This seemingly inexplicable move by Apple has left iPhone and iPad users with no bitcoin wallet options whatsoever for their devices.
Apple has also not offered any explanation for this action and has left no option to appeal. All it deemed to say about this important issue was that it was due to an unresolved issue. This is not the first time that Apple has shown an inclination against bitcoin wallets. It had banned bitcoin wallet apps CoinJar and Coinbase earlier. It had also insisted that the encrypted messaging app, Gliph, should remove an option that allowed users to send bitcoin. CoinJar, though, is still available on the local Australian Apple Store.
The Blockchain apps had been available on the iOS App Store for more than two years. They had been downloaded more than 120,000 times, which means they were fairly popular. The native Blockchain app for desktops was also removed simultaneously from the Mac App Store.
Backlash Against Apple
Blockchain has been bitterly scathing in its criticism of Apple’s strange decision. It posted a statement against Apple on its blog, which says that these “anti-competitive” actions of Apple show that it is focused on preserving its own need to control payments and that the move was monopolistic, and it also went against the desires and needs of their users.
They also added that their Blockchain app had no customer complaints, and was very popular. They also alleged that bitcoin has become competitive to Apple’s payment system and that by removing this app, which was the only bitcoin wallet application on the App Store, Apple was getting rid of any competition to their own payment systems. Blockchain also called this high-handed and monopolistic in the extremes.
Blockchain is the company behind the Blockchain app. Ben Reeves, a British developer, started it. The site Blockchain.info was built as an academic research tool, but since 2013, it has become the most regularly referenced site for strange goings-on, crime, mistakes, and other anomalies related to bitcoin.
Blockchain was the only bitcoin wallet app available to users of the Apple mobiles. It was launched in April 2012 and was allowed on the Apple store. It was a stable app and had a wide user base.
What Could be Behind This Move?
The allegations by Blockchain ring true. After removing bitcoin wallet apps from its App Stores for vague reasons, Apple seems to be on slippery ground. Many others are also asking whether Apple might be trying to launch its own payment gateway and enter the mobile payment ecosystem.
And that’s not all; Apple even blacklisted Coinbase’s iOS app just three weeks after its launch. This was a popular bitcoin payment processor in America.
How Are the Apple Users Placed?
The users who downloaded the bitcoin wallet apps can continue to use them, though updates are not possible now, and a device reset would mean that these apps may disappear forever. There are also fears that Bitcoiners are all set to abandon Apple. They may move to Google’s Android platform, which has several bitcoin wallet options. All of these continue to be developed and updated to meet bitcoin’s increasing popularity head-on.
Google has its payment app Google Pay, but it seems unfazed about the competition.
In many ways, say bitcoin savants, this move by Apple is an attack on an innovative, new technology that is empowering more than 2.5 million users worldwide and one which gives them complete control over their money, while simultaneously disrupting centralized payment systems controlled by big Corporates.
This, if you ask us, does ring true.