magazine and have written for more than a dozen different publications and websites over the years. I’ve also appeared as a tech pundit on television and radio, including BBC Newsnight, the Chris Evans Show and ITN News at Ten.

Hit me up if you’ve got a tech story that needs breaking at barry@mediabc.co.uk.

Source: Is Apple About To Accept Cryptocurrency? Job Ad Suggests It Might

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“The Apple Wallets, Payments, and Commerce (WPC) team is seeking an experienced Business Development Manager to lead Alternative Payments Partnerships,” the company wrote.

Apple has long maintained an ironclad grip over payments, especially in its App Store, which has never accepted customers’ crypto and forces all catalog apps to use Apple’s commerce rails and play by Apple’s rules. 

That tightly-controlled ecosystem is the focus of a blockbuster court fight launched by Fortnite developer Epic Games. Epic alleges Apple’s rules violate antitrust laws and stifle payments innovation. App developers could accept “bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies” if not for Apple’s restrictions, Epic claimed in the suit.

Apple has made no public statements about its plans for the crypto space. The company did not immediately return CoinDesk’s calls. Even so, pockets of the crypto space seem to be preparing for Apple. Coinbase included Apple Pay graphics in a recent app update, according to MacRumors.

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References

Destefanis, Giuseppe; Marchesi, M.; Ortu, Marco; Tonelli, R.; Bracciali, A.; Hierons, R. (2018). “Smart contracts vulnerabilities: a call for blockchain software engineering?”. 2018 International Workshop on Blockchain Oriented Software Engineering (IWBOSE). doi:10.1109/IWBOSE.2018.8327567. hdl:1893/27135.

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