Apple clarifies stance on 'virtual currencies,' may pave road to Bitcoin trading apps

This is a discussion on Apple clarifies stance on 'virtual currencies,' may pave road to Bitcoin trading apps within the Apple News forums, part of the Apple News Room category; Blockchain's app was pulled from the iOS App Store in February After unexpectedly yanking apps associated with Bitcoin trading in late 2013 and early 2014, ...

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    Apple clarifies stance on 'virtual currencies,' may pave road to Bitcoin trading apps

    Blockchain's app was pulled from the iOS App Store in February



    After unexpectedly yanking apps associated with Bitcoin trading in late 2013 and early 2014, Apple on Monday offered a bit more clarity on how it intends to handle virtual currencies in the future.

    Following the unveiling of iOS 8 during Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference keynote on Monday, the company issued a revised set of App Store Review Guidelines with a special portion dedicated to virtual currencies. It appears that Apple is ready to accept apps for review that deal in the transmission of these digital funds, at least to a limited degree.


    From Apple's review guidelines:

    Purchasing and Currencies

    11.17 Apps may facilitate transmission of approved virtual currencies provided that they do so in compliance with all state and federal laws for the territories in which the app functions.

    As noted by Gliph, maker of the eponymous texting and Bitcoin wallet viewing app, Apple's updated document is one of the first times the company has officially recognized virtual currencies. Apple has traditionally denied app submissions that dealt with Bitcoin trading, though the company never stated a hardline policy against software with such capability.

    In February, Apple removed Bitcoin trading and storage app Blockchain from the App Store due to an "unresolved issue," while a similar app called Coinbase was pulled last November. Gliph was allowed to remain in the App Store as long as it disabled the ability to make Bitcoin transactions.

    As Bitcoin and other virtual currencies are traded peer-to-peer and exist only in the digital realm, governments around the world have been reticent to acknowledge them as a legitimate form of money. Most trading happens online and users can convert their bitcoins into more traditional paper currencies through specialized exchanges, making it somewhat difficult to regulate.

    The impact of Apple's new rule remains unclear as companies like Gliph have yet to submit new apps for review. In addition, Bitcoin itself is not specifically mentioned in the update, meaning the probability of a transaction-capable app passing through the precess to the App Store is unlikely.





    6-3-14

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    'Coin Pocket' Becomes First Bitcoin Wallet App on iOS After App Store Policy Change

    Bitcoin wallet app Coin Pocket



    Earlier this month, Apple updated its App Store review guidelines to allow for "approved" virtual currencies in apps. Now, Coindesk (via The Next Web) reports that Bitcoin wallet app Coin Pocket has launched in the App Store, becoming the first app on iOS that allows users to send and receive the virtual currency.

    In addition to Coin Pocket, gift card purchasing app eGifter has also received an update to now accept Bitcoin as a form of payment. Earlier this month, betting app Betcoin also appeared on the App Store with in-app Bitcoin spending capabilities. Its developer, Omri Cohen, noted that the app was an experiment to test what Apple would allow ahead of the policy change on virtual currencies in apps.

    Prior to its policy change, Apple displayed past tendencies to remove and deny apps that promoted virtual currencies, notably asking the developers behind private messaging app Gliph to remove the app's Bitcoin sending capabilities. With the launch of Coin Pocket however, it is now likely that users will be seeing many more Bitcoin-related apps in the App Store provided they follow Apple's guidelines.





    6-16-14

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    Banned bitcoin wallet Blockchain welcomed back into the App Store



    Six months after being unceremoniously booted out of the App Store, popular bitcoin wallet app Blockchain is back where it belongs, with Apple having let it back in after seemingly changing its mind about the digital currency.

    Blockchain was removed from the App Store back in February this year, having briefly been excised and then re-accepted before that. It followed in the footsteps of fellow wallets BitPak and Coinbase, which were also removed by Apple.

    For a while, Apple refused to comment on its apparent war with bitcoin – with Blockchain CEO Nicolas Cary theorizing that it had something to do with Apple’s plans to get involved with mobile payments, although another possible explanation
    was Apple’s uncertainty about whether the currency was legal around the world.

    Cupertino finally stated its position following this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), when it issued a revised set of its App Store Review Guidelines, complete with a section specifically dealing with virtual currencies. The policy noted that:

    “Purchasing and Currencies 11.17 Apps may facilitate transmission of approved virtual currencies provided that they do so in compliance with all state and federal laws for the territories in which the app functions.”

    Since then we’ve seen at least one bitcoin wallet app accepted into the App Store in the form of CoinPocket, an app very reminiscent of Blockchain. As such, it was only ever going to be so long before Blockchain was reaccepted.

    “This seems to be the first strong and real sign [that Apple] are ready to accommodate future digital currency development,” the makers of Blockchain said a statement. “It goes a long way to legitimizing bitcoin and now provides hundreds of millions of iOS users access to bitcoin applications.”

    Given that Apple’s support is important for bitcoin to keep expanding in the public consciousness, this decision is good news for cyber-currency fans everywhere.





    7-29-14

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