iPhone Blockchain Application: Apple’s CryptoKit

Apple’s CryptoKit is not a cryptocurrency, but a kit for cryptographers, a Swift API with cryptographic functions which will feature on the new iOS 13 software release. Crypto does not stand for cryptocurrency but cryptography, as everyone has been telling us lately. 

Apple released the news at its Worldwide Developers Conference, in Cupertino, California. “For the first time, developers can leverage the secure enclave to manage a user’s keys in an iPhone, achieving a similar level of security to hardware wallets,” Alejandro Machado, co-founder at Open Money Initiative, told  The Block

What is CryptoKit?

CryptoKit is a framework which will allow developers to “perform cryptographic operations securely and efficiently.” As it is shown on Apple Developer Documentation, developers can use Apple CryptoKit to perform “common cryptographic operations” such as “compute and compare cryptographically secure digests;” “use public-key cryptography to create and evaluate digital signatures, and to perform key exchange.” In addition, they can use it to “generate symmetric keys, and use them in operations like message authentication and encryption.” 

According to blockchain developer Ronald Mannak, CryptoKit is a “cryptography framework and not a cryptocurrency one. This, he says, “doesn’t imply any change in Apple’s stance on cryptocurrencies.” Apple already had CommonCrypto, a cryptography framework, which performed many of the functions the CryptoKit does. Mannak also clarified that is “Swift-friendly and contains more hash functionality, like support for SHA256.” SHA (Secure Hash Algorithm) is a cryptographic hash function which cannot be decrypted back and is ideal for password validation, challenge hash authentication, anti-tamper and digital signatures. It is the actual function used for mining Bitcoin.  

CryptoKit: A step towards an ambiguous direction? 

On Venture Beat, Jeremy Horwitz noted that, although CryptoKit offers new opportunities to developers to experiment with, and navigate, the complicated world of cryptography, it has been suggested that “CryptoKit is an early step toward some ambiguous larger purpose.” And, it is definitely not “a deep dive into the cryptocurrency world for Apple.” Even when everyone was obsessed with cryptocurrencies, “Apple publicly said almost nothing on the topic, leaving traders to speculate — often wildly and incorrectly — about its plans.”  

While with CryptoKit there has been a lot of speculation that Apple might embrace cryptocurrencies, this “unlikely prospect now appears to be on the horizon, though it’s unclear how long iOS and macOS will take to get there,” Venture Beat said. At least for now, the crypto stands for cryptography. 

Sources: CCN, The Block, Apple, Xorbin, Venture Beat 

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