Apple App Store’s rocky relationship with Bitcoin apps

“Over the past several years, Apple has removed, denied, or otherwise prevented a number of Bitcoin-related apps from being available to users on the App Store,” Jordan Golson reports for MacRumors. “Most recently, the company required the developers behind Gliph — a secure messaging app that also allowed users to transfer bitcoin from one Gliph user to another — to remove the bitcoin sending feature from its app.”

“The company has told a number of developers behind Bitcoin-related apps that their apps contain content — or facilitate, enable, or encourage an activity — ‘that is not legal in all the locations in which the app is available, which is not in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines,'” Golson reports. “While bitcoin use and ownership is not de jure illegal, it nonetheless exists in a legal gray area that could potentially affect users at some point. Gliph, the app mentioned earlier, did not even transfer bitcoin directly.”

“For the most part, Apple has declined to explain how a bitcoin-transferring or -trading app could be approved, nor in what countries the bitcoin functionality might not be allowed,” Golson reports. “It merely refers to section 22.1 of the App Store review guidelines which states that it is the ‘developer’s obligation to understand and conform to all local laws,’ The company appears to be taking a wait-and-see approach, both protecting itself and — perhaps more importantly to the company — protecting its users.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]


  1. Bit coins are simply not ready for prime time. They’re not legal currency in most countries, and frankly they’re scary as there is nothing backing, supporting or regulating them. Bit coins could disappear tomorrow, and guess what happens then — people will scream and yell at Apple, saying its Apple’s fault it approved an app that dealt in bit coins, and that they want their (non-existent) money back.

    Better for Apple to deny bit coins and avoid the PR problems, being viewed as supporting a one what subversive currency, or encouraging speculative investing through bit coins. There is virtually no way Apple comes out a winner by allowing bit coins, but plenty of loser scenarios.

  2. Why are people so scared of bitcoin? I can understand why governments are crapping in their pants about an alternative currency, but Apple & Apple users are suppose to be creative types who experiment with new things. Just because this new thing, bitcoin, is an alternative currency doesn’t mean we should be afraid of it.

  3. First, it is bitcoin, not bit coin. Second, why is everyone here so fearful of it? I can understand why governments are crapping in their pants about a competitive currency that they don’t control, but Apple and Apple users are suppose to be different. We are suppose to be creative types who experiment with new things and discover stuff that others missed. Yet, when it comes to bitcoin, Apple and the other people making MDN comments seems to be afraid of their own shadow.

    Here is the deal, bitcoin is an experimental concept for an alternative currency. Only a fool would invest signficant funds in bitcoin, but as a way to transfer money without extensive bank fees, it is very useful.

    So don’t fear it. Let’s just see how it all plays out.

    1. It is not necessarily a matter of “fear.” A better term would be “distrust.” The value of a bit coin (autocorrect wants to separate that into two words) has fluctuated quite a bit in recent weeks and months. That, alone, makes the bitcoin a poor currency alternative. A unit of exchange that is experimental and speculative in nature is not a good currency. In addition, the recently inflated value of a bitcoin makes it impractical to “experiment.”

      Furthermore, I have no reason to believe that the people managing bitcoin will (continue to?) do so in good faith over the long term, or that hackers will not find a way to vacuum them out of my iPhone or “counterfeit” bitcoins and rapidly implode the currency.

  4. Well, I’m a big apple supporter and stock owner. I’ve been selling aapl stock and buying into bitcoin. I have coinbase app from before it was pulled. I’ve used it. It works. If there are many people like me out there, people will be switching to the android devil so they can use bitcoin on their phone.

    I truly believe that the day will come when we all use bitcoin, so get in while the gettins good!

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