In a move best defined as a “baby step” for crypto adoption, technology giant Apple, one of the world’s most valuable publicly-traded firms, quietly added a Bitcoin symbol (₿) into its devices natively.
While this is far from Apple actually accepting BTC or other digital assets for purchases, this quiet move confirms that the firm sees Bitcoin as a viable technology and asset. Why else would they add the “₿”?
Apple Follows In Microsoft’s Footsteps, Acknowledges Bitcoin
Yesterday, Apple conducted its latest Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), during which executives of the firm made a number of announcements about new products and services.
What hit headlines was the firm’s new Mac Pro, which has drawn flak for its cheese grater-esque design, and its new $5,000 monitor and $1,000 monitor stand.
But what slipped under the radar was that in Apple’s latest update to SF Symbols, which gives developers of Apple applications symbols to utilize, Bitcoin was added. Four ₿ symbols were added, two circular and two square logos.
Just noticed that Apple's new icon set (SF Symbols), includes bitcoin. pic.twitter.com/Og8dWp2C85
— brandon (@brandonnuman) June 4, 2019
This quiet confirmation that Bitcoin requires its own symbol, a testament to its validity, isn’t an isolated event. As reported by Blockonomi previously, the ₿ can now be found in Microsoft Excel’s “Symbol” category.
So now, you can presumably spreadsheet your BTC gains and losses — hopefully gains — using the number processor. Per Decrypt, Microsoft went even further than reports suggested, later adding support for the Bitcoin symbol in a Windows 10 patch, making it more ubiquitous than ever before. And not to be forgotten, Google added the very same symbol to its iOS keyboard application earlier this year.
At the same time as adding the Bitcoin-related cartoon to SF Symbols, Apple launched what is known as “CryptoKit”. It’s important to note that the “Crypto” in CryptoKit is not a reference to cryptocurrency but to cryptography. Anyhow, this new tool will allow developers to increase the efficiency and flexibility of the security functionality of applications, and could potentially be a way for crypto startups to build a wider set of blockchain-related applications.
Mainstream Validation On The Rise
All this aside, Apple’s quiet addition of the iconic symbol is the latest case of mainstream firms and investors validating Bitcoin, which most say is the most important catalyst for the success of cryptocurrency.
Last month, it was revealed that Microsoft had actually begun to use the Bitcoin blockchain itself. In fact, through a project called “ION (Identity Overlay Network)”, the firm will be building a Sidetree-based decentralized identity (DID) network. This is notable, as not only is the firm starting to acknowledge the issues with digital privacy and big data, but it is confirming that it sees fundamental value in Bitcoin as a decentralized network.
More broadly, Fortune 500 firms have continued to announce that they will be accepting Bitcoin. After Whole Foods teamed up with Gemini and Flexa to accept digital assets, multibillion-dollar telecom carrier AT&T revealed that it will be accepting Bitcoin payments for its services. To be frank, few have likely used Bitcoin to pay for their phone bills, but at this point, a reputation and awareness boost is what the cryptocurrency space desperately needs.
Corporate involvement in the industry is what BitPay’s Sonny Singh believes will drive BTC to new heights. As he explained in a recent Bloomberg TV segment, many cryptocurrency projects from big-name corporations have yet to launch, or haven’t even been announced yet. And thus he concludes:
The real products haven’t launched yet. Facebook Coin isn’t here; Square hasn’t launched its product yet; Fidelity’s platform is still in limited beta. Who knows what’s going to happen? I wasn’t talking about Facebook last time I was on this show, they came out of nowhere. This is why you need to be long on this space.