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Apple’s Tim Cook admits investing in crypto assets

The boss of Apple has revealed that he has invested in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin but that the iPhone maker will not be following suit.

Tim Cook, chief executive of the technology group, told an industry event that he had been interested in digital coins “for a while”.

Cook believes that bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, and ethereum, the second, are “reasonable to own” as part of a diversified investment portfolio, he told the online DealBook conference, organised by The New York Times, adding: “I’m not giving anyone investment advice, by the way.”

However, Apple is unlikely to do the same because Cook said that its shareholders were not interested in using their investment to gain direct exposure to such digital coins. “I wouldn’t go invest in crypto, not because I wouldn’t invest my own money but because I don’t think people buy Apple stock to get exposure to crypto,” he said.

While Cook said that the company was scrutinising ways it could use cryptocurrency technology, this was “not something we have immediate plans to do”.

Cook, 61, has led Apple for a decade and was chief operating officer under Steve Jobs. The company, based in Cupertino, California, sells iPhones, iPad tablets and Mac computers, as well as services, such as music and television streaming platforms. It has a market value of almost $2.5 trillion.

Cook defended privacy changes introduced this year, which have knocked the revenues of companies such as Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube by an estimated $9.9 billion. Users were deciding where they wanted to be tracked, he said: “We’re not making the decision. We’re just simply prompting them to be asked if they want to be tracked across apps or not.”

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