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.

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.

➤ Coinbase – Bitcoin Wallet by Andrew Vilcsak

Headline image via Zach Copley / Flickr