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Tim Cook gives a hard no on Apple cryptocurrency

Apple CEO says he believes "deeply" that currency must remain in the hands of states.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook says his company doesn't intend to launch a cryptocurrency.

James Martin/CNET

Apple CEO Tim Cook says his company isn't interested in launching a cryptocurrency. In an interview with French publication Les Echos published on Friday, Cook said he believes deeply that money must remain in the hands of states.

"I am not comfortable with the idea that a private group creates a competing currency," Cook told Les Echos, according to a translation of the interview. "Money, like defense, must remain in the hands of states ... We elect our representatives to assume government responsibilities. Companies are not elected, they do not have to go on this ground."

Cook's comments come as Facebook's planned cryptocurrency, Libra, is reportedly on shaky ground, with financial partners reconsidering their involvement following scrutiny from US and international lawmakers.

Cook, who's visited several countries in Europe this week, also talked with the French publication about Apple's push into subscription services and the US launch of the Apple Card. The iPhone maker is apparently considering ways to bring new its credit card to several countries. 

"Apple needs to rely on local partners. We do not intend to become a bank," Cook told Les Echos. "In the United States, we work with Goldman Sachs. In France, we need to find a retail bank that is particularly agile."

Apple launched its branded credit card for iPhone users in the US in August. It's both a digital card that lives on your iPhone, with a traditional credit card backup to use in places where Apple Pay isn't available. Perhaps in line with Cook's views on digital currency, Apple doesn't permit users buy cryptocurrencies with the card.

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for additional comment.

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