The new Apple Card is set to launch next month – but it does not allow users to purchase bitcoin.
In a customer agreement released today, the Apple-Goldman Sachs duo put the world’s leading cryptocurrency under the category of ‘Cash Advance and Cash Equivalents.’ The term defines any cash advance or cash-like transaction, which includes purchases of cash equivalents like traveler checks, and foreign currencies. The category typically lists the assets that users purchase to speculate on, including casino chips and lottery tickets.
“If your Account is used for any Transaction not permitted by this Agreement, we will treat these Transactions as Purchase Transactions for purposes of applying interest, and you are responsible for these Transactions and any related interest or Daily Cash Adjustments,” the agreement read.
Bitcoin, according to Apple Card policies, is one of such assets. People purchase the cryptocurrency either to make online payments or to sell it at a higher rate in the future. As a credit card issuer, Apple sees it as a risk at the part of its borrowers. Their ability to gain money off their bitcoin investments is as possible as their likelihood of losing. As a result, they might not be able to return the money.
Furthermore, companies fear that users might use cryptocurrencies like bitcoin to launder money. They usually avoid becoming a node in the long-trail of money laundering operations. So, eventually, they avoid working with bitcoin-related businesses and individuals.
There are also concerns about bitcoin’s regulatory arbitration. Countries like India are in the process of banning their trading altogether. At the same time, others are merely planning how to regulate bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies – and there is no guarantee the governments across the globe would come up with a universal regulatory framework for them either.
Apple’s decision to ban bitcoin purchases, therefore, takes cues from similar resolutions adopted by other credit card issuers in the US. Bank of America started prohibiting customers from purchasing cryptocurrencies effectively from February 2018. Citigroup, Discover and Capital One have put a similar restriction on its credit card users.