Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook has ruled out Apple’s entry into digital currency. Speculations had been rife about Apple’s foray into cryptocurrency after Facebook announced its plan for Libra digital currency.

In an interview with Les Echos newspaper Cook said digital currency was not on his agenda. Tim Cook also spoke against the trend of companies getting into digital currency.

In the remarks published Thursday Cook said companies should not try to “gain power by establishing competing currencies.”

“No. I think that a currency should stay in the hands of countries. I’m not comfortable with the idea of a private group set up a competing currency,” the Apple boss said.

The July announcement of Facebook about the launch of a digital currency named Libra in mid-2020 triggered rumors about similar moves by other top companies. The social media giant had lined up a slew of partners in the Libra Association to manage the project.

According to Apple news, speculation mounted in September when an Apple executive told CNN that Apple was “watching” cryptocurrency.

But Cook’s affirmative reaction has scotched that notion.

“Currency, like defense, needs to stay in the hands of countries, that’s the heart of their mission,” Cook said.

Expanding the logic that currency is the exclusive responsibility of government’s, Cook said: “We elect our representatives to assume governmental responsibilities. Companies aren’t elected and should not be going in this direction.”

A section of market watchers also links the rethink to the regulatory and political skepticism of Facebook’s cryptocurrency move. France and Germany have warned to block Libra from operating in Europe.

Apple already with its foot in the financial services including a credit card and phone-based payment system was seen as the most eligible candidate to launch digital currencies.

The volatility of cryptocurrencies is still a challenge despite their going mainstream two years ago. In the fall of 2017, the price of bitcoin jumped 500 percent in three months and investors hailed it as the future of payments.

But the hype was short-lived. Now, most actual cryptocurrencies are just a fraction of the peak value in early 2018.

GettyImages-Apple Logo
The Apple logo is displayed in an Apple store in lower Manhattan on August 2, 2018 in New York City. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Apple’s International credit card soon

Meanwhile, Tim Cook confirmed that an international version of Apple Card is under preparation.

“We want to offer the cards everywhere,” Cook said in a business media interview.

The Apple CEO told Germany’s Bild that Apple needed suitable partners as different countries had different rules and regulations.

At the moment, the Apple credit card is available only in the U.S, where it has partnered with Goldman Sachs.

The Apple Card is both a digital and a physical credit card. It is different from conventional credit cards; it has no number, CVV security code or expiration date.

The attractions include instant approval, no penal fees on missing deadlines or crossing the credit limit. Meanwhile, Apple stock was up 0.8 percent during Thursday’s trading.