Thinking of investing in some cryptocurrency this year? You aren’t the only one. 2021 has seen a record number of new and experienced investors looking to get their hands on a slice of the pie, in spite of falling prices. Thanks to platforms like the Eurekax site, it’s now easier and more accessible than ever to get started with Bitcoin trading – but it seems that daring individuals aren’t the only ones to be dipping their toes into the water this year, with some of the world’s biggest tech giants clamouring to get involved.
Apple has been interested in cryptocurrencies for a long time, with co-founder Steve Wozniak, often heard discussing his belief that Bitcoin is the future. Seemingly long interested by the leading cryptocurrency, which has been making waves in the world of trading and investment since its advent back in 2009, he recently dubbed it “an amazing mathematical miracle” – something that many early investors would likely agree on, given the impressive gains they have made since. Apple’s leading competitors have already found their space in the crypto world, with Google’s first blockchain venture – a partnership with Theta Labs; a crypto-focused company that undertook a project of decentralised video streaming. Google offered to become an enterprise network validator, and so the partnership was born – but it isn’t the only giant global tech company to have dipped its toe into the water.
Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority or banks
Spearheaded by multi-billionaire founder Bill Gates, Microsoft came up with the idea of an Identity Overlay Network (ION) that would be built on the Bitcoin blockchain. In 2020, the company filed a patent to supervise a crypto mining system operated by human activity – an exciting development for those with their fingers on the crypto pulse. Facebook, too, created a stir on social media after announcing its own cryptocurrency, Libra back in 2019. The name has been changed to ‘Diem’ after the initial controversy, and is expected to release in 2021 – so the impact it will have still remains to be seen. Then, there’s Amazon. Founded by another multi-billionaire Jeff Bezos, there have been talks of e-commerce giant Amazon launching its own cryptocurrency project – and with Bezos and outspoken supporter of existing digital currency, Ethereum, it might just happen.
Recently, Tesla tycoon Elon Musk made an eye-watering $1.5 billion purchase of Bitcoin as an investment policy for his electric car company, causing a skyrocketing surge in the price of this particular crypto-currency – although interestingly, he has since made a U-turn, having outwardly professed his support of new up-and-coming digital asset, Dogecoin, instead. The investment of leading companies and the escalating price of Bitcoin has raised hopes that Apple might be the next to get involved, leading to the spiralling of a rumour originally started on Twitter that this could soon be the case. The microblogging platform was flooded with news of Apple’s alleged investment in Bitcoin worth billions of dollars – which, ultimately, turned out to be false. But while some are disappointed to find out that it was little more than a tall story, others believe that it could still be on the cards sooner, rather than later.
Founded by multi-billionaire Jeff Bezos, there have been talks of e-commerce giant Amazon launching its own cryptocurrency project. Image credit: askarim/Bigstock.com
The founder of ChainLeak, a trusted crypto news portal tweeted about the rumour, declaring that Apple was all set to announce its purchase of Bitcoin worth $2.5 billion, later that day. He was ready to bet on the definite surge of Bitcoin’s price to $100k had it happened. But it wasn’t long before water was poured on the flames, as there was no official statement published by Apple to deny or agree with the claim. One thing worth noticing was that the market took the news with a pinch of salt.
The rumour did not hike the price of Bitcoin even momentarily – in fact, surprisingly, it continued the downward trajectory it has embarked upon of late. Before the rumour started, the price of Bitcoin was running a little over $34,000, and after a day, it slipped down even more to $31,000. For some, this came as quite the shock given its apparently relentless growth over the past year, and has caused widespread panic amongst investors and traders alike. Apple is one of the largest cash-holding companies based in the US. With a market capitalisation of $195.57 billion, investing even $1.5 billion in Bitcoin would mean an allocation of 0.76 per cent. As the motive of cryptocurrency is to completely replace fiat currency in the long run, such a large investment in this digital asset would have a huge impact on the cash position Apple holds – and Apple’s legacy as a pioneer in the tech world, and the amount of influence it has on its followers make the company reluctant to take risks.
Apple has been interested in cryptocurrencies for a long time, with co-founder Steve Wozniak, often heard discussing his belief that Bitcoin is the future. Image credit: Quality Stock Arts/Bigstock.com
Apple And Crypto: A Match Made In Heaven?
The first time Apple became a target for the crypto community was in 2012, when the tech giant suddenly and unapologetically removed two Bitcoin apps from the App Store, stating that they did not comply with the legal requirements of the location they were operating in. Later, in 2014, when Bitcoin had paved its way into the finance market and attracted plenty of attention along the way, things changed – and Apple finally relaxed its anti-crypto policy, allowing the App Store to feature a number of crypto-centric apps. Not much appeared to happen after that, but in May 2021, Apple posted an advert for a business development manager mastering in ‘Alternative Payments’, with candidates required to have upwards of five years of experience with alternative payment providers, like digital wallets, Fast Payments, BNPL and cryptocurrency.
Nonetheless, nothing much has come to light surrounding the brand’s possible foray into crypto from there, which seems to reaffirm the fact that, at present, an imminent investment or indeed, a moderate interest in crypto, could still be little more than speculation. So, could Apple be the next big company to buy into the crypto hype? We’ll have to wait and see. But some avid followers of the two believe that it’s only a matter of time until they meet – and when they do, we could be set to see something very exciting indeed.