Apple isn't exactly known for taking risks. Even when it launches something new, it's usually after a lot of careful consideration. It's almost never first to a new market, preferring instead to  take its time watching everyone else try and figure it out. That's understandable--as the world's most valuable company, it has a lot to lose. 

Also, there's the fact that it owes its $2.5 trillion market cap to the fact everything it makes is built on the promise of being simple and secure. Apple, after all, is the it-just-works company. Of course, when it does get involved, it usually ends up on top. That's why it's so interesting to think about Apple and crypto. 

To most people, crypto is either a weird hobby that your computer-savvy friend is into but no one else understands, or it's a scam (or some degree of both). It has to do with mining or buying strangely named digital "coins," and hoping the value goes up enough that lots of other people buy them, making the price go up even more. 

Then, you can sell yours to some of those people and make a bunch of money. Or you don't, and the whole thing crashes and you lose money.

Even worse, you may have heard about crypto exchanges being hacked and people losing millions of dollars' worth of cryptocurrency or NFTs. It doesn't exactly inspire confidence.

Then there's the fact that if you buy crypto coins, you store them in a digital wallet that is secured by a long string of numbers and letters, or a random series of words known as a private key. If you have the private key, you can conduct transactions with your wallet. Without it, you can't.

That, in theory, is a great form of security since no one else can get to your Bitcoins or Doges, or whatever. Of course, if you forget your private key, neither can you. It's hard to get a lot of people on board with a new technology that includes the possibility that if you lose a piece of paper, you could lose everything. Forever.

It's like losing the password to your email account, if your email were worth millions of dollars and there was no forgot-my-password link on the website to get a new one if you, well, forget it. Technically, the fact that your crypto wallet is protected by a private key may be a benefit, but it also means the barrier to getting involved is high, and well beyond most people's comfort level. 

Plus, as crypto gains popularity and the values of various cryptocurrencies go up, it increasingly becomes a target for bad actors and hackers. That doesn't feel simple or secure. But Apple, remember, is all about simplicity. What if someone could make crypto accessible to everyone by making everything a little easier and more secure?

I spoke last week with Kyle Samani, the managing partner of Multicoin Capital, at the Collision conference in Toronto. During our conversation, Samani made a bold prediction that Apple would eventually get on board with crypto:

I mean, you have to safeguard your keys. And so the old-school way is you write down 24 words and put it under your mattress, which is obviously horrible, and not a consumer acceptable UX. I am optimistic that Apple will save us one day ... Maybe they will next year, maybe it'll be four more years. I don't know, I'm pretty optimistic in the next four years, Apple will do it because I think too much crypto stuff is happening. And they're following it along. They're not stupid, they understand it's happening.

No doubt Apple is very much aware that crypto "is happening." So far, however, the company hasn't made even the smallest of moves in the direction of building anything in that space. Well, except for one. 

Apple is one of the leading forces behind the idea that passwords are bad and should die. The company is working with Microsoft and Google to build a system where you would log on to a website or app using a passkey with FaceID or some other biometric authentication.

To be fair, Apple isn't building a password-less future because of crypto. Apple isn't building anything specifically for crypto. It's doing it because people are bad at passwords. 

I am super skeptical that Apple is ever going to dive into crypto with any kind of energy or effort. On the other hand, if it did, I think Samani is absolutely right. It would change everything.

First, it would give crypto a degree of credibility in the mind of average users that it hasn't been able to find on its own. If the largest company on earth says, "Hey, we think this thing is cool so we're making it simple," that means something. It would take crypto out of the realm of "highly complicated thing computer people do," and make it something accessible for everyone.

And, by everyone, I mean the more than 1.5 billion people who use iPhones. Sure, there are third-party apps you can download to buy, store, or sell different cryptocurrencies, but that's not the same as Apple getting behind it with an initiative of its own.

It would also make the security part a lot more, well, secure. If you no longer had to remember long, complicated passphrases and private keys but were able to access your digital wallet just by using FaceID, that would mean no one would ever lose their private key again.

Samani knows a lot more about this than I do, and our entire conversation was fascinating. If he's right, and Apple does get involved in crypto, it could finally open it up to widespread adoption. If not, it's hard to see that ever happening.