Apple has hinted at a growing interest in cryptocurrency as it searches for new talent for its payments division.
The iPhone maker is hiring a business development manager for “alternative payments,” including cryptocurrencies, according to a job posting posted this week.
The newcomer, who will sit on the same team as Apple Pay and the iPhone Wallet app at its Cupertino headquarters, is tasked with forging new alliances with âstrategic alternative payment partnersâ.
The qualifications required according to the announcement include several years of experience in cryptocurrency, as well as other fast-growing forms of payment such as ‘buy now, pay later’ services.
The potential hiring comes as Apple begins to quietly prepare support for making payments using bitcoin through its Wallet app, the iPhone’s central repository for digital cards, tickets, and vouchers.
The App Store listing for Coinbase, one of the largest crypto exchanges, shows that it now supports Apple Wallet, although no details have yet been revealed on how the integration works.
Coinbase’s website only states that it “does not currently support Apple Pay, but we hope to provide a faster and safer way for iOS users to spend cryptocurrency soon.”
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the recruitment announcement, which was first reported by Coindesk. Coinbase has not commented on its plans to integrate Apple Wallet.
Crypto enthusiasts quickly took the job offer as a sign that Silicon Valley’s most valuable company was preparing to go deeper into payments through bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Analysts from RBC Capital Markets said in a research note in February that Apple has a âclear opportunityâ in crypto, making it easier and more secure for individuals to buy and sell digital assets. The company has extensive experience in payments through Apple Pay, launched in 2014, and its own credit card, which debuted in 2019.
Jennifer Bailey, who runs Apple Pay, said two years ago that the iPhone maker was âwatchingâ the cryptocurrency. âWe think he has interesting long-term potential,â Bailey reportedly told a CNN event.
But Apple has been criticized in the past – including by the CEO of Coinbase – for refusing to support bitcoin and other forms of alternative payments in Apple Pay and through the App Store.
In 2013, he banned iPhone crypto wallets, throwing Coinbase and several similar apps from its App Store, though he later gave in to politics.
Epic Games, which sued Apple for what it claims to be its monopoly control of the App Store, argued in its lawsuit that Apple’s “anti-competitive conduct eliminates all of these innovations and alternative payment options. “, such as bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. .