Blockchain, the last Bitcoin wallet app on Apple’s iOS App Store, has now been removed. Apple devices are now entirely Bitcoin-free and Bitcoin-incompatible.
The reason for the complete purge? No one really knows. All Apple have said on Blockchain’s removal is that is was “due to an unresolved issue”.
If Blockchain’s 120,000 users are unhappy about this unannounced overhaul, Blockchain CEO Nicholas Cary is fuming. Wired reports: “Some believe that Apple may be dumping bitcoin wallets because of the emerging, somewhat confusing international regulations surrounding bitcoin. But like others, Blockchain’s Cary argues that his app was pulled because Apple sees bitcoin as a potential competitor. “I think that Apple is positioning itself to take on mobile payments in a way they haven’t described to the public and they’re being anti-competitive.”
Meanwhile, on their official blog, Blockchain had this to say: “These actions by Apple once again demonstrate the anti -competitive and capricious nature of the App Store policies that are clearly focused on preserving Apple’s monopoly on payments rather than based on any consideration of the needs and desires of their users.”
“[The app] had 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.”
“Bitcoin’s use for international payments from family members sending money home to support entire communities in the developing world and for charity fundraising and fund distribution will be severely affected by this decision. As of Wednesday, bitcoin is no longer available to those using iOS devices, once again leaving them to the mercy of oppressive currency controls and governments in some of the worst regimes in the world.”
Apple patrons now have no means of making Bitcoin payments whilst on the go, nor do they have any way of managing and transferring funds. This may be a decision that Apple end up regretting, especially if they continue to remain tight-lipped on the issue. Bitcoin backers are renowned for their passion for the virtual currency, and to so flagrantly exile such a vocal, growing community could be a major transgression for the company.