More reports on: E-business

Apple allows developers to include virtual-currency transactions in apps

news
04 June 2014

In a policy change, Apple has allowed software developers to include virtual-currency transactions in their applications, clearing the decks for new forms of money like bitcoin to appear on iPhones and iPads.

While the iPhone maker did not mention bitcoin specifically, its developer terms now allow for certain ''approved virtual currencies,'' though these were not named. Apps using the digital money would need to comply with state and federal laws wherever they were designed to work, the terms say.

The change signals increasing acceptance of virtual currencies at Apple after programs like Blockchain.info  had been blocked from App Store.

Bitcoin is the most popular of digital currencies, which exist only as software. Governments are finding it difficult figure out how these could be regulated, as businesses gradually accept it (See: Dish Network to accept bill payments in bitcoin).

''This is a sign that the ecosystem is maturing and gaining credibility,'' Bill Lee, an investor in bitcoin wallet BitGo, said in an e-mail. ''To be clear, I still think bitcoin is in its infancy as a technology, but its acceptance is becoming more and more mainstream.''

Meanwhile, Bitcoin entrepreneurs are looking at a manifold increase in the activity for virtual currencies.

According to some analysts, Apple actually had more to lose by excluding Bitcoin and other virtual currencies from the the App Store

Gil Luria, analyst at Wedbush Securities said, Bitcoin users were not going to give up Bitcoin - they were giving up on the iPhone, tech website itproportal reported.

Bitcoin's value has risen once again in recent weeks following a period in which its value rose and fell with prices peaking at over $1,000 before falling to as low as $360.84 in April.

The current value of the currency is $667 and with App Store opening up to Bitcoin its value could be expected to rise once again.





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