Tim Cook: Only Countries Should Be in Control of Currencies
While he didn’t single the two enterprises out specifically, he did speak out against companies that were looking to “create their own currencies.” At press time, all one can really think about is Facebook’s venture into the crypto space through its new coin Libra, which has enjoyed a mixed reception since the beginning of the year when it was first announced.
Interestingly, Apple has commented in the past that it was “watching cryptocurrencies” very carefully and that it was potentially looking into creating its own digital asset in the future. We can probably take Cook’s words in one of two ways. The first is that the CEO is dashing all hopes that an Apple-based currency could arrive in the future; that the company is stepping out of this arena never to return.
On the other hand, this could potentially be a publicity stunt. Perhaps Apple is very much into creating its own currency and has already undertaken development. Saying it’s no longer interested could simply be a way to keep reporters, the public and general snoopers off its back so it can create its new product in piece without too many delays like Libra has experienced.
Either way, Cook made it clear in a recent interview that Apple is potentially not going to take the same route as Facebook. He commented:
I really think that a currency should stay in the hands of countries. I’m not comfortable with the idea of a private group setting up a competing currency… A private company shouldn’t be looking to gain power this way.
While Facebook has repeatedly stated in the past that Libra will not threaten the sovereign states of national currencies, some regions disagree. Regulators from both France and Germany for example, have sworn to do all they can to prevent Libra from coming to fruition in their countries, while regions like India are also likely to prove problematic for the company.
Libra Has Had Problems
In addition, the venture appears to be losing some support along the way. Payment processing firm PayPal, for example, was originally going to be a governing member of the Libra association given that David Marcus, the head developer of Libra, was originally an executive of PayPal. Just yesterday, however, the company pulled the plug on its support for Libra and will no longer be part of the organization.
This looks bad given how close PayPal and Libra were through Marcus. What could have caused the company to end its relationship so swiftly? The Association is now down to 27 members, which still includes mega-conglomerates like Visa and Uber.