Apple warms to bitcoin as Blockchain returns to App Store

“Apple Inc. has reinstated the Blockchain bitcoin wallet application to its App Store almost six months after booting the popular program,” Carter Dougherty reports for Bloomberg.

“The service, which is also available on the Web and other mobile platforms, has 1.9 million users for its bitcoin wallet, according to Blockchain Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Nicolas Cary,” Dougherty reports. “Blockchain’s mobile wallet for iPhones had been downloaded about 120,000 times before being removed in February. The decision to eject Blockchain.info sparked outrage among bitcoin enthusiasts, who took to social media to make their point. One user shot his iPhone with a sniper rifle and another smashed one with a metal bar.”

“Since then, the relationship between Apple and bitcoin thawed before today’s breakthrough,” Dougherty reports. “It released guidelines in June about using digital currencies in applications, and on July 22, Gliph, a startup that lets users send bitcoins to friends, returned to the App Store.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Bitcoin mining on your Mac – June 23, 2014
Bitcoin apps reappear in App Store after Apple’s policy shift – June 16, 2014
Apple allows virtual currencies in apps, opening door to Bitcoin – June 3, 2014
Apparent theft at prominent Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox shakes Bitcoin world – February 25, 2014
New Bitcoin-stealing trojan, ‘OSX/CoinThief.A,’ targets OS X users – February 10, 2014
Russian authorities say Bitcoin illegal – February 10, 2014
Enraged Bitcoin true believers shoot, smash iPhones after Apple yanks Bitcoin app from App Store – February 6, 2014
Apple pulls ‘Blockchain’ Bitcoin app from iTunes App Store – February 6, 2014
Apple App Store’s rocky relationship with Bitcoin apps – December 10, 2013

12 Comments

  1. Bitcoin is a bag of hurt. Apple will regret supporting imaginary currency. Not that any currency is well moored to solid footings, but Bitcoin is a time bomb waiting to go off.

      1. Both of you seem to miss that Bitcoin can do numerous things that regular currency cannot. It doesn’t need to replace regular currency to succeed. If you take the time to understand how the technology works, its a break through in how transactions can occur and the system has long since passed the threshold of being successful. The best VC firms in the valley, and around the world, are creating new startups some of which appear to be copies of old institutions but many of which are doing completely original things.

        When a new technology comes along, many people compare it to the old way of doing things and rightly do not see the new technology as a threat, but wrongly conclude that means it isn’t highly useful in its own right. A scriptable, programmable, cryptographically verified, decentralized, peer-to-peer transaction system is a big advance.

        If you think the Bitcoin blockchain technology is a fad or only are aware of price fluctuations and therefore think it is a bubble, then you need to learn a lot more about it before you can make an informed judgement.

        1. Yeah, but there’s actually a difference between the blockchain distributed ledger technology and Bitcoin the currency. The technology is interesting, the currency, not as much.

          And the VC interest doesn’t impress me as much as it does some. VC’s fund an awful lot of failed ventures — in fact, I think a majority fail. And someone on Reddit humorously pointed out that all the VC invested in Bitcoin startups so far is less than the net worth of 50 Cent.

          ——RM

          1. You mention that their is a difference between the Bitcoin blockchain and the price of a unit of Bitcoin. So you are least half heartedly admit to being aware that there is some technology that has uses. Incidentally, the volatility of Bitcoin is irrelevant for transacting unless you choose to hold on to Bitcoin for long periods of time, which is a choice you can make, but not a requirement for using Bitcoin.

            Everyone here loves Apple’s innovations, but some segment here seems to have trouble recognizing serious innovation coming from anywhere else. Bitcoins is big technological advance which will open up new opportunities in commerce, whether it happens to be useful to any particular person here or not. For starters your Mac can now be your own personal bank accepting payments from anywhere in the world without the need for any centralized or authority party. Pre-Bitcoin that seemingly simple and obviously internet friendly feature was not available.

            1. If holding onto Bitcoin for a long period of time is a bad idea (due to the volatility), then Bitcoin is a poor store of value, and thus it’s a bad idea for a currency.

              Bitcoiners present a continuous moving target when they argue about their favorite thing. It’s a currency! No, it’s a technology! No, it’s a commodity! No, it’s a financial transaction facilitator! Argue about any one of these “faces of Bitcoin” (several of which are mutually exclusive), and they quickly switch to the next.

              I don’t feel like climbing down that rabbit hole, so I am only referring to Bitcoin as a currency. And it is a very poor idea for one.

              ——RM

            2. I agree, the volatility of Bitcoin makes it a poor store of value for the average person at this stage. It is the consequence of having a tiny market cap while the number of people and merchants using it has grown exponentially but not smoothly. As the market cap grows, it will become a better store.

              You are right about the overhype around Bitcoin. People who see Bitcoin as replacing existing currencies don’t understand how new tech works. It almost always succeeds by solving new problems, and rarely replaces everything that came before.

              Its incredible that I can accept, manage, store and send money from all over the world on a local server using my own scripts, but regular cash, credit cards, or bank accounts all continue to be useful.

      2. Just an app? Why legitimize a _commodity_ that undermines legitimate payment systems that are rooted in government-backed _currency_?

        If you don’t know the difference between commodity trading and currency, then perhaps an economics 101 refresher course will do you good. Here’s a hint: government-backed currencies are regulated, either directly by governments or by a banking system chartered by a government. Active management is in place under most governments to ensure that the currency is in adequate supply to lubricate economic transactions but not so loose that a deflationary spiral occurs, and the regulators thereof are required to keep their meetings in public.

        Bitcoin is unregulated. It is not transparent, it is inherently unstable, it is unprotected from runaway market excesses. It wouldn’t even take a true hack to destroy bit coin, merely a believable threat that causes a run on bitcoins would erase the imaginary values that bitcoin investors believe they have — not unlike the early years of under-regulated stock trades.

        Until bitcoin is transparently and fairly regulated by a democratically-controlled government, it will not become legitimate currency.

        1. Bitcoin is regulated, by software and cryptography which are both inherently much more fair and reliable than the horse trading system that is central banking. Bitcoin is far more transparent than any previous money system – being open source. You can review every line of code yourself. And isn’t manipulatable by anyone in any of the artificial ways governments and banks manipulate government controlled (i.e special interest controlled) currencies.

          Its not clear why anyone would need to ensure there is adequate money supply. As has been demonstrated by gold and every other form of currency in the past, the value of a unit naturally grows so that it can accommodate the new level of currency needed due to normal supply and demand. Econ 101. Bitcoin has already (dramatically) demonstrated it has this normal economic capability.

          Also I would quibble with the phrase “democratically controlled government”. While democratic nations are democracies in theory and aspiration, their governments rarely reflect anything approaching the democratic ideal. They are often not fair. And legitimacy is something that comes from citizens, not governments who are supposed to reflect the will of their people but often do not.

        2. Dude, I agree with you 100% on all of this!! I just don’t see why Bitcoin’s problems will blow back on Apple, just because they approved an app.

          Apple can’t be held responsible for the moral implications of each and every app on their store. As long as it’s not doing anything illegal or violating Apple’s T&C, they kinda have to approve it.

          ——RM

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