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Apple Is Still Afraid of Bitcoin: Coinbase Bitcoin Wallet App Gets Axed From iOS App Store

Apple Is Still Afraid of Bitcoin: Coinbase Bitcoin Wallet App Gets Axed From iOS App Store
November 15
02:15 2013

In a post from way back last summer, Bitcoin Foundation Director Jon Matonis wrote an article titled Why Apple is Afraid of Bitcoin detailing the demise of the and BitPak iOS Apps amid legal concerns.  BitPak’s iOS App did not recover from that ban wave as the owner went on to other business ventures, was more fortunate.  After repeated inquiries, on April 20th, 2012 was able to get back in the App Store with an App that only allowed users to view Live Transactions.  Since July of 2012, they have had a fully working send/receive Bitcoin wallet App v1.9.8.

Today, November 14th, 2013 we can add another major casualty to Apple’s Bitcoin hitlist: Coinbase.

Just 23 days ago, Coinbase released on their blog their highly anticipated Coinbase Bitcoin Wallet App.

The former link of the Coinbase iOS App

now redirects to the main iTunes page.

Former Bitcoin Apps from the iOS App store’s list of casualties include BitPak.  The reason that Rob Sama, BitPak’s founder, was given by Apple representatives was simply: “Because that Bitcoin thing is not legal in all jurisdictions for which BitPak is for sale”.  Back in 2012, Matonis reasoned: “Apple has launched mobile payments on iOS and competing virtual payment systems, including bitcoin, must be terminated.”  Apple is obviously still on the same witch hunt from last year.  While naysayers in 2012 may have found it hard to believe that something as insignificant as Bitcoin could be on the radar of the great Apple, it is safe to say that higher ups at Apple have heard about Bitcoin in the recent months.

A cursory look at the iOS App Store with a search of ‘Bitcoin’ reveals that Coinbase’s iOS App is not the only recent casualty.  The ranks have thinned and pretty much only Bitcoin price tickers are left, whether or not the withdrawal of apps was voluntary or forced remains to be seen as news will undoubtedly surface.


Update #1: Coinbase confirms App was taken down by Apple not themselves.

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About Author

Caleb Chen

Caleb Chen

Caleb Chen is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where he majored in Economics and East Asian Studies. His specialties include Computer Assembly, Bitcoin mining, GPU mining, monetary history, and Taiwan/China. Caleb writes to promote knowledge and comprehension of Bitcoin and to better the global community bit by bit by Bitcoin. Please write to Caleb at with any requests, opportunities, or questions. Click to donate Bitcoins to Caleb.

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  1. MrEfish
    MrEfish November 15, 03:31’s app is there.

    Reply to this comment
    • Caleb Chen
      Caleb Chen Author November 15, 03:40

      Ah, yes they successfully petitioned to get it back in the App Store from v1.9.2 which only allowed for viewing of live transactions; however, no longer advertises buying or selling of Bitcoin, just transfers from the mobile wallet. I will update the article to reflect that.

      Reply to this comment
  2. geek
    geek November 15, 03:39

    The app was pulled for violating apple’s rules. Not because Apple thinks bitcoin is illegal. No apple rejection would be phrased like the one above (typos and poor grammar are good giveaways.)

    People like to pretend like apple feels threatened by apps. They don’t.

    Apple only stops apps that violate users rigths, or use private APIs, or other legitimate reasons. (with the exception of a few mistakes that get corrected.)

    Reply to this comment
    • Caleb Chen
      Caleb Chen Author November 15, 03:48

      Thank you for your input, of course the App was pulled for violating Apple’s rules: Rules that have been put in place to destroy competition to Apple’s own virtual currencies. It is likely that the specific rule that Coinbase violated was allowing purchases through their App without giving Apple their proper cut, which is why’s send and receive wallet was allowed to return.

      Reply to this comment
    • abtcuser
      abtcuser November 15, 04:24

      Apple is actually really arbitrary. Management supports decisions made by line employees (there is a huge queue of apps and low level employees make decisions). I’ve personally heard terrible stories about arbitrary decisions they’ve backed based on a single employee’s biased, inconsistent view point.

      I thought the Apple fanboy thing was over. Apparently not. Like a large corporation is going to “always do the right thing”. It’s in their TOS. They approve or deny at their sole discretion.

      Reply to this comment
  3. krewnel
    krewnel November 15, 03:47

    Trade bit-coins through the unity os. If the air-force uses clusters of ps3s use ps4s. ;) it will run on anything if its free of proprietary. #Externet

    Reply to this comment
  4. iolloyd
    iolloyd November 15, 07:45

    I believe it’s time for an alternative to the app store for all the reasons highlighted via the comments to this article. A monopolic stranglehold on the apple developer community has to give at some point, I just hope that it happens sooner or later. I believe in business competition, but when it negatively affects end users on such a grand scale then something has gone awry.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Lelala
    Lelala November 15, 08:58

    I think, Apple just fears being sued because of somebody having problems with the Bitcoin-thingy itself or with the app he downloaded:
    Note: Not all people are that deep in this materia, so John Doe downloading the app may have some risks for Apple, if John Doe then thinks Apple is in charge if he maybe got hacked.
    Currently, the legal aspects are not that clear in all countries, and Apple just tries to protect itself?

    Reply to this comment
  6. Altoidnerd
    Altoidnerd November 15, 20:41

    I love how the picture shows awesome bitcoin transfers of over $200k in value.

    Reply to this comment
  7. DiddlyDoes
    DiddlyDoes November 24, 01:30

    Diamond Circle has the solutions you desire already in place

    Bitcoin Bonds, Hardware Wallets, ATM’s
    Share options also available more links and info on our facebook page

    Reply to this comment
  8. Levi Hawk
    Levi Hawk December 06, 14:16

    I must wonder if the issue is more complicated then most here seem to realize. I just read an article that I wish I could post. It clearly desribed a situation which may very well offer several answers to any reasoning on Apple’s behalf why they may not be ready to allow these apps to run on mobile devices. To attempt to summarize the article I read. It sited several companies that were embedding hidden applications with hidden rights agreements that allowed these companies to run a wide variety of mining apps in the back ground of any of their users, that in turn could and would earn them money by using the apps owner’s mobile devices as part of their systems. I know this may not be a very good explanation, but many of you will understand what I am trying to explain. Another words, you ad an app to your phone or home PC, that when running is in constant contact with it’s maker and any other system they with it to communicate with, as a result it can mine in the back ground, returning any materials to the builders account (s). Thus can you imagine if you sold several million apps, that were mining 24/7 and you got to keep all the material they mined! That’s a lot of gold so to speak! I more then likely am not explaining this very well, but I think most will get the big picture.

    Reply to this comment
    • Caleb Chen
      Caleb Chen Author December 07, 22:42

      Apple has every right to remove any app forcing your device to mine from their store. Not that mobile device mining is very efficient, but I do understand your big picture! Thanks for commenting.

      Reply to this comment

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