Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) appears to be extending a low-key olive branch to developers who make bitcoin-related apps. Amid the high-profile iOS 8 and OS X software announcements at the company’s recent Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, Apple quietly issued a revised set of App Store Review Guidelines that for the first time included a guideline for apps that use virtual currencies. Under the “Purchasing and currencies” section of its guidelines, Apple stated that, “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.” The new guideline seems to suggest that Apple will take a new hands-off approach to bitcoin-related apps in countries that permit the currency.
Although Apple has never explicitly banned bitcoin-related apps, the iPhone maker has long been accused of having an unspoken anti-bitcoin policy after removing several bitcoin-related apps from the App Store over the past year. Apple’s tendency to remove bitcoin-related apps and the uncertainty created by not having a clear policy on virtual currencies has made it harder for developers to create apps that would accept bitcoins on the iOS platform.
However, it appears that Apple’s recently revised App Store Review Guidelines are a signal that the Cupertino-based company is warming up to the digital currency. According to digital currency news site CoinDesk via Apple Insider, Apple recently approved the bitcoin wallet app Coinpocket. As noted by CoinDesk, the Coinpocket app essentially performs the same functions as the previously available bitcoin app Blockchain.