Apple is continuing to take a stance against Bitcoin applications on their App-Store.
We recently reported on Coinbase’s iOS offering and like many, believed that Apple’s tirade against the cryptocurrency has ended. Last month Apple abruptly removed the Coinbase wallet application from the App-Store.
Yesterday, December 10th 2013, Apple struck against Bitcoin yet again by removing the messaging application Gliph. Gliph, in similarity to China’s WeChat, is an application that beyond instant messaging allowed the transfer of funds between users. Unlike WeChat, Gliph’s transfer function was with Bitcoin as opposed to FIAT. The app was removed, and replaced with an updated version that eliminated the Bitcoin transfer feature.
A similar story occurred with BlockChain.info’s iOS application, and their wallet feature was removed in order to remain on the App-Store. BitPak, which was the first available wallet client for iOS was removed in June of 2012, resulting in the closure of the company. Bitcoin Express, a thin client designed for iOS which acted as a remote connection to place Bitcoin transfers from one wallet to another was also removed from the App-Store back in 2011.
When removed, the big A gave the companies and developers a notification about how the content “is not legal in all the locations in which the app is available, which is not in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines.” It would seem that Apple is hiding behind foreign illegality issues when stating their reasons for revoking the applications. Google’s Android platform on the other hand, with an 81% share of the smartphone market has not removed any official and non-official Bitcoin applications and is available in more regions than Apple’s iOS devices. The question that begs asking is why is Apple against Bitcoin?
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One of the speculations revolves around Apple’s possible future venture into the payment industry. If what we understand from Apple’s recent patent applications is true, the tech giant is planning on introducing a P2P fund transferring feature through iTunes. As most Bitcoin wallet applications are designed for fund transferring from one wallet to another, it could pose a threat to Apple’s future plans.
Applications designed for transferring standard currencies are most likely not in danger of being removed, as Apple cannot rely on the claim of illegality in certain regions, and those applications are compliant with their guidelines.
Another possible reason could be Apple’s image. Apple always tries to keep a clean image when it comes to their devices. With the criminal past associated to Bitcoin, any report of illegal activity involving an iPhone could hurt Apple’s reputation.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia