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Apple pulls last remaining Bitcoin app from the App Store

Firm slammed as 'anti-competitive' and 'capricious'
Fri Feb 07 2014, 10:39
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GADGET DESIGNER Apple is pulling Bitcoin related applications from its App Store, much to the chagrin of digital currency brokers.

The latest app to fall is Blockchains, and the app's developer took to the internet to make its case and plead for reconsideration.

"On Wednesday February 5th, Apple attempted to strike a devastating blow to the bitcoin ecosystem on iOS by removing 'Blockchain', the last remaining bitcoin wallet app, from the App Store," it said.

"Offering no explanation and no opportunity to address any issues, without any apparent change in circumstances other than the growing popularity of the independent and competitive payment system, Apple has eradicated their payment competition on iOS and left the bitcoin space entirely to competing mobile OSs like Google's Android."

It described Apple's action as "anti-competitive and capricious" and typical of the App Store.

Blockchain said that Apple's decision shows that it is more committed to feathering its own nest and protecting its own payments system.

"The Blockchain application is the same one that has been on the App Store for [two] years, with more than 120,000 downloads, no customer complaints, and a broad user base. The only thing that has changed is that bitcoin has become competitive to Apple's own payment system," it adds.

"By removing the blockchain app, the only bitcoin wallet application on the App store, Apple has eliminated competition using their monopolistic position in the market in a heavy handed manner."

The firm said that Apple has been unhelpful in its responses and will only give a glib explanation as to why the app was removed. Blockchain is not the only company affected, and others including Coinbase, Gliph, and CoinJar "have all been sacrificed on the altar of innovation", it said.

There are suggestions that Bitcoin fans are leaving the Apple OS and adopting the Android alternative. A petition that demands the return of Bitcoin trading apps to the App Store has already been launched. It currently has over 4,000 signatures.

Apple has not commented on this to The INQUIRER, but a report at Techcrunch reminds us that it limits access to apps with uncertain legitimacy or legality.

Techcrunch said that while Bitcoin is not illegal, it is not an officially recognised currency, which might go some way towards explaining the removals.

This is backed up by Gliph's report on its removal, which cites Apple app store rule 22.1.

"Apps must comply with all legal requirements in any location where they are made available to users. It is the developer's obligation to understand and conform to all local laws." µ

 

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