It has been a tough year for cryptocurrency
mining, following what had been a banner year in which several digital currencies skyrocketed in value, before plummeting
(and in some cases, disappearing altogether). Is the ride over? For some, yes. But not for everyone, and Apple
is introducing a feature in iOS 13
that could give the cryptocurrency market a kick in the pants. Maybe.
It's called CryptoKit, and we will know more about it later today when Apple discusses it at WWDC
. In the meantime, there are some details that we already know.
In the early going, Apple describes CryptoKit as a new Swift framework that is supposed to make it easier and safer to perform cryptographic operations. That includes computing a hash or implementing a more advanced authentication protocol. Using the CryptoKit framework, developers can perform the following tasks...
Compute and compare cryptographically secure digests.
- Use public-key cryptography to create and evaluate digital signatures, and to perform key exchange. In addition to working with keys stored in memory, you can also use private keys stored in and managed by the Secure Enclave.
- Generate symmetric keys, and use them in operations like message authentication and encryption.
"CryptoKit frees your app from managing raw pointers, and automatically handles tasks that make your app more secure, like overwriting sensitive data during memory deallocation," Apple explains.
These features and others can be integrated into apps, by way of the CrytoKit toolkit. What is particularly interesting is the ability to manage public and private keys. This is a step towards turning an iPhone into a bona fide hardware wallet. It also hints at a potentially bigger play on Apple's part, though for now, it is anyone's guess what that might be.
While the cryptocurrency market has changed this past year, there are some coins that are holding strong
. Bitcoin, the most popular one, is currently valued at $7,680. That is way down from it was approaching $20,000, but up from around $5,715 a month ago.
In short, Apple might be late to the cryptocurrency party, but the lights certainly haven't been turned all the way off yet.