Apple Inc on Wednesday has pulled the plug on Blockchain, the only iPhone app for storing and sending out Bitcoin from the company’s app store. Bitcoin is a virtual currency and exists only in form of software. A computing device is needed for completing any transaction using Bitcoin.
This action by Apple has left the UK-based developer of the software furious; according to the company, to date, Apple has never warned them of any problem. Nicholas Cary, the company’s CEO has said that Apple has only sent an email informing them about their decision of withdrawing the program. Cary also mentioned that Apple has cited “an unresolved issue” as the reason behind the withdrawal.
In a post submitted on their website on Thursday, Blockchain wrote that this decision by Apple has again demonstrated how impulsive and anti-competitive the App Store policies are. All Apple spokespersons other than Tom Neumayr were unavailable for comment. Neumayr, the spokesperson for the Apple Campus at Cupertino, California, however, refused to give a statement regarding the issue.
Cary, however, showed his displeasure by pointing out how popular Bockchain is among users. He mentioned that to date, as many as 120,000 users have downloaded the application worldwide.
Blockchain is however not the only Bitcoin-related app that Apple decided to pull the plug on. The tech giant has also removed all other similar applications including Gliph and Coinbase, both of which are start-ups located in San Francisco.
According to Coinbase CEO, Fred Ehrsam, the application was withdrawn in November, 2013. Gliph CEO Rob Banagale, on the other hand, stated that Apple was ready to keep their app only if its ability of receiving or sending Bitcoin gets removed. The App Store, however, still has the applications required for monitoring Bitcoin’s price or accessing news items related to it.
According to some observers, this decision of Apple indicates the tech giant’s intent to enter the business of mobile payment applications in a much bigger way. In other words, for many, Apple has taken this decision to stifle all its potential Bitcoin-servicing rivals.
As a result of taking such a drastic step, Apple has ended up being at risk of alienating hundreds of thousands of Altcoiners and Bitcoiners. This has prompted the UK-based developer of Blockchain to release a sarcastic comment against Apple. It stated that Google, unlike Apple, has accepted several Bitcoin-related apps even though Apple Wallet rivals Google Wallet, Google’s own mobile payment system.
Blockchain believes that Apple’s decision has attacked an innovative, but nascent technology designed for empowering over 2.5 million users around the globe. A large number of retailers around the globe are using Bitcoin digital payment system. However, it still faces a lot of criticism as many countries are not sure whether it abides by their present regulatory and legal schemes.
According to recent reports, the Indian and Chinese governments have already raised questions about the legal status of Bitcoin. Also, Apple needs its apps to be legal in every territory that they are offered. As a result, several Bitcoin-related programs for its iOS mobile software don’t possess the ability of sending money and thus Apple decided to pull the plug on the Bitcoin app from its app store.
By Daris Abraham