Apple has been steadily removing Bitcoin wallet apps from the App Store in recent times. Last night, Blockchain, the most popular wallet app for the crypto-currency vanished from the App Store with no real explanation as to why.
It joins a list including BitPak and Coinbase. Developer, Nicolas Cary has accused Apple of being anti-competitive since it’s allegedly going to launch its own wallet/mobile payment service.
Of course, there are other reasons for removing it. Apple could just be taking the safe road. Bitcoin – although growing in popularity – isn’t yet full understood by banks and other financial institutions and therefore, isn’t monitored or regulated, and never will be. There’s also the worry that it opens up user data to potential risk of being taken.
Worth noting, other Bitcoin apps still remain. Just not wallet apps. ZeroBlock for instance, is still on the App Store.
@Chronic – popular phone unlocking guru – tweeted that “the problem is with bitcoin wallet applications. these allow dumb users to restore away their bitcoins if they are stored on-device,” and followed with, “also would make it easier to steal bitcoins if there was any kind of vuln that would allow wallet access which they don’t want liability for.”
I highly doubt there is any ulterior motive here from Apple. We don’t know what it has planned for the mobile payment market in any detail, but, considering how few people use Bitcoin compared to the number who have iTunes accounts, there’s already no competition. It’s of no consequence to Apple. It’s simply protecting its users and itself.