Apple Drops The Last Remaining Bitcoin App In Their App Store


Image from Cringely.com.

Image from Cringely.com.

Apple has dropped the sole bitcoin app from its app store this past Wednesday, according to Wired.com.

The app, called Blockchain, acts as a wallet for the digital currency. It allows for iPhone users that have the app to make online purchases via their smart phone using the revolutionary new form of money.

The app reached upwards of 120,000 users and according to Blockchain’s official blog, they had not received a single customer complaint about their product.

After considering that the app had quickly formed a “broad user base,” as their blog put it, and was universally liked by their customer base, many have turned to Apple in search of an explanation for their action.

Thus far, Apple has remained extremely vague in their reasoning for shutting down the app. In an email to the CEO of Blockchain, they merely stated that it was “removed from the app store due to an unresolved issue.”

Apple has a history of disallowing bitcoin wallet apps in their store. In the past year, Apple shut down two other apps, Bitpack and Coinbase.

According to Bitpack’s press release regarding their removal from Apple, they were told that it was “Because that Bitcoin thing is not legal in all jurisdictions for which Bitpack is for sale.”

When they asked which jurisdictions it was illegal in and what laws it violated, the Apple representative failed to answer either question. Instead, the response was simply: “That is up to you to figure out.”

They even shut down Blockchain last year, but then later re-allowed it only to shut it down once again this week.

When Apple first eradicated Blockchain, they again cited legal reasons for doing so.

Their explanation was that “Apps must comply with all legal requirements in any location where they are made available to users,” according to a report on Forbes.com.

However, since there are no laws in any jurisdiction that make bitcoin illegal, Blockchain managed to find its way back into the App Store, at least up until this past Wednesday.

In the absence of a legitimate explanation from Apple, the CEO of Blockchain and other bitcoin supporters believe Apple of trying to eliminate competition in the digital currency market.

On June 6, 2013, Apple Inc. filed a patent for an invention called iMoney. The patent application describes it as a system to transfer credits with using mobile devices; obviously implying iPhones and iPads.

The patent’s summary of the invention is as follows:

“The present invention is directed at least in part to a method and system for providing credits, vouchers or coupons representative of monetary value to users of mobile devices such as mobile telephones, as set forth in the appended claims. The users of the mobile telephones are able to use the monetary value of the credits to purchase goods and/or services at e.g. point of sale terminals and the like.”

The wording of the patent makes it unclear whether iMoney will utilize traditional currencies or a new form of digital currency.

The possibility that Apple could create its own currency, which could only be used in Apple products to purchase goods online, is truly revolutionary. This would be a radical change from the existence of currencies that are only backed by varying national economies, to a currency backed by an individual corporation.

Interestingly enough, as Apple severs its ties with any bitcoin related products, Google still allows apps such as Blockchain to be downloaded for the Android platform and has expressed interest in working more with bitcoin.

While bitcoin has had a tumultuous history between its drastic spikes and plummets in value and the difficulties it continues to face to gain acceptance as a legitimate currency, its work with Google does provide great promise for its future.

Ultimately, despite Apple’s actions to remove apps that further its use, it seems as though bitcoin will not be going away anytime soon.

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