Apple started letting the first Bitcoin apps back into the App Store last week following its new policy on virtual currencies. Now Coinbase, the VC-backed Bitcoin wallet firm that is one of the largest in the industry, is represented… albeit by an open-source app rather than an official one.
The Bitcoin iOS app was pulled from the App Store back in November last year, at a time when Apple exercised greater caution over virtual currencies. While the coast is now clear for a return, the company has been beaten to the punch by Andrew Vilcsak, a developer at Airbnb, who used its APIs to create a third-party option.
Coinbase says it has been in touch with Vilcsak, reviewed the code and it “believes” it to be secure — which is about as much of an endorsement as you’ll find.
Great to see this community contributed app! We reached out to the dev to review the code and believe it is secure. https://t.co/hPZVSr7GOI
— Coinbase (@coinbase) June 20, 2014
Olaf Carlson-Wee, Coinbase’s head of operations, echoed the company’s tweet with comments on a Reddit thread.
Nonetheless, many users are skeptical of the third-party app — which makes sense given the general state of security and privacy in the Bitcoin space. Just this week, an unscrupulous individual made use of a software company’s processors to mine $600,000 in Dogecoin in just two months, and there have been countless hacks and, of course, Mt. Gox’s implosion.
If you’re a hardcore Bitcoin fan who is happy to accept Coinbase’s endorsement and test Vilcsak’s app with a small investment initially, then step right up. But we suspect most people will prefer to wait for an official, Coinbase-built iOS app to return.
Headline image via Zach Copley / Flickr