More reports on: E-business

Apple removes bitcoin app Blockchain from mobile store

07 February 2014

Apple yesterday pulled out Blockchain, the last remaining application in its mobile store for transmitting bitcoins, adding to the uncertainty around the virtual currency.

According to Blockchain, Apple had removed the bitcoin wallet Blockchain from its mobile App Store due to an "unresolved issue.''

UK-based Blockchain wrote on its website today that Apple informed it that the application, which was a "wallet" that could be used to store and send bitcoins, was removed due to an "unresolved issue." Blockchain added it had been given no prior warning of a problem.

Blockchain said Apple had also removed other bitcoin-related applications, including Coinbase and Gliph.

"These actions by Apple once again demonstrate the anti-competitive and capricious nature of the App Store policies," Blockchain wrote.

Even as a growing number of retailers adopt bitcoin as a payment option, the virtually currency faced scrutiny around the world as countries debated how it fitted into existing legal and regulatory schemes.

Blockchain, which also offered its users a Mac App and a website, was the last remaining wallet app and with around 120,000 downloads - by far the most popular reported.

In its blog post, in response to the move, Blockchain referred back to an Apple advertising campaign from the '90s which said: ''Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward.''

The post complained that ''the rebels no longer run the show at Apple Inc, the bean counters are now firmly in charge.''

''Offering no explanation and no opportunity to address any issues, without any apparent change in circumstances other than the growing popularity of the independent and competitive payment system, Apple has eradicated their payment competition on iOS and left the bitcoin space entirely to competing mobile OSs like Google's Android,'' it said.

''The blockchain application is the same one that has been on the App Store for two years, with more than 120,000 downloads, no customer complaints, and a broad user base.

''Further demonstrating the arbitrary basis of this decision, Apple's official communication says that the app was removed because of an 'unresolved issue', a claim that cannot even be disputed and boils down to 'because we said so'.

''There was no communication prior to removal of this popular app, no indication of any problems and no opportunity to redress any issues, making a mockery of the claim that there was an 'unresolved issue'.''

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