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Apple Integrates Bitcoin with iMessage app

Reading Time: 3 minutes by on September 11, 2016 Bitcoin, Business, News
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Apple’s love-hate stance regarding cryptocurrencies continues to garner media attention. This in some measure can be attributed to ApplePay, which despite tepid interest among consumer remains the company’s proprietary darling.

Much of this fallout commenced in January 2014, when Apple abruptly banned Bitcoin wallets on its iOS platforms, including the removal of popular apps, Coinbase and Coinjar. At the time this sent shock and confusion through the Bitcoin community. A few months later Apple relented, once again allowing the availability of these and related apps on their app store.

Fast forward to this summer when Apple appeared reluctant to allow Ethereum wallets in its store, approving just a few select apps. Recently, the company has once again proven unpredictable with their demand that Jaxx developers remove support for Dash currency on its iOS app or face getting booted from the App Store.  

Furthermore, the tech giant has also seemed to have removed popular cryptocurrency app ShapeShift, which allows users to convert bitcoin to a variety of other cryptocurrencies. These moves from Apple could see a sizeable chunk of the cryptocurrency community boycotting Apple products altogether and move to devices with other operating systems.


Apple Goes Full Circle

Now according to a recent beta launch, Apple will integrate the popular digital payment wallet Circle Pay into its revamped iMessage chat app, in conjunction with the new iPhone7 and iOS 10 release on September 13. Circle will join Square Cash and Lyft as third-party platforms to be added with this launch.

This announcement will be view as a positive development by some, a tacit stamp of approval for the next frontier of digital payment options. Others, given Apple’s penchant for the unpredictable, will likely remain skeptical for some time.

Software developer and crypto enthusiast Chris Guida explains the integration may have been the reason why Apple was not as open toward Dash and Ether,

“Wow, I hadn’t heard about the Circle and iMessage integration! I’ve been out of the loop the past week or so. That’s really exciting, and possibly explains why Apple has been lukewarm towards Dash and Ether.”


Circling The Globe, Making a Footprint

Circle Pay, as the app is affectionately known, is a peer-to-peer payment platform that transacts in both bitcoin and fiat currencies. It is also a popular wallet for traders seeking to buy and sell bitcoin. Circle is licensed, appears to be in the good graces of regulators, and is well-funded by Goldman Sachs along with a number of other investors.

Since their launch in 2013, Circle are pushing to expand consumer adoption via its bitcoin wallet. Expansion efforts are in full motion in both Europe and China, which included acquiring $60 million in funding this summer from Chinese investors.

Circle Pay is one of a growing number of digital innovations that is capitalizing on blockchain technology, allowing users to transact money in a peer-to-peer way globally with recipients being able to cash out to their native currency. Circle is also unique in its ability to convert currency to bitcoin and vice-versa through the use of the blockchain, a valuable feature for international exchange and commerce.

And iMessage? Well, it has repute with Apple users all over the world serving as a great way of fostering community among family and friends. Apple has long sought to add more visual features to this app as well as integrate payment option. It appears that Circle will have an early entree into this endeavor.

At first glance, it would appear that this impending marriage between iMessage and Circle portend an upward trajectory in terms of cryptocurrency adoption.

But the more likely scenario is that it will fuel Circle’s currency conversion and fiat transfer activity versus creating a tool for boosting cryptocurrency use and adoption. 

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