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Apple and Crypto: 3 Things That Investors Should Know

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has just made a series of comments about cryptocurrencies. Here is what Apple (and crypto) investors should take away from the executive’s recent interview.

During a New York Times DealBook conference interview, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that he has been keeping an eye on cryptocurrencies “for a while”. The comment happens when Bitcoin has just reached an all-time high of around $68,000 for 325% price appreciation in the past 12 months alone.

Figure 1: Bitcoin and Apple Pay logo.

Figure 1: Bitcoin and Apple Pay logo.

Today, the Apple Maven highlights three main takeaways from Cook’s interview that Apple stock  (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report and even crypto investors should keep in mind.

(Read more from the Apple Maven: Alphabet At $2 Trillion: Better Pick Than Apple Stock?)

#1. Tim Cook is watching closely

To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time that the CEO of Apple has talked at length and to a large TV audience (the chat was pre-recorded and aired on CNBC Tuesday morning) about his views on cryptocurrency.

The executive made a clear distinction, however, between his personal stance on crypto and Apple’s strategy around it. Between the lines, Tim Cook all but acknowledged owning digital coins, when he defended that doing so seemed “reasonable […] as part of a diversified portfolio”.

The CEO also stated that Apple has not been actively pursuing cryptocurrency as a form of payment for the company’s products and services – something that giant EV maker Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc Report, for example, did for a few months. This is not to say, in my opinion, that the management team might not consider crypto as tender in the future, especially if Bitcoin and others develop further into a mainstream asset class.

#2. No balance sheet impact

Also very importantly, Tim Cook shut the door on any possibility of Apple buying cryptocurrency for its own balance sheet. His explanation seemed logical to me:

“I wouldn’t go invest [Apple’s money] in crypto, not because I wouldn’t invest my own money, but because I don’t think people buy Apple stock to get exposure to crypto.”

The attitude is in line with Tim Cook’s conservative approach to managing the Cupertino company. While I can certainly imagine the likes of Elon Musk considering something like it, I do not think that Apple investors will ever have to worry about their shares being directly swayed by the ups and downs of cryptocurrency prices.

#3. A possible boost to Bitcoin

While Tim’s interview may have caught the attention of Apple investors first and foremost, I believe it is crypto investors that should listen even more carefully. Bitcoin and other major coins continue to fight an uphill battle to be recognized as mature, stable store of value and transaction medium – and the case for it happening has become much more appealing in 2021.

Should a company the size of Apple ever hint that it will accept Bitcoin as payment – the question has been raised of Amazon  (AMZN) - Get Amazon.com, Inc. Report – crypto investors may as well do a victory lap, as Bitcoin price could skyrocket again. Now was not the time that Tim Cook leaned in that direction, but who know what could happen in the not-too-distant future?

Twitter speaks

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has recently talked about Bitcoin and his personal interest in it, but he gave no indication that Apple will make any moves in crypto anytime soon. How would you like to see Apple get involved with Bitcoin and other digital currencies?

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(Disclaimers: this is not investment advice. The author may be long one or more stocks mentioned in this report. Also, the article may contain affiliate links. These partnerships do not influence editorial content. Thanks for supporting The Apple Maven)