Not long ago, we discussed how Facebook released the white paper for their cryptocurrency, Libra. Coincidentally or not, during Apple’s WWDC earlier this month, we learned about the release of the CryptoKit. Is this the company’s next step towards entering the cryptocurrency competition?
Well, we can only guess what Apple might be up to in the long run with the new reveal. But, it is a fact that Apple’s Cryptographic Engineering Manager, Yannick Sierra started his “Cryptography and Your Apps” presentation by humorously referring to it as the “Bitcoin session”. The talk then focused on how the new kit can be used by developers for encryption.
What is the CryptoKit?
In general, there are system frameworks that encrypt both data at rest and data in transit. They do that in a transparent way and help you protect your customers’ data. But, if you want to go a step further, you can now do that with the new Apple CryptoKit.
The new kit is actually a Swift framework for performing common cryptographic operations. It makes it much easier for developers to encrypt data by shortening the code while still providing all features needed to protect your customers. With CryptoKit, developers can perform operations from simple hash computing to implementing more advanced authentication protocols.
CryptoKit supports 256-, 384-, and 512-bit SHA-2 secure hashes, as well as NIST P-256, -384, and -521 signatures and X25519 keys. These features allow developers to use CryptoKit for tasks like:
- Computing and comparing cryptographically secure digests.
- Creation of digital signatures by using public-key cryptography as well as to perform key exchange.
- Generate symmetric keys for message authentication and encryption.
More importantly, the company advises developers to use CryptoKit instead of other lower-level interfaces. That is because it automatically handles tasks that make your app more secure, avoiding the most commonly found human mistakes and glitches.
So, is there any hidden agenda behind CryptoKit?
Even though Sierra’s presentation only hinted at the possible future implication of CryptoKit, the real idea behind the tool remains a mystery. On the bright side, the new kit still has a lot of great features for developers to work with. It will be available with the upcoming iOS 13 and might lead to the development of blockchain solutions on iPhones. Just wait and you shall see!