At this year’s Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) the company is set to announce the release of “CryptoKit;” a cryptography-oriented tool kit for Apple developers. While the iPhone-maker avoids mentioning the magical words ‘blockchain’ and ‘cryptocurrency,’ it sure sounds like the new tool might have something to do with it.
The cryptography tool set will let developers “compute and compare cryptographically secure digests, use public-key cryptography to evaluate digital signatures, and to perform key exchange,” according to documentation from Apple.
The CryptoKit will also be able to “carry out operations like hashing, key generation, and encryption.” While Apple makes no mention of cryptocurrency, dapps, or other blockchainy stuff, there are clear parallels between the CryptoKit and decentralized tech.
Indeed, Apple says that the kit can also use “private keys stored in and managed by [a] Secure Enclave.”
That last bit should be ringing some bells, as it’s the same phrase HTC used to describe where it stores private keys for cryptocurrency wallets on its Exodus 1 “blockchain” phone.
Last year, Samsung bragged that its phones already made the best cryptocurrency wallets as they used Trusted Execution Environments (TEEs). Effectively, these are dedicated subsets of hardware designed to run sensitive processes away from a phone’s main OS; in theory, making things more secure. Sort like a secure enclave.
What’s more, Apple also added a Bitcoin glyph to its Shortcuts app last year. Cries of mass adoption followed, but nothing else even slightly blockchain-related has materialized until now.
Apple has historically been skeptical toward cryptocurrency and blockchain, though. On two occasions (2013 adn 2014), it even delisted Coinbase – along with a host of other crypto-related app – from its app store, citing an unresolved issue, Apple Insider reported.
Shortly after in 2014, it created its first set of developer guidelines for virtual currency apps. These guidelines require all cryptocurrency apps to comply with relevant state and federal laws for the country that the app operates in.
In June 2018, the Big A amended its guidelines to extend its section on cryptocurrencies. It laid out dos and don’ts for iOS devs building blockchain and cryptocurrency apps, and effectively banned on-phone cryptocurrency mining.
We can’t say for definite, but with this latest announcement from Apple, it sure looks like is gearing up for more cryptocurrency and blockchain apps.
Published June 5, 2019 — 11:56 UTC