Apple could immediately gain market share if it starts allowing users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, according to a new report from RBC Capital Markets.
The firm’s analysts said that the tech giant’s cutting-edge software and secure ecosystem could overcome some of the main hurdles that stop consumers acquiring digital assets.
Such a move would also instantly turn the U.S. into a leader in crypto assets — helping the country to see off the threat posed by China’s digital yuan — and would make any feared ban of Bitcoin a lot less likely.
RBC is also exceedingly bullish on Apple shares, setting a price target of $171, that’s up 25.7% from their current level.
Jennifer Bailey, the vice president of Apple Pay, told CNN last September:
“We're watching cryptocurrency … We think it's interesting. We think it has interesting long-term potential.”
Of course, just because something’s “interesting” doesn’t mean that the company will end up embracing crypto like PayPal has. The tech giant has prohibited iPhones from being used to mine digital assets, and its Apple Card has a block on crypto purchases from exchanges.
Another burning question concerns whether or not Apple will end up using its sizeable cash reserves to invest in Bitcoin as a reserve asset, just like Tesla has.
Last November, analyst Dan Weiskopf argued that Apple should consider investing up to $20 billion in Bitcoin — and claimed that this could deliver far healthier returns than buying back stock.
Apple currently has a cash pile of $196 billion. This means that, in theory, the company could buy 22.7% of all the Bitcoin in existence based on its current market cap.
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