A research analyst at global investments bank RBC Capital Markets says Apple should consider being the next big tech name to join the trend of crypto-assets. 

Speaking in an interview with CNBC, Mitch Steves said Apple could invest roughly $500 million in the development of a crypto exchange, while reaping billions of dollars in return equity. 

He said

I really do believe this is a pretty clear opportunity in my opinion, because if you look at Square’s R&D (research and development) budget, they spend about $670 million per year. Apple generates cash flow of that amount in less than 2 and a half days.

Steves said U.S.-based crypto exchange Coinbase was valued at $50 – $80 billion with a user base of 35 million, making Apple’s 1.5 billion install base significantly more lucrative.

The analyst argued Apple should consider creating a closed ecosystem software for trading and transferring crypto assets that could function as a wallet on iPhones. 

Steves called developing a crypto exchange a low-risk was for Apple to enter the industry of cryptocurrency without gaining exposure to a single volatile asset. 

He continued, 

If I was working at Apple as a strategy officer, this is legitimately something I would do. Because if you can invest $500 million to potentially create $50 to $80 billion in equity value, that’s a lot more compelling to me than trying to compete against an Elon Musk and Tesla.

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