Bitcoin has been dealt another blow again, as Apple has pulled what is allegedly the last remaining Bitcoin wallet app on its App Store, Blockchain, the company behind the app reveals (hat/tip Wired).
This essentially means that access to the crypto-currency is now no longer available to users via iOS apps, as Apple has rejected or pulled most other Bitcoin-related apps as well. Though Blockchain also has a HTML5 Wallet and there’s another open-source HTML5 Bitcoin wallet, Coinpunk.com, which users can access via Safari on the iPhone, access to these HTML5 apps may be limited as they aren’t native to the iPhone.
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Blockchain shared the email that it received from Apple, which cites an “unresolved issue” around Bitcoin. The Blockchain team disputes this as it says there was no communication before the app was removed, no indication of any problems, and in turn no opportunity to redress any issues.
The Blockchain team believes Apple is removing Bitcoin wallets because it sees them as a threat to its efforts to monopolize the payment systems on its platform.
The Blockchain application is the same one that has been on the App Store for 2 years, with more than 120,000 downloads, no customer complaints, and a broad user base.
The only thing that has changed is that Bitcoin has become competitive to Apple’s own payment system. By removing the Blockchain app, the only Bitcoin wallet application on the App Store, Apple has eliminated competition using their monopolistic position in the market in a heavy handed manner.
It could also be argued that Apple may have concerns about Bitcoin’s international regulations. Though it’s not actually illegal anywhere, governments all over the world have either been rejecting Bitcoin as a legitimate currency or issuing warnings about the use of it — including India, Norway and South Korea just last month, following in the footsteps of statements from the central bank in China and Thailand in July.
However, in comparison, the Blockchain team says that unlike Apple, Google has accepted “hundreds” of Bitcoin-related apps. Google has said it has no current plans regarding Bitcoin, though a rumor suggested it was seeking to incorporate the virtual currency into its payments system.
“The response of users to the restrictions placed on Bitcoin applications have led thousands to flee to Google’s Android mobile OS, which offers a much more open environment for innovation,” the Blockchain post says.
In response to Blockchain being pulled from Apple’s App Store, Kyle Drake from Coinpunk has spoken up to ask users to take a stand against Apple and sign a petition to allow Bitcoin wallets on the iPhone.
Headline image via George Frey/Getty Images