Monday, November 29, 2021

Tim Cook gives thumbs up to cryptocurrencies

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The New York Times has kicked off its DealBook Online Summit digital conference for 2021, and one of the most high-profile interviewees this time is Apple CEO Tim Cook. He remains as reticent and cautious as ever, but there were some interesting revelations nevertheless.

One of the things we learned in the interview with journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin is that Cook has invested part of his fortune in cryptocurrencies, and believes it should be part of a diversified portfolio.

(Cook has an extensive and valuable stock portfolio, including a huge number of Apple shares. At one point in August last year he donated $5.4m of these, and sold roughly $132m, and still had hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth left over.)

Despite acknowledging making the investment in a personal capacity, Cook declined to make any commitments on Apple’s behalf. He said Apple itself has no concrete plans to add support for cryptocurrencies – although he doesn’t rule it out in the long term.

As for NFTs, Cook says it’s an “interesting concept”, but that it will take a while for the technology to catch on with the general public.

It’s worth noting that criticism of cryptocurrencies has increased lately, as it consumes enormous amounts of energy to extract the digital currency. This in turn has contributed to the current electricity shortage and risks exacerbating the climate crisis.

This article originally appeared on Macworld Sweden. Translation (using DeepL) and additional reporting by David Price.

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