Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), and a short list of companies, stand to benefit from Apple's preparation to enable alternative currencies in it's ecosystem. Allowing consumers to pay for content using a currency they are comfortable with is smart move by Apple. From Business Insider:
"It looks like Apple has updated its app developer guidelines today to allow for Bitcoin apps.
The new clause under section 11.17, which was flagged by folks on Twitter like investor Bill Lee today, reads: "Apps may facilitate transmission of approved virtual currencies provided that they do so in compliance with all state and federal laws for the territories in which the app functions."
And, from Consumer Reports: "Developers identified a change in the Apple developer terms of service following the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC). Section 11.17 states that "Apps may facilitate transmission of approved virtual currencies provided that they do so in compliance with all state and federal laws for the territories in which the app functions." This opens the door for apps that transmit crypto-currencies such as bitcoin, a group of apps previously banned from the Apple App Store.
Such notable App store bans have included Blockchain, whose app had been downloaded over 120,000 times before being removed. This led some users to publicly destroy their Apple iPhones in order to purchase phones operating Android, which has permitted bitcoin-related apps to be downloaded from their marketplace, Google Play."
Companies that Stand to Benefit
This is a clear win for companies like Bitcoin Shop (OTCQB:BTCS) which has developed a bitcoin-driven shop where consumers can purchase a variety of items. It's like Amazon but for Bitcoin related purchases. Other companies like Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) stand to gain as some of their games are based on Bitcoin transactions. Companies and funds, such as the Winklevoss twins new Bitcoin ETF, that specialize in acquiring assets in the form of alternative currency will gain in value such as Chancellor Group (OTCPK:CHAG) which plan to issue their very own alternative currency called songcoin but also has Bitcoin enabled transactions in their portfolio companies such as Pimovi and Fuelist.
This brings up an interesting connection. Is Apple preparing to enable music purchases and other transactions through iTunes with songcoin, the currency of the music industry? Or, does Apple have something else up their sleeve? Could Pandora (NYSE:P) or Sirius XM (NASDAQ:SIRI) step in and change the game with alternative currency?
Time will tell but it's definitely something to keep on the radar!
Disclosure: The author is long AAPL, ZNGA, CHAG, BTCS, P, SIRI.