Speculation that Apple will offer a native iPhone Bitcoin wallet has reached fever pitch, after it unveiled its new ‘CryptoKit’ and added Bitcoin logos to its icon set.
The ‘Apple CryptoKit’ has been quietly added to Apple’s website, ahead of being formally unveiled later today (June 5) at Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference.
One eagle eyed Twitter user also spotted that Apple has just added the Bitcoin logo to their icon set.
The four Bitcoin in-app symbols will be compatible with the company’s San Fransisco font.
No other cryptocurrency logos are among the 1000 newly released icons, suggesting Apple is only supporting Bitcoin at this point.
The news comes a week after Microsoft added the Bitcoin logo to Excel – a program with 1.2 billion users worldwide.
CryptoKit enables to store private keys in iPhone Bitcoin wallet
The CryptoKit is a new framework allows developers to perform cryptographic operations securely and effective.
What’s really got the crypto community buzzing about the possibility of an iPhone Bitcoin wallet because the CryptoKit allows developers to use public key cryptography to create and evaluate digital signatures and perform key exchanges.
Developers will be also able to use private keys stored and managed by Apple’s Secure Enclave.
Apple’s site refers to it as ‘beta software’ and adds the documentation is only ‘preliminary information’.
Frederic Jacobs, a member of Apple’s cryptographic and security engineering team promised “exciting updates” at today’s unveiling.
Only a few steps to iPhone Bitcoin wallet
The founder of Trust Wallet App tweeted the release of the CryptoKit meant it was “only a few steps away before you can turn your phone into a hardware wallet.”
Competitive pressures mean that Apple is likely to incorporate some sort of support for cryptocurrency in its products in future.
In February, major rival Samsung launched its flagship Galaxy S10 with an integrated wallet enabling users to store their private keys.
There are also rumours that Samsung will integrate crypto payments into Samsung Pay.
Apple has been slow to embrace Bitcoin and crypto
Apple has been surprisingly slow on the uptake with cryptocurrencies, preferring instead to focus on its Apple Pay system.
It recently announced the Apple Card, a fee free credit card available to US residents only.
Created in partnership with Goldman Sachs and MasterCard, the card will be build into the iPhone’s Wallet App and promises not to track transactions.
The most significant change in credit cards since the last one
Apple CEO Tim Cook said it would be “the most significant change in the credit card experience in 50 years” although many analysts seemed underwhelmed and some wrote it off as a “classic co-brand card”.
Customers will be able to apply for the Apple Card directly in the wallet app and start using it immediately they are approved. Its rewards include 3% cash back on Apple purchases, 2% when using Apple Pay and 1% when using the physical card.
According to CNBC, Citigroup was in advanced negotiations with Apple over the card, but pulled out amid doubts that it could earn an acceptable profit on the partnership.