Apple will integrate the Bitcoin wallet of Circle Pay in its revamped iMessage chat app to be rolled out with the iOS 10 update on September 13, due with the new iPhone 7.
The redesigned iMessages will allow developers to integrate their applications into the service. A beta version of the revamped chat app shows a number of third-party platforms added to it. Among them are the Bitcoin P2P wallet Circle Pay, the money transferring app Square Cash and the competitor of Uber – Lyft, among others. The new iMessenger will also support music, sharing of gif-s and larger emojis, much like many of the other popular messaging services.
“[Integration of Circle into iMessages] reduces friction… There’s a hurdle to have to install a smartphone app so that I can pay my buddy and all the inputting and setup. To do it all within the iMessages app is a lot easier,” said Circle Pay’s creator Jeremy Allarie, quoted by a number of media.
Circle Pay utilizes Bitcoin’s blockchain technology and allows users to transfer money to each other, instantly and with no fees. People can send money in their own currency to people in other countries who can cash out in their respective currency. For the purpose, Circle converts the original currency to Bitcoin, moves the amount along the blockchain to a bitcoin address associated with the recipient and, if they do not want Bitcoin, the amount is converted back into their currency.
In July this year Circle secured a strategic investment of $60 million for expansion in China from the Chinese search engine Baidu and several other major Chinese investors, as well as Breyer Capital, IDG Capital partners and the major crowdfunding platform Creditease.
In 2015 Circle Pay got another investment – of $50 million – from Goldman Sachs, Breyer Capital, General Catalyst Partners, Accel Partners, Oak Investment Partners, Fenway Summer, Digital Currency Group and Pantera Capital.
Apple, on the other hand, has a somewhat love-hate relationship with cryptocurrencies in general. Back in 2014 it banned all cryptocurrency wallets and exchange apps from its App Store, only to let a select few back several months later. Most recently, this summer Apple was reluctant allowing Ethereum wallets in its store, but has nevertheless approved a few apps since.