Apple is making moves to change its policy on Bitcoin, the popular digital currency, by allowing several related apps, including the most popular Bitcoin wallet, back into the iOS App Store.
Six months after Apple removed the popular Bitcoin wallet app Blockchain and other Bitcoin-related apps, it’s now allowed Blockchain back into the store and onto users’ iPhones and iPads. In a statement released to Wired, Blockchain noted that the step represents an important milestone not just for Blockchain, but for Bitcoin as a whole. “This seems to be the first strong and real sign they are ready to accommodate future digital currency development … It goes a long way to legitimizing bitcoin and now provides hundreds of millions of iOS users access to bitcoin applications.”
Blockchain was allowed back into the App Store shortly after Apple approved a newer wallet app named Coinpocket. Together, the two approvals signify a reversal of Apple’s long-held policy of disallowing Bitcoin apps in the App Store, explained with the logic that the apps weren’t legal everywhere that they were available, which was a violation of App Store guidelines. In a blog post announcing the app’s return to iOS, Blockchain explained:
“At the beginning of 2014, our iOS wallet was the final bitcoin wallet app to be removed from the App Store … Our intent was never to leave iOS users without option to use bitcoin, so we began working on mobile web wallet that would work on any device. This spring Apple signaled it was changing its position with the new App Store Review guidelines, and it appeared the restrictions for bitcoin wallets had been lifted. The most common question directed to us has been, ‘When will Apple allow bitcoin wallets back?’ As of today, we are excited to announce that Blockchain has returned to the App Store! Users can now once again enjoy the simple experience of sending, receiving, and storing bitcoins securely on any iOS device. The new Wallet app remains consistent with Blockchain’s principles: a wallet that allows you to control your own private keys, know your funds are secure, and transact with anyone in the world.”