Fear And Loathing In The App Store - Apple Drops Bitcoin App
Written by Lucy Black   
Friday, 07 February 2014

We have come to accept the fact that the sale of our code is controlled by third parties and we try to get into the walled gardens because of the potential rewards. But what happens when the gate keepers decide that your app isn't in their interest? That's what has happened to the leading Bitcoin app in the Apple App Store. 

So you complete a new app. You have spent months working on it, perhaps alone, perhaps with your startup and the moment arrives when you have to submit it to the store. If it doesn't get in your efforts are wasted. Your work, creativity and all, are just bits in the ether with nowhere to go. 



Even if you get in and start making money there is the worry at the back of your mind that it could be pulled at a moment's notice for reasons that just don't make sense to you. Many a programmer wakes up in the middle of the night after just such a nightmare, but we live with it because of the promise of bigger and better rewards. 

Well the nightmare does happen.

Apple has just pulled the top selling Bitcoin wallet produced by Blockchain. Apple hasn't given a reason. Some speculate that it could be something to do with vague international regulations on Bitcoin. Others speculate that it could be because Apple is working on its own payment app and is clearing the field to ensure its success. 

Here is what Blockchain thinks it is all about:

"On Wednesday February 5th, Apple attempted to strike a devastating blow to the bitcoin ecosystem on iOS by removing “Blockchain”, the last remaining bitcoin wallet app, from the App Store. 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."

If you are a bitcoin user then the bad news is that there is now no bitcoin wallet that you can run on your iOS device. A lot of users have responded angrily to the news and member of the Reddit group r/bitcoin are recording videos of themselves smashing their iPhones

If you are a programmer then the part that will strike your heart is the line:

"Offering no explanation and no opportunity to address any issues, without any apparent change in circumstances..."

and to make it crystal clear:

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”.

It is indeed your worst nightmare.

It really doesn't matter what the actual reason is, for what Apple has done. What you really need to take on board is the simple fact that it can do it. 

The final question is what to do about it?

If you want to narrow the issue to just the bitcoin problem you could sign up to the petition:


The solution adopted by Coinpunk.com is to ask Indiegogo for funds to build an HTML5 bitcoin wallet and this is perhaps the longer term solution to the wider problem. 

We all know that HTML5 apps miss out on many things that are available to native apps - the app store being one of them - but at least you are a little more in control of your destiny.



More Information

Blockchain’s Response to Apple


Coinpunk Indiegogo 

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Fear and Loathing In The App Store

  1. Apple Drops Bitcoin App 
  2. Apple Rejects App For Being Too Simple     
  3. Banned For Life      
  4. When Apps Vanish
  5. Apple Doesn't Want Amateur Hour       
  6. Apple's Reasons For Rejection 
  7. Google Wants Everyone To Know Where You Live   
  8. Apple Takes Down Innovative App      
  9. The EFF Refuses Apple's Conditions       
  10. Firefox Gets A Walled Garden        
  11. Apple Is Watching       
  12. Apple Punishes IFixit  
  13. Fear And Loathing In the App Store 13 - Apple Rejects Gravity 
  14. Apple Rejects F.lux And It Isn't Even In The App Store!
  15. Apple Bans F.lux And Then Duplicates  It
  16. App Store Income Dashed With No Appeal
  17. The Strange Case Of AdNauseam
  18. Apple Bans Templated Apps
  19. Apple Rejects Net Neutrality App
  20. Apple Stops Crypto Currency Mining App
  21. Oracle Owns JavaScript and Apple Pulls App
  22. Apple Revokes Facebook's Developer Certificate
  23. Is The Walled Garden About To Close Around MacOS?
  24. Apple Promotes Own Apps Before Yours
  25. Developer's Facility Used To Create Open Apple App Store
  26. Devs Finally Angry At Apple's App Store.
  27. Epic Games V Apple - Smash The App Store

Jailbreaking the Developer  

Epic Games CEO Finally Notices That UWP Apps Are A Walled Garden


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