Apple removes popular Bitcoin app from iOS App Store

This week Apple pulled a popular Bitcoin wallet app from their iOS app store, in a move which sparked significant outrage from the online community and developers alike. 

The app, which is called Blockchain, had been downloaded close to 120,000 times in its two years on the app store. Despite no significant issues with the Bitcoin wallet in those two years, Apple still pulled it for "unresolved issues", according to a scathing response to Apple by the Blockchain developers. The developers noted their confusion with Apple's decision, stating:

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. These actions by Apple once again demonstrate the anti-competitive and capricious nature of the App Store policies that are clearly focused on preserving Apple’s monopoly on payments rather than based on any consideration of the needs and desires of their users.

While Apple has not released a statement thus far on the issue, many speculate that the move may come as a result of their expansion into mobile payments. Previously, the company had removed other Bitcoin wallets such as Coinbase and Gliph from their store. According to ITProPortal, CEO Tim Cook said in an earnings call on January 27th that he saw the concept of mobile payments as a "big opportunity" for iOS. And despite its removal from Apple, the Blockchain app still remains on Google Play for Android devices.

The move also drew substantial criticism from some online communities. On reddit's virtual currency subforum /r/bitcoin, users smashed their iPhones and posted videos of the resulting damage in a protest against Blockchain's removal. And in a positive contribution to the cause, Javascript developer Kyle Drake launched an Indiegogo campaign designed to fund a mobile Bitcoin wallet app which would serve as a replacement for Blockchain.

The backlash against Blockchain's removal doesn't seem to be slowing down, and with a lack of statement from Apple there is a widening gap between the company and Bitcoin's ever-growing fanbase. While Bitcoin users are quick to disavow any interference with the currency, Apple's decision to remove the app from their store seems slightly misguided in light of the exponential growth of virtual currencies in recent months.

Source: CoinDesk | Image via Blockchain.info  

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Nokia US posts up video teaser, possibly for Lumia Icon

Next Story

Microsoft tries to get tech savvy customers to help get rid of Windows XP

27 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

LOL smashing their phones. Dat web people anger!

Feels like a kid smashing his toy for some reason. No wonder Apple won't take this vocal minority serious, they're business men not babysitters.

I bet apple will add support for bitcoins soon, they usually pull this crap when there releasing there own product so you have to use apples.

If i was blockchain id reverse engineer apples app if it adds support to see how much code they ripped off from block chain. Then sue the hell out of them cus apple are not beyond just stealing other peoples stuff

psionicinversion said,
I bet apple will add support for bitcoins soon, they usually pull this crap when there releasing there own product so you have to use apples.

If i was blockchain id reverse engineer apples app if it adds support to see how much code they ripped off from block chain. Then sue the hell out of them cus apple are not beyond just stealing other peoples stuff

Well if you're read the article linked above, you'd know that their "app" is nothing more than a webkit window to their server. There is no code to reverse engineer from their end.

Also, the whole issue is that the server changed what it was showing between the time it was getting approved, and the time it was released. There presented one app, then started selling another, and Apple caught them in the act.

more likely a precaution to avoid lawsuits from some idiots who lost their bitcoins. not really the safest 'currency' to begin with. virtual or not.

Smashing your iPhone in protest seems kinda stupid. I mean you already paid for the phone. Why not resell it and then just buy a non-Apple phone?

Also, they can still use the app if they've downloaded it previously. Just keep a backup of the IPA file in case you need to restore phoe.... But no, let's get over-dramatic and go a-smashing...

Not much of a protest if it means someone else can use the device and the app store. The idea would be to take one device off the market and shrink Apple's reach ever so infinitesimally small.

How would it not be illegal to remove apps from their store when they decide to release their own competing product? Is the iOS store open to any developer, or only the ones Apple decides is acceptable and convenient to them at the time?! **** Apple.

92GTA said,
How would it not be illegal to remove apps from their store when they decide to release their own competing product? Is the iOS store open to any developer, or only the ones Apple decides is acceptable and convenient to them at the time?! **** Apple.

lol...

92GTA said,
How would it not be illegal to remove apps from their store when they decide to release their own competing product? Is the iOS store open to any developer, or only the ones Apple decides is acceptable and convenient to them at the time?! **** Apple.
Well first, Apple has no competing product with this.
Second, the iOS store is open to those Apple allows in. It's a closed market and they can sell what they want, from who they want.

Blockchain misrepresented itself. Dogecoin app allows view of your wallet, display of your address and QR code and monitoring the markets. No exchange of Doge is possible in the app.