Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong believes there is a future where phone makers will build smartphones with crypto functionality in mind. However, the CEO has come out to say that one of the leading smartphone developers, Apple, remains a little hostile to the crypto industry.
Smartphones With Crypto Functionality Over Hardware Wallets
On a Superteam podcast released four days ago interviewing Coinbase chief Brian Armstrong during his time in India, the executive called out Apple for being restrictive in its policy towards crypto apps and Coinbase specifically. Armstrong says the smartphone maker has banned several features built for the Coinbase app, stating that the company remained a little unfriendly with the nascent market.
“Apple so far has not really played nice with crypto, they’ve actually banned a bunch of features that we would like to have in the app, but they just won’t allow it … so there’s potential antitrust issues there,” said the Coinbase CEO.
The crypto executive made this statement while discussing the possibility of Coinbase launching hardware wallets. According to Armstrong, a future where crypto holders would want to carry an extra gadget for their digital assets seemed unlikely. However, Armstrong believes that with smartphones already in the hands of nearly everybody, the more likely scenario would be smartphones built to have crypto-specific features.
“There’s going to have to be crypto-compatible phones that I think could actually become quite popular in the future,” said Armstrong.
It is not the first time the Coinbase CEO has spoken against the tech giant. In 2020, Armstrong also made similar statements, accusing Apple of restricting innovation in the crypto space and hurting the crypto user experience on iOS out of fear of competition. At the time, Armstrong noted that the limited functionality of crypto apps was a direct result of Apple’s restrictions and not the inefficiency of developers.
Expansion In India And Its Challenges
Armstrong’s presence in India at the time was in line with Coinbase’s efforts to expand its operations in the populous country. At the time, the exchange, one of the largest globally, revealed plans to hire 1000 people in the country while also growing their investments there.
However, the increasingly hostile regulatory environment surrounding the crypto market in the country might make the process difficult. Already the exchange has had to restrict users in the country from purchasing cryptocurrency with fiat as the government continues to restrict exchanges from using the UPI payment instrument.