Apple Should Create Crypto Exchange and Buy Bitcoin, Says RBC

RBC Capital Markets says Apple should follow in Tesla’s footsteps by getting into cryptocurrencies. Bloomberg reports: The iPhone maker could create a sizable new market for growth if it were to develop its Apple Wallet into a crypto exchange, said analyst Mitch Steves. “The wallet initiative appears to be a clear multi-billion dollar opportunity for the firm (potential for well over $40 billion in annual revenue with limited R&D),” Steves wrote in a note to clients. Companies like Square and PayPal, along with closely held exchanges like Coinbase, have all validated the exchange model as a real business, he said, and Apple would immediately gain market share if it were to enter the industry. In addition, Apple’s ecosystem would offer improved security relative to the companies that would be its competitors.

While Apple’s biggest cryptocurrency opportunity would be in building an exchange, it could also consider adding Bitcoin or another digital currency to its balance sheet, RBC wrote. “This would send even more users to ‘Apple Exchange,'” Steves said, and would likely further boost Bitcoin prices.

Yesterday, Elon Musk announced that Tesla invested $1.5 billion in Bitcoin and said it may accept the cryptocurrency as a form of payment in the future. As a result, Bitcoin prices climbed as much as 16%, cresting $44,000 and hitting a record.